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UPDATED July 7, 2020:

Business Licenses & Taxes

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BUSINESS LICENSES

The City of Williamsburg requires all persons doing business and maintaining a definite place of business in the city, including but not limited to an office, retail space or other location, leased or otherwise, or who are a resident in the city, and such residence shall be deemed a definite place of business, to obtain a business license prior to beginning business. Once a business has a license in the City of Williamsburg, it must be renewed each year on or before March 1st, or the account closed in writing. Non-filers are subject to administrative assessments. Code of the City of Williamsburg Sec. 18-336 through 380.

The tax is based upon the gross receipts of the business and assessed at the following rates:

Professional Services $0.58 per $100
Other Services (Business Service, Personal Service, Repair) $0.36 per $100
Retail Sales $0.20 per $100
Contractors $0.16 per $100
Wholesale Sales $0.05 per $100

The minimum fee for the issuance of a business license is $30.00. Note: not all business categories are listed above; reference the Code of the City of Williamsburg Sec. 18-336 through 380 for additional information.

Manufacturers are not subject to the business license tax.

In addition to the state alcoholic beverage license taxes provided for in the Code of Virginia, the city imposes license taxes on local wine and beer licensees and mixed beverages. Reference the Code of the City of Williamsburg Sec. 18-382 through 383 for additional information. 

Additional information is available on specific requirements for short-term rentals (i.e. AirBNB) and food trucks.

For your convenience, applications and forms are available online or at the Commissioner of the Revenue’s office. Note: more than one application or form may apply to your business. Please review the Guidelines for Business License Applicants for additional information. Once completed, return applications and forms to the Commissioner of the Revenue’s office in the Municipal Building, located at 401 Lafayette Street, Williamsburg, VA 23185. For additional information, contact our office at 757-220-6150.

Out-of-Area Contractors

Out-of-area state licensed contractors performing work in the city may need a City of Williamsburg business license. They must obtain a business license prior to beginning work, unless calendar year gross receipts are expected to be below $25,000. However, once a contractor has a business license in the City of Williamsburg, it must be renewed by March 1st annually, or the account closed in writing. Non-filers are subject to administrative assessments.

Other Licensing Requirements

A local business license is a revenue, not a regulatory license. Depending on the trade or profession, a license may also be required from the Department of Occupational Regulation (DPOR), the Department of Health Professions (DHP), the Virginia Board of Medicine or other professional board.

BUSINESS PERSONAL PROPERTY TAX

Tangible personal property (other than motor vehicles, trailers, boats or aircraft) used or available for use in a trade or business is subject to local taxation as business personal property. This includes everything used in the operation of the business not considered inventory, such as furniture, fixtures, equipment, tools, computer, POS systems, etc. Returns are due May 1st , for property in use as of January 1st of a tax year. Business personal property is valued at 30% of the original cost.

Rate $3.50 per $100

MACHINERY AND TOOLS

Machinery and Tools is equipment used or available for use by a manufacturer in the production of goods. Returns are due May 1st, for equipment in use as of January 1st of a tax year. Machinery and Tools are valued at 30% of the original cost.

Rate $3.50 per $100

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