Starting a New Business


The mission of the Nelson County Economic Development Authority is to promote the diversity and growth of the County’s economic base.


The members of the Economic Development Authority are appointed by the Nelson County Board of Supervisors.

Carlton Ballowe | Deb Brown | John Bruguiere | Kim Bryant | Natt Hall | Alphonso Taylor

The County of Nelson requires zoning approval and a business license.

  1. Contact the Director of Planning and Zoning (434-263-7090) or visit the office at 80 Front Street to ensure that the business is permitted on the property of your choice.
  2. Contact the Virginia Department of Transportation (434-946-7631) about the property entrance requirements.
  3. Visit the Commissioner of Revenue (434-263-7070) located on the first floor of the courthouse building to obtain your proper business license. Business licenses are required for: Contractors, Food Establishments, Retail Establishments, Professional Firms, Service/Repair, and Wholesalers.
  4. Fictitious trade names must be registered with the State Corporation Commission.
  5. If a business is incorporated, registration with the State Corporation Commission is required.

Starting a Business From a Location Other Than Your Home

The Planning/Zoning and Building Inspection process approves in the following order:

  1. Zoning Compatibility
  2. Change of Use permits
  3. Site Plan Review
  4. Building Permit
  5. Certificate of Occupancy

Starting a Business in Your Home

  • You will need approval for a Home Occupation Permit from the Planning Office | 434-263-7090.
  • Return the completed permit application to the Planning Office for review.
  • The Planning Office will forward the application to the Building Inspector for additional review, if necessary.
  • When all the reviews are completed, a decision is made to either grant or deny the business request.

Food Establishments

A food establishment must be approved by the Health Department, before receiving a license.


Maureen Kelley
Economic Development

Dylan Bishop
Director, Planning & Zoning

Kim Goff
Commissioner of Revenue