Fairfax County Home-based Business Guide

Note: This information is specific to Fairfax County. For information about requirements in the City of Fairfax, the City of Falls Church, or the Towns of Clifton, Herndon, or Vienna, see the Guide for Town or City-based Businesses.
Not sure of your locality? Read About the CORE Localities.

A home-based business is an occupation, profession, or trade that operates in or from the home of a resident. Examples of home-based businesses include home offices, music lessons, art studios, home crafts, and home-based food production.

See the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Development webpage for about what types of businesses are permitted, as well as information about the application process.

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Connect:

  • Call the Zoning Permits Section at 703-222-1082 or via email

 

  • Generally, home-based businesses are treated as any other business, and must comply with all business requirements, including obtaining a business license (“BPOL”), paying taxes, including business tangible/personal property taxes, and obtaining professional certifications. See the Business Start Up Guide and/or the links on the left of this page for more detail.
  • If your business operates from your home, meaning that you perform your billing, marketing, scheduling, or other tasks there, regardless of where you deliver your service, you likely need a Home-based business Permit.
  • Typically, businesses cannot be registered to a PO Box. Learn more by connecting with the Zoning Permits Section of the Department of Planning and Development and the Virginia State Corporation Commission. 
  • Teleworking for your employer does not require a Home-based Business Permit.
  • All business resources are available to home-based businesses. Search the Fairfax CORE Resource Navigator to find support.

There are various factors that determine the answer to this question, and every business is different, Some things to consider:

  • Do you charge for your service or product?
  • What income is derived from this service?
  • How frequently do you engage in the activity?
  • Do you advertise your services?
  • Do you consider it a business?

You may want to connect with a business counselor to know whether your activities meet the requirements for establishing a business, and to understand what is required.

Read more:

Watch:

Connect:

    • Find a business counselor here.

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