How to Become a Contractor in Fairfax County

Any project valued at $1,000 or more must be performed by a contractor licensed to work in Virginia. Journeyman and Masters (electricians, plumbers or mechanical contractors) can do work under $1,000 per contract without a state contractor’s license. Contractors, Journeymen, and Masters are licensed through the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR).

Contractor licenses consist of two parts: The class of license (A, B or C), which determines the monetary value of contracts/projects that may be performed, and the classification/specialty, which determines what type of work is allowed. The classification or specialty defines the scope of practice that may be performed by the licensed contractor. You may find a list of all of the different classifications and specialties issued by the Board for Contractors and a definition of the work that is permitted to be performed by each, in 18VAC50-22-20 and 18VAC50-22-30 of the Board for Contractors Regulations.

All businesses operating in Virginia must register either with the Circuit Court (for sole proprietorships or general partnerships) or with the State Corporation Commission (for limited liability companies, limited partnerships and corporations).

Department of Professional And Occupational Regulation (DPOR)

Perimeter Center
Suite 102 (first floor)
9960 Mayland Drive
Richmond, VA 23233
(804) 367-8511
contractor@dpor.virginia.gov
www.dpor.virginia.gov

These are the required steps/permits necessary to perform contracting work in Fairfax County:
 

State and Local Licenses

BECOME A LICENSED CONTRACTOR THROUGH THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

Read A Step by Step Guide to Obtaining Your Contractor License from DPOR for more information.

The Board for Contractors issues licenses in one of three classes: Class “A”, Class “B” and Class “C”. In most cases, the type of license you should apply for is based on the value or contract price of the projects your business will be bidding on or engaged with.

Class “A” contractors perform or manage construction, removal, repair or improvements when (i) the total value referred to in a single contract or project is $120,000 or more, or (ii) the total value of all such construction, removal, repair or improvements undertaken by such person within any twelve-month period is $750,000 or more.

Class “B” contractors perform or manage construction, removal, repair or improvements when (i) the total value referred to in a single contract or project is $10,000 or more, but less than $120,000, or (ii) the total value of all such construction, removal, repair, or improvements undertaken by such person within any twelve-month period is $150,000 or more, but less than $750,000.

Class “C” contractors perform or manage construction, removal, repair or improvements when (i) the total value referred to in a single contract or project is over $1,000 but no more than $10,000, or (ii) the total value of all such construction, removal, repair or improvements undertaken by such person within any twelve-month period is no more than $150,000.

CLASS “C” CONTRACTORS, AND THOSE CONTRACTORS WHOSE WORK DOES NOT MEET THE THRESHOLD FOR A CLASS “C” LICENSE, MUST OBTAIN A FAIRFAX COUNTY HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR (HIC) LICENSE FROM FAIRFAX COUNTY’S LAND DEVELOPMENT SERVICES (LDS), PERMITTING AND CODE ADMINISTRATION DIVISION (PACA).

Land Development Services/PACA

12055 Government Center Pkwy
Suite 334
Fairfax, VA 22035
703-324-1300, TTY 711
landdevelopmentservices@fairfaxcounty.gov
www.fairfaxcounty.gov/Plan2Build

Zoning Permit

If your office will be in commercial space, you will need to secure a Non-Residential Use Permit/Occupancy Permit.

You may operate the office portion of your business from your home with the approval of a Home Occupation Permit. Please note the restrictions of a Home Occupation Permit, notably that you may not have customers/clients coming to your home, you may have one qualifying commercial vehicle and you may not store stock in trade inside your home or in your yard.

Zoning Permit Review Branch

12055 Government Center Pkwy
Suite 250
Fairfax, VA 22035
703-222-1082, TTY 711
DPZMailforZPRB@fairfaxcounty.gov
www.fairfaxcounty.gov/Plan2Build

Taxes

All business owners who have a physical location in Fairfax County for 30 or more consecutive days and whose gross receipts are more than $10,000, are subject to the Business, Professional and Occupational License (BPOL) tax annually and must secure a BPOL license from the Department of Tax Administration (DTA) within 75 days of beginning business operations in Fairfax County.  Additionally, businesses are subject to tangible personal property on furniture and fixtures, machinery and tools, and computer equipment located in Fairfax County as of January 1 each year. A return must be filed annually by May 1.

Out-of-county contractors as defined in § 58.1-3714 D conducting business in excess of $25,000 for the license year within Fairfax County must obtain a BPOL license in Fairfax County and shall be subject to BPOL taxes for earnings within Fairfax County, regardless of where the business is based.  Additional requirements apply to businesses classified as “Contractors”.

Deductions of income earned in other jurisdictions (for Fairfax County-based contractors) may be permissible from Fairfax County BPOL obligations if the contractor demonstrates that the equivalent BPOL tax was paid to the jurisdiction in which it was earned. Similarly, contractors who are not based in Fairfax County, but who do work in Fairfax County will need to pay BPOL tax to the county on income earned.  You can check with your home jurisdiction to see if deductions are available if your company pays taxes in other jurisdictions.

Business owners must renew their BPOL license each year. Both filing and payment are due by March 1. Businesses registered with DTA in the previous year will receive a BPOL renewal application and Business Personal Property Tax form in the mail in Jan. More information on all business taxes is available on the DTA website.

Department of Tax Administration

12000 Government Center Pkwy
Suite 261
Fairfax, VA 22035
703-222-8234, TTY 711
DTAPPDBusiness@fairfaxcounty.gov
www.fairfaxcounty.gov/taxes/business

FIDO ID Number

The first time a contractor files for a permit in Fairfax County, he or she will need to show their BPOL license and State license information to the Customer and Technical Support Center. Each contractor is assigned a unique FIDO Contractor’s Identification Number (FIDO is the county’s permitting process software). This number must be provided on all subsequent permit applications in Fairfax County. If you have forgotten your FIDO ID number, you can call 703-222-0801, Press Option 1 and a technician can give you that information.

Customer and Technical Support Center

12055 Government Center Pkwy
Suite 230
Fairfax, VA 22035
703-222-0801, TTY 711
landdevelopmentservices@fairfaxcounty.gov

The purpose of this web page is to provide general guidance for prospective contractors.  Individual business characteristics vary.  Please contact the relevant agency if you think you need individualized information.

Fairfax Virtual Assistant