Small businesses are big business for the city of Virginia Beach and are a key component to creating a vibrant, successful community. The city of Virginia Beach, as well as many regional and state agencies, can provide small businesses with the tools they need to grow and expand. Many of these resources can be found below.
Established in 2007, the city’s Small, Women-Owned and Minority (SWaM) business development program works to generate new capital investment and employment opportunities. The Department of Economic Development offers training workshops, mentorship opportunities with businesses and universities, and forums with various government and industry leaders.
Visit the Economic Development Small Business Online Center
to learn more, and download our Small Business Development iBook
for an in depth look at opportunities and assets available to small businesses in Virginia Beach.
Steps to Establish a Small Business in Virginia
Need help starting your business? You've come to the right place. You can use your
valid, full service Virginia Beach Public Library card to access resources listed on this page. When asked, enter your library card number with a capital D and without spaces.
Online Research Tools
Business Plans Handbook: A collection of useful business plans created by entrepreneurs seeking start up funds. These plans are from businesses in manufacturing, retail and services industries.
Encyclopedia of Small Business: Entrepreneurs will gain how-to information that they can apply to their own business including financing, financial planning, business plan creation, market analysis, sales strategy, tax planning, human resource issues and more.
Small Business Reference Center: Use this resource to learn about business basics such as starting a company, operations management, sales and more. Search by business areas and find information by business types.
Hampton Roads Business Assistance
Doing Business in Hampton Roads: This website by the Hampton Roads Small Business Development Center includes links to appropriate websites for starting a business in all cities in and surrounding Hampton Roads. Information includes licensing, zoning, taxation and much more for each locality.
Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance: This website will help match the needs of your company to successfully relocate to the Hampton Roads area by identifying appropriate sites and connecting the business with experts in the field.
Virginia Business Information
SCORE: Counselors to America’s Small Business: This is the place where entrepreneurs can get the help they need to start a business or improve results. Experienced volunteer consultants share their many years of business knowledge and expertise with men and women who are currently operating their own businesses and those contemplating starting their own businesses, all at no charge.
Steps to Establish a Small Business in Virginia
(PDF link): The Library of Virginia has compiled this guide to starting businesses in Virginia. Along with the steps to establish a business is information on financing, business law, government contracts, taxes, and franchising.
The State Corporation Commission:
This website includes forms to help you prepare documents that will meet the requirements for filing under Virginia law. Most forms can be downloaded as a Word document to your computer, where you can make the adjustments you need or desire.
Small Business Start-up Guides
This website will assist you with the process of starting a business. It involves complying with a number of laws and regulations - from writing a business plan to setting up a location. Here you will find guidance to help you successfully and legally start and run your business.
provides guides that are tailored to meet the needs of specific audiences and business types. The following resources provide information that help specialized audiences start their own businesses including home based businesses and women, minority, and veteran owned businesses. There are also in depth guides for 18 different industries.
Small Business Administration:
four free self-paced courses on starting online businesses, writing business plans, franchising, and technology for small businesses.
Small Business Planner:
A site from the Small Business Administration includes topics such as how to pick a business location, finance a start-up, obtain licenses and permits, get insurance, manage employees, and much more.
Virginia Business One Stop
: This site provides specific licensing, permitting and registration requirements for the user's business situation and assists with partial completion of the necessary forms. A fee is required for full use of the OneStop wizard.