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We are excited for your interest in starting a business in Franklin Southampton. Below is a broad list of resources that serves to help you get your business up and running or begin the expansion process:  

Business Plan  

There are two main reasons for formulating a business plan:  

  1. Assist in planning and developing your business  

  1. Demonstrates the profitability and feasibility of your business to potential financial entities  

To access a guideline for writing a business plan, click here 

To access business plan writing assistance from the Hampton Roads Small Business Development Center, click here.

If you are a veteran owned business, please click here for additional veteran specific opportunities and assistance. 


Business Entity and Name 

Choose from one of the following business structures:  

GENERAL PARTNERSHIP: relationship between two or more persons who team up to operate a business. A general partnership is similar to a sole proprietorship in that it is registered at the local level and is directly tied to the individuals in it. 

LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY (LLC): Most popular registrations for business owners. With an LLC you have limited legal liability, however, for taxes they are more like sole proprietorships or partnerships. 

SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP: Usually owned by a single person or a couple. You’re personally liable for all business debts, can freely transfer all or part of the business, and for taxes, you can report profit or loss as personal income. 

CORPORATION: A corporation is a legal entity that is separate from the people who own it. Unlike General Partnerships or Sole Proprietorships, corporations cannot be dissolved easily. Small business typically choose to be S- corporations, which pass profits or losses directly to the shareholders, much like partnerships. Forming a corporation is somewhat complicated, and you may want to enlist the assistance of an attorney if you choose to organize your business this way.  

Call the SCC at 804-371-9733 to see if your business name is available. 


Register Your Business And Business Tax ID 

Register for an Employee Identification Number (EIN) here. 

Register your business and apply for a Tax ID here or call the VA department of Taxation at 804-367-8037 


Zoning Requirements 

Some businesses require specific zoning, please reach out to these departments in your locality for questions. 

City of Franklin Community Development:  

Beverly Walkup | 757.562.1003 |  

Southampton County Community Development:  

Beth Lewis | 757.742.6757 |  

Zoning Clearance Application click here.
Business Sign Application click here.


Business License

City of Franklin:

Access 'Business License Checklist' here. 

Access Business License Application here 

Questions? Contact the Commissioner of the Revenue:  

207 W. Second Ave. 757.562.8783 

Questions? Contact Stephanie Blacknall at 


Southampton County:

Access 'Business License Checklist' here 

Access Business License Application here. 

Questions? Contact Amy Carr at 757.653.3030 or 

Is your business located within a town limit? Check specific Business License rules here:

Boykins: Victoria Edwards | 757-654-6361 |  

Capron: Jenny Justice | 434-658-4275 

Courtland: Debra Lambert | 757-653-2222 |  

Ivor: Jaime Power, Town Clerk | 757-859-6397 |  

Newsoms: Van Less | 757-654-6731 


Professional Permits and Lincensing   

Visit the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation to see if your business profession is on the required licensing list.  

Retail Business? Apply for a Sales and Use Tax Certificate of Exemption which exempts retailers from paying sales tax on items resold to the public.   


Find Your Space


Local, Regional and State Business Resources

Startwheel (Entrepreneur Network)  

City of Franklin and Southampton County Local Business Incentives 


Remember that it is your responsibility to learn what local, state and federal laws and regulations apply to your business.
Contact our office at 757-562-1958 for further assistance.