Virginia Laws

Business By mpitrelli Updated 18 Jan 2006 , 7:46am by MrsMissey

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mpitrelli Posted 13 Sep 2005 , 8:52pm
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Ok we will be moving to Virginia in around 1 year from now. I was wondering if anyone knows the laws in this state as far as running a business from home. Are you alowed a home business or do you have to rent a kitchen. Any information anyone can give me I would appriate it.

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wifeshelper Posted 14 Sep 2005 , 3:23am
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My wife and i were going to move back down to west v. and she could work from home. So maybe it might be the same for va.Not really sure though. Could always call around and ask. Good luck !!

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flayvurdfun Posted 21 Sep 2005 , 6:18pm
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I am in VA but cant help you here, but I would ask MrsMissey........she may know.

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MoonicaLeigh Posted 21 Sep 2005 , 6:19pm
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TinaRe has looked up some stuff for VA, you can PM and ask her

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APCakes Posted 28 Sep 2005 , 4:06am
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I've checked this out pretty extensively! You CAN do it in your home in VA! (I decided not to, because I think we'll only be living here another year, and I'm not ready to do it as a business yet... but ANYWAY...)

Off the top of my head, the main requirements are:
get your home site approved for a business by the local zoning office
apply for a business name and tax ID (locally)
have your kitchen inspected by the Agricultural Department
submit your recipes, labels, and other info to the Ag. dept.
get liability insurance (not required but HIGHLY recommended)

I'll PM you as soon as I can with all the phone numbers, fees, and particulars that I have...

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mpitrelli Posted 28 Sep 2005 , 10:17pm
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thank you. I can't wait til we move up there so sick of FL. the laws down here are so strict its unbelievable. We have been already looking at houses up there we even found one that had 2 kitchens in it. told DH that one of them would just be for my baking. I wish we could leave now but we promised our DD that we would wait until she graduated from HS. She is a junior now so not much longer. Just dont know how I will handle the winter. never seen snow before so looking forward to that.

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APCakes Posted 30 Sep 2005 , 2:24pm
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Hi! Sorry it took me so long! I decided to just post this in case anyone else needs it. Here's all the dirt on VA laws that I found...

Don't forget that the County stuff will depend on your exact location and county. But the State and federal requirements should be the same. AND, this is just the homework I did. I was pretty thorough, but someone who ACTUALLY has a business in VA will probably have more information. After finding out what was involved I couldn't justify starting a business just to move again in 8 months! So I'm just sticking to family and friends now. GOOD LUCK! I wish you all the best! thumbs_up.gif

LOCAL/COUNTY: (my county is Spotsylvania, so this will just give you an idea of what your county MIGHT require. but the office names should be about the same, so you could probably call info or do a web search for the county you're looking at...

1.   Trade Name Certificate: If you are going to use a name other than your full legal name, you will need to research the trade name then register this name with the Clerk of the Circuit Court. You need this before you can apply for anything else under your business name. The form for filing may be obtained at the Clerk's Office and will need to be notarized. You should register this name BEFORE having business cards printed, opening a checking account or placing an ad in the phonebook, newspaper, etc. The fee for registering a Trade Name is $10.
o  Spotsylvania Clerk's Office: Phone Number: (540) 582-7090,

2.  Zoning: One time fee: $140. All businesses will probably required to file a zoning use application with your LOCAL Code Compliance Department. This is to make sure that the business you want to conduct, from either your home or a commercial location is allowed in your zone. This must be approved first before opening a business and the issuing of a County business license. Spotsylvania Zoning office: 540.582.7044 ext 690. If zoning application is denied, you can apply for a zoning variance for $200.
NOT NEEDED: Separate kitchen (if your home kitchen is approved), meals tax (cakes don't apply), local taxes (covered by state), County Business license (not needed if gross receipts are under 100K)

1.  Get approved/inspected by VA Department of Agriculture: 804-786-3520
�  Fill out paperwork - you'll need to give them detailed copies of your recipes, manufacturing processes (how you do your cakes, step by step), sample labels, etc. They will give you a booklet of everything you need, with tutorials on how to keep your work area sanitary.
�  Get an inspection done, The fee is $40 per year.

2.  Register for a State Sales Tax ID: Sales tax office: 804-367-8037
�  Virginia Department of Taxation 1-888-268-2829
�  Fill out form R-1.
�  Research how to file taxes at the end of the year (I'm not sure, it depends on what business entity you are - home business, sole proprietor, etc.), keep records of all receipts, mileage, etc. I'm sure they will help you through it.
�  I believe you should collect 5% sales tax from clients, but you'll want to double check that. Not sure if you can get a tax exempt number for when you are buying supplies - that would be nice!!

Not needed: VA health department inspection, since it's covered by Dept. of Agriculture for bakeries in Virginia

o  Get a Federal Tax ID Number - (Employer Identification #, or EIN) File online: SS4 Form -,,id=102767,00.html
(About EINs: An Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, is a nine-digit number that the IRS assigns to business entities. The IRS uses this number to identify taxpayers that are required to file various business tax returns. EINs are used by employers, sole proprietors, corporations, partnerships, non-profit organizations, trusts and estates, government agencies, certain individuals and other business entities.)

Get Product Liability insurance - to cover bodily and property damage to others as a result of your operations or products. I found that this runs about $300-350 per year. And from everything I've heard, you can't afford to go without it these days. Sad, huh?
Also, you'll probably need to open a separate checking account for your business so that you can keep it all separate, to make tax time easier.

TOTAL FEES: I worked it out that the initial startup fees (including insurance) works out to be about $450. Then every year it is around $300. Then you add your supplies, mileage, and other costs, which should be all tax deductible.


o  Virginia Business Information Center at 804-371-0438, toll-free at 1-866-248-8814

o  Department of Minority Business Enterprise, 804-786-6585, or 1-800-223-0671, The Commonwealth has begun a proactive approach to involving more small, women and minority (SWAM) owned businesses in the state procurement process. Beginning October 1, 2004, businesses may no longer be considered to be a SWAM firm unless they are certified by the Department of Minority Business Enterprise (DMBE).

o  Small Business Administration (SBA)
400 N 8th St
Federal Building Ste 1150
Richmond, VA 23240

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VACakelady Posted 21 Nov 2005 , 10:07am
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Excellent information! Thank you. I live in Chesterfield County and what I've heard is much the same. I have registered my business name and had my kitchen inspected by the DofA. I'm considering the insurance thing too. Thanks again for such valuable info.

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APCakes Posted 12 Jan 2006 , 2:35am
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Hi! I'm glad to hear someone else found the same info. I'm just curious, assuming your kitchen was approved, what features do you actually have in it, and was it a real headache to go through? Did you have to do any remodelling, etc? Thanks!

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VACakelady Posted 12 Jan 2006 , 10:38am
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My kitchen is just a normal kitchen. I didn't have to do anything special to have it approved by the DofA. The only things that they told me to do were to install a cover over the flourescent lightbulb over my sink and that the bulbs in my can lights over my counterspace had to be coated so that, in the case of one breaking, pieces would not fall into my work area. The first inspector also checked my bathroom to make sure that I had paper towels rather than a hand towel to minimize any contamination. I'm on a well, so they did a water sample as well, and I have to put bleach in my well periodically to kill bacteria. Of course you have to make sure that any pets stay out of the kitchen, but since I do not have any, I didn't have to worry with that. You have to keep a thermometer in the refrigerator and keep anything business related completely separate from household foods. I actually have a small refrigerator that's just for business. The pantry is the same, I have certain shelves dedicated for business materials. The second inspector to visit me (2 years later) also took a sample of some of my cake. I gave him a few cupcakes, and he sealed them up and took them in for inspection.

It wasn't that much of a hassle, and I can always tell my customers that I'm "certified" or something. It makes them feel better.

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APCakes Posted 12 Jan 2006 , 6:41pm
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Thanks, VaCakelady. I still don't think I'll go for a business for lack of time, etc., but just in case, it's nice to know!

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MrsMissey Posted 18 Jan 2006 , 7:46am
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I found this, regarding VA kitchens, and thought it was pretty interesting:

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