First Steps

Amherst County welcomes new businesses. We know that starting a business is exciting, but can also be overwhelming too. We are here to help your business succeed and want to link you with the resources you need. 

Business owners, resource providers, and local government came together to construct a business resource matrix to help navigate the ever-changing obstacles of business development.

Resource Matrix

When starting a new business in Amherst County you will need to work with three departments: Planning & Zoning Department, Building Department, and the Commissioner of Revenue. 

Planning and Zoning

Amherst-MB1_1244New businesses should begin at the Department of Planning and Zoning. Planning and Zoning help you determine what types of permits you will need for your business and determine any zoning issues. Home businesses are required to have a permit in Amherst County. Planning and Zoning: (434) 946-9303, 153 Washington Street, Amherst, VA 24521. 

Planning & Zoning 


Is your business going to be located in the Town of Amherst? If so, then begin at the Town of Amherst’s Town Hall, at 174 S. Main Street, (434) 946-7885,   Town Hall

Building and Occupancy Permits

Building and Occupancy Permits are obtained through the Department of Building Safety and Inspections. Instructions and permit applications can be found on-line. Department of Building and Safety Inspections information: (434) 946-9302, 153 Washington Street, Amherst, VA 24521

Building & Occupancy

Amherst-MB1_0638Register your Business Name

Register your business name at the Amherst County Circuit Court, (434) 946-9321, 113 Taylor Street, P. O. Box 462, Amherst, VA 24521

The fee to register your business name is $10. Make sure that your name isn’t registered. You can obtain the form on-line. However, if you sign the form outside the presence of the Deputy Clerk of Court, the form must be notarized. The form and fee can be mailed to the Circuit Court Clerk Get a copy of the assumed fictitious name. Banks may require a copy of the form for business accounts.

Registration Form

Business License

Amherst-MB1_0681Amherst County requires a business license, except for retail and wholesale businesses. Business licenses are issued through the Commissioner of the Revenue. Retail and wholesale businesses do not need to obtain a business license. Go to the Commissioner of the Revenue office to obtain and pay for your license. Fees can be found on the Amherst County website. Commissioner of the Revenue information: (434) 946-9310, 100 Goodwin Street, Amherst, VA 24521

Commissioner of the Revenue

Is your business going to be located in the Town of Amherst? Home businesses are required to have a permit in the Town of Amherst. The Town requires a business license. The form for the business license can be found on line at Gross receipts will be estimated for the first year in business. The Town Treasurer is located at 174 S. Main Street, (434) 946-7885,

Other Licensure and Permits

Amherst-MB1_1181Certain occupations and businesses are required to have specialty licenses and permits from the Commonwealth of Virginia. Such businesses and occupations would include construction, spas, hair salons, health and medical professions, and others. For comprehensive and up to date information see:

Alcohol Beverage Control

Restaurants and other businesses who wish to serve alcohol must secure a license from the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control: Click on Licensee Resources to learn more about the types of permits needed for your business. Or, contact the ABC Regional Office, (434) 582-5136, 20353 Timberlake Rd., Suite A Lynchburg, VA 24502.

Other Important Contacts in Amherst County

Amherst-MB1_0633Amherst County Chamber of Commerce,  (434) 946-0990, 154 Main Street, Amherst VA 24521

Amherst County Health Department, (434) 946-9408, 224 Second Street, Amherst, VA 24521 

Amherst County Service Authority (Water & Sewer), (434) 384-1979, 113 Phelps Rd, Madison Heights, VA 24572

Town Of Amherst Municipal Water & Sewer, (434) 946-7885, 174 S. Main Street,   

Water    Sewer

Need More Local/State/Federal Resource Information?



Stories Of Success

  • Black Box Network Services
    Jim Meade / Retired Vice-President
    Amherst was incredibly receptive and supportive of our relocation. We have a Network Operations Center that remotely monitors voice and data networks for our customers globally, and having guaranteed and reliable power and internet access is a must, for our customers success, as well as our own. Not only did we have access to stable and…
  • S & S Machine, T.R.U. Ball
    Ben Summers / Director of Operations
    Amherst County has given our company several advantages over the years, including a great selection of skilled employees, a centralized location in the United States, and the freedom and space to grow. Over the past 30 years, S&S Machine, Inc. has grown from a small two-man machine shop to an archery manufacturing business with 100…
  • Old Dominion Footwear
    Malcolm Sydnor / President
    We love doing business in Amherst County. The location is great, with quick access to US 460, US 29, and then to US 64. Old Dominion Footwear designs, manufactures, markets and distributes footwear throughout the United States, Canada and around the world. It’s easy to get our goods from the Norfolk port and distribute them…