Open Another Location

Business is good and you are considering opening another location. Great, but there is a lot to consider before you expand so you can make the best decision for you and your core business.

​​​​​​​​Can Your Business Run Without You?

When your primary location is profitable, and you are confident that the steps you took to find success can be transplanted, you may want to consider expansion. However, the most important question to ask yourself is whether your presence is critical to the success of your business. If your customers don't require doing business directly with you, expanding to a new location may be beneficial.

 Choose a Location


Your business plan should provide a good description​ of your target customers -- who is the most likely to purchase your products or services. Use this information to your advantage and consider how you can locate your business to most effectively serve your target customer base.

Consider factors such as age, ethnicity, gender, income, buying habits, occupations, and household composition. For instance, if your target customers are mothers with small children, you may want to think about neighborhoods that are family-friendly or areas that are located close to other family amenities.

There are several online tools that you can use to conduct a demographic analysis. PolicyMap and Esri ​At​las are both examples of free websites that aggregate demographic information and can help you research potential locations for your business.

Check the Zoning

All property within the City of Virginia Beach has a zoning designation that says what types of business uses are allowed on that property, as well as other requirements such as the number of parking spaces that need to be provided for customers. These regulations help to protect both business owners and local residents – you may not want a liquor store to open next to your day care center.

It's important to make sure you understand what's allowed on your property and whether your property conforms to local zoning requirements before signing a lease. While it's possible to get exceptions or waivers from zoning requirements through the Planning and Community Development it is often a costly and time-consuming process. Finding a property that's already zoned for what you need is the easiest and fastest way to get started!​​

Home-​Based Businesses

Home based businesses require a Business License and must provide proof of residency and complete the Restrictions for Home Use form. If you are locating near NAS Oceana, please read the notice, "New Businesses Locating near NAS Oceana". Home based businesses are allowed under the following circumstances without a Conditional Use Permit:

  • ​The business use of the home is clearly incidental and subordinate to the residential use of the home. There is no change in the outside appearance of the home or lot and no noise that can be heard from the street or neighboring property.
  • There is no traffic generated beyond what would normally be expected in the neighborhood. Vehicles associated with the business, including customers, are parked in the driveway and not on the street.
  • Only one commercial vehicle is permitted as long as its carrying capacity is one ton or less, its height is seven feet (7') or less, and its length is 20 feet or less.
  • The person operating the business lives in the home.
  • No person other than members of the immediate family who also live in the home are employed by the business. (With a Conditional Use Permit, one employee who does not reside in the home is permitted in addition to family members who live in the home).
  • The business must be located only in the principal structure on the lot (cannot be located in an accessory structure unless a Conditional Use Permit is approved).
  • There are no sales of products or merchandise to the general public.
  • No more than one patron, customer, or pupil may be present at one time (unless a Conditional Use Permit is approved).
The following businesses are specifically not permitted in the home: convalescent or nursing homes, tourist homes, massage or tattoo parlors, body piercing establishments, radio or television repair shops, and auto repair shops.

Some home businesses require a Conditional Use Permit. Contact the Zoning ​Office at (757) 385-8074 to find out if a Conditional Use Permit is required. If a Conditional Use Permit is required, contact the Planning Department at (757) 385-4621 and ask to speak to a Current Planner or download the ​Conditional Use Permit Appli​cation Package  and read about the application process.​

 Financing Your Business

​​​​Business Information​ Services​​​​​

Virginia Business One Stop is an interactive portal designed to accelerate business formation and provide information for existing businesses. The online registration system will walk a potential business owner through each step needed to establish their new business. In addition, BOS helps existing businesses expand. The tool streamlines business-registration paperwork across seven agencies.

​Center for Innovative Techn​​​ology​

CIT helps grow Virginia's technology industry. Its CIT Entrepreneur program provides up to $100,000 in funding for promising high-growth technology companies and helps owners identify potential equity investors.


Center for Innovative Technology
2214 Rock Hill Road, Suite 600
Herndon, VA 20170-4228
(703) 689-3000

Virginia Small B​usiness Financing Authority (VSBFA)

VSBFA “Small Business” Definition
  1. Must be operating in Virginia, and licensed/good standing with SCC, local, or other licensing authority
  2. Meet ONE of the following:  Under $10M annual revenues or under $2 million tangible net worth or have less than 250 Virginia employees (some programs also require less than 750 total employees), or be a 501c3. ​

All real estate loans are “owner occupied commercial real estate.” No investment or residential.

VSBFA Direct Loan Progra​ms​

VSBFA makes a loan directly to Borrower typically either subordinate to the bank or secured by separate assets. Borrower applies directly to VSBFA which underwrites, closes, and manages the credit. ​
For all VSBFA Loans:
  • Response time once VSBFA has received all required information: 1 week if VSBFA exposure is no more than $500,000 approximately 1 month if VSBFA exposure exceeds $500,000
  • Existing companies must have history of profitable operations and satisfactory debt payment.
  • Startups must have business plans and projections.
  • VSBFA requires guarantees and pledge of all available business and personal collateral.
  • Minimum 10% cash equity expected for startups, more for existing businesses.
  • VSBFA programs cannot be used to compensate for fundamental business weakness.
  • No prepayment fees or closing costs aside from direct transaction costs. 

Loan Types

  • Economic Development Loan   
    Maximum 40% of total project cost not to exceed $500,000
    For real estate and improvements, furniture/fixtures/equipment, permanent working capital
    $500 application fee, recent fixed rate 4%
    Start up or existing business
    Focus on acceptable job creation/retention relative to loan amount                                                                                                 
  • Micro-loan        
    Maximum $10,000 -25,000
    48 month repayment
    $100 fee, 6.25% fixed rate
    Any business purpose other than investment real estate
    Must have been operational at least 2 years
    Owners’ credit scores must be at least 650 each
  • Child Care Loan
    Maximum $150,000 per location for centers, $10,000 for home based providers
    60 month repayment
    Borrower must be licensed and in good standing with Virginia Department of Social Services.
    Funds materials, equipment, supplies,  playground, mini-buses, fencing
    $100 application fee, 4% fixed rate
  • Bank Credit Support Programs
    Bank underwrites/commits to loan subject to VSBFA involvement.
  • Cash Collateral
    VSBFA pledges cash collateral to the bank to help back a business loan
    Maximum $500,000 or 40% of the loan amount, whichever is less.
    Maximum involvement—5 years for term loans, 3 years for credit lines
    Cost  $200 application fee
    Loan Guaranty-VSBFA provides an additional guaranty to the bank
    Maximum 75% of the loan amount or $750,000, whichever is less
    Maximum involvement-7 years for term loans, 5 years for credit lines
    Cost $200 application fee, 1.5% of the guaranteed amount due at closing
  • Loan Participation
    VSBFA buys a portion of a bank loan
    Maximum $500,000 or 40% of the loan amount, whichever is less.
    Maximum hold period 10 years
    $500 application fee, VSBFA receives same interest rate as Bank


Mary Jo Sisson-Vaughan,
Regional Lending Manager, Virginia Small Business Loan Programs​
Hampton Roads, Southern VA, Central VA Areas
(804)​ 371-8184