Resources:
Obtaining Permits Brochure from the Division of Police (PDF)
Virginia State Board for Contractors
Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC)

Adult Business Permit
Allow 45 – 50 days for this permit. Expect to be subjected to a background investigation that will include fingerprint processing through the Virginia State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Fee is $200, renewal is $100.

 

Where do I get an Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) license?

The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) issues licenses based upon criteria such as beverage type, establishment type, and/or place of consumption.  The licenses allow for the serving and/or sale of wine, beer, and/or mixed beverages.  You need to contact the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control at the Richmond Regional Office – (804) 213-4620.  You may visit their website at http://www.abc.virginia.gov/licensing.html.

 

Where do I get a contractor’s license? When do I need to register with the State Board for Contractors?
If your gross receipts are greater than $1,000 on a single job, then you must register with the Virginia State Board for Contractors. Please contact the Virginia State Board for Contractors at (804) 367-8511 or by e-mail at contractor@dpor.virginia.gov for more information.

 

Precious Metal & Gems/Pawnbroker License

You must have a Henrico County Business License. Precious Metals-Gems applicants must have their scales certified. Applicants will be subjected to a background investigation that will include fingerprint processing through the Virginia State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Precious Metal-Gem applicants are required to carry a $50,000 bond. Pawnbroker applicants are required to carry a $10,000 bond. There is a fee of $200 for this application. Completed application must be returned to the Henrico County Police Department. You may contact them at (804) 501-7494.

 

Taxi Driver Permit
Each taxi driver in the County of Henrico must have a permit. You should call the Division of Police at (804) 501-4800, and ask to speak to the Permit Officer. The application fee is $20 and the process itself is time consuming, and it is recommended that applications be submitted at least six weeks in advance of the start of employment or the expiration date of an applicant’s present permit.

 

Taxi Driver Public Necessity Permit
This permit must be obtained if the taxi driver is also an owner/operator. If the taxi driver is an employee, his/her employer must obtain this permit. To obtain this permit, your vehicle must pass an inspection by the Permits Officer. Please call the Permits Officer at (804) 501-4825 to set an appointment for this inspection and bring your completed application and fee with you. Applicants must file two permits – one to operate a taxi and a Certificate of Need. The fees for these applications are $20 and $15. Both applications can be picked up at the Public Safety Building in the County Government complex at 7721 East Parham Road. After an investigation, the Chief of Police issues the permit.

 

Tow Truck Business Permit
You must annually provide to the Permits Officer a pricing sheet for all services offered by your business. You must set an appointment to have your vehicle, vehicle storage facility, and business site inspected. There is no fee for this permit.

What information do I need in order to apply for a business license?
You will need the following:

  1. Licensee Trade Name: If the business name differs from the licensee name, this is called a trade name and it must be registered with the clerk of the Circuit Court, Records Room, Henrico Courts Building, 4301 East Parham Road. There is a fee for this registration. We can only process a business license in the name of the licensee (your name) unless the trade name is registered.
  2. Address: Include both your mailing address and the location of the business, if different. (Note: multiple locations require separate business licenses for each location.)
  3. Type of Business: Describe the type of activity your business will be operating within the county.
  4. ID Number: Your Federal EIN (if issued) or Social Security number.
  5. Beginning Date: The date the business started operating within Henrico County.
  6. Business Entity Type: Individual, Partnership, Corporation or other (LLC, LLP).
  7. Planning/Zoning: We submit all business applications to the Planning Department for approval. Your business address must comply with zoning rules before we issue a license. This is of particular concern to home-based businesses.
  8. Financial Data: Most businesses must initially estimate their gross receipts. This is the amount of money you expect to earn for the balance of the calendar year.
  9. Your Signature: Be sure to sign your application. Unsigned returns will not be accepted!
  10. *Contractors: You must complete a form regarding compliance with Virginia Workers’ Compensation insurance regulations before we can issue you a business license. Furthermore, any contractor who accepts a project of $1,000 or more must register with the State Board of Contractors. (NOTE: A Henrico business license is not a substitute for the Virginia contractor’s license).
  11. *Non-Henrico Contractors: A license is required if your gross receipts from work located in Henrico County exceeds $25,000 during the calendar year.

For more information, please visit the Finance Department website or call (804) 501-4310.

 

Business License Application (PDF)

IRS Business website information
IRS Form SS-4 Employer Identification Number (EIN) (PDF)

Do I need a license to operate my business in Henrico County?

Yes, virtually all businesses must purchase a business license before commencing operation in Henrico County (the County has no Merchants’ Capital Tax). The specific tax rate varies depending on the nature of the business. In most instances the tax rate is applied to gross receipts. Licenses expire December 31st of each year and must be renewed annually by March 1st. See Henrico Code §20-350 thru 20-384 / State of Va. Code §58.1-3700 ; 58.1-3735. For more information, please call (804) 501-4310.

 

How do I obtain a Federal Tax Identification Number?
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, and is used to identify a business entity. Every employer is required to have a federal identification number. Visit the IRS FIN website for more information. You can apply online at the IRS website, or if you are not comfortable with sending information via the Internet, then download the form SS-4 PDF file and mail it to the address below:
Attn: EIN Operation
Holtsville, NY 11742
IRS Business & Specialty Tax Line (Obtain an EIN from 7:00 AM -10:00 PM local time only): (800) 829-4933
Fax-TIN: (631) 447-8960

 

What is the cost of a business license?
If your business has gross receipts of less than $100,000, normally there is no business license tax but you must still file for a business license. For businesses with gross receipts of $100,000 or more the rate is usually $.20 per $100 of gross receipts (or $.15 per $100 for contractors). For more information, please visit the Finance Department website or call (804) 501-4310.

 

Can I pay for my business license in installments?
If you are renewing your license, you file by March 1 and your tax exceeds $200, you can pay in installments: half of the total due by March 1 and the remainder by June 15. For more information, please visit the Finance Department website or call (804) 501-4310.

 

Is the business license application available online?

Only new business license applications are available online – Business License Application (PDF). Renewal forms for business licenses are mailed annually to each business that already has a business license. Renewal forms can also be obtained at Room 136, Administration Building, Government Center, 4301 East Parham Road, or at the Eastern Government Center, 3820 Nine Mile Road. For more information, please visit the Finance Department website or call (804) 501-4310.

 

How long does it take to get a business license if I apply in person?
Normally it takes about 45 minutes to get a new business license at the Government Center (Room 136, Administration Building, Government Center, 4301 East Parham Road). It typically takes about 15 minutes to renew a business license.

Because all new business licenses must be approved by the Planning Department and trade names must be registered with the clerk of the Circuit Court (both of which are located at the Government Center), new business license applications cannot be completed at the Eastern Government Center at 3820 Nine Mile Road.

 

When must I get a business license?
A business renewing its license must do so before March 1 of each year. New businesses are required to acquire a license before starting business in Henrico County. For more information, please visit the Finance Department website or call (804) 501-4310.

 

Can I perform services in another locality under my Henrico County business license?
Yes, the business license typically covers any work performed throughout the state. For more information, please visit the Finance Department website or call (804) 501-4310.

 

Where do I get a contractor’s license? When do I need to register with the State Board for Contractors?
If your gross receipts are greater than $1,000 on a single job, then you must register with the Virginia State Board for Contractors. Please contact the Virginia State Board for Contractors at (804) 367-8511 or by e-mail at contractor@dpor.virginia.gov for more information.

 

Massage Parlor License
You will need to call the Business License Section at (804) 501-4310

 

Precious Metal & Gems/Pawnbroker License
In addition to a Henrico County Business License you must have a Precious Metals-Gems permit. Precious Metals-Gems applicants must have their scales certified. Applicants will be subjected to a background investigation that will include fingerprint processing through the Virginia State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Precious Metal-Gem applicants are required to carry a $50,000 bond. Pawnbroker applicants are required to carry a $10,000 bond. There is a fee of $200 for this application. Completed application must be returned to the County Police/Permit Department. You may contact them at (804) 501-7494.