Entrepreneurs and small businesses are a staple of the economy of Fairfax City. The City has 25.3 businesses per 100 residents (the highest ratio in the state) and its unemployment rate is lower than both the state and national average. The exceptionally high rates of small business creation in Fairfax City were a major factor in Fairfax’s number 3 ranking on Forbes magazine’s list of the Country’s Top 25 Places to Live Well.
For entrepreneurs interested in starting a new business here in Fairfax City, we offer a wide range of internal and external resources to help in your new venture, including the Mason Enterprise Center, Fairfax City’s own business incubator.
Licenses, Permits, and Registration
Every person beginning a new business, profession or trade in Fairfax City must submit an application within 30 days of the start of operations. The application process can involve a number of different documents and steps, depending on the specifics of your business.
The Fairfax City EDA is well-situated to help any potential entrepreneur successfully navigate this process and start doing business as soon as possible– contact us today!
Fairfax City Business Start Up Assistance Resources
Mason Enterprise Center
The Mason Enterprise Center (MEC) is Fairfax City’s own business incubator, a cooperative venture in economic development that supports the startup of new businesses by providing small office space and shared office services such as a receptionist, secretarial services, a reception area, conference rooms and office equipment facilities. As a result, the MEC offers a valuable opportunity to start-ups and entrepreneurs on behalf of Fairfax City by helping to reduce overhead costs during the critical first few years of operation. Upon a business’s graduation and relocation to their own office space in the City, the new business is eligible for a $5,000 grant from the Fairfax City EDA to further smooth their growing pains. Over the MEC’s first 15 years, nearly half of all MEC graduate startups successfully moved into their own space in Fairfax City.
For over two decades, the Mason Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the Mason Enterprise Center has been providing the guidance to local entrepreneurs to turn their idea into a developed, profitable enterprise.
The SBDC assists over 500 local businesses each year, and provides over 100 hour of monthly counseling services to local small businesses at no cost whatsoever to clients. Group counselling workshops, individual workshops, and comprehensive resource support are available to entrepreneurs throughout the startup process, from beginning to end.
Other Resources for Entrepreneurs and Startups
- Virginia Business One-Stop
- Busy entrepreneurs don’t have a lot of time to spare, so Business One Stop was created as a place where all the information about paying your business taxes, hiring employees, lowering overhead, and more in the State of Virginia
- How to Write a Business Plan
- Free course provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration explains the importance of business planning, defines and describes the components of a business plan, and provides access to sample plans and other resources
- Choosing Your Business Structure
- Helpful resource with information about different types of business structures and their legal and tax implications from the U.S. Small Business Administration
- Virginia Employer Services
- The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) is the authority for information on your roles and responsibilities an an employer in Virginia, including information on the labor market, unemployment insurance, required workplace posters, and educational tools
- Business Tax Identification (ID)
- Obtain your federal and state tax ID with this online registration tool on the Virginia Business One Stop website
- Register Your Business Name
- Check to make sure the business name you have selected is available, and register your name in the Virginia with the State Corporation Commission
- Business Development Assistance Group
- Business Development Assistance Group assists recently arrived immigrants to start a business as their first entry to the American workforce. BDAG partners with a wide variety of small business organizations to provide information on writing a business plan, taxes, permits, licensing, marketing, financing and just about anything else you’ll need to start or grow your small business
- Community Business Partnership
- Non-profit organization that collaborates with local, regional and national organizations to promote small business growth in Fairfax County and beyond by providing education, technical assistance, business incubation services, access to capital, and networking opportunities
- Virtual Business Information Center (VBIC)
- Online resources with extensive databases built to help you research any and all topics related to your business
- Valuable resource connects entrepreneurs with mentors to help you build your business with free advice, education and guidance
Chambers, Institutions, and Associations
- Central Fairfax Chamber of Commerce
- Arab American Chamber of Commerce
- Asian American Chamber of Commerce
- Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce
- Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- Latvian Chamber of Commerce
- Mid-Atlantic Venture Association
- Mid-Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce
- Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce
- Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce
- Northern Virginia Community College
- South Fairfax Chamber of Commerce
- Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation
- Vietnamese American Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Virginia Asian Chamber of Commerce
- Virginia Chamber of Commerce
- Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- Women’s Business Center of Northern Virginia