What Are the Major Business Forms in Virginia?

If you run a business in Virginia, there are several types of business forms that you may find yourself needing along the way. While they are too many to list, you will generally require a Virginia business license, permit, certificate, or some other kind of legal business form to operate your business.

In some cases, you might even need more than one of these forms depending upon the work that you do. Some types of activities are regulated by one or more federal agencies and might require a specific federal permit to operate. Besides, various professions and occupations also need state-issued licenses.

However, the federal government doesn’t require licenses or permits for most small businesses. In which case, some legal forms of business, such as limited liability companies (LLCs), corporations, and other types of businesses must file articles of incorporation and organizational forms with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC).

Do I Need a Business License in Virginia?

Yes. It’s true that a lot of self-employed individuals, particularly those who work from home, never get a state or local Virginia business license. But, if the state finds out that you are currently operating a business without the legal licenses required, then a huge number of problems could arise.

For example, depending on your business and chosen occupation, the lack of a business license may constitute a crime. Moreover, if the local government agencies discover that our business is not appropriately licensed, you could end up facing imprisonment or having to pay very large fines.

On top of that, you will be banned from conducting business in the state of Virginia, at least until you get the required license. In most cases, for you to acquire a business license there is a set governmental fee that tends to vary from state to state. They could range from as low as $15 to even a couple of hundred dollars once the license expires, you will need to renew it again and pay the applicable fee.

Usually, the renewal is necessary every one to three years. However, there are even some states that exempt very small businesses, from paying licensing fees when they are just starting out, but that varies from locality to locality.

How Do I Start My Own Business in Virginia?

One of the first things you need to do is to file Virginia-based articles of incorporation with the VA State Corporation Commission. After which, you will be able to obtain a federal tax identification number with the IRS after showing you are approved by Virginia business. In this regard, if you intend to hire employees, then you will also need to register with the VA department of taxation.

This is necessary, especially if your business intends to withhold tax from their salaries. Furthermore, if your chosen occupation requires a license, you’ll have to apply for one with the Virginia licensing board. You can also obtain a local trade license if the state you’re going to be working in deems it to be a requirement.

However, this varies as some local cities or counties have a general license, but most don’t. Depending on the type of business you intend to open, you might also require an approval permit from the state in your respective location. Once you have all these basic forms and documents sorted out, you should be ready to get up and running.

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