Most businesses located within Chesterfield County are subject to the Chesterfield County business license tax. This is a tax on the privilege of engaging in a licensable business activity within the County, and it is calculated upon gross receipts (or gross purchases in the case of wholesale merchants).
New businesses must obtain all required licenses prior to beginning business in the County, and a late payment penalty of up to 10% of the tax due will be imposed along with interest if the licenses are not obtained within 30 days of the date the business opened. For existing businesses, renewal applications and appropriate tax payments must be filed in the Commissioner's Office or postmarked on or before March 1 each year to avoid the late payment penalty and interest.
In addition to completing the Application for Chesterfield County Business License, new businesses should complete the Business License Classification Questionnaire. This form provides information that is necessary in order to classify your business activities correctly.
A Memo to New Applicants for Chesterfield County Business Licenses describes in more detail the steps for obtaining licenses.
For assistance with the business license application or the licensing process, please contact the Commissioner's Office at (804) 748-1281, or visit the office during normal business hours (Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.).
Download Business Tax Forms
The business section of the Commissioner of the Revenue administers several local business taxes, including the business license, business tangible personal property tax, and machinery and tools tax.
You may download the blank forms for use in filing the tax, but the completed forms, with the exception of the business license application, must be filed by regular mail, facsimile or email in order to be accepted as a valid filing. The business license tax form, which requires accompanying payment, may not be filed by facsimile or email. After completing the desired form, please send a printed copy to us via U.S. Mail or delivery address (for express delivery only) listed below. The business tangible personal property tax form or the machinery and tools tax form may be sent via facsimile at (804) 796-3236 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the printed instructions on the form, we provide assistance, at no charge, in completing these forms. After reading the instructions, if you require assistance in completing the form, please call us at (804) 748-1281.
Business Tax Forms for Previous Years
Commissioner of the Revenue
P.O. Box 124
Chesterfield, VA 23832
Commissioner of the Revenue
Attn: Business License Section
9901 Lori Road, Room 165
Chesterfield, VA 23832
The business tangible personal property tax form or the machinery and tools tax form may be sent via facsimile at (804) 796-3236. The business license tax form, which requires accompanying payment, may not be filed by facsimile.
State Board for Contractors
Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control
Virginia Worker's Compensation Commission
State Corporation Commission
Internal Revenue Service (SS4 Form at site)
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What is meant on the application by “gross receipts”?
“Gross receipts” is defined in the Code of Virginia, §58.1-3700.1, as “the whole, entire, total receipts, without deductions.” This is generally the same figure as that filed on Line One of a corporate income tax return or on federal Schedule C, for individuals or others required to file business income.
What if I have multiple locations or multiple lines of business?
Each individually licensable activity at each business location must have a separate license.
Are flat-fee licenses paid in addition to gross-receipts-based licenses?
Rarely. But this is true in the case of a business that sells alcohol, or of a nightclub. Businesses who sell alcohol must obtain a separate flat-fee-based “Alcoholic Beverage” business license for each type of alcohol sold (as listed on the back of the application by seating capacity) in addition to the retail merchant business license required (and also in addition to state licenses required from the ABC Board). These businesses MUST include gross receipts for alcohol sales within the total gross receipts reported for the retail business license, even though they also obtain a separate business license for alcohol sales or nightclub activities.
Which businesses do NOT use “gross receipts” on Line One of the business license application?
Some exceptions exist, and most are noted on the back of the business license application, along with a list of flat-fee-based licenses. Here are a few notable ones: Wholesale merchants report gross purchases on that line. Merchandise brokers report gross profit. Auctioneers report gross proceeds. Call our office for questions regarding special circumstances that might affect your classification or the determination of the proper basis for your license calculations.
What about operating under a trade name different than my own?
Before applying for a business license through the Office of the Commissioner of the Revenue, business owners must register the trade or “doing-business-as” name with the Office of the Circuit Court Clerk if the business will be operating under an assumed or fictitious name. Trade names that include the sole proprietor's last name do not need to be recorded. Trade names using only an individual's initials or any other fictitious names that differ from the actual sole proprietor, partnership, or corporate name must be recorded in the clerk's office. It is unnecessary to register the business name if the business will be incorporated and business will be conducted under the corporate name.
What if I incorporate or create an LLC? Are the rules different for me?
All corporations, and limited liability companies (“LLCs”), MUST register with the State Corporation Commission. Entities that are required to obtain a federal ID number (FEIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), MUST obtain an FEIN before acquiring a local business license from Chesterfield County.
I am a contractor. Does my contractor’s license from the state count as my business license? Or vice-versa?
No, the state contractor’s license is separate from your local business license, and separate rules apply.
All contractors operating in Chesterfield County must have a local business license. Contractors based in localities outside of Chesterfield County may use a business license from their home locality for contracts up to and including $25,000 in total gross receipts annually (unless the home locality does not require a business license, in which case a Chesterfield County license is required for any work done here).
If you accept individual contracts of $1000 or more, or if you have total gross receipts from contracting in excess of $150,000 during any 12-month period, you must register with the State Board for Contractors.
If my gross receipts are under $200,000, and I am doing a business that is supposed to be based on gross receipts, do I still have to calculate my tax, or just pay the minimum fee?
You pay only the minimum fee, according to the schedule on the back of the application form. Only if your business takes in $200,000 or more in gross receipts for the licensable activity must you calculate your license from the gross receipts.
If my gross receipts are under $10,000, and I am doing a business that is supposed to be based on gross receipts, do I still have to get a business license?
YES, but it is FREE!
If I do not renew my business license, am I considered out of business?
NO, but you may be considered delinquent! Once you have received your first business license, you are considered “in business” until you declare in writing that you are “out of business.”