Know Your Licensing and Tax Requirements
A business plan might be the single most important aspect of starting a successful business, but ensuring your business is following all the appropriate regulations and tax codes is the place where many people make mistakes.
Be sure to walk through all of these federal, state and local requirements, including obtaining your Arlington business license, before you launch your business.
Check Your Business Name
Be sure your business name is distinguishable. Search the United States Patent and Trademark Office as well as the State of Virginia’s distinguishable name check availability.
Find Out What Licensure or Certificates Your State Requires
Click here for access to the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupation Regulation (DPOR) to see if your business is regulated by the State.
Determine Your Business Structure
Make sure you determine this in consultation with your lawyer, and then apply for your business structure (i.e., Partnership, LLC, Inc) with the State Corporation Commission (SCC). You’ll want to set up your CIS account with the SCC and register your Trade Name. The fee for Trade Name is $10. Once you are set with the state, you can apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the IRS.
Check Into Home-based Business Requirements
Once you have your EIN, you’ll need to determine if your business will be home-based or if you will lease a commercial space. If home-based and you rent or live in a condo, you’ll want to check with your landlord or property management to see if they will allow you to operate your business from home. If your business is running from home, you will need to apply for a Home Occupancy Permit. This costs $50. Be sure to use the same name you used for your SCC application for your Home Occupancy Permit application too.
Get a Commercial Occupancy Certificate
If you’re in a commercial space, you will need to apply for the Certificate of Occupancy (CO). Typically, a CO is issued after the commercial buildout is completed. If you unsure as to how your commercial space is zoned check in with the BizLaunch team. If you are a childcare center or need special permission to do your business use in your space, you’ll need a Use Permit.
Apply for Special Permits
Commonly used permits are Live Event, Temporary Outdoor Seating and Signage permits. If you have questions about what permits are applicable to your business, contact the BizLaunch team for assistance.
Prepare for Unemployment Taxes
If you are hiring employees, remember you’ll have to pay the state an unemployment tax. For more information contact the Virginia Employment Commission, located at 5520 Cherokee Avenue, Suite 100, Alexandria, VA or call 703-813-1300.
Get Your Arlington Business License
Finally, you’ll need to apply for your Arlington business license – contact the Commissioner of Revenue’s Office to pay your Arlington County Business License and Business Tangibles taxes.
Your Business License Tax is the way you pay for your local taxes, while your Business Tangibles Tax is how you pay for equipment you use in the process of doing business. Both taxes are equally important in avoiding penalties and interest.
Some businesses must also collect Custodial Taxes based on their industry or Retail Sales and Use Taxes based on the goods they sell.