Requirements for Starting a New Business

Local Development Requirements

  • A building permit is required if plans include proposed new construction or renovation / alteration of existing buildings. Plans must first be submitted for review and approval.
  • A fee, based on square footage for new construction or a percentage of value for renovations, must be paid before issuance of the permit. When all county departments, the Health Department, and the Virginia Department of Transportation have approved the site plan and building plans, you can obtain a building permit to begin construction. During construction, several inspections must be made to ensure that the work underway meets County Building Code requirements. New or renovated buildings may not be occupied until all inspections have been made and a Certificate of Occupancy has been issued.
  • Sign permits are available through the Planning and Zoning Division. Business licenses must be applied for prior to the application and approval of the sign permit. Call 540-772-2068 for more details.
  • Land disturbing activity permits pertain to erosion and sedimentation control and are required when the area of land disturbance will exceed 2,500 square feet. For details, contact Development Services in the Department of Community Development at 540-772-2190.

Guide to Starting a Business
Starting a Business flyer Opens in new window

The Guide to Starting a Business in provides an overview of guidelines and requirements for opening and operating business in Roanoke County. View the brochure Here.

Business Licenses

New businesses locating in Roanoke County must obtain a business license within 30 days of the day it begins business operations in the County. A business license can be obtained from the Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office who is responsible for assessing the Business Professional Occupational License (BPOL) tax on businesses operating in Roanoke County. The BPOL tax is levied on gross receipts from a business and does not apply to manufacturers. To obtain a Roanoke County business license and verify zoning compliance visit our Business Licenses page.


Building Permits should be obtained from the Building Commissioner and are required prior to beginning any of the following activities: construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, conversion, or demolition of a building or structure, including the installation or altering of any equipment regulated by the USBC. When there is a change of occupancy of an existing structure and a new certificate is required by the USBC, removing or disturbing any asbestos containing materials, or movement of a lot line that can affect the safety of an existing structure. For more information, visit the County’s Building Safety page.

Water & Sewer

If water and sewer lines need to be extended to your site, you must contact the Western Virginia Water Authority.

Local Resources

Virginia Western Community College provides training and resources for start-up businesses:

You can call Virginia Western Community College at 540-857-6076.

State Development Requirements

Determine your type of business to become a legal state entity:

  • Corporation
  • Partnership
  • Sole Proprietor

Fictitious Name Certificate

New businesses with trade names are required to file with the Clerk of Circuit Court prior to applying for a business license.
State Corporation Commission Forms and Fees
Phone: 804-371-9967

Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)

DEQ for Businesses
Phone: 540-562-6700

Virginia Health Department

Permits are required for serving food.
Virginia Department of Health
Phone: 540-224-4520

State Building Code & Regulations

Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development
Phone: 804-371-7150

Virginia Department of Transportation

Virginia Department of Transportation
Phone: 804-786-9894

Virginia Social Services Department

View State regulations for child and adult care providers.
Phone: 540-387-6087

Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control

Licenses are required to sell or serve alcoholic beverages.
Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control
Phone: 540-562-3604

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Virginia Department of Labor and Industry
Phone: 540-562-3580

Virginia Department of Taxation

Retail and wholesale apply for a State Identification Number and to register for sales tax.
Virginia Tax Website
Phone: 804-367-8031

Federal Development Requirements

Federal identification numbers are required when you pay wages to one or more employees or if your company is a partnership or corporation. Access Form SS-4 on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website, or contact the IRS at 800-829-1040.

NOTE: Please check with each office to determine if a fee is required.