Doing Business in the County
All businesses in the County, except for certain limited industry classes like manufacturing, must obtain a business license to operate and all are subject to personal property tax.
If you are a new business owner, you must apply and pay for your license within 30 days of starting operations. The Commissioner’s office will ask for proof that you have met all other laws and regulations for your business before issuing a license, including but not limited to:
- A Federal Tax Identification number (FEIN)
- Registration of corporations at the State Corporation Commission
- Proof of business name registration through the State Corporation Commission (if operating under an assumed or fictitious name)
- Zoning approval for the location at which the business will be conducted
If you are starting a business, you will need to visit the Commissioner’s office to apply for a business license.
The cost for a business license is based on your gross receipts (except for distribution companies, where the tax basis is gross purchases), per the Code of Virginia, and is as follows:
- Revenue less than $10,000 per year - no cost
- Revenue between $10,000 and $399,999 per year - cost is $10
- Revenue above $400,000 - cost is calculated based on your gross receipts
If you are an existing business, you are required to renew and pay for your license (see fees above) by March 1st every year. You may receive a renewal letter in the mail in January, and can renew either by mail or in person at the Commissioner’s Office.
Business Personal Property Tax
All businesses are subject to business personal property tax (BPPT) on the assets used to operate the business. BPPT is calculated at 3.6% of the depreciated value of your assets (note: manufacturers file a machinery and tools return and pay 1% on assets used in the manufacturing process). Business owners must file a BPPT return by March 1, or request a filing extension to May 1.
Chesterfield County provides tax incentives for businesses located or relocating into five Technology Zones. These incentives include:
- A waiver or reduction of business license tax fees for up to five years
- A full or partial rebate on qualifying machinery and tools ("M&T") taxes paid over five years.
For more information on Technology Zones, please contact Economic Development.