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 printed 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:

All departments and the Circuit Court are located at the George L. Gordon Stafford County Government Center at 1300 Courthouse Road, Stafford, VA  22554.

Step 1: Visit 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 or via email to:
The Department of Economic Development is here to support you and your business through startup and expansion. The department can help with finding a location for your business and point you to other business resources. The department can also assist with promoting your business’ grand opening or ribbon cutting.

Please Note: In order to recieve promotional assistance from Economic Development business owners must have completed each of the previous steps and hold a Business Registration Certificate obtained from the Commissioner of Revenue.

Questions? Contact: Missie Radle, Business Development Associate
Office Phone: 540-658-8681
Office Fax: 540-658-6651
Office Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm

Step 2: Speak with a Permit Clerk at the Community Development Service Center

What you need to do: Speak with a Permit Clerk and find out what requirements are needed to open your specific type of business. All businesses, including home-based businesses, must speak with a permit clerk.

Can this be done over the phone or electronically? All forms must be hand delivered or mailed to the Community Development Service Center.

The Community Development Service Center (CDSC) handles all planning, zoning, permits, and public works matters. This streamlines the processes that businesses need for buildings and development projects; and makes the permit application process easier.

Questions? Contact: Brenda Schulte, CDSC Manager
Phone: 540-658-8677
Office Fax: 540-658-6824
Office Phone: 540-658-8650
Office Email:
Office Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm

Step 3: Obtain Certificate of Assumed or Fictitious Name from the Circuit Court

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").

Declaring your business’ fictitious name will also enable you to open your business bank accounts under the business name.

If the person is a Virginia or foreign corporation, limited liability company, or limited partnership authorized to transact business in Virginia, the business entity also must obtain a certified copy of the certificate from the circuit court and file it with the State Corporation Commission in Richmond. More information on this can be found by visiting the State Corporation Commission’s website at or by calling their toll-free number at 1-866-722-2551.

Questions? Contact: Kim L. Green, Assistant Circuit Court Clerk
Email: KLGreen@Courts.State.Va.Us
Phone: 540-658-4255 ext. 1
Office Fax: 540-658-4653
Office Phone: 540-658-4255 ext. 1
Office Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00am to 4:00pm

Step 4: 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? Registration cannot be done over the phone, however, you may complete the Business Registration form, sign and scan it, then email to:

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

Businesses are required to report any business property, inventory, or machinery and tools used by the business for all owned, rented or leased business property as of January 1st of each calendar year, and file a Personal Property return by February 15th.  The Code of Virginia does not provide for the proration of businesses when they are closed or sold.  The owner of the business on January 1st is responsible for the tax for the entire year.

The business property filing should reflect original cost and date of purchase for all assets used by the business, including those that were expensed or fully depreciated under IRS regulations, as well as personal assets used by the business.  All tangible property used by the business is taxable at the local level.

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
Office Fax: 540-658-4120
Office Phone: 540-658-4132
Office Email:
Office Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm


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

Search for real estate in Stafford County

Community Profiles

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
Stafford Printing