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Starting a Business

How To Start A Business in Jefferson County, West Virginia

Welcome to Jefferson County, West Virginia… we’re excited to have you aboard! The information provided here will outline the necessary steps for starting a business in Jefferson County— a process that individuals and corporations will find to be simple and straightforward.

Step-One: Secure a West Virginia Business License
The first step is to contact the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office to secure a West Virginia business license. To complete this process, you’ll need to register your new business online. If you are expanding an out-of-state company to West Virginia, you may need to take extra steps outlined on the Business for West Virginia landing page.

Step-Two: Secure Locality Licenses, Permits, and Certificates
The next step is to secure the necessary licenses and permits required for the particular area in which the business will be opened.

If you are opening a business located within the municipal city limits of Bolivar, Charles Town, Harpers Ferry, Ranson, or Shepherdstown, you’ll need to contact the city permitting department in that municipality to determine which licenses and permits are required.

If your business is located within Jefferson County but outside the city limits of these municipalities, you will submit a Zoning Certificate Application (PDF) through the county permitting process with the Planning and Zoning Department to obtain a zoning certificate. Other steps may be required and we encourage you to complete and submit an Information Request Form (PDF).

Step Three: Tap Into Other Jefferson County Resources
Jefferson County offers a number of resources and supportive opportunities for small businesses in the county. As you begin the process of starting a small business, consider connecting with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) of the Eastern Panhandle for free business assistance.

The assistance includes a variety of services, such as business consulting, problem solving, small business start-up assistance, business plan development, strategic planning and small business training. The SBDC also links federal, state, and local resources to assist potential or existing small business owners in achieving their business goals, including the services of a SBDC-certified business coach.

Additional resources may be found on the following websites:

If you have any questions concerning this process, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Economic Development assistance team by phone at 304-728-3255 or by email at

You can also contact the business coach for the Eastern Panhandle at:

Mary Hott, SBDC Martinsburg Center