Historically, the City of Virginia Beach has required vendors who only do business in the city for a short period of time to purchase an Itinerant Merchant's license. However, the city recognizes that local organizations, vital to the community such as religious, educational and civic groups and non-profit charitable organizations will host and/or promote events that boost civic pride and enhance community involvement.
Traditional business licensing requirements are difficult and costly to enforce uniformly among temporary merchants who operate only once or twice per year and may discourage vendor participation. Virginia Beach offers a sub-classification separate from Itinerant Merchant, allowing qualifying event promoters to pay a fee based on vendor participation in the specific event. This umbrella license, available through the Commissioner of the Revenue's office, will satisfy business license requirements for all registered merchants and vendors at the event.
How It Works
Pursuant to the Virginia Beach City Code, §18-108, any organization hosting an event and meeting the criteria established by the City Council of Virginia Beach may obtain an umbrella license from the Commissioner of the Revenue for $10.00 per merchant or vendor provided that, and regardless of the number of merchants and vendors, the total cost of the license shall not be less than $50.00 nor should it exceed $500.00. The Commissioner of the Revenue's office requires the Merchant/Vendor Report
before the event takes place. Any additional vendors that were not listed on the original report must be included on a Final Merchant/Vendor Report
and submitted within 10 days following the close of the event.
To obtain a license and/or necessary forms or if you need additional information regarding this ordinance, please contact the Commissioner of the Revenue's office by telephone or email.
Hours of Operation:
A community event is any fair, show, exhibition or celebration conducted over a period less than 30 consecutive days for which a permit has been obtained pursuant to section 4-1 or section 24-6 of the City Code of Virginia Beach.
- A non-profit charitable organization is a non-profit corporation organized for charitable purposes that has been designated by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)3 organization. Non-profit organizations may apply for exemption status with the commissioner of the revenue pursuant to Virginia Beach City Code section 35-182(d)(3).
- A person shall be considered a merchant or vendor at a community or charitable event only if he or she has registered with the event organizer and only conducts business within the boundaries of the area in which the event is held.
- Food vendors at these events are required to collect and remit food tax.
- Event promoters are required to submit admissions tax.
Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.