Chapter 11, Arlington County Code
The Commissioner of Revenue licenses and assesses a business license tax on every business in Arlington, including home-based businesses. Individuals renting or leasing houses, apartments, part of their own residences, or other types of dwellings, including vacation and transient rentals, are also considered businesses.
Businesses must submit a business license return, and make any payment required, by March 1 of each year. All businesses are strongly encouraged to file and pay online.
Business license taxes are usually based on a business’s previous year’s gross receipts.
- Businesses having less than $10,000 in gross receipts owe no tax.
- Businesses grossing between $10,001 and $50,000 pay a flat fee of $30.00.
- Businesses grossing between $50,001 and $100,000 pay a flat fee of $50.00.
- Businesses with gross receipts in excess of $100,000 will utilize a tax rate dependent on their business activities to determine the tax due.
The Arlington County Board has determined that certain classes of high technology businesses, as defined by Chapter 66 of the Arlington County Code, may qualify for reduced tax rates. If a company believes it qualifies for those reduced rates, the application to be considered as a qualified technology business can be found here.
Although there are special situations where flat fees apply, such as for peddlers, itinerant vendors, beer and wine wholesalers, and a few other occupations, the reporting basis for most taxpayers is the previous year’s gross receipts for each business.
COVID-19 Taxable Gross Receipts
Pursuant to Va. Code § 58.1-3732 (A)(4) and Virginia Administrative Code, extraordinary COVID-19 loans/grants such as Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, and AED’s Small Business Emergency GRANT program can be excluded from taxable gross receipts when filing your Business, Professional and Occupational License (BPOL) tax returns. PPP loans that are not yet forgiven are expressly excluded from gross receipts for purposes of computing County BPOL; Tax Commissioner PD 21-12.
Arlington County categorizes the various businesses subject to the business license tax into various classifications that determine the tax rate applicable to each type of business. These classifications and rates are described in Chapter 11 of the county code.
If you believe that your business has been improperly assessed, you may file an administrative appeal with the Commissioner of Revenue. The requirements and procedures for filing such an appeal are described here..
- The business of renting houses, apartments or other types of dwelling units means the renting of buildings or portions of buildings, each of which is designed for residential occupancy as a single dwelling unit. “Dwelling unit” means a room or rooms connected together, with independent kitchen and sleeping facilities.
- All activities conducted by a business at one location will receive one Business License Renewal Return that includes all of those activities.
- Businesses having more than one (1) location, even though under the same ownership, will receive a separate Business License Renewal Return for each location.
- Each Business License Renewal Return is unique. If you lose or do not receive your Return, you will not be able to download a new form from our website. Instead, you will need to either file online or call our office at 703-228-3060 to request a new form.
Call the Business Tax Division at 703-228-3060 with any questions you have about this tax.