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Starting a Business in Virginia

A complete step-by-step guide to start your business and get on the fast track to financial success.

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    Doing Business In Virginia

    Virginia Business Facts

    The Economy of Virginia is well balanced with diverse sources of income. From the Hampton Roads area toRichmond and down to Lee County in the southwest includes military installations, cattle, tobacco and peanut farming in Southside VirginiaTomatoes recently surpassed soy as the most profitable crop in Virginia. Tobacco, peanuts and hay are also important agricultural products from the commonwealth.[9] Wineries and vineyards in the Northern Neckand along the Blue Ridge Mountains also have become increasingly popular. Northern Virginia (once considered the state’s dairy capital) hosts software, communications, consulting, defense contracting, diplomats, and considerable components of the professional government sector.

    Small business and Startup environment

    Virginia has 567,830 small businesses, according to the most current federal data available. Of those 567,830 small businesses in Virginia, 169,053 have employees. The remaining 398,777 are Virginia small businesses that have no employees.

    Richmond’s vibrant startup climate has been met with an influx of new and young talent, a move by corporate giants back into the city, and by national headlines touting our food and tourism scene that place Richmond alongside other globally recognized cities.

    Taken together, the decade since the downturn has created a healthy startup ecosystem — an environment where entrepreneurs are supported and cultivated and where investors and new businesses are drawn.

    Millennials have recognized the easygoing pace of life and the medley of career paths and startup opportunities available regionwide, and are flocking here in record numbers — in fact, in the city alone, they’re moving in at double the nation’s pace.

    Major companies:

    Virginia is home to large companies such as: US Army, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Dollar Tree, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Brink’s, DXC Technology, Advance Auto Parts, Smithfield Foods, Capital One

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    STEPS TO STARTING A BUSINESS IN VIRGINIA

    Business Structure

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    Business Name

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    Business Registration

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    EIN Tax Number

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    Bank Account

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    Licenses & Permits

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    Branding & Marketing

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    Resources

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    Step 1: Choose A Business Structure

    The most common business structures are sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and a few different types of corporations—the standard corporation (often called a C corporation or “C corp”), the small business corporation (often called an S corporation or “S corp”), and the benefit corporation (often called a B corporation or “B corp”).

    The most common business structures are:

    Step 2: Choose The Right Business Name

    Choosing a business name is important, you want to make it easier for your customers to remember it, here are some tips:

    1. Avoid hard-to-spell names.
    2. Don’t pick a name that could be limiting as your business grows.
    3. Conduct a thorough Internet search.
    4. Search and purchase a domain name.
    5. Use a name that conveys some meaning.
    6. Conduct a trademark search.

    Step 3: Register Your Business

    Depending on the business structure you chose you will need to register your business.

    Resale license 

    Department of corporations 

    Step 4: Obtain an EIN Tax Number

    With limited exceptions, most businesses require an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Tax ID Number. An EIN is used to identify a business in its federal tax filings. Without an EIN, you can’t hire employees or open a business bank account.

    Click Here to Apply for EIN number online

    Step 5: Open A Bank Account

    – Open a business bank account:

    • Separates your personal assets from your company’s assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
    • Makes accounting and tax filing easier.

    – Get a business credit card:

    • Helps you separate personal and business expenses.
    • Builds your company’s credit history, which can be useful to raise capital later on.

    Step 6: Licenses & Permits

    Now that you’ve registered your business name you need to obtain a business license for your company – this authorizes your company to do business in your city or county. Typically this also involves registering for state taxes and permits (the city may require them as part of the business licensing process).

    Here are some links for Virginia Businesses:

    Selling products? Check Virginia Resale Permit

    Business Licensing for the State of Virginia

    Step 7: Branding & Marketing

    Your brand is the image customers have of your business, so it’s important to determine who is your audience and what is the message that you want to project. That way, your company’s image will be what you intend it to be. It should be strategic and intentional.

    Step 8: Establish a Web Presence

    Creating an optimized website helps you to gain important visibility for the right terms. A website is a powerful sales tool and one that allows you to address your customers’ concerns, give them the information they need to make a decision and create compelling calls to action.

    In addition to a website, you should also consider other avenues for promoting your business online:

    Join Local Networks

    Virginia startup business assistance 

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