A business must purchase a business license before operating in Henrico County. The business license typically covers any work performed throughout the state. The County has no Merchants’ Capital Tax.
New Business Application
PRIOR to conducting business within the County of Henrico, a business must complete the New Business License and supplemental Business License Questionnaire. New businesses can apply for apply for a business license online or in person at:
Before completing in the application, please review the following checklist in order to provide the required information:
- Federal ID or SSN
- Phone number
- Start Date of the Business (or the date you will start in Henrico County)
- Mailing address
- Location address
- Email address
- Estimation of Income from Start Date to 12/31/23
- Side A OR Side B of the Supplemental Questionnaire
If you are registering a Corporation, LLC or using a Trade Name, please make sure this has been completed prior to submitting your license application. You can register your legal business entity or trade name online through the State Corporation Commission.
Contractors will need to complete the following:
- Certificate of Workers’ Compensation Insurance (Form 61A)
- Provide License or Certificate number issued by the State Board of Contractors
- Complete the Contractor Affidavit
Home-Based Businesses will need to complete the related questionnaire on the business license application. Answers must pertain to the work done in the home office, not at the client’s location.
Mobile Food Vendors may be permitted as temporary outdoor sales stands. The licensee needs to have each location he or she plans to conduct business individually approved by the Permit Center.
For questions regarding Home-Based Businesses and Mobile Food Vendors, contact the Permit Center at (804) 501-7280.
Some businesses may require additional permits and licenses:
- Adult Business Permit: Henrico County Code 15-182 requires every person operating, or desiring to operate, an adult business to obtain a permit from the Chief of Police.
- 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.
- Massage Parlor License: Please call the Business License Section at (804) 501-4310 for more information.
- Precious Metal & Gems/Pawnbroker License: Precious metals and gems dealers must obtain a permit through the Henrico Police Division’s Permits Unit.
- Taxi Driver Permit and Taxi Driver Public Necessity Permit: Taxicab Driver’s Permits are issued through the Henrico Police Division’s Permits Unit.
The Permit Center reviews and approves the zoning for business license applications. Once a business license is approved by Permit Center, it is issued by the Department of Finance. Your business address must comply with zoning rules before we issue a license. This is of particular concern to home-based businesses.
Additional factors such as off-street parking and proximity to other land uses may also affect the approval of a business license. Some businesses may require additional licenses and permits.
The time it takes to receive your license may vary. It usually only takes a few days but could take up to two weeks depending on your type of business.
If you have any questions, you can email Revenue’s Business Section directly at Bus_as_newapp@henrico.us .
Assessment and Tax Rate
The specific tax rate varies depending on the nature of the business. In most instances the tax rate is applied to gross receipts. If your business has gross receipts of less than $500,000, normally there is no business license tax, but you must still file for a business license. For businesses with gross receipts of $500,000 or more the rate is usually $.20 per $100 of gross receipts (or $.15 per $100 for contractors).
Wholesale Merchants: The first $500,000 of gross purchases is excluded from the tax for item.
- $0.20 per $100.00 for $10,001 to $5,000,000
- $0.15 per $100 for $5,000,001 to $15,000,000
- $0.10 per $100 for $15,000,001 to $25,000,000
- $0.05 per $100 for $25,000,001 to $50,000,000
- $0.025 per $100 for $50,000,001 to $100,000,000
- $0.0125 per $100 for $100,000,001 and over
The following items assess taxes on gross receipts. When gross receipts are $500,000 or less, an application is required but no tax is due.
Retail Merchant: $0.20 per $100.00 of gross receipts or $30.00, whichever is greater
Professional Service: $0.20 per $100.00 of gross receipts or $30.00, whichever is greater
Fee Basis Contractor: $1.50 per $100.00 of gross receipts or $30.00, whichever is greater
Contract Basis Contractor: $0.15 per $100.00 of gross receipts or $30.00, whichever is greater
Utility Companies (including cellular telephone companies): One-half of 1.0% of the gross receipts or $30.00, whichever is greater
File and Pay
A business renewing its license must do so before March 1 of each year. Renewal forms for business licenses are mailed annually to each business that already has a business license. Business licenses can also be issued and renewed at the Eastern Government Center or in Room 136 of the Administration Building of the Western Government.
If you are correcting an estimate on your business license please use Prior Year Adjustment form.
Henrico County also offers an online portal that allows businesses to file and pay certain business taxes. Currently, filing and payment through the portal are available for already established businesses. Please contact the Business Section at (804) 501-4310 for assistance or questions.
Due Dates and Penalties
Licenses expire December 31st of each year and must be filed by March 1st of each year to avoid a 10% filing penalty. For assessments under $200.00 and peddlers, payments must be received on or before March 1 to avoid a 10% payment and interest at the rate of 10% per annum on the outstanding amount due from March 2 until paid. Assessments $200.00 and over may be paid without penalty, one-half on or before March 1 and one-half on or before June 15. If one-half is not paid on or before March 1, the full assessment becomes due and subject to a 10% payment penalty and interest at the rate of 10% per annum from March 2 until paid. Second-half payments received after June 15 shall be subject to a 10% payment penalty and interest at the rate of 10% per annum from the first day such amounts were due.
Extension of time to file an application for a license may be granted for reasonable cause. Any such extension shall be granted on or before March 1. A reasonable estimate of the appropriate tax and payment is due at the time of the requested extension.
Administrative Appeal to Correct BPOL Assessments
Pursuant to the provisions of Virginia Codes §58.1-3703.1 & 58.1-3980 and Henrico Code §20-377, any person assessed with a license tax may apply to the Director of Finance for correction. Based on all the information and documentation available to the Director of Finance, they will fully review your application. As soon as practicable, the Director will notify you of their determination.
For more information contact the Revenue Division at 804-501-4310.