Business & Professional License

General Information

All businesses and professional operations must purchase a business license before commencing operation in the City of Portsmouth, including Home Based Businesses. (City Ordinance Section 20-6) City Business, Professional and Alcoholic Beverage Licenses expire December 31st of that calendar year.

In order to obtain a Portsmouth City Business License, you must have a definite place of business. A definition of a business is an office or location where a regular and continuous course of dealing with the public occurs. In the City of Portsmouth, zoning laws may prohibit your business from operating at certain locations, such as a residence. The address for your business must be approved by our Permits and Inspections Department. A lease or some type of written documentation must be presented for this approval.

Any person, partnership, limited liability partnership, limited liability company or corporation using the name which does not identify the owner of the business must register a trade name with the Portsmouth Circuit Court. Registering this name does not prevent your business name from being used by another business. It is done to assist the public by providing information as to the person with whom the public will be dealing. There is a fee to register this name. This fee is paid to the Portsmouth Circuit Court.

Other Numbers to Call When You Need to:

Virginia State Crop. Commission
Set up Corporate and Personal Income Tax,
Sales and Use Tax and Employee Withholding
Virginia Department of Taxation
Office of Customer Services
P. O. Box 1115
Richmond, VA 23218-1115
Obtain a Federal ID Number
Internal Revenue Services
Register for UEI
Virginia Employment Commission
Obtain a Class A, B, C, Contractors License
and/or Permits
Virginia State Board of Contractors
Obtain a State License
Virginia Department of Occupational
and Professional Regulation

Obtain an ABC License
Virginia Alcohol and Beverage Control
Register a Trade Name
Portsmouth Circuit Court