The Loudoun County Department of Economic Development has put together this guide for entrepreneurs getting ready to start a business. This is intended as a general guide only; actual steps may vary on a case-by-case basis. If possible, new business owners should visit the office of the Commissioner of the Revenue to discuss the business with a tax representative who can review the necessary paperwork, answer questions and guide you through the business registration process outlined below.

Existing businesses ready to expand can start with Economic Development or the Business Assistance Team, a cross-departmental
group dedicated to guiding businesses and entrepreneurs through the process. To get started, contact the team lead at 703-777-0395.

Exploration Phase

Identify resources to help you plan, launch and grow (such as small business agencies and organizations). If you are starting, recently started, or are taking over a business, SBDC-Mason Enterprise Center’s “Starting a Business in Loudoun County” workshop is for you. The class covers much of the basic information you need to know about starting a business. Register online or by phone at 703-466-0466.

Validate your idea by identifying similar products/services, potential customers and by receiving feedback. Businesses can participate in the Virginia ICAP Program-SBDC Leesburg. ICAP helps startups identify potential customers and develop successful business models based on that knowledge. It is an ideal program for early-stage companies trying to prepare for eventual venture investment. Register online or over the phone at 703-466-0466.

Determine Business Structure

If your business is a corporation, limited liability corporation, or limited partnership, register with the Virginia State Corporation Commission online or by phone at 866-722-2551. If your business is a general partnership, register with the Loudoun County Clerk of the Circuit Court online or over the phone at 703-777-0270.

Register Trade Name

Businesses based in the county using a fictitious business or trade name must register that name with the Loudoun County Clerk of the Circuit Court online or by phone at 703-777-0270. There is a one-time $10 fee.

Obtain a Business License

Businesses based in the county outside the incorporated towns are required to obtain a local Business Professional Occupational License from the Loudoun County Commissioner of the Revenue. There is a $30 maximum first-year fee. If in an incorporated town, contact that town for licensing requirements.

Register with Taxation Departments

Business Tangible Personal Property Tax. Businesses based in the county and businesses with business personal property located in the county, regardless of whether the property is located inside or outside the incorporated towns are required to register with the Loudoun County Commissioner of the Revenue for Business Tangible Personal Property Tax.

All property located in Loudoun County on January 1 and used or available for use in your business is taxable. The assessment is based on the date of purchase and the original purchase price of the property.

Loudoun County Business Taxes. Business licensing is a form of local taxation of gross receipts generated from business activity. Renewal license fees are based on these receipts. The business license tax rates vary from 5 cents per $100 of gross purchases for wholesale sales up to a maximum of 50 cents per $100 of gross receipts for public service corporations.

Virginia Department of Taxation. Businesses engaged in retail or wholesale sales are required to register with the Virginia Department of Taxation online or by phone at 804-367-8037 for retail sales tax purposes.

Federal Tax for Your Business. People who are starting a business or need information to assist in making basic business decisions should visit the Internal Revenue Service website.

Register with the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Registration

Businesses involved in any of the following must register online or by phone at 804-367-8500 with the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation: auctioneers, barbers, beauticians, contractors, physicians, real estate salespersons and many others too numerous to list.

Obtain Building/Zoning Permits

Businesses operating in Loudoun County are required to file an application for permits with the Department of Building and Development online or by phone at 703-777-0220. There is a one-time fee.

Register with Other Applicable Governmental Departments

Some business activities require registration with the Department of Family Services (703-777-0353) or the Environmental Health Division of the Health Department (703-777-0234).