Starting a Business

Opening a new business is a significant investment of financial and personal resources. New businesses are important to the financial health of the Town. The Town wants to assist you through the regulatory process to ensure your business has a positive impact on the community, is safe to occupy, and opens as quickly as possible.
This outline provides an overview of the various regulatory requirements to open your business. Since each business and its proposed location are unique, it is important to note that this is a general overview, and there will be variations among projects.

1. Before Purchasing a Building or Signing a Lease
 - Ask the current building owner or the leasing company to provide information on the current status of the site, building, and tenant space to determine the impact of the existing conditions on the process of opening your business.

  • Zoning – Confirm the existing approved Zoning, and determine that your proposed use is permitted on the site in accordance with the Prince William County Zoning Ordinance.
  • Proffers or Conditions – Confirm whether the property is subject to any monetary, site or architectural proffers or conditions.
  • Certificate of Occupancy – Determine the previous occupant and verify that a Certificate of Occupancy was issued. Also, compare the Building Code Use Group of the Certificate of Occupancy with the Building Code Use Group for your business. See Building Use Group Definitions.
  • Site and Building Plans – Determine if the current building owner or the leasing company can provide copies of previously approved site plans and building plans. If revised/new plans are required during the process, significant costs can be saved.
 If the current building owner or leasing agent cannot provide any or all of the above information, contact or visit the Town Hall. Town staff is located at 15000 Washington Street, Suite 100, Haymarket, Virginia  20169, or can be reached at 703-753-2600.

2. Project Management
  • Project Team – If you do not have experience in the design and construction process, consider hiring a consultant, architect, engineer, or contractor to act as your project manager. A project manager is typically responsible for coordinating and tracking your project through the entire process: purchasing/leasing property, design, permitting, construction and inspections. Deficient project management will result in delays and additional costs to you as a business owner.
  • Scope of Work – It is critical to establish how you need the space to be designed for your business, and the technical requirements needed to support the space design. Once a realistic scope of work is established, your project manager can provide an estimated project schedule and project budget.
3. Determine and Register Trade Name - It is beneficial to complete this process before requesting Town Zoning approval, so the Zoning approval will be issued under the correct business name.  This step also allows you to open bank accounts in the trade name.  This process is handled through the Prince William County Clerk of the Court

4. Business Licensing – The Town of Haymarket requires a Town Business License. The business license is issued after an Occupancy Permit is issued.

5. Planning/Zoning Approval
  • Home Office/Business - If you are starting a business from your home without employees or customers coming to your home, you must obtain a special use permit.
  • New Building or Building Addition - If you are constructing a new building or an addition, an engineer will need to develop a Site Plan for review and approval by the Town. Before the engineer begins the design work, the existing Zoning should be evaluated for the proposed use.
  • Existing Building - Please contact or visit the Town Hall with the property information. Based on the existing Zoning of the property/building, a determination will be made on the level of Zoning Approval required (i.e. Zoning Approval, Site Plan, Special Use Permit or Rezoning).