Start a Business

Start a Business

Orange County BusinessesOrange County is a business-friendly community and an excellent place to start a business. Whether a small or large business, or an entrepreneur, Orange County has the knowledgeable staff and access to resources that can help a business prosper and grow.  See our Business Startup Checklist and Resource Directory for a comprehensive look into starting your business.

Start-up phases may include (but are not limited to): identifying the concept; identifying the location; developing a business plan; obtaining a business license; meeting local, state and federal requirements; and gathering important resources. Many helpful resources are listed below.

For entrepreneurs seeking information on starting a business, visit the Virginia Business One Stop and the Central Virginia Small Business Development Center (CV SBDC). The CV SBDC is a great resource for start-ups and provides a useful checklist for new businesses.  Additional resources include Community Investment Collaborative, and the Central Virginia SCORE to name a few. For more information contact the Orange County Economic Development office at  (540) 672-1238.

Orange County takes great pride in its ability to fast-track new business development. Working with the Department of Economic Development, the Department of Planning and Zoning and the Building Inspection Department, a preconstruction plan can be designed and implemented that will keep your project on schedule. From initial permitting to ground breaking, Orange County will ensure that the preconstruction phase of the project is not delayed.

About Business Licenses in Orange County

Orange County and the Town of Orange do not have a Business, Professional and Occupational License (BPOL) tax requirement; therefore, they do not issue business licenses (BPOL) for Orange County businesses. However, the Town of Gordonsville does have a BPOL requirement; contact the Town of Gordonsville Treasurer’s Office for more information:

Town of Gordonsville Treasurer's Office
P.O. Box 276
Gordonsville, VA 22942
Office: (540) 832-2233

As a start-up business, you may need an assumed, fictitious name or "Doing Business As" (DBA) certificate filed with the Orange County Circuit Court. This certificate will also be needed to set up your business' bank account. Contact the Orange County Circuit Court for more information at (540) 672-4030. Also visit Central Virginia Small Business Development Center or Virginia Business One Stop for more information. You may also need to obtain a Federal Tax Identification Number or Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your business. This is a good resource on EINs.

Calculate Your Business Startup Costs Before You Launch (1)

Most businesses fall into one of three categories: brick-and-mortar businesses, online businesses, and service providers. You’ll face different startup expenses depending on your business type.


There are common startup costs you’re likely to have no matter what. Look through this list, and make sure to add any other expenses that are unique to your business.

  • Office space
  • Equipment and supplies
  • Communications
  • Utilities
  • Licenses and permits
  • Insurance
  • Lawyer and accountant
  • Inventory
  • Employee salaries
  • Advertising and marketing
  • Market research
  • Printed marketing materials
  • Making a website

Estimate How Much Your Expenses Will Cost (1)

Once you have your list of expenses, you can estimate how much they’ll actually cost. This process will be different for each expense you have.

Some expenses will have well-defined costs — permits and licenses tend to have clear, published costs. You might have to estimate other costs that are less certain, like employee salaries. Look online and talk directly to mentors, vendors, and service providers to see what similar companies pay for expenses.

Add Up Your Expenses for a Full Financial Picture (1)

Once you’ve identified your business expenses and how much they’ll cost, you should organize your expenses into one-time expenses and monthly expenses.

One-time expenses are the initial costs needed to start the business. Buying major equipment, hiring a logo designer, and paying for permits, licenses, and fees are generally considered to be one-time expenses. You can typically deduct one-time expenses for tax purposes, which can save you money on the amount of taxes you’ll owe. Make sure to keep track of your expenses and talk to your accountant when it’s time to file your taxes.

Monthly expenses typically include things like salaries, rent, and utility bills. You’ll want to count at least one year of monthly expenses, but counting five years is ideal.

Add up your one-time and monthly expenses to get a good picture of how much capital you’ll need and when you’ll need it.

Use Your Startup Cost Calculations to get Startup Funding (1)

It’s a good idea to create a formal report of your expected startup costs.

You want it in a format that’s clear and easy to understand. Investors and lenders compare expected costs to projected revenue and determine the potential for your business to profit.  Download this fillable PDF spreadsheet to calculate your small business startup costs.

Sources on this page:
(1) U.S. Small Business Administration 


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