Business License

Northampton County's "Staring a Business Guide"

Business Professional and Occupational License (BPOL) Form

Zoning Requirements

Registration & State Licensing

Federal Taxes

State Taxes 



Northampton County requires that all businesses and contractors, including those exempt from the fee, operating within Northampton County register with the Commissioner of the Revenue for local taxation purposes.

The Business Professional and Occupational License (BPOL) fee is a flat fee of thirty dollars ($30) annually and is assessed on all non-manufacturing businesses doing business within Northampton County. Licenses must be obtained by March 1 of the tax year or within ten (10) days of beginning business, whichever is later. Failure to obtain a license can result in a fine of no more than $500.

Business Professional and Occupational License (BPOL) Form

Incorporated towns imposing a license are Belle Haven, Exmore, Cheriton, and Cape Charles.



Northampton County's Zoning Ordinance allows businesses of various kinds to be located in some areas, but not others. Special use permits are required for certain businesses, and there are many areas in which no businesses of any kind are allowed. If you have any doubts at all whether the Zoning Ordinance allows you to operate your business where you plan to operate it, contact the Zoning Office. If you work out of your residence, you may qualify for a home occupation permit.

Northampton County Planning & Zoning Office 16404 Courthouse Road P O Box 538 Eastville VA 23347 (757) 678-0443



Register a Trade Name or General Partnership
General partnerships and trade names must be registered with the Clerk of the Northampton County Circuit Court:

Clerk of the Circuit Court
P O Box 36
Eastville VA 23347
757 678-0465

Register a Corporate or Limited Partnership
All corporations (foreign and domestic) and limited partnerships conducting business in Virginia must register with the Virginia State Corporation Commission. To become incorporated in Virginia, an organization must file articles of incorporation and amendments with the SCC.

State Corporation Commission
P O Box 1197
Richmond VA 23218
1 866 722-2551

State Contractor License
All contractors must register with the State Board for Contractors. A Class A Contractor License is required for applicants who bid upon or undertake single jobs of $70,000 or more, or a total volume of $500,000 or more within a 12 month period. A Class B Contractor's License is required if an applicant bids upon or undertakes single jobs of more than $1,500 but less than $70,000.

Virginia Department of Commerce
Board of Contractors
3600 West Broad Street
P O Box 11066
Richmond VA 23230
Telephone: 804 367-8511
For further information and forms:

Alcoholic Beverage License

Other than beer and wine The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control exercises a monopoly over the importation and sale of alcoholic beverages. Licenses are issued for the manufacture of liquors, the wholesaling of beer and wine, the sale of beer and wine, and the sale at retail of spirits by the drink.

Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control
2901 Hermitage Rd
P O Box 27491
Richmond VA 23261
(804) 213-4400




For information about any federal tax, contact the local office of the Internal Revenue Service.

Internal Revenue Service
Norfolk Federal Building
200 Granby Street
Norfolk VA 23510
1 800 829-1040




If you are going to have employees you are required to obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN). To apply for the number, file Federal Form SS-4, which can be obtained from any office of the Internal Revenue Service. Sole Proprietors must obtain an EIN if they pay wages to one or more employees or it they file an excise tax return.




Employers are required to withhold Social Security (FICA) taxes from the wages of employees and are liable for the taxes whether or not they have been collected. Employers are also required to withhold income taxes at the request of the employee. The taxes should be filed quarterly on Federal forms #941 and deposited in any authorized bank with coupon #8109.

Individual, Partnership and Corporate Income Tax
Individual, partnership, and corporate income taxes must be filed with the Internal Revenue Service. IRS Publication #334, "Tax Guide for Small Business", discusses the various federal tax requirements in more detail and can be obtain at your local Commissioner of the Revenue Office.

Federal Unemployment Tax
Also known as FUTA, this tax is assessed on the employer only. An annual tax return, Form #940, must be filed by January 31st. Quarterly deposits can be made to any authorized bank using coupon #8109.




In addition to the federal government, Virginia, levies a tax on employee's' wages. The tax is paid by the employer into a state fund from which unemployment benefits are paid.

Virginia Employment Commission
25036 Lankford Hwy
Onley VA 23418
(757) 302-2029

Workman Compensation
Any employer who has three or more regular employees is required to furnish workers' compensation insurance coverage, at no cost to the employee. The insurance may be purchased through a private insurance company or the employer can apply to the Workers' Compensation Commission to be self-insured.

Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission
Norfolk District Office
#7 Koger Executive Center, Suite 101
Norfolk, VA 23502
(757) 455-3810

Retail Sales Tax
For the privilege of making retail sales in Virginia, a seller is subject to a sales tax imposed on the gross receipts from retail sales of tangible personal property. The seller collects the tax from the customer by separately stating the amount of the tax and adding it to the sales price or charge. Retail sales are defined as sales to a consumer or to any person for any purpose other than for resale. The general sales tax is a combined sales tax rate for Northampton County, VA is 5.3%. This is the total of state and county sales tax rates. The Virginia state sales tax rate is currently 4.3%. The Northampton County sales tax rate is 1%. 

Every individual, partnership, corporation, etc. engaged in business as a retail dealer in Virginia must register with the Department of Taxation to obtain a Certificate of Registration. Dealers must also collect the retail sales tax. Reports must be filed and the tax paid monthly or quarterly depending upon the volume of business.

Virginia Department of Taxation
Norfolk District Office
#7 Koger Executive Center, Suite 101
Norfolk VA 23502
(757) 455-3810

Department Staff Information

Charlene Gray
Commissioner of the Revenue

757-678-0446  ext. 506

Consuelo Gonzalez
Real Estate Technician

757-678-0446  ext. 508

Jessica Upshur

757-678-0446  ext. 502

R. Todd Simpson
Real Estate Appraiser


757-678-0446 ext. 503

Northampton County Commissioner of Revenue
PO Box 65
16404 Courthouse Road
Eastville, VA 23347

Hours of Operation
9 AM - 5 PM