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Guide to Opening and Operating a New Business
Business License Process for the City of Chesapeake
The following step-by-step business licensing process was created and developed as a guide to assist City of Chesapeake business-license applicants in successfully completing the necessary steps in the business licensing process. This step-by-step guide is for your benefit and there is no need to return this form when you apply for a business license.
These steps will be applicable to the majority of businesses seeking a business license for the privilege to operate or conduct business within the City of Chesapeake. You are urged to read through every step before starting your license process. As questions arise, please contact the Commissioner of the Revenue’s Business Tax Section, 306 Cedar Road (City Hall); 757-382-6738 to assist you.
Please note that some professions and careers such as attorney, medical doctor, cosmetologist/barber, psychologist, mortician, etc. require additional State of Virginia Licensing or certification requirements. You may also wish to see the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity and the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall.
Please check with the specific department of the State of Virginia in which your area of expertise may be handled. A list of those departments may be found in the “blue pages” of the telephone directory. Also, the state chapter of your Professional Association may be able to assist you regarding these additional requirements.
Some other professionals or business operations need to meet other specialized requirements such as fingerprinting, fire inspection, etc., as part of their business operations. As you have questions, please contact the City of Chesapeake’s Business Tax Section at 757-382-6738.
We wish you much success.
Thank you for opening and operating a business in Chesapeake!
- Will your business be located within the city limits of Chesapeake? or Will you conduct business within the city limits?
- Yes, go to #2.
- No, then you do not need a City of Chesapeake Business License.
- Do you need to know if your proposed business location is zoned to conduct your type of business? or Do you need to know if the property or space you are about to rent will pass building and fire code requirements?
Are you looking for available property or building to conduct your business?
- Will you be using a sign to advertise your business? or Will any building construction or tenant improvements be required for your business? or Will there be a change in property use from the previous business occupant?
- Will your business operate out of your home?
- Will your business sell or serve beer, wine and/or liquor?
- Yes, contact Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control; local office – 1103 S. Military Highway; 757-424-6700 for state licensing. Once state licensing is received, contact the Commissioner of the Revenue’s Business Tax Section, [306 Cedar Road (City Hall); 757-382-6738] for local business licensing. After contact, continue to #7.
- No, continue to #7.
- Will your business involve food preparation, tattoo or massage facility, hotel or public pool?
- Will your business involve manufacturing?
- Will you have three or more employees including subcontractor's employees?
- Yes, contact the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission, 100 DMV Drive, Richmond, VA 23220; 877-664-2566 to inquire about workers' compensation insurance requirements. You may obtain workers' compensation insurance from your own insurance company. After contact, continue to #10.
- No, continue to #10.
- Are you a general or sub-contractor?
- Will your business be a Corporation or a Limited Liability Company? or Is your business incorporated or registered in another state?
- Do you need Federal Internal Revenue Service forms, a Federal ID Number or other tax information?
- Are you applying for a City of Chesapeake Business License that will require you to collect or pass on the tax on retail sales? or Will you require Virginia Sales Tax information on either sales or use tax?
- Will you use a fictitious trade name or “doing business as” name?
- Will you be using personal property or machinery and tools for business purposes?
- Where do I obtain my Business License?
The appropriate Business License can be issued through the Business Tax Section of:
Chesapeake Commissioner of the Revenue Officeor through one of the three satellite locations:
306 Cedar Road (City Hall)
- Deep Creek Office – 824 Old George Washington Hwy. N
- South Norfolk Office – 1205 20th Street
- Western Branch Office – 2808 Taylor Road
As you have seen from the above information, the types of licenses vary depending upon your business activity. Contact the Business Tax Section of the Commissioner of the Revenue Office 757-382-6738 for additional information and assistance at any time during the above steps. Remember that it is your responsibility to learn what local, state and federal laws and regulations apply to your business.