Small Business Planning Guide

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 Commonwealth of Virginia State Corporation Commission Clerk’s Office at 804-371-9733.

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).

“The word ‘Athari’ means ‘impact’ in Swahili. Progress happens when we unite the best and brightest minds through a common purpose, and the place to do that is in #LoudounCounty,” says Susan Mitchell, founder and CEO of Athari Biosciences.

“Loudoun’s ready access to smart people, wet and tech lab space, and the populations we serve, make it the perfect place for our health equity accelerator."

“Now that we know our ‘where,’ we can work to diversify the ‘who’ and ‘how’ of STEM industries, fixing the problem of underrepresentation and increasing our global health insights.”

#LoudounPossible #Loudoun #STEM #HealthIT #WetLab #DiversityInTech #WomenInSTEM

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The #LoudounFarmTour returns next weekend! 👩‍🌾🚜

Residents and visitors from across the region are invited to enjoy a self-guided, family-friendly weekend on the farm, October 16-17.

📲 See LINK IN BIO or download @eventzeeapp from the Apple or Android app stores to get started on the fun challenges!

Once you've downloaded the app, enter event code "farmtour" for a unique scavenger hunt around #LoudounFarms and compete on a leaderboard for badges and exciting prizes! 🏆

#LoudounPossible #Loudoun #LoudounCounty #AshburnVA #LeesburgVA #DCDayTrips #DCInTheFall #NorthernVirginia

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How do you relax after an exciting #ParalympicGames? For gold medalist Pamela Jones, it means farming gently at @GatheringSprings.

@PamRelphMBE is one-half of Loudoun’s Paralympic power couple (she met husband and fellow rower @RobJonesJourney at the 2012 Games). She’s also partnered with registered dietitian @WhyFoodWorks to start their beyond-organic farm using the latest in regenerative soil management.

See LINK IN BIO to learn why Olympians hang their medals in Loudoun 🥇

“The COVID-19 crisis made it even more obvious how a robust and resilient local food system is essential,” said Jones upon receiving a Business Interruption Fund grant from the county last year.

“Your support of local small scale agricultural operations through this grant not only helps small family run businesses weather the storm but provides an example to all #LoudounCounty residents to prioritize supporting #LocalAg in the future.”

📸: Jim Thurston

#LoudounFarms #LoveLoudoun #LocalAgriculture #Loudoun #Paralympics #Paralympics2020 #LocalGrowers #Middleburg #MiddleburgVA #SupportLocal

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“IXP is honored to be recognized in the #Inc5000. As a nimble, small business, we work relentlessly to pursue better experiences through human-centered design. Our goal is to make technology work for people and not the other way around.”

Meet Tina Williams (pictured at right). Williams is founder and principal at Informed XP, listed at number 💯 of the 2021 #Inc5000List.

IXP topped #Loudoun’s list of companies with 3,910% growth over the last three years, ranking fourth in the D.C. region and fifth in Virginia.

Originally founded in 2005, Informed XP is a certified #MinorityOwned and #WomanOwnedBusiness, leading in the UX and CX design space.

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"Northern Virginia is a hub for cultural diversity. Notes n’ Beats is in the best position to make a connection with many different cultures through music. One of our primary areas of focus is to create music that is unique and fresh while drawing its roots from a multitude of musical genres and cultures."

Meet Veena Pandiri, former engineer turned owner and CEO of Loudoun-based
@notesnbeats_music, pictured with Loudoun's Ashburn District Supervisor Mike Turner. Her tech experience turned out to be the perfect background, allowing her to comfortably and safely provide lessons to her company’s 500 students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, the music school continues to offer online lessons along with in-studio lessons at its Ashburn and Aldie locations.

Instruction at Notes n’ Beats centers around classical pedagogy, while also allowing students to explore other genres like pop, rock, musical theatre and Indian music. Pandiri and her faculty at Notes n’ Beats are dedicated to bringing excellence in training for Western, Indian and diverse styles of music to younger generations.

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Loudoun County has consistently ranked as the safest jurisdiction in the national capital region and its effects can be measured in peace of mind for our residents.

According to the most recent National Community Survey:

97% of Loudoun residents feel safe in their neighborhoods 🏘️

95% feeling comfortable in Loudoun’s downtown and commercial districts 🏬

89% overall feeling of safety in Loudoun County 😊

Having the best of all worlds in #LoudounCounty means something different for each person who lives, works, learns and plays here, but there are certain universal truths. Everyone deserves to be safe and feel safe in their community, two things that are always #LoudounPossible. ✨

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