Starting a Business

Depending on your business, steps to getting started may vary. Please contact the City’s Office of Community & Economic Development (CED) Director Jim Spencer at (304)327-2401 Ext. 2405 or email at jspencer@cityofbluefield.com.  The CED office will help guide you through the process and be with you every step of the way.  Whether you need help to find a location for your business, want to network with other businesses or just need help, let the CED office work for you.

Businesses operating in the City of Bluefield are subject to tax obligations, permit and license requirements, as well as zoning and other requirements at the city level. Other county, state and federal obligations may be required, depending on the type of business. Knowing these obligations and requirements beforehand will help ensure that your business complies with all requirements. A resources available to ask questions is the West Virginia Small Business Development Center’s “Business Ask Me! Line,” available by calling 888.982.7232 or by emailing askme@wv.gov.

Historic District Businesses

Businesses operating in the Historic District of Bluefield are subject to further review on building maintenance and repair. For a full list of guidelines, please reference the Historic District Guidelines Booklet here. For more information, please call Building Inspector Gerald Steele at 304.327.2401 ext. 2454.

Step One

Contact the City’s Office of Community & Economic Development (CED) Director Jim Spencer at (304)327-2401 Ext. 2405 or email at jspencer@cityofbluefield.com.  The CED office will help guide you through the process and be with you every step of the way.  The City’s Office of Community & Economic Development (CED) works very closely with the West Virginia Small Business Development Center (WVSBDC).  The CED office can facilitate a meeting with Mr. Harold Patterson, Center Manager of the WVSBDC Center at Bluefield State College or you can contact him at (304)327-4406 or email him at harold.d.patterson@wv.gov.

Step Two

In order to obtain your State Registration Certificate you must complete an application with the WV State Tax Department.  There are two ways to apply:

  1. Register your business with the State of West Virginia.  Visit www.business4wv.com and create a user account. Once you are logged into your account, click on the “Filing Cabinet” tab on the left side of the screen. Then under the drop down menu “Filing Option” select “Register a New Business.” You can enter all the information about your company and pay the registration fees and employer deposits online. However, you must print the filing report, sign it, and fax it to 304.558.8089 to meet the signature requirements of the law. You can use the website to file annual reports and more. Take time to explore the website and all of its offerings.
  2. Travel to Beckley to apply at the West Virginia State Tax Department located at 407 Neville Street, Suite 109 Beckley WV or call (304) 256-6764.

Please note there are other State licenses that may apply.  The WVSBDC can help you through the process.

Download a Business License Application form here.

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Step Three

Register your business with the City of Bluefield. You will need to complete an application for a City of Bluefield, West Virginia business license. Turn in a completed form with a copy of your state registration to the City Clerk. General Business Licenses are valid from July 1 to June 30 and must be renewed in July of each year. The cost is $20. Depending on the type of business you intend to operate, other licenses and fees may apply. The city clerk will be happy to assist you in determining if those additional licenses and fees apply to your business.

Step Four

Meet with the City of Bluefield Treasury Department to establish the following tax and fee schedules.  The Community & Economic Development Office can help facilitate the meeting for you.

Business and Occupation Tax (B&O)
All persons engaging in business activities within the city limits, unless specifically exempted by city code, are required to file a quarterly Business and Occupation (B&O) tax return. B&O tax is measured by the application of rates against values of products, gross proceeds of sale, or gross income of the business. Tax rates vary as certain occupations and business activities are classified. The business activity usually determines the tax classification, and where different business activities take place, the taxpayer is liable for tax under each taxable classification involved. If you are uncertain as to your business activity, or how your business should properly calculate the tax, please contact the City of Bluefield Treasury Department. They will be happy to assist you. City fees are as follows and will be charged quarterly to your business:

Once these items are taken care of you are licensed to do business in the City of Bluefield.  We welcome your business!