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Apr 25

Getting a Business License in Norfolk, VA

Posted by username  filed under Business License Norfolk   0 Comment(s)    Add a Comment  comment-icon.png

Moving to a new city and starting a business can seemingly be a daunting task. I wanted to share with you the process regarding how to get a business license in Norfolk, Virginia. Norfolk has made the process very simple, but first let’s start out by deciding whether or not you need a business license.


Norfolk requires that all “business and professional operations” require a business license. This includes home businesses. So, for all sense and purposes, yes you will need to get a license if you are going to operate a business of any kind.


The next thing to decide is when to get a license. The city of Norfolk states that a person should obtain a business license prior to opening its doors. If you have already started a business, apply for a license as soon as possible.


So, now we decided that a license is needed. What needs to happen next? There are two options. You can do everything online, which will take a couple of days, or you can do downtown to City Hall at City Hall, 810 Union St, Norfolk, VA 23502.


I did everything online by filling out an the online application at: If you fill out the online application, you will receive an email from the city and be asked to scan in and send your signed lease (if you have one). You will then get an invoice emailed to you. After paying your invoice, a business license will be mailed to you. Sure it took a couple of days and there was some back and forth, but it saved me the trip from going to city hall, finding parking etc.. The person I corresponded with was very nice and made the process extremely simple.


As for the cost, it will depend on your projected revenue:


The cost of the business license is based upon your estimate of total gross receipts from the day the business opens to December 31 of the same year. If the estimate is less than $100,000, the license will cost $50.00 which is the minimum tax. If, however, the estimate is greater than $100,000, a tax rate will be applied to your estimate.

There is also a fee for zoning approval that is mandatory ($15 in 2014).

 I hope this helps with starting your business and getting a license. Again, they were very friendly and provide a number should you need additional information: 757-664-7886


Here is a link to the city’s website:

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