Business Taxes

Fairfax County, Virginia

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12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 223
Fairfax, VA 22035

Young Tarry,
Division Director

Business Taxes - Frequently Asked Questions

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Business, Professional and Occupational Licenses (BPOL)

Where do I file for my business license?

You may file your Business, Professional and Occupational License (BPOL) via online, email, mail, or in person at our business tax department. 

If you are a first-year applicant, the BPOL form can be downloaded from our website Tax Forms. If you are an existing BPOL filer with Fairfax County, you will receive a BPOL renewal form in the mail by mid-January.

I am closing my business. How do I cancel my business license?

If the business operating in Fairfax County has ceased or moved out of Fairfax County to a different jurisdiction, complete the Business Closure Form found on our website Tax Forms  and email to dtappdbusiness@fairfaxcounty.gov.
 

My business won't gross $10K this year, and maybe never will. Should I get a business license anyway?

The Fairfax County Ordinance, requires every person engaged in a business in the County to obtain a license if they: 

  1. Have an office or location in the county, which is either leased or owned, where they regularly and continuously conduct business for 30 consecutive days or more; 
  2. Have no definite place of business anywhere and live in the county; 
  3. Are a contractor working in the county; or 
  4. Have gross receipts in excess of $10,000. 

There is no BPOL tax fee for businesses with gross receipts(purchases) of $10,000 or less within a calendar year. 

What does "beginning business operations" mean? Is it the day I sign my first contract? Sell my first product? Register with the SCC?

“Beginning business operations” means: The date when an entity begins conducting business from its location in Fairfax County.
 

I have changed my business name. Can I change my business license, or do I need to file for a new one?

You can request a name change update to your existing account via email at dtappdbusiness@fairfaxcounty.gov.

I am an event planner/personal trainer/construction contractor. My business is based in Fairfax County but some of my clients are located other jurisdictions. Do I need to file separate Business license for each jurisdiction?

A business license tax is required in the jurisdictions in which the taxpayer has a definite place of business. If not performed at any definite place of business, the place from which the service is directed or controlled. For instance, the taxpayer performs the actual services in different localities, but the taxpayer has a home-based business in Fairfax County, all of their gross receipts earned would be taxable in Fairfax unless the business reported their gross receipts to another jurisdiction. You should inquire other jurisdictions for their BPOL filing requirements. For more information, refer to Va. Code § 58.1-3703.1 A 3 a 4 and 58.1-3703.1 A 3 b. 

My business is not located in Fairfax, but I have clients/customers/patients in Fairfax, and my business model is that I travel to my clients. Do I have any business tax obligation to Fairfax?

Yes, you may be subject to Fairfax County's BPOL tax. If you are performing work for 30 consecutive days or more in Fairfax County, the client’s location becomes a definite place of business, and you will be required to obtain a business license. For further details, refer to Va. Code § 58.1-3703.1 A 3 a (4) and § 58.1-3703.1 A 3 b.

I am relocating my business within Fairfax County. Can I move my business license, or do I need a new one?

A new BPOL is not required if relocating within Fairfax County. To ensure your account is updated, please notify our office of the new address by e-mail: DTAPPDBusiness@fairfaxcounty.gov.

What is a NAICS code? How do I find mine?

The acronym NAICS is an abbreviation of the North American Industry Classification System. It is used by Federal Statistical Agencies to classify businesses according to the primary business activity of the business. You should use the same NAICS as it appears on the Federal Tax Return for your business. To look up NAICS code, visit NAICS & SIC Identification Tools.

How can I get a copy of my business license?

You will receive your business license by mail within 2-4 weeks after the BPOL taxes are paid in full. If you would like to request for a copy of your current year’s license, you can email us at dtappdbusiness@fairfaxcounty.gov.

I have an existing retail location in Fairfax County, and I am opening a second location. Do I need a separate BPOL license? Do I need to add the location to your records?

Yes, a separate license is required for each definite place of business and for each business.

I offer my home, or a portion of my home for short-term lodging (Airbnb, VRBO). I pay transient occupancy tax. Do I also need a business license?

Yes, a business license is required if the total annual gross receipts generated exceed $10,000.

Business Personal Property (BPP)

I have a home-based business which has no assets and I do not claim deductions for any of my business activities. Am I still responsible for Business Tangible Property Tax?

The Code of Virginia requires all business owners, including home-based businesses, to annually report business tangible personal property for taxation. Business Tangible Property includes furniture, computer, phone, printer/scanner, desk, and chair that may be used at a home-based office. If no asset is used for business purposes, you may file a blank return.

Does my car/vehicle count as tangible property for tax purposes?

Business vehicles are considered business tangible personal property pursuant to Va. Code Sec § 58.1-3503. These are reportable separately within 60 days of move-in date or purchase using the Vehicle Registration Form located in our website under VEHICLE TAX/PERSONAL PROPERTY TAX FORMS. Alternatively, you may register by phone, in person at the Government Center, or using our online vehicle registration tool. Boats, boat motors, trailers, mobile homes, and airplanes that are parked or normally kept in the County as of January 1 each year must be reported by May 1. Business vehicles are assessed and taxed like any other vehicle in the county, except that they are not eligible to receive the state’s Personal Property Tax Relief Act subsidy that is available for personal use vehicles. Refer to our Understanding Vehicle Taxes page for more information about vehicle taxes.

How is business tangible property tax calculated?

The current tax rate is $4.57 per $100 of assessed value. To compute the tax on an item assessed at $5,000, divide the assessed value by 100 and multiply by the tax rate:

($5,000 ÷ 100) × $4.57 = $228.50

The method used to determine assessed value varies by equipment type.

The assessed value of equipment (except motor vehicles and computer equipment) is 80% of the original cost for the first year the property is owned. For each of the six subsequent years, the assessed value declines by 10% according to the following schedule:

Depreciation Schedule for Business Tangible Property (except vehicles and computer equipment)
Year of Ownership Percentage of Original Cost
1st 80
2nd 70
3rd 60
4th 50
5th 40
6th 30
7th 20

 

Computer equipment is assessed at 50% of the original cost the first year owned and declines for the next four years according to the following schedule:

Depreciation Schedule for Business Tangible Property (computer equipment)
Year of Ownership Percentage of Original Cost
1st 50
2nd 35
3rd 20
4th 10
5th 2

 

Most business vehicles are assessed based on the January 1 value in the January J.D. Power pricing guide. For trucks with a gross weight of over 14,000 pounds, the value is determined by the percentage of cost and the year it was purchased. Taxicabs are valued at 50% of the average loan value. The vehicle tax is prorated for the portion of the year the vehicle is located in the County.

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