Build a Firm Foundation

When it comes to new construction, the foundation is key. We’ve got all the information you need to ensure you have the correct permits and plans for a seamless building experience. And we’ll work on your behalf to resolve any issues you encounter, and expedite the process so you can get underway as soon as possible.

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Start Your Business in Franklin County

Franklin County is a natural setting for business opportunity. If you’re thinking about starting a new business, you won’t find a more affordable, business friendly place. Conveniently located in the Roanoke metro area, Franklin County is just a short drive from major metros like DC, Richmond, Charlotte, Atlanta, and NYC. You’ll have access to ports, interstates, trains, and airports while enjoying a cost of doing business that’s 80% lower than many national metro areas.

In addition to the perks offered by our East Coast location, in Franklin County you’ll find personalized support and incentives that take the stress out of starting a business. The Franklin County Office of Economic Development is your one-stop source for resources, incentives, and support.

Checklist for Starting a Franklin County Business

Starting your own business is exhilarating and liberating, but it can be difficult to know where to begin. That’s why we’ve compiled a comprehensive checklist that will guide you from start to finish. Follow these steps, and you’ll be well on your way to establishing a thriving business in Franklin County, VA.

  1. Create a Feasible Business Concept
    • Identify who will buy your service or product.
    • Research similar businesses and consider their models.
    • Understand the role of demographics and local economic data in business planning.
    • Determine if there is truly a market for your business.
    • Decide how you will fund startup costs.
  2. Develop a Thorough Business Plan
    • Make realistic financial projections for business expenses before taking in revenue. 
    • Prepare a cash flow projection.
    • Determine realistic price ranges for your product. Don’t forget to include taxes in your calculations.
    • Identify the most effective marketing strategies.
    • Develop a plan to show customer appreciation.
    • Identify business tax requirements.
  3. Identify Legal Structure
    • Consult a legal or tax professional to decide which business structure is best for you.
    • Determine if you need a state occupational and professional business license.
    • Register your business with the Franklin County Commissioner of Revenue office.
    • Consider whether you’re eligible for any socioeconomic certification programs such as SWAM, 8(a), micro business, veteran, etc.
  4. Plan for Employee Hiring and Training
    • Plan for enough staff to meet needs during planned hours of operation.
    • Learn all state and federal labor laws and make a compliance plan.
    • Plan to file payroll taxes accurately and on time. Secure assistance if necessary.
    • Identify training resources that will help your employees provide great customer service.
  5. Determine the Best Business Location
    • Identify how much space your business will need. Compare data from competitors, foot traffic, cost per square foot, and market demographics.
    • County businesses should contact the Department of Planning and Community Development for permission to operate. Businesses in the towns of Rocky Mount or Boones Mill should contact their respective offices.
    • Negotiate a lease or purchase commercial space and ensure compliance with a CO and appropriate zoning. 
    • Ascertain if you will need road frontage and visibility. Apply for a sign permit.
  6. Review and Adjust the Business Plan
    • Adjust your financial projects as you learn more about your business and your industry best practices.
    • Review trusted capital sources such as loans, grants, competitions, and local incentive programs.
    • Consider seasonality. Adjust cash flow projections accordingly and select optimal start date.
    • Ask subject matter experts for feedback on your business plan.
    • If needed, discuss the process of procuring a loan with multiple lenders. Carefully weigh options.
  7. Prime Your Business for Opening Day
    • Consider hosting a soft opening for family/friends night prior to the grand opening. 
    • Create marketing plan for grand opening. Be sure to think through details of your opening day operations including staffing needs.
    • Schedule a ribbon cutting and notify local media. 
    • Send invitations to local county and/or town officials.
    • Reach out to your target market and any relevant niche communities to let them know you are open for business!

Special Instructions for Doing Business in Rocky Mount, VA

The Town of Rocky Mount is in the heart of Franklin County, VA. It’s full of craftspeople, artists, musicians, farmers, entrepreneurs, and everything in between. If you’re thinking about starting a business inside the town limits, you’ll fit right in. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you launch your new enterprise. 

  1. Submit a Site Plan to the Town of Rocky Mount if you plan to build or purchase a site.
  2. Apply for Special Zoning if applicable.
  3. If you’re launching a food truck or booth, you’ll need a temporary use permit.
  4. If you’re opening a restaurant, you’ll need a F.O.G. permit that helps ensure the safe disposal of fats, oils, and grease that could harm the sewer system.

If you need assistance, or have any questions contact Cultural and Economic Development Director Daniel Pinard.

Special Instructions for Doing Business in Boones Mill, VA

The town of Boones Mill is centrally located between Rocky Mount and Roanoke, VA. The Town of Boones Mill facilitates economic development by encouraging the growth of small businesses, recruitment of commercial ventures, and working closely with Franklin County.

The Franklin County Office of Planning and Community Development is responsible for issuing building permits, building code enforcement, and erosion and storm water regulations. Their planners and inspectors work well with Town staff. However, the Boones Mill, VA also requires a locale-specific business license.

Let Us Support Your New Business

At the Franklin County Office of Economic Development, we pride ourselves on our customer-focused mindset. If you’re an entrepreneur with a great idea, our customer is YOU. Reach out to us to make sure you’re taking advantage of everything Franklin County has to offer and start imagining your bright future in Franklin County, VA.

Download our guide to starting a business in Franklin County to make sure you never miss a step.

We’d also like to learn more about your business whether you’re just getting started or have been doing business for 100 years. Get listed in our Business Directory.