Starting A Business
Thank you for your interest in starting a business in Stafford! The information provided here will walk you through all the steps you need to take in order to open a business in Stafford, Virginia. We have streamlined the process and made the steps to opening a business in Stafford simple and easy to navigate. If you would like a business start-up guide, stop by any of the offices listed below or click here to have a guide mailed to you.
In order to start a business in Stafford, there are 4 steps to complete:
Step 1: Meet with a Permit Clerk at the Community Development Service Center
What you need to do: Meet with a Permit Clerk and find out what requirements are needed to open your specific business. All businesses, including home-based businesses, must meet with a permit clerk.
Can this be done over the phone or electronically? No, all matters must be handled at the Community Development Service Center.
The Community Development Service Center (CDSC) handles all planning, zoning, permits, and public works matters.
Questions? Contact: Brenda Schulte, CDSC Manager
Step 2: Register your business with the Commissioner of Revenue
What you need to do: Register your business with the office of the Commissioner of Revenue.
Can this be done over the phone or electronically? Yes, it can be done over the phone or my emailing the required forms to the email address below.
In order to complete the registration process, business owners will need to have already completed the following:
- Chosen a business structure (example sole proprietor, LLC, etc.)
- Chosen a business name
If you are selling prepared food, you will also need to file for meals tax with this office.
Questions? Contact: Allison Webb, Senior Administrative Associate
Phone: 540-658-4132 ext. 1131
Step 3: Obtain Certificate of Assumed or Fictitious Name from the Circuit
What you need to do: Obtain a Certificate of Assumed or Fictitious Name.
Can this be done over the phone or electronically? No, all matters must be handled at the Circuit Court.
A fictitious name is a name that a person (individual or business entity) uses instead of the person's true name, usually in the course of transacting or offering to transact business. It is sometimes referred to as an "assumed name" or "trade name," and it is often identified after a person’s true name with the abbreviation "t/a" ("trading as"), "dba" ("doing business as"), or "aka" ("also known as").
Questions? Contact: Cybil Usual
Step 4: Meet with the Department of Economic Development
What you need to do: Provide your business contact information to the department.
Can this be done over the phone or electronically? Yes, this can be done over the phone.
The Department of Economic Development is here to support you and your business through startup and expansion. The department can help with assisting with fast-tracking of permits, finding a location for your business, etc. and can connect you to other business resources. The department can also assist with promoting your business’ grand opening or ribbon cutting.
Questions? Contact: Rick Cobert, Business Development Administrator
All departments and the Circuit Court are located at the George L. Gordon Stafford County Government Center at 1300 Courthouse Road, Stafford, VA 22554.
Local Resources for First Time Business Owners
The Department of Economic Development highly recommends entrepreneurs and first time business owners contact the local Small Business Development Center.
Relocating a Business to Stafford County
Companies considering relocation to Stafford County are afforded the same attention and effort towards meeting your unique needs as part of the existing business community. Below you will find helpful links to descriptive community information and to a comprehensive database of available sites and buildings. Please contact the Stafford Economic Development Office for more detailed information or for assistance in identifying properties suitable for your operations -- (540) 658-8681.
Real Estate & Development Areas
Customized reports on Stafford County can be developed through the Report Builder feature of this website. With detailed data on demographics, labor statistics, and other pertinent community information readily available, you can easily find useful facts and figures on Stafford County and the Greater Fredericksburg Region. The Commonwealth of Virginia also offers information through two state agencies - the Virginia Employment Commission and Virginia Economic Development Partnership – that is updated on a regular basis. These profiles provide details ranging from the geographic layout of the County to recent employment trends.
“I chose to relocate to Stafford County in 1987 because of its proximity to Washington and Richmond and the opportunities it held to start and grow a business. I opened Stafford Printing, bought a home in Falmouth and, 25 years later, I’ve never regretted either decision. Stafford County is a wonderful place to live and the business climate is second to none in the region. But it’s the people who make Stafford County the place to live and work in the area. Stafford County is more of a community than just a place on the map.“
Howard Owen, President