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; or
  • Are paid as a 1099 independent contractor
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 apply for a James City County Business, Professional, and Occupational License (BPOL).

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 March 1.

Applications & Renewals

Business licenses must be renewed by March 1 annually. Returns postmarked or hand delivered after March 1 are subject to a 10% late filing penalty from the Commissioner of the Revenue. You may either pay with your renewal, or by the payment deadline of March 1. Non-filers will be assessed based on an estimate, plus penalty.

For More Information

BPOL tax guidelines and exemptions are established by the Code of Virginia. 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.