Open Another Location

There’s a lot to consider before expanding your business.
​​​​​​​​Can your business run without you?

When your primary location is profitable and you’re confident you can find success by expanding, you might want to consider whether the prosperity of a second location is assured if you’re not always there. But if your customers don't require doing business directly with you, expanding to a new location may be beneficial.

Choose a LocationFinancing Your Business


Your business plan should provide a good description​ of your target customers. Ask yourself, who is most likely to purchase your products or services? Use this information to consider how you can locate your business to serve your target customer base most effectively.

Consider factors such as age, ethnicity, gender, income, buying habits, occupations, and household composition. For instance, if your target customers are mothers with small children, you may want to think about locating close to family-friendly neighborhoods or other family amenities.

PolicyMap and Esri ​Atlas are both examples of free websites that aggregate demographic information and can help you research potential locations for your business.

Check the Zoning

All property within the City of Virginia Beach has a zoning designation that says what types of business uses are allowed on that property, as well as other requirements such as the required number of customer parking spaces. These regulations help protect both business owners and local residents – you may not want a liquor store to open next to your daycare center.

It's important to make sure you understand what's allowed on your property and whether your property conforms to local zoning requirements before signing a lease. While it's possible to get exceptions or waivers from zoning requirements through Planning and Community Development, it is often a costly and time-consuming process. Finding a property that's already zoned for what you need is the easiest and fastest way to get started!

Home-based Businesses

Home-based businesses require a business license and must provide proof of residency and complete the restrictions for home use form. If you're located near Naval Air Station Oceana, please read, "New Businesses Locating near NAS Oceana." Home-based businesses are allowed under the following circumstances without a conditional use permit:

  • ​The business use of the home is clearly incidental and subordinate to the residential use of the home. There is no change in the outside appearance of the home or lot and no noise can be heard from the street or neighboring property.
  • There is no traffic generated beyond what would normally be expected in the neighborhood. Vehicles associated with the business, including customers, are parked in the driveway and not on the street.
  • Only one commercial vehicle is permitted provided its carrying capacity is 1 ton or less, its height is 7 feet or less, and its length is 20 feet or less.
  • The person operating the business lives in the home.
  • No person other than members of the immediate family who also live in the home are employed by the business. (With a conditional use permit, one employee who does not reside in the home is permitted in addition to family members who live in the home.)
  • The business must be located only in the principal structure on the lot (cannot be in an accessory structure unless a conditional use permit is approved).
  • There are no sales of products or merchandise to the general public.
  • No more than one patron, customer, or pupil may be present at one time (unless a conditional use permit is approved).

The following businesses are specifically not permitted in the home: convalescent or nursing homes, tourist homes, massage or tattoo parlors, body piercing establishments, radio or television repair shops, and auto repair shops.

Some home businesses require a conditional use permit. Contact the Zoning ​Office at (757) 385-8074 to find out. If one is required, contact the Planning Department at (757) 385-4621 and ask to speak to a current planner or download the ​conditional use permit application package and read about the process.​

​​​​Business Information​ Services​​​​​

Virginia Business One Stop is an interactive portal designed to accelerate the business formation and provide information for existing businesses. The online registration system will walk a potential business owner through each step needed to establish their new business. In addition, One Stop helps existing businesses expand. The tool streamlines business registration paperwork across seven agencies.

​Center for Innovative Technology​

CIT helps grow Virginia's technology industry. Its CIT Entrepreneur program provides up to $100,000 in funding for promising high-growth technology companies and helps owners identify potential equity investors.


Center for Innovative Technology
2214 Rock Hill Road, Suite 600
Herndon, VA 20170-4228
(703) 689-3000

Virginia Small Business Financing Authority (VSBFA)

VSBFA's “Small Business” Definition

  1. Must be operating in Virginia, and licensed/good standing with State Corporation Commission, local, or other licensing authority
  2. Meet ONE of the following: Under $10 million annual revenues or under $2 million tangible net worth or have less than 250 Virginia employees (some programs also require less than 750 total employees) or be a 501c3.

All real estate loans are “owner-occupied commercial real estate.” No investment or residential.

VSBFA Direct Loan Programs​

VSBFA makes a loan directly to a borrower typically either subordinate to the bank or secured by separate assets. The borrower applies directly to VSBFA, which underwrites, closes, and manages the credit. ​For all VSBFA loans:

  • Response time once VSBFA has received all required information is one week if VSBFA exposure is no more than $500,000; approximately one month if VSBFA exposure exceeds $500,000
  • Existing companies must have a history of profitable operations and satisfactory debt payment
  • Startups must have business plans and projections
  • VSBFA requires guarantees and pledges of all available business and personal collateral
  • Minimum 10% cash equity expected for startups, more for existing businesses
  • VSBFA programs cannot be used to compensate for fundamental business weakness
  • No prepayment fees or closing costs aside from direct transaction costs

Loan Types

Economic Development Loan

  • Maximum 40% of the total project cost not to exceed $500,000
  • For real estate and improvements, furniture/fixtures/equipment, permanent working capital
  • $500 application fee, recent fixed rate 4%
  • Start-up or existing business
  • Focus on acceptable job creation/retention relative to the loan amount


  • Maximum $10,000 -$25,000
  • 48-month repayment
  • $100 fee, 6.25% fixed rate
  • Any business purpose other than investment real estate
  • Must have been operational for at least two years
  • Owners’ credit scores must be at least 650 each

Child Care Loan

  • Maximum $150,000 per location for centers, $10,000 for home-based providers
  • 60-month repayment
  • The borrower must be licensed and in good standing with the Virginia Department of Social Services
  • Funds materials, equipment, supplies, playground, mini-buses, fencing
  • $100 application fee, 4% fixed rate

Bank Credit Support Programs

Bank underwrites/commits to loan subject to VSBFA involvement

Cash Collateral

  • VSBFA pledges cash collateral to the bank to help back a business loan
  • Maximum $500,000 or 40% of the loan amount, whichever is less
  • Maximum involvement - five years for term loans, three years for credit lines
  • Cost $200 application fee
  • Loan guaranty - VSBFA provides an additional guaranty to the bank
  • Maximum 75% of the loan amount or $750,000, whichever is less
  • Maximum involvement - seven years for term loans, five years for credit lines
  • $200 application fee, 1.5% of the guaranteed amount due at closing

Loan Participation

  • VSBFA buys a portion of a bank loan
  • Maximum $500,000 or 40% of the loan amount, whichever is less
  • Maximum hold period 10 years
  • $500 application fee, VSBFA receives the same interest rate as the bank


Mary Jo Sisson-Vaughan,
Regional Lending Manager, Virginia Small Business Loan Programs​
Hampton Roads, Southern VA, Central VA Areas
(804)​ 371-8184

Page Last Updated: May 20, 2022
Contact Information
Economic Development