Business Checklist

Business Checklist

Richmond: Virginia's Working Capital

If you are interested in starting a business in the city of Richmond, below are steps to be taken to simplify the process and get your new business into gear!

Develop and Maintain a Solid Business Plan

We also provide a CD-ROM that assists with creating a business plan, called "An Interactive Guide to Starting a Business in the city of Richmond." To request a CD-ROM, contact us.

Secure Necessary Financing

Based on your business plan, find the financing you will need to run your business. ECD can offer guidance when you are seeking financing and incentives. Learn more.

Find a Business Location

If you do not have a business location already, contact ECD to find available properties in the city of Richmond that are for sale and/or lease. To search for top available properties for sale or lease over 10,000 SF, click here.

Check your Zoning Designation

Make sure your type of business is allowed by law at your desired location. If your use is allowed at the site, then ask to receive a Certificate of Zoning Compliance. If your type of use is not allowed, you can search for another location, apply for a Special Use Permit, or apply to change the Zoning Designation. Fees apply. Call or visit the Department of Planning & Development Review's Bureau of Permits and Inspections. Learn more.

Obtain a Certificate of Occupancy

Depending on the type of improvements needed at your potential business location, you will need to apply for a Building Permit. Separate permits may be required for each major trade doing work on your property (Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Elevator, and Demolition). The city will send inspectors to your site to confirm that all work is in compliance with applicable local, state and federal laws. Fees apply. Call or visit the Department of Planning & Development Review's Bureau of Permits and Inspections. Learn more.

Get a Business License

Take your Certificate of Occupancy to the Department of Finance and fill out a Business License Application Form. Fees apply. Call or visit the Department of Finance at City Hall. Learn more. 

Get Other Necessary Licenses and Permits

Depending on your type of business, you may be required to obtain special licenses and permits.


Register Your Name of Your Company

Within 30 days of receiving your business license, you must file a Certificate of Assumed Name and Partnerships at the John Marshall Courts Building (Clerk of the Circuit Court). For more information, contact the Clerk of the Circuit Court. Learn more. 

Register and Obtain a Certificate of Business Registration from the State of Virginia

To register your corporation, partnership, limited liability company and/or business trust doing business in Virginia, contact the State Corporation Commission, which offers a state-wide Business Registration Guide. Learn more.

Get a Federal Tax Identification Number

Contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN). Learn more.

Get a State Tax Identification Number

Contact the Virginia Department of Taxation. Learn more.

Open for Business! Network, Network, Network

Enjoy the wonderful business community in the city of Richmond by joining forces with ECD's Partners to network and spread the word about your business. Connect to local Merchants' Associations and business events going on in your area that could impact your business.

Continue to Learn and Grow

To become a savvy business owner, knowledge of current business technologies and trends is crucial. ECD's partners provide excellent resources to help businesses grow and adapt to changing conditions.

Contact us to share your success story or to find additional business assistance. We are here to help you become a successful business in our city of the future.

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City of Richmond
Economic & Community Development

Main Street Station
1500 East Main Street, Suite 400

Richmond, VA 23219