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Starting a Small Business

Starting a Small Business

Starting a small business can be an exciting but overwhelming endeavor. Here are some links to tools that will help you navigate the process.

Business and Professional License
All business and professional operations, according to Ordinance No. 38,573, must purchase a business license before commencing operation in the City of Norfolk, including home businesses. Licenses expire December 31st of each year. An on-line application is available at

Additional Resources

Department of Development
The City of Norfolk’s Department of Development provides numerous resources on how to start a business in Norfolk.

Department of Development
999 Waterside Drive, Suite #2430
Norfolk, Virginia 23510

Department of Planning
The Department of Planning provides planning and enforcement services that emphasize the development of safe, healthy and fun places to work and live. This includes building safety, the Development Services Center, zoning and long range planning.

Department of Planning
City Hall Building
810 Union Street, Suite 508
Norfolk, VA 23510

Virginia Small Business Financing Authority
The Virginia Small Business Financing Authority (VSBFA), which is housed within the Virginia Department of Business Assistance, offers programs to provide businesses and communities with access to capital needed for economic growth and expansion.

Virginia Small Business Financing Authority
4490 Cox Road
Glen Allen, VA 23060

U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.

Richmond District Office
400 North 8th Street
Federal Bldg., Suite 1150 
Richmond, VA 23219

Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce Small Business Development Center
The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Thomas Nelson Community College, the Mason Enterprise Center at George Mason University and the U.S. Small Business Administration, provides business counseling and educational programs to businesses with 99 or fewer employees. The Small Business Development Center assists entrepreneurs with the identification and evaluation of the most important factors related to the success of his or her enterprise.

SBDC of Hampton Roads, Inc., World Trade Center
101 W. Main Street, Suite 800
Norfolk, VA 23510