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If you own a business or are planning to initiate your work, you should know how to get a business license in Fairfax before moving ahead. Business activities need legal documents and licenses and hence you need to ensure you’ve got the right documentation. The documentation procedures vary based on industries and their location.

For instance, if you want to start your business in Fairfax, you need to fulfill some prerequisites. This guide will help you understand what you need to do before launching your business in Virginia.

Have you ever noticed why investors find Fairfax an appealing place to start their business? The reason lies in the attractive location of Fairfax, its vibrant economy, and amazingly lowest tax rates in Virginia. Besides, Fairfax City is home to more than 4 million square feet of office space and more than 3 million square feet of retail space. 

Why Fairfax?

fairfax city business

Photo by City of Fairfax

As an investor, it’s natural to have concerns before starting a business in any location? Let’s have a look at why Fairfax makes itself an attraction for the financier. 

For instance, Fairfax city aggressively participates in the redevelopment of key economic areas to trigger its business activities and encourage greater space diversity. Fairfax is improving the visual appearance and infrastructure to ensure smooth and organized traffic and pedestrian flow.

Management of Fairfax city has spent almost $40 million to support private sector development. That’s why Fairfax makes an attractive place of investment for the businessmen. Moreover, Along with providing the latest infrastructure to the investors, Fairfax city imposes no taxes on them. 

Unlike the state of Virginia, businesses located in the city of Fairfax are not subject to any sort of County Business, Professional or Occupational License tax. Suppose you intend to set up your business in the locality of Fairfax. In that case, you just have to get a Business License from the Commissioner of the Revenue, the City of Fairfax, without paying any tax. 


Planning to Start a Business?

launch business plan fairfax

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If you think about initiating your business setup, you need to have a business license to operate smoothly. In Fairfax City, the commissioner of revenue himself keeps a check on the business activities, and he is the one who grants the license to the investors. 

If you intend to start your small business plan, you need to submit the license application within 30 days of business activities. On top of that, the annual renewal of the license before March 1st is required every year. 

Similarly, pre-existing businesses and traders need to clear all their taxes on or before March 1 of each new calendar year. 


How to Apply For a Business License Online?

business license fairfax online

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Business entities that have planned to start their business at Fairfax city need to apply for the business license online. Fairfax offers the fastest and simple online license application service for its clients, as explained by Business Licenses

The online application form can be downloaded and printed by the official Fairfax website. 

To get a business license from the city of Fairfax, the first step is to register the business. If your business is a cooperation or partnership that conducts its operations in Virginia, you need to register yourself with the Virginia state first. 

You can refer to the following address:

Virginia State Corporation Commission
P.O. Box 1197
Richmond, VA 23218
(800) 552-7945 or (804) 371-9733

If your business is a General Partnership or you wish to use a trading name, you must register with:

Clerk of the Circuit Court
Fairfax County
4110 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
(703) 246-4100

All businesses that operate in the City of Fairfax are required to obtain zoning approval and a Non-Residential or Minor Home Occupancy Permit license or conducting business. 

The zoning approval is needed to ensure the locality you are conducting business activity is safe and suitable. If you need assistance contact:

Community Development and Planning
City of Fairfax
10455 Armstrong Street, room 207
Fairfax, VA 22030
(703) 385-7820 


The Cost of Getting a Business License in Fairfax

Fairfax is an attractive business locality for businessmen because of the fair cost it imposes on the businesses. 

For instance, businesses are either taxed on their gross receipts or sometimes on a flat basis. However, most of the businesses are taxed based on their gross receipts. Taxes are also levied differently for each category of business. The tax rate is established and renewed annually by the City Council. 

Investors can calculate their business tax by using the Business Calculator for all tax rates and business categories available on the Fairfax website

All New Business applications are to be submitted within 30 operational days. Further, you as a new investor should estimate your gross receipts your business will generate for the taxable year. 

On that note, the BPOL tax is computed based on the estimate. The over or underestimation is managed accordingly by credit or debt the due amount. Business license tax schedules are also renewed annually. 

Each Existing Business also needs a renewal of their business license every year by March 1. The tax calculation system is the same for both new and existing business systems, i.e., based on gross receipts or a flat rate. 

If you are a business owner, you need to know that you should do your bookkeeping diligently to enable the Commissioner of the Revenue to cross-check the due tax. Additionally, you should keep all the licenses, records, account books, and receipts safe and open for inspection.

What If You Fail To File?

business penalty

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In Fairfax, getting a license as soon as you start your business setup is a must. More so because if you fail to do so, you will be guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor. 

Irrespective of the category, any person who cannot get or file a license and therefore doesn’t pay the due tax is subject to penalty. Generally, you will have to pay 10 percent of the due tax along with interest as a penalty.

Additionally, the Commissioner of the Revenue takes the notice and proceeds further according to what he deems the best. The charges and penalty can vary in each case reported.