How to Start a Business in Fairfax, Virginia

If you are wondering how to start a business in Fairfax, Virginia, we can help. The experts at The Women’s Business Center of Northern Virginia focus on assisting women and disadvantaged groups to start their Fairfax, Virginia businesses. Here are 5 steps to follow to successfully open a business in the beautiful county.

5 Steps to start a business in Fairfax, Virginia

1. Create a business plan

First, you need to research and draw up a business plan. What business will work for you? Is there a market for your business in Fairfax? Search for your specific business and industry. If you require funding, you need to research banks and lenders that can help you. Business planning can be daunting but it is critically important to your success.  Look for educational programs or workshops, we offer at The Women’s Business Center of Northern Virginia.

2. Consider location

There are many business centers and commercial properties in Fairfax. You need to decide what fits your business needs. For example, if you need quick access to supplies and manufacturers, choose a location close to them, such as near Fairfax Square or Fairfax Business Center. If you are opening a restaurant or hotel business, you may need to choose a location that has good transport routes and views for your guests such as Legato or Oakton. There are business incubators across the region such as CBP’s Business Incubation Center, which has virtual office options.  

3. Register your business

Register with federal agencies, state agencies and local agencies. Remember all businesses with a physical location in Fairfax County—including home-based businesses—must have a business license called a Business, Professional and Occupational License (BPOL)

Once you are ready to start a business in Virginia, you need to register your business with the State Corporation Commission (SCC). All businesses in Northern Virginia need to register for a business license and then register for tax. You will need to register your business under one of the following:

  • Non-Profit
  • Sole Proprietorship 
  • General Partnership
  • Limited Partnership
  • Limited Liability Company
  • Corporation

Picking an entity type is extremely important and has tax and legal considerations!  Learn more about entity types at IRS, SCC and SBA.  

4. Get your business licenses

Consult the Virginia Department of Taxation for your tax code and your specific jurisdiction license requirements. Specific businesses also require a specific license. You can search for your business here. You may need to pay occupancy and levy taxes so check with the local government or business advisors for more information. 

5. Seek business guidance for funding

If you are a new entrepreneur or you’re opening your first business, there is a good chance you are going to need some guidance or funding. Seek help from business advisors and mentors such as professional mentors and advisors from The Women’s Business Center of Northern Virginia. We can help you to gain the knowledge, skills, and possibly funding to start your business. 

Fairfax County’s BizEx Resource has great information on starting  business at Check out the virtual event “Entrepreneurship 101: Starting A Business With Fairfax County.” For more resources and workshops relating to how to start a business in Fairfax, Virginia, contact The Women’s Business Center of Northern Virginia!

“Those who know, do. Those that
understand, teach.”

Community Business Partnership of Springfield, VA