open A Business

Below are lists of necessary permits and forms based on the type of business you are opening.

  1. OPENING A BUSINESS OFFERING: Contracting, Light Manufacturing, Personal Care, Professional Services, Recreation, Retail, etc

Business Resource Guide section 1 graphic1. Check to see if your business is in a location that is zoned for business (B-1, B-2, I-1 or MC-1). Zoning can be found on the Shenandoah County GIS website or you can contact Lemuel Hancock, Neighborhood Planner | Urban Designer, via phone at (540) 459-3621 or email. If you are interested in having a Home Occupation (opening a business in a residential district – R-1, R-2, R-3), please put your specific request in writing to:

    Town of Woodstock Zoning Administrator 
    135 North Main Street 
    Woodstock, VA 22664

Home occupations shall be in accordance with Section 90-377 of the Code of the Town of Woodstock. In addition, the Planning & Zoning Department wishes to ensure that each business has parking in accordance with Section 90-387 of the Code of the Town of Woodstock.

2. Fill out a Business License Application. You will need to estimate your gross receipts for the year. Rates are as follows, based on the type of business that you are operating:

    $0.05 per $100.00 of gross receipts for the Wholesale Merchant 
    $0.10 per $100.00 of gross receipts for Contractors 
    $0.13 per $100.00 of gross receipts for Retail Merchant/Service 
    $0.18 per $100.00 of gross receipts for Professional Service 
    $250 plus $5 a day for Peddlers non-perishable items 
    $50 flat fee Peddlers perishable items 
    $50 per show for Carnivals/Circuses

3. When you return the Business License Application to the Town Treasurer’s Office, you will also need to fill out an Emergency Contact form that will go on file at the Police Department. Contractors will need to fill out a Worker’s Compensation form to be kept on file.

4. If you have any questions regarding Business Licenses, please contact the town treasurer's office via phone at (540) 459-3621 or email

5. Fill out a Zoning Permit for Signage. The Zoning Permit processing fees are as follows:

    - Signs Less Than 10 Square Feet in Size - $50.00
    - Signs Greater Than 10 Square Feet in Size - $100.00

6. If there are structural or electrical components to signage, visit the Shenandoah County Building Inspections Department website or call 
(540) 459-6185.

7. Please contact the Town Treasurer’s Office to begin water and sewer service in your name. If you are renting a building for your business, you will need to pay a deposit that is refundable less usage when you are ready to take it out of your name or move to a different location. If you own the building where your business will be going, please call the Town Treasurer in order to provide specific information for your account.

8. Get Involved! Contact Katie Mercer, Director of Marketing and Events via phone at 459-3621 or email to find out what Woodstock is doing for businesses and how your business can become involved in what can be described as a “synergistic” business environment. Woodstock Enhancement (WE) exists to help serve and educate our business community with initiatives including business and product promotions to educational seminars on customer service, marketing, etc.

9. If space permits, the Town encourages businesses to enhance their location with planters, outdoor seating, displays and sandwich board signs (for downtown businesses that do not have freestanding signage). Frequently, these items must be located on sidewalks (Town or VDOT right-of-way) and require a Right-of-Way Permit to ensure accessibility for pedestrians and those on wheels. The Right-of-Way Permit does not require a processing fee.