Business Licenses

Who Needs a Business License?


IF you:
  • Advertise or otherwise hold yourself out to the public as offering goods or services for sale; or
  • File a federal Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ "Profit or Loss from a Business"; or
  • File other tax returns, schedules and documents required only of a business, or of persons engaged in a trade or business
AND you:
  • Have an office, retail space, or other location, leased or otherwise, in James City County;
Or, if you have no such space, you:
  • Are a resident of James City County

You must complete an Application for Business, Professional and Occupational License (PDF).

Out-of-Area Contractors


Additionally, out-of-area state-licensed contractors performing work here may need a James City County business license. See Contractor’s Business License Application Checklist for details.

Other Licensing Requirements


A local business license is a revenue, not regulatory, license. Depending on your trade or professional, you may also need a license from the Department of Occupational Regulation (DPOR), the Department of Health Professions (DHP), the Virginia Board of Medicine, or other professional board.


Home-Based Businesses


Businesses without a fixed, definite place of business (that is, no storefront, office, or industrial space) are, per the Code of Virginia, considered a home-based business. All home-based businesses must include an Application for Home Occupation with their business license application package.


Due Dates & Rates


Licenses must be renewed by March 1 annually. Payments for renewed business licenses are due by April 5 of every year. A penalty of 10% will be applied to any outstanding balances not paid by this date. Interest of 10% annually begins on May 1 of every year.


Applications & Renewals


Applications and renewals for business licenses are processed through the Commissioner of the Revenue's office, which can also handle any change that may be needed on your account. The Commissioner of the Revenue's office can be reached at 757-253-6698.

Billing


The Treasurer's Office will send reminders for each delinquent license 2 times. If a response is not received after the 2nd notice, the account will be turned over to the County Attorney for collection. We will accept payment agreements on accounts once they become delinquent.

For More Information


You may read more about BPOL tax guidelines and exemptions in Code of Virginia §58.1 Chapter 37; and in Chapter 12 of the Code of James City County. For business license information specific to your business model, call the Business License Inspector at 757-253-6698.

For more “How-to” information on starting/opening a business in James City County, please view the County’s business resources information that has been prepared by the Office of Economic Development.