Business/Professional/Occupational Licenses


  • Businesses, professions, trades, and occupations are assessed a license tax based on gross receipts for the prior year, without deductions.

    • Exclusions are deductions from the definition of gross receipts. Section 4-7.2-1(B) of the Fairfax County Code and Chapter 37 of Title 58.1 of the Code of Virginia lists the only deductions that can be claimed.

  • Individuals engaged in home occupations and self employed must also file if gross receipts are greater than $10,000.

  • Receipts of venture capital or other investment funds are excluded from taxation except commissions and fees.

  • Renewal license applications must be filed and the tax paid by March 1 each year. Note: If the filing deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or County Holiday, the deadline is the following business day. New licenses must be filed within 75 days from the date the business began in Fairfax County. In 2014, because March 1 fell on Saturday and county offices were closed on March 3 due to inclement weather, BPOL payments received March 4 or that have a U.S. postmark of March 4 are considered on-time payments.

  • If gross receipts are $10,000 or less, there is no fee or license requirement.

  • For businesses with gross receipts from $10,001 to $50,000, a flat fee of $30 is assessed.

  • For businesses with gross receipts from $50,001 to $100,000, a flat fee of $50 is assessed.

  • For businesses with gross receipts of $100,001 or greater, the tax rate is determined by the business classification.

  • The County's Business, Professional and Occupational License (BPOL) Ordinance requires an estimate for the first partial and the subsequent first full calendar year of operation. Although the first two years of operation require an estimate of gross receipts (or gross purchases for Wholesale Merchants), in reality the taxpayer is taxed on actual gross receipts since adjustments are made at the end of each tax year during the estimating phase.

    Examples:

    First Year (partial of operation). A business makes an initial gross receipts estimate of $160,000. If the actual gross receipts at the end of the year are $135,000, an adjustment of $25,000 is made. This would be refunded if the business ended at that time or a credit on the next tax year if the business continues. The ultimate tax effectively levied would be on the actual gross receipts of $135,000.

    Second Year (first year completed from January 1 through December 31). The tax basis would be a new gross receipts estimate for the full year. The tax bill would be based on the new gross receipts estimate plus the adjustment (+ or -) of the difference between the initial gross receipts estimate and the actual prior year gross receipts, as described for the first year.

    Third Year (second year completed from January 1 through December 31). (estimate no longer required). The tax bill would be based on the actual prior year gross receipts plus an adjustment (+ or -) of the difference between the prior year new gross receipts estimate and the actual prior year gross receipts.

    For all subsequent calendar years, the BPOL tax is based solely on the prior year actual gross receipts.

  • Businesses have the right to request written interpretive ruling from the Director of the Fairfax County Department of Tax Administration. Local audit decisions can be appealed to the Virginia Tax Commissioner.

  • If a business which has paid a license tax permanently ceases to operate, a refund may be obtained for the portion of the tax already paid.

  • Businesses located in the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church, and the towns of Clifton, Herndon, and Vienna are not subject to County BPOL tax, but should check with those jurisdictions for license tax requirements. Businesses located in the towns of Clifton, Herndon, and Vienna are required to file tangible business property with the County.

  • For more information, please refer to the BPOL Rate Schedule or the BPOL Ordinance, call 703-222-8234 [TTY: 703-222-7594] to speak to a member of our staff, or email us at dtappd@fairfaxcounty.gov. The BPOL application is available on the Tax Forms page.

 


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