Business and Other Taxes

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Williamsburg requires all persons doing business in the city to obtain a business license prior to beginning business. A Business License Tax is based upon the gross receipts of the business and assessed at the following rates.

Professional Services $.58/$100
Other Services $.36/$100
(Business Service, Personal Service Repair)
Retail Sales $.20/$100
Contractors $.16/$100
Wholesale Sales $.05/$100
Manufacturers are not subject to the Business License Tax.

For your convenience, you may download the following application (more than one application may apply to your business), complete and return to the Commissioner of Revenue's Office in the Municipal Building. If you have questions, please call (757) 220-6150. The applications are PDF documents that must be viewed with Adobe Acrobat.

  • Business, Professional, Occupation License Application (PDF) - Must be completed by everyone doing business within the Williamsburg City limits (except contractors - see below).
  • Contractor License Application (PDF) - Must be completed by contractors (Building, Electrical, Plumbing, Painters, Drywall, Home Repair, etc.) doing business within the City limits.
  • Zoning Permit Application (PDF) - Must be completed by businesses who have a store front. Applications must be approved by the Zoning Administrator.
  • Home Occupation Application (PDF) - Must be complete by anyone with a Home Occupation. Applications must be approved by the Zoning Administrator.
  • Certificate of Business under Assumed Name (PDF) - Must be completed by anyone using an Assumed Name, dba (doing business as), aka (also known as), or T/A (trading as) business name. These terms describe the name of the business or operation does not include the legal name of its proprietors, the names of all partners, or the official registered name of the limited partnership or corporation that owns it. This certificate must be filed with the Clerk of Circuit Court.


Rate $3.50/$100

Personal Property, other than motor vehicles, used in a trade or business is subject to local taxation as Business Personal Property. Returns are due May 1, for property in use as of January 1 of a tax year. Business Personal Property is valued at 30% of original cost.


Rate $3.50/$100

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


Every local dealer in cigarettes shall purchase stamps to pay the tax levied and shall affix a stamp to each package of cigarettes prior to delivery or furnishing of cigarettes to any seller. Contact the Commissioner of Revenue for information.

 (2006 House Bill 568, Acts of Assembly, Chapter 780)

Effective January 1, 2007 the Commonwealth of Virginia repealed many local taxes and fees, including cable franchise fees, and replaced with a new state communications sales and use tax (“communications sales tax”) and a new state E-911 tax (“landline E-911 tax”). Revenues from the communications sales tax and landline E-911 taxes are collected and remitted monthly by communications services providers to the Virginia Dept of Taxation and distributed on a monthly basis to Virginia localities on a predetermined share-basis.

The Communications Sales Tax is imposed by service providers at the rate of 5% of the sales prices of the following services:

  1. Local Exchange
  2. Paging
  3. Inter-Exchange (both interstate and intrastate)
  4. Cable television
  5. Satellite television
  6. Wireless
  7. Voice over the Internet (VoIP)

A $0.75 "911 Tax" is applied to each local exchange line (landline) and the current $0.75 "911 Fee" has continued to be applied to each wireless number.

The tax appears as a line item on customers’ bills.

For more information click here - Virginia’s Legislation Information System 


More information is available on licensing requirements for short-term rentals (i.e. Airbnb) and food trucks