Starting a Business Step 4: Tax Obligations

Your Business may have tax obligations to the federal government, the Commonwealth of Virginia and Fairfax County. Please consult a tax specialist to determine what your obligations are.


Most businesses need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, which is used to identify a business entity. EINs are issued by the IRS.


Determine whether you need to register at Virginia Tax. Typically, any business which sells any goods (but not services) will need to do so.

If you plan to hire employees, you can register with the Virginia Employment Commission.

Fairfax County

  1. Get Your Business, Professional and Occupational License (BPOL)
    All businesses in Fairfax Countyincluding home-based businessesmust have a business license called a Business, Professional and Occupational License (BPOL). See Step 3: Get Legal for BPOL more details.
  2. File & Pay Business Tangible Property Taxes
    All businesses operating in Fairfax County must file business tangible property tax. This includes business located in the towns of Clifton, Herndon and Vienna. This tax applies to any tangible property, including computers, furniture, equipment, machinery and tools, located in Fairfax County on January 1 of the current year.

File a Business Return of Tangible Personal Property form with the Department of Tax Administration by May 1 and pay these taxes by October 5 of the current year. Businesses may file for Business Tangible Property Tax either by mail, email, fax, or in person.

Additional fact sheets prepared by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (EDA): Taxes – State and Local Business Taxes and Workforce Resources for Employers.

Business-Specific Licenses & Permits

Depending on your business type, there may be other Fairfax County permits, licenses or taxes required.