How to Obtain a Business License for a General Business

Simplifying Business-How to start a business in the City of Norfolk (PDF) 

What you need to bring with you if you apply in person

When applying in person, please allow at least one hour to complete the application process. To help your application process go faster, be sure to bring these important documents with you:

  • Estimate of gross receipts through December 31st
  • Federal Tax ID number from the IRS (visit the Internal Revenue Service website to obtain online)
  • Health Certificate (If applicable)
  • Identification (Picture ID)
  • If your business is a corporation, LLC, LLP, etc, please bring a copy of your certificate issued by the Virginia State Corporation Commission. For more information, go to the SCC website.
  • If your business is a Corporation, LLC or Partnership and you are using a different Trade Name or DBA, please bring a copy of your Trade Name certificate issued by Norfolk Circuit Court
  • Lease of business location or other written documentation
  • Workers Compensation Certificate (If applicable)

Methods of payment accepted by the Norfolk City Treasurer

  • Cash
  • Check (advisable to bring separate checks for each step mentioned above)
  • Credit Card (most major card companies accepted)
  • Debit Card (card must display either a MasterCard or Visa logo)

Additional Questions

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Business Tax Team at 757-664-7886.