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).

Meet Karen Reed from Loudoun’s Alchemy Wine Supply, and a member of the 2021 FireUp Business Mentoring and Coaching Program cohort.

“I am proud to be a member of this community. I have seen how supportive Loudoun County is to the development and growth of our local farm wineries. The county has been able to attract top talent within the #winemaking community, many of whom I’ve had the privilege of working with. I have also witnessed the incredible engagement and loyalty among our local Loudoun County customers. These are the three essential legs to the stool which is the Loudoun County wine industry, and the driving forces behind our designation as ‘DC's Wine Country.’ 🍷

“With Alchemy Wine Supply, my goal has always been to support my local professional Winemakers by supplying them with high-quality fermentation supplies. The FireUp Program is helping me to reach a much larger client base, and connect with Winemakers not only in Loudoun Country, but across Virginia and beyond.

“For my next step, I aspire to further diversify into owning a #FarmWinery of my own, with the emphasis on the ‘farm’ portion; not only producing grapes for my winemaking, but also producing eggs, produce, honey and flowers for my local community. During the pandemic, it became clear to me that there needs to be more connection and community around food production in Loudoun County. 🍇🍯🌻

“I aim to sell local farm produce, while teaching my community how to grow their own food at home. And as a bonus, I'd like to continue the art of winemaking and educating my local wine lovers about the joy of wine and food pairing.”

📸: Jennifer Godbold

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“I’m a city boy and the idea of owning a farm was always kind of romantic."

Meet Hadi Akkard, co-founder and CEO of @FlyingAceFarm. ✈️

After making a successful exit from his Leesburg-based fintech company in 2018, Akkad had been on the look for his next business adventure. Akkad had a vision for what the 55-acre farm could be. 🤔💭

To pull off this feat in an authentic way, he assembled the best plan, equipment and team that he could find, including a strong roster of familiar Loudoun faces.

(See link in bio to meet more of the team!)

More than half of the Flying Ace Farm property will be devoted to agriculture, including the harvesting of Appalachian heirloom Bloody Butcher Corn. 🌽

The corn is a key ingredient in the spirits that make Flying Ace a true farm brewery and distillery. That craft alcohol is served at the bars on site and can be purchased by the bottle and case to #TakeLoudounHome. 🥃

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Meet Bernhard Gallent 👨‍🍳 Helene and Berni grew up in Carinthia, the southernmost State in #Austria, in a beautiful area known for its mountains and crystal-clear lakes.

Berni moved to the United States in 2009 in pursuit of the American Dream, Helene followed him six years later.

Spending much of their time as skiing and snowboard instructors, they met back in 2004 in Hochrindl, a ski resort in the Austrian Alps. ​⛷️🏔️

Before their strudel venture started, both worked other jobs. Berni used to work in humanitarian logistics, responded to global emergencies and shipped aid and relief supplies to people in need all over the world.

Now they are both full time in the strudel business, committed to their mission on making a delicious Austrian dessert widely available in the United States. ​Helene and Berni are raising a lovely family in Loudoun. 🏡

📸: @littleaustria

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We're blushing like a 2018 cabernet frac rosé, but we had to regram this #winemakers advice from @octoberonevineyard! 🍷🤗

"In Loudoun County it’s possible to make your winegrowing vision a reality, we’re living proof here at O1V! We’re grateful to all the incredible people at Loudoun County Economic Development that continue to support our great Loudoun Wine industry and the wide spectrum of our Loudoun business community. This is one of the most exciting wine regions and counties in the state and it’s made POSSIBLE in part by the effort and vision of @loudounbiz."

🥂 Thanks to Bob and the O1V family for sharing the #LoudounPossible spirit!

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"The STEM field wasn't an area I would have pictured myself in. None of my family had experience in the industry, I had never worked in it prior to getting to school and it seemed so beyond my reach," says Dre' Davis.

And yet after graduating from @olddominionu with his bachelors in mechanical engineering technology, Davis found his way onto @Google's data center team in Loudoun County.

"I was able to join the team just as our sites were hitting the ground, so to see the growth of these data centers has been amazing. Virginia has the largest concentration of data centers in the world and I am excited to see how we continue to innovate to stand out among data centers in my home state."

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"If I ever doubted that health care was my calling, last year took away all of the doubt." says Deborah Addo, president of @InovaHealth Loudoun Hospital.

It's no wonder why Addo is a @WBJnewsroom Diversity in Business Awards honoree! 🏆

Under her leadership, Inova Loudoun Hospital — which has more than 1,900 employees and reported more than $833 million in patient revenue in 2019 — has raked in safety and quality accolades.

Addo executed a $300 million expansion entailing a renovated ER, a new surgical trauma intensive-care unit and a 382,000-square-foot patient tower.

The expansions were slated to open in April 2020 but as COVID-19 emerged locally, Addo revisited the roadmap. Her team opened two weeks early, supporting a proactive regional response.

Credit: Washington Business Journal

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On St. Patrick's Day, #HanleyEnergy celebrated its roots in both Ireland and Loudoun by delivering a box truck loaded with more than 5,000 pounds of breakfast cereal to Loudoun Hunger Relief—and then throwing in the truck as well! 🚚☘️🥣

“I applaud your passion, your dedication, your selflessness and your energy to do the greater good in this community,” Hanley Energy CEO Clive Gilmore told @LoudounHunger.

“I’m also reassured that Hanley Energy’s monetary support thus far has assisted Loudoun Hunger Relief to purchase up to $70,000 of food each month.” 🍲🥫

Our #LoudounPossible data center community has risen to the pandemic's challenges by donating meals to families and first responders, all while continuing to provide scholarships and other workforce programs through partnerships with local K-12 and higher education institutions.

Credit: @LoudounNow and David Galen Photography

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