Business Licenses

Who Needs A Business License?
IF you:
  • Advertise or otherwise hold yourself out to the public as offering goods or services for sale; or
  • File a federal Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ "Profit or Loss from a Business"; or
  • File other tax returns, schedules and documents required only of a business, or of persons engaged in a trade or business
AND you:
  • Have an office, retail space, or other location, leased or otherwise, in James City County;
Or, if you have no such space, you:
  • Are a resident of James City County

You must apply for a James City County Business, Professional, and Occupational License (BPOL).

Out-of-Area Contractors
Additionally, out-of-area state-licensed contractors performing work here may need a James City County business license.  See Contractor’s Business License Application Checklist for details.

Other Licensing Requirements
A local business license is a revenue, not regulatory, license.  Depending on your trade or professional, you may also need a license from the Department of Occupational Regulation (DPOR), the Department of Health Professions (DHP), the Virginia Board of Medicine, or other professional board.

Home-Based Businesses

Businesses without a fixed, definite place of business (that is, no storefront, office, or industrial space) are, per the Code of Virginia, considered a home-based business.  All home-based businesses must include an Application for Home Occupation with their business license application package.

Due Dates & Rates
Payments for renewed business licenses are due by April 5 of every year. Licenses must be renewed by March 1 annually. A penalty of 10% will be applied to any outstanding balances not paid by this date. Interest of 10% annually begins on May 1 of every year.

Applications & Renewals

Applications and renewals for business licenses are processed through the Commissioner of the Revenue's Office. That office can be reached at 757-253-6698. Any change that may be needed on your account will also be handled in that office.

The Treasurer's Office will send reminders for each delinquent license 2 times. If a response is not received after the 2nd notice, the account will be turned over to the County Attorney for collection. We will accept payment agreements on accounts once they become delinquent.

For More Information
BPOL tax guidelines and exemptions are established by the Code of Virginia. For business license information specific to your business model, call the Business License Inspector at 757-253-6698.