First Steps in Business

Amherst County welcomes new businesses. We know that starting a business is exciting, but can also be overwhelming too. We are here to help your business succeed and want to link you with the resources you need.

When starting a new business in Amherst County you will need to work with three departments: Planning & Zoning Department, Building Department, and the Commissioner of Revenue.

Planning and Zoning

New businesses should begin at the Department of Planning and Zoning. Planning and Zoning help you determine what types of permits you will need for your business and determine any zoning issues. Home businesses are required to have a permit in Amherst County. Planning and Zoning: (434) 946-9303, 153 Washington Street, Amherst, VA 24521.

Planning & Zoning »

Is your business going to be located in the Town of Amherst? If so, then begin at the Town of Amherst’s Town Hall, at 174 S. Main Street, (434) 946-7885 Learn more about the Amherst Town Hall here »

Building and Occupancy Permits

Building and Occupancy Permits are obtained through the Department of Building Safety and Inspections. Instructions and permit applications can be found on-line. Department of Building and Safety Inspections information: (434) 946-9302, 153 Washington Street, Amherst, VA 24521. Learn more about Building & Occupancy here.

Register your Business Name

Register your business name at the Virginia State Corporation Commission

The fee to register your business name is $10. Make sure that your name isn’t registered. You can do all of this online. However, in order to receive a business license, you must print a copy of the certificate to bring with you to the Commissioner of the Revenue.

Business License

Amherst County requires a business license, except for retail and wholesale businesses. Business licenses are issued through the Commissioner of the Revenue. Retail and wholesale businesses do not need to obtain a business license. Go to the Commissioner of the Revenue office to obtain and pay for your license. Fees can be found on the Amherst County website. Commissioner of the Revenue information: (434) 946-9310, 100 Goodwin Street, Amherst, VA 24521

Amherst County Business License Application Form


Download Form

Applicants must submit their original form to the Commissioner’s office (not a copy), and must sign the document in the presence of a staff member in the Commissioner’s office.

Commissioner of the Revenue »

Is your business going to be located in the Town of Amherst? Home businesses are required to have a permit in the Town of Amherst. The Town requires a business license. The form for the business license can be found on line at Gross receipts will be estimated for the first year in business. The Town Treasurer is located at 174 S. Main Street, (434) 946-7885,

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      Other Licensure and Permits

      Certain occupations and businesses are required to have specialty licenses and permits from the Commonwealth of Virginia. Such businesses and occupations would include construction, spas, hair salons, health and medical professions, and others. For comprehensive and up to date information see:

      Alcohol Beverage Control
      Restaurants and other businesses that wish to serve alcohol must secure a license from the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control: Click on Licensee Resources to learn more about the types of permits needed for your business. Or, contact the ABC Regional Office, (434) 582-5136, 20353 Timberlake Rd., Suite A Lynchburg, VA 24502.
      Other Important Contacts in Amherst County

      Need More Local/State/Federal Resource Information? Click here for more resources »

      Starting a business is a major undertaking – part exciting and part overwhelming. The Amherst Economic Development staff are here to help.

      Business Starter Kit