Finance Home  |  Business License
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Dear Business Owner,

On behalf of the County of Albemarle, we wish to express our sincere appreciation to all the entrepreneurs, business owners and individuals that help grow our great County through business activity and tax dollars and ensure the success of our local economy. 

 

And for those thinking of starting a business, we invite you to grow your business in beautiful and quickly growing County of Albemarle! Check out the Tax Education Page by clicking here, for a roadmap on tax requirements as well as resources to help you grow your business. 


If you are conducting or plan to conduct business within the County, you will need to register for a Business License and other applicable taxes. A separate license is required for each business category a taxpayer is operating, even if they are operating at the same location.

New businesses must file a business license application within 30 days of beginning business based on an estimate of gross receipts. If you are a new business click here for a business license application, or contact the Revenue Administration Assessments Office at (434) 296-5851, Option #3 to have an application mailed. 

Existing businesses pay a license fee or tax based on the previous calendar year actual gross receipts.  The business license is renewed each year and the application must be filed by March 1st. Itinerant merchants and peddlers must obtain their license prior to any sales. The application can be filed online by clicking the button below, or a completed application can be mailed to County of Albemarle, 401 McIntire Rd, Room 133, Charlottesville, VA  22902. 

Where to Start
All businesses need a few things to get started. Please follow the checklist below for basic requirements.

Federal EIN or SSN
Federal EIN or SSNFederal EIN (if issued) or Social Security number. To apply for an EIN number, file Federal form SS-4, which can be obtained from any office of the Internal Revenue Service. Sole proprietors must obtain an EIN if they pay wages on one or more employees or if they file an excise tax return. Please contact the Internal Revenue Service at (1-800-829-1040) for assistance.
 

Copy of certificate of use
A zoning clearance is required of all businesses. If you work out of your residence, you must obtain a home occupation permit. Please contact the Community Development Department (434-296-5832) to obtain a certificate of use.

Copy of trade name registration
If your business trade name is different from the legal name, the trade names must be registered with the Clerk of the Circuit Court. Phone number: (434) 972-4084.

Copy of registration from State Corporation Commission
General partnership, limited partnership, corporation, business trust, or limited liability companies conducting business in Virginia must register with the Virginia State Corporation Commission. Contact them at (804) 371-9733.

Know your business entity type
Individual, Partnership, Corporation or other (LLC, LLP).

Determine your business category
For licensing purposes, businesses are categorized based on one the major categories listed on the Business License application and the County Code. For specific business categories call the Revenue Administration division at 434-296-5851 option 3 for assistance with determining your specific business category or visit for the full list. NAICS Codes


Other Requirements 

CONTRACTORS
All contractors who bid upon or undertake single jobs of $1,000 or more must register with the State Board of Contractors and file a Contractors Certificate of Workers' Compensation Insurance (Form 61-A) with our office. 
Please contact the Board of Contractors at 804-367-8511 for questions.

ALCOHOL BEVERAGE IMPORTATION AND SALE 
The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control exercises a monopoly over the importation and sale of alcoholic beverages other than beer or wine.   Licenses are issued for the manufacturer of liquors, the wholesaling of beer or wine, the sale of beer or wine, and the sale at retail of spirits by the drink. Please contact the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control at 434-977-2974 for more information.

FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS
A food establishment mus obtain a permit from the Health Department. Please contact the Health Department at 434-972-6269 for more information.

SCHEDULE C INCOME  REPORTING
Individuals who file Schedule C income on Federal Income Tax Returns may be subject to a Business License requirement. Contact the Revenue Administration Assessments Office at (434) 296-5851, Option #3 for information.

DEALERSHIPS
Motor vehicle dealers that add the license tax applicable to each sale of a motor vehicle to the sales price of that vehicle must report gross reciepts, trade-in allowances, and taxes collected from the sale and remit this tax quarterly.


Other applicable taxes

Business Tangible Personal Property (BTTP)
All businesses must file a business tangible personal property tax return. All property used or available for use in your business as of January 1, 2019 must be reported when applicable. Business tangible personal property returns must be filed every year by May 1st.

Machinery and Tools Tax (M&T)
Machinery and Tools used in manufacturing, mining, water well drilling, processing or reprocessing, radio or television broadcasting, dairy, dry cleaning, or laundry businesses must be reported separately from Business Tangible Personal Property on the Business Tangible Personal Property filing form. Businesses classified as processors or re-processors are required to report both Macinery and Tools along with furniture, fixtures, and equipment.

All property used or available for use in your business as of January 1 of the filing year must be reported when applicable. Machinery and Tools returns must be filed every year by May 1st.

Transient Occupancy Taxes (TOT)
IF your business offers short term lodging (less than 30 days) you must collect transient occupancy tax. This tax is remitted to Albemarle County monthly.

Food and Beverage Taxes (F&B)
IF your business sells food and beverages, you must collect food and beverage tax. This tax is remitted to Albemarle County monthly.

Sales Taxes
Sales such as those from a gift shop location, food and beverage sales and short-term lodging services are subject to sales tax to be remitted to the state.

Short-term Rental Taxes (not applicable to Real Estate rentals or Homestays)
Businesses engaged in short-term rental of tangible property, including but not limited to tents, clothing, sports equipment and gearr, movie and video rental, storage cabinets, heavy equipment property such as generators, air compressors, heaters and dehumidifiers, augers, pressure washers, earth moving equipment, etc. must collect and remit short-term rental taxes to the County every quarter.


HELPFUL PHONE NUMBERS AND ADDRESSES: