Who Needs A Business License?
- Advertise or otherwise hold yourself out to the public as offering goods or services for sale; or
- File a federal Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ "Profit or Loss from a Business"; or
- File other tax returns, schedules and documents required only of a business, or of persons engaged in a trade or business; or
- Are paid as a 1099 independent contractor
- Have an office, retail space, or other location, leased or otherwise, in James City County;
- Are a resident of James City County
Additionally, out-of-area state-licensed contractors performing work here may need a James City County business license. See Contractor’s Business License Application Checklist for details.
Other Licensing Requirements
A local business license is a revenue, not regulatory, license. Depending on your trade or professional, you may also need a license from the Department of Occupational Regulation (DPOR), the Department of Health Professions (DHP), the Virginia Board of Medicine, or other professional board.
Businesses without a fixed, definite place of business (that is, no storefront, office, or industrial space) are, per the Code of Virginia, considered a home-based business. All home-based businesses must include an Application for Home Occupation with their business license application package.
Due Dates & Rates
Licenses must be renewed by March 1 annually. Payments for renewed business licenses are due by April 5 of every year. A penalty of 10% will be applied to any outstanding balances not paid by this date. Interest of 10% annually begins on May 1 of every year.
Applications & Renewals
Business licenses must be renewed by March 1 annually. Returns postmarked or hand delivered after March 1 are subject to a 10% late filing penalty from the Commissioner of the Revenue. You may either pay with your renewal, or by the payment deadline of April 5. Payments postmarked or hand delivered after April 5 are subject to a 10% late payment penalty from the Treasurer. Additionally, 10% annual interest begins on May 1 of every year. Nonfilers will be assessed based on an estimate, plus penalty.
The Treasurer's Office will send reminders for each delinquent license 2 times. If a response is not received after the 2nd notice, the account will be turned over to the County Attorney for collection. We will accept payment agreements on accounts once they become delinquent.
For More Information
BPOL tax guidelines and exemptions are established by the Code of Virginia. For business license information specific to your business model, call the Business License Inspector at 757-253-6698.
For more “How-to” information on starting/opening a business in James City County, please view the County’s business resources information that has been prepared by the Office of Economic Development.