Starting A New Business

Starting Your Business in Nelson County

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

Zoning Approval & Business License

The County of Nelson requires zoning approval and a business license. If you want to begin a business in Nelson County:

  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 Clerk of the Circuit Court  (434-263-7020).
  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

If the business is not in an approved zoning designation, see the Director of Planning and Zoning.

Food Establishments

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

Starting a Business in Your Home

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

Nelson County Contacts

Maureen Kelley | Economic Development
Stephen Carter | County Administrator
Dylan Bishop  | Director, Planning & Zoning
Pam Campbell | Commissioner of Revenue

Contact Us
Physical Address
8519 Thomas Nelson Hwy.
Lovingston, VA 22949
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 636
Lovingston, VA 22949
Maureen A. Kelley | Director
fax: 434-263-6823