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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 (540) 772-2190.

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 Business Licenses.


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 Building Safety.

Water and 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

Training and resources for start-up businesses: 

Entrepreneurship Plus

Workforce Solutions

(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 w/trade names are required to file with the Clerk of Circuit Court prior to applying for a business license. State Corporation Commission (804) 371-9967

Department of Environmental Quality
DEQ for Businesses
(540) 562-6700

Virginia Health Department
Permits are required for serving food. 
  Virginia Health Department 
(540) 224-4520

State Building Code & Regulations 
Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development
(804) 371-7150

Virginia Department of Transportation
(804) 786-9894
  Virginia Social Services Department
State regulations for child and adultcare providers.
(540) 387-6087

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

Virginia Department of Labor and Industry
(540) 562-3580

VA Department of Taxation
Retail and wholesale apply for a State Identification Number and to register for sales tax.
(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 IRS website, or contact the IRS at (800) 829-1040.

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