Step 4: Location

This permit and process guidance is specific to Fairfax County.

Fairfax County development process.Not sure if your location falls within Fairfax County? Check it on our Zoning District Map. If you are seeking guidance regarding a potential location in the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church, or the towns of Clifton, Herndon and Vienna, please contact those jurisdictions directly.  

If you're new to the process or haven't built in Fairfax County before — regardless of whether you're a home owner, business owner, contractor or other kind of builder, the Plan 2 Build Development Process Overview can show you what to expect and what is needed to reach a successful outcome.


Most business locations will need a permit: 
either a Home-based Business Permit or a Non-Residential Use Permit.

Choosing a Business Space in Fairfax County

Will your business be registered to your home? Will you lease or purchase commercial space? Will you use a co-working space?

There are two paths to making this decision: 

  1. Identifying your location first, which will determine what permits and processes you will need to get into that space, or 
  2. Determining where you can open your business most easily (meaning: where the use is permissible without discretionary zoning approvals).

Are you thinking about opening a business in Fairfax County? View this video to learn all the important considerations you need to know when choosing the best space for your small business. Experts from Fairfax County Government discuss the zoning considerations, permit and inspections processes and common pitfalls to avoid when choosing a space.

Fairfax Virtual Assistant