Zoning Business License Clearance

The Zoning Office will be CLOSED for staff training Thursday, October 7 and Friday, October 8. The office will reopen on Tuesday, October 12.

The Zoning Business License Clearance Application is required to approve the use of a business prior to the issuance of a Business License. (Note that obtaining the actual business license is a separate process conducted through the Commissioner of the Revenue.)

  • Current and valid identification or proof of residency must be provided with application.
  • Omitting information pertaining to the project from the use description or other required submissions for this application will cause the application to be deemed incomplete.
  • No action will take place if staff determines that the application is incomplete.
  • No application, permit or approval shall be considered on property where there is a known outstanding violation of the Zoning Ordinance, unless the application, permit, and/or approval would remedy the violation.
  • Zoning Business License Clearance may be revoked at such point in time if omitted or incorrect information has been brought to light.

The Zoning Business License Clearance Application Fee is $15.00 or fee as established in City Code Appendix A Portsmouth Fee Schedule. 

Do not submit payment with this application. Payment will be submitted to the Commissioner of the Revenue when applying for the actual business license. Note that additional fees may be required by the Commissioner of the Revenue.

Business License Zoning Clearance Application

 Zoning Business License Clearance Application

The Zoning Business License Clearance Application can be downloaded here. Zoning Business License Clearance Application

Applicants should be sure to consult the checklist on the application to ensure that all the required information and materials are included with the application when it is submitted. The Zoning staff can be consulted if additional information is needed prior to submitting an application.

Zoning Business License Clearance Application Submission

Completed applications should be submitted by email whenever possible. Email applications and associated supporting materials for Zoning Business License Clearance to Kelton Millhouse (millhousek@portsmouthva.gov) and Kelly De Jesus (dejesusk@portsmouthva.gov).

Electronic/digital submission of applications and other materials is encouraged whenever feasible.

Zoning application materials and documents should not be placed in any dropbox or included with submissions to other city departments. 

Required documents must be submitted directly to the Zoning staff and are required in addition to documents submitted to other departments.

For items that cannot be emailed, applicants can send items by US Postal Service, FedEx, or UPS (as appropriate for the application type).



Please note that after the Zoning Business License Clearance is approved, the applicant will need to apply separately for the actual business license with the Commissioner of the Revenue.