If food is your passion, Amherst is the place to be.

Whether it’s coffee and cake or lobster and steak, find out the steps you’ll need to take to open your restaurant…and present your specialties to hungry customers.

Step 1

Business Location

Step 2

Health Department

Step 3

Register your Business Name

Step 4

Investigate Business License

Step 1:

Location, location, location!

If you have found a location check with 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. Community Development (434) 946-9303, 153 Washington Street, Amherst, VA 24521.

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 online at www.amherstva.gov. Gross receipts will be estimated for the first year in business. The Town Treasurer is located at 174 S. Main Street, (434) 946-7885, townhall@amherstva.gov.

Step 2:

Health Department

If you have never owned a restaurant before, or if you are doing an extensive remodel, it is vital that you contact the Virginia Health Department. The Commonwealth has specific guidelines and requires permits that could take some time. If you have questions please contact Wayne Burnette at 434-946-9408.

Step 3:

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 4:

Business License

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 www.amherstva.gov. Gross receipts will be estimated for the first year in business. The Town Treasurer is located at 174 S. Main Street, (434) 946-7885, townhall@amherstva.gov.

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