Start a Business

Starting a new business can be one of the hardest, most stressful endeavors a person can take on. However, when it goes right, it can be one of the most exhilarating and liberating experiences you can have. We in Franklin County want to help you get past the stress and on to the good stuff: being your own boss, steady income on your own terms, and the ability to love going to work every day. This is why we work so hard to assist you in starting your new business the right way. We partner with some of the best trained professionals in Virginia to help you every step of the way through the start up process. Our staff will pair you with partners from around Franklin County, the Roanoke region, and the Commonwealth to assist you and answer questions. Whether you are looking for capital to buy that first machine, need help writing a business plan, or just need someone to talk you through the licensing process, we have the experience and support you require.


While every project and business scenario is different, there are some general items you will want to know about doing business in our community. Franklin County does not have a business license, though businesses are required to register with the local Commissioner of the Revenue. The Commissioner of Revenue is a great resource for new businesses to make sure you are meeting all of the local licensing, taxation, and registration requirements (visit them here).  If you are opening in the Town of Rocky Mount or the Town of Boones Mill, you are required to buy an annual license. Both of the Towns and certain parts of the County (but not all) are zoned and/or have overlay districts. These areas are more strict in what can occur from a business perspective. It is important to check with the County Planning Department to be sure your project is allowed on the property you are proposing.

New Construction

Any new building construction or existing building renovation must be reviewed and approved by the Franklin County Building Inspector. To learn more about the Franklin County Building Inspection Department, go to their website. The local economic development office works hand in hand with the planning and building inspection departments to ensure that your needs are met in a timely, user-friendly manner. The processing of plans and permits are expedited to guarantee your project gets underway as soon as possible. Local officials are always willing to work on your behalf with other local, state, and federal government entities to resolve issues you may encounter.

Assistance with Rules

In most areas, government rules and regulations are placed before a business without explanation or assistance. Not in Franklin County. We operate with a different mindset, one that seeks to assist you the customer in creative ways. We seek to work with you to solve any problems that may arise while meeting those regulations by which we must all abide. Here in Franklin County, local businesses are not faceless but family and we welcome the opportunity to work for you.


Franklin County provides a host of incentives and assistance programs to new and expanding businesses. Some of these programs are local while others are offered by the Commonwealth. Regardless of the source, the Franklin County Economic Development Office is your one-stop source to access these programs. Simply contact the Economic Development Office to discuss your expansion plans and our staff will take the lead in attempting to get you all the financial assistance to which you are entitled. This is done by submitting your planned project to the local Board of Supervisors, the regional economic development partnership, and to various state agencies. Our local office will even help you in completing any needed applications for submittal.


The Franklin Center in Rocky Mount is charged with spearheading the County’s workforce development efforts. This facility is designed to house a number of educational resources for the training of our population and to work with new and existing businesses on the training or retraining of their workforce. The Franklin Center staff is dedicated to finding your company the right employees trained to meet your needs and expectations. In addition to local offerings, the Franklin Center can help you access assistance through the Virginia Department of Business Assistance, the Virginia Employment Commission, and the regional Workforce Investment Act Board.

Reaching Goals

Franklin County has designed a system to most efficiently help you reach your goals for growth and stability. If you are interested in learning more about how Franklin County can help you with all your business needs, contact our office today. We want to be a partner with you in growing your business and our economy.