Want to Start a Business in Virginia?

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This page is dedicated to the best resources for starting a business in Virginia.

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Business Resources in Virginia

Find the best resources to help create your informal business structure (sole proprietorship or partnership), corporation (S corp or C corp), limited liability company (single-member LLC or multi-member LLC), or how to file a DBA in Virginia.

Use the following business resources in Virginia to learn how to choose the best LLC services, file the Articles of Incorporation, obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN), and decide whether you should be your own registered agent or if you should hire a third-party registered agent service.

Becoming an Entrepreneur in Virginia

Just Starting Out

Every Virginia business starts out with a great idea. To get inspiration, you can try our business idea generator that can suggest businesses for you based on your interests and lifestyle.

Once you've found the perfect idea, it's time to create a game plan for your business. This step helps lay a solid foundation for the future of your company. You can move on to planning out your business with our business plan generator or simply browse our selection of startup ideas. We also have several helpful guides for planning out your business:

Coming Up With a Name

One of the most important decisions you will make for your business is coming up with a name and then seeing if it is available in Virginia. We have several naming tools and guides to help you get started with finding the perfect name for your Virginia startup, small business, nonprofit or corporation.

Different Types of Business Formation

A business structure refers to how a business is legally organized. The type of business structure you choose to form your business with can affect how your company is regulated, taxed, and more. Because of this, choosing the best structure for your business is an important decision to make. Below are guides on the different business structures you can choose to form your company so you can learn how to form a business that works best for you.

Forming Your Virginia Business

Now that you’ve created a business plan, found a name and chose your Virginia business structure, it's time to form your business. This process might seem complicated, but it doesn't have to be. And if you want to save time and have someone else handle the paperwork, you can use one of our recommended services, like ZenBusiness, which will help to form your company for you or you can form it yourself using our helpful guides and tools.

LLC Checklist

This Virginia Checklist for Starting an LLC covers the necessary steps you need to take when you create your LLC.

Formation Necessities

Here are the required documents and forms you may need to help you get your business up and running in Virginia.

Highly Recommended Services for Your Business

Depending on the type of business structure your choose and how large your business is, you may also want to consider using the following services for your Virginia startup:

Registered Agent

A Virginia registered agent is a person or business that sends and receives legal papers on behalf of your company. These documents include official correspondence like legal summons and state filing notices.

Virginia requires every business to nominate a registered agent when forming a small business. Your registered agent must be a Virginia resident or a corporation authorized to conduct business in that Virginia.

We also recommend hiring a professional registered agent service to provide you with peace of mind and help you stay compliant with the law.

DBA

Filing a “doing business as” (DBA) name, also known as a fictitious name or assumed name, is an easy process that is achieved by registering a DBA with the State of Virginia.

Branding

You can probably think of a dozen different companies in Virginia whose brands play an important role in your daily or professional life. Maybe you only buy certain brands or prefer to buy your groceries at one supermarket chain over another. Your dedication to these companies is primarily a result of one thing: their branding. Our branding guides and tools will go over the importance of branding your small business and provide some tips for getting started.

Financing Your Virginia Business

Small business finance is the raising and managing of funds to finance and operate a new small business. This includes banking, small business accounting, building business credit, and raising funds for your business.

When planning your Virginia business, you should determine what types of business funding options your company will need and when. Whether you are starting a low-cost business or starting a high-growth startup, knowing when to get funding and what kind of funding you need is important.

Setting Up a Bank Account

Opening a business checking account is one of the first things you will need to do as a new business. Business banking is a fundamental asset protection requirement for every business and, depending on your needs, may include checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, and merchant accounts.

Every new and small business needs a business bank account to pay their business insurance, take care of payroll, collect money, and enroll with a merchant account to accept credit card payments.

Check out our guide on the Best Banks for Small Business for help finding a banking account for your business.

Getting a Business Credit Card

Small business credit cards are designed for professional use and provide a line of credit to small businesses while helping to maintain personal asset protection. It is crucial for small businesses to have a small business credit card.

Our guides will help you understand the importance of having a small business credit card and provide the steps for finding and applying for the best credit card for your business.

Finding Small Business Loans

Getting a small business loan is done by applying with a business lender, typically your bank or another lending institution, with the right documentation and your business plan.

A business loan can help to resolve cash flow problems, leverage growth opportunities, and even increase the value of a business. Making sure to plan for a loan ahead of time is extremely important, as is knowing the documentation needed by your lender when you do apply.

Small Business Financing for Female Entrepreneurs

Grants, loans, government contracts, investors, scholarships, advisors, tutorials — there are plenty of financial resources for female entrepreneurs and women leaders, and we’ll help you discover the best ones for you and your business.

Maintaining Your Small Business

Congratulations! Fewer than 14% of Americans have realized the dream of business ownership. To keep your Virginia business running, make sure you keep up with required government filings and maintain a clear record of all earnings and expenses.

Make Sure Your Business is Compliant

When you start a small business, you’ll need to determine if your business needs any licenses or permits to stay compliant.

Set Up Accounting and Bookkeeping

Having a business accountant will help you take advantage of tax benefits and potentially save you and your Virginia business a lot of money in taxes each year.

Finding a business accountant as soon as you start your business will ensure that you have the best advice from the very beginning.

Recommended: Hiring an accountant can save your company thousands of dollars in taxes each year. Get a free tax consultation with 1-800Accountant.

Set Up a Business Phone

Getting a business phone number is important for many businesses. Having a phone number for your customers to contact you with can go a long way in ensuring that your business is viewed as professional, trustworthy, and legitimate. 

There are also different business phone services and answering services that can ensure that you are able to answer more than one call simultaneously and that all of your customers feel heard. Check out our different phone tools and guides to help your Virginia business set up phone services.

Build a Business Website

With growing technology, more and more businesses are going online. We believe all companies need a website regardless of their industry or size to keep up with the times. 

So, how do you build a website? Luckily, technology has recently caught up with the massive demand for tools to simplify website creation. It’s never been easier to build your own website without the need for any web designer experience.

Our tools and guides provide an overview of the steps to build a website for your Virginia business as well as suggestions for which tools to use based on your business type and knowledge level.

Business Resources for Women

Starting your own business is no small feat; thankfully, there are many valuable resources dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs start and succeed. From woman-owned business certification to grants for female entrepreneurs, we’ll help you discover the women's business resources that will help you get the most out of your entrepreneurial journey.

Virginia Business Resources

Virginia SBDC

The Virginia SBDC is a government institution and one of the biggest providers of effective business counseling and education to small business owners in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Entrepreneurs can schedule a meeting with an experienced business analyst to help them discuss certain issues with their business of choice. They can also get involved in trainings and seminars about critical business management topics.

Virginia Chamber

The Virginia Chamber is an organization committed to assisting small business owners in Virginia because they believe that the small business industry is one of the driving forces in the state’s economy. The organization partners with local and regional chambers to make sure that the rights and voice of small business owners are heard.

DMV CEO

The DMV CEO is a business magazine in Virginia that provides entrepreneurs and business owners in their quest for success in the state. They can provide entrepreneurs with a list of general resources, entrepreneurial organizations and network organizations, business blogs and forums, incubators and a lot more.

My Southwest Virginia Opportunity

My Southwest Virginia Opportunity is geared towards improving Virginia’s economy into an even more prosperous one by supporting businesses in the industry to reach their maximum potential. They aim to promote Southwest Virginia to entrepreneurs and present the place as a worthy investment.

Central Virginia Partnership for Economic Development

The Central Virginia Partnership for Economic Development is a government-initiated organization with the mission to help small business owners who wish to form their business in the state of Virginia. The organization can help you start and grow a business by providing you with local business resources, workshops and counseling.

VAStartup.org

VAStartup.org has numerous programs to offer for small business owners who want to make it big in Virginia. Some of the assistance they offer include workshops, business technology training, mobile marketing, financing and a lot more. They also offer counseling and technical assistance to entrepreneurs.

SCORE

The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) is a not-for-profit organization composed of seasoned and skilled professional volunteers who have been in the industry for many years to know the ins and outs of entrepreneurship. They are willing to share their knowledge and experience to the new entrepreneur and provide them with free programs like one-on-one business consultations, mentoring, coaching and other business programs.

Peninsula Technology Incubator

The Peninsula Technology Incubator is a business incubator that aims to nurture the business ideas of entrepreneurs, assist them in building their dream business and accelerate business growth. Aside from providing entrepreneurs with office spaces, the Peninsula Technology Incubator also has available startup resources for any kind of business. The business incubator also provides office equipment and tools as well as mentorship and educational classes.

Hatch

Hatch is dubbed “the gym of businesses”. It is a community where entrepreneurs can nurture their business ideas and entrepreneurial spirit; a place where you can meet like-minded people who are willing to help one another thrive in the business industry. The Hatch also provides you with resources that have been used by established entrepreneurs, an online course library and a mastermind group.

Dominion Resources Innovation Center

Dominion Resources Innovation Center is a coworking space specially designed for entrepreneurs in Virginia. The center provides assistance to early stage startups so that they will be able to accelerate their growth and development. The coworking space also envisions to produce financially feasible and independent startups by giving them access to workspaces, mentoring, guidance and useful business resources.

Refraction

Refraction is a dynamic coworking space providing the best service to business leaders, creatives and philanthropists in Northern Virginia. The coworking community of entrepreneurs is a creative place where professionals can collaboratively work together to achieve their business goals and build innovative solutions to business problems. Refraction also experiments with groundbreaking research and cultural trends to set new standards in business.

1776

1776 is a world-class incubator that provides seed funding to promising and viable startups with the goal of changing Virginia’s industries that will impact and benefit millions of people. 1176 supports businesses from different industries that promote education, energy, sustainability, health and transportation.

Eastern Foundry

Eastern Foundry is a central hub for small businesses, tech startups, professionals and agencies. It is a place where they can share and exchange ideas and do business. Eastern Foundry offers affordable coworking and office space and quality business services. They also have established mentors who are committed to assisting entrepreneurs enter and succeed in government procurement.

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