Start a Business
Prior to applying for a business license you must obtain zoning approval, register your business with the Clerk or Circuit Court or State Corporation Commission and obtain a Federal and State Identification Number. In addition, if you will be selling food or beverages you must obtain approval from the Gloucester County Health Department.
In accordance with the Virginia Code and Gloucester County Code all businesses must renew their license and remit payment on or before March 1st of each year.
All persons seeking to operate a business in Gloucester County, including home-based businesses, must obtain zoning approval from the Office of Planning and Zoning prior to applying for a business license.
For further information, please call 804-693-1224 or visit the Planning and Zoning department.
Your Business Plan should tell the story of your business. In short it is the who, what, when where, how and why of your business.
The following components should be part of your Business Plan:
- Your company name, and Business Plan Date
Business Description & Vision
- Business goals and objectives
- Company vision
- History of business
- Key company principals
- Mission Statement
- Describe how your business has a critical need in the current market
- Describe your business industry
- Identify your target market
- Who are your potential clients
Products & Services
- Describe your products and services
- Explain how you are competitive
- What do they sell for
- Describe your key managers
- Describe your legal structure
- Provide an organizational chart with an organizational description
- What types of permits do you operate on
- Who are your lenders
- Describe your sales strategy, including pricing and promotion
- How do you distribute your product
- Identify who your customers are and the demand for your product
- Estimate your start-up costs
- Provide projected balance sheets, income statements and cash flow statements (1 year forward)
- Provide balance sheets and income statements (last 3 years
- Provide cash flow statements (last 12 months)
- All business equipment
- Company brochures
- Demographics to support growth of industry
- Key employee resumes
- Pictures of business and products
- Press articles and advertisements
- Should be written last
- Should provide a snapshot of your business by explain who you are, what you do and why you do it, should be less than 2 pages.
Choose Your Business Structure
A Sole Proprietorship is the simplest and most common structure. It is owned and run by only one individual. As the owner, you are entitled to all profits and are responsible for all your business’s debts, losses and liabilities.
A Partnership exists between two or more persons who join together to carry on a trade or a business. Each individual contributes money, property, labor or skill and expects to share in the profits and losses of the business.
Corporations handle the responsibilities of the business. The corporate structure is more complex than other business structures. It requires complying with more regulations and tax requirements and usually requires more tax preparation services than either a sole proprietorship or partnership. Articles of Incorporation must be filed with the State Corporation Commission, and fees must be paid to register the corporation.
Limited Liability Companies (LLC)
Limited Liability Company owners, known as members, have "limited liability," meaning that, under most circumstances, they are not personally liable for the debts and liabilities of the LLC. To form an LLC, a member must file Articles of Organization with the State Corporation Commission.