In Home / Freelancer Business ​

Step 1

Business Location

Step 2

Register Your Business Name

Step 3

Investigate Business License

Step 1:

Location, location, location!

Where do you want to locate your business? Once you have found a location (even if it is your own property), check with Amherst County Community Development to see how it is zoned. Community Development can help you determine what types of permits you will need for your business and determine any zoning issues. Home-based businesses are required to have a permit in Amherst County. Community Development (434) 946-9303, 153 Washington Street, Amherst, VA 24521.

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,

Own your own home?

In Residential Zoning Districts, the in-home business shall not have any outside storage, no signage, no employees or customers, and no increase in neighborhood traffic nor changes in any type of traffic may occur.

In the Agriculture District, the in-home business shall not generate excessive traffic or conditions detrimental to the character of the surrounding area.

The in-home business shall only be operated by the members of the family residing on the premises. Only products or services shall be sold by family members.

Restrictions do not apply to the sale of unprocessed agricultural items (i.e.: fruits and vegetables, along with any animal byproducts).

The home business must not occupy more than 25% or 500 square feet (whichever is smaller) of the floor area within the main building.

If the home business is located in another building on the property, it can not be larger than ⅓ of the size of the main dwelling. It shall be located in the rear of the main dwelling. The minimum requirements must be met. If you have questions, call Community Development at 946-9303. 


You must have written permission from the homeowner. All of the requirements for an in-home business still apply. 

Step 2:

Register your Business Name​

Register your business name at the Amherst County Circuit Court, (434) 946-9321, 113 Taylor Street, P. O. Box 462, Amherst, VA 24521

The fee to register your business name is $10. Make sure that your name isn’t already registered. You can obtain the form online; however, if you sign the form outside the presence of the Deputy Clerk of Court, the form must be notarized. The form and fee can be mailed to the Circuit Court Clerk. Get a copy of the assumed name: banks may require a copy of the form for business accounts.

Step 3:

Business Financing​

Town of Amherst – Is your business going to be located in the Town of Amherst?

All businesses — including home-based businesses—are required to have a license in the Town of Amherst. The form for the business license can be found online 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,

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