(540) 908-4212

201 Green StreetBridgewater, Virginia  22812

Starting a Business

Welcome to Bridgewater!  We’re so glad you’re considering starting a business here.  Opening a business is an exciting and sometimes daunting process.  Our town staff are here to help you succeed.  If you have any questions, please call Town Hall at (540) 908-4212.
I want to start a business in Bridgewater.  What should I do first?
We recommend contacting the Town Planner in our Zoning Office prior to signing a lease or purchasing property to ensure your intended use is permitted in the desired location.  The Planner can provide resources and help you to navigate the process of obtaining the permits and licenses required to start your new business.
I have a property in mind for my business.  Can I open it there?
The Town Planner can advise you on whether the business you want to start is allowed on the property you have in mind.
Where can I find a suitable property in Bridgewater?
Our Town Planner keeps a list of suitable commercial properties that are available for sale and/or lease.
Will I need a zoning permit to start a business in Bridgewater?
Yes.  A zoning permit must be obtained before a business:
  • Opens in a fixed location,
  • Installs signage,
  • Renovates an existing building, or
  • Constructs a new building.
How do I obtain a permit?
To obtain a zoning permit, please fill out the Project Proposal and email it to permits@bridgewater.town along with additional required details:
  • Name and location of business,
  • Type of business (retail, professional office, restaurant, etc.)
  • Square footage of business space (ALL space- including storage, restrooms, kitchen, etc.),* and
  • Drawing or picture showing parking lot and clearly stating number of dust-proof (9'x18') parking spaces.  See Title 17 Chapter 2 for parking lot landscaping requirements (Green Law).*
*The final two bullet points not required for Home Occupation applications.
Where can I find more details about Zoning requirements?
More information about Zoning can be found here.
Business License
Will I need a business license to start a new business?
All businesses located within the corporate limits of the Town of Bridgewater must obtain a Town business license from our Treasurer’s Office. Dependent on the type of business, there may be other requirements as well.
How do I get a Business License?
Call the Treasurer's Office at (540) 908-3399.
Home Business
Can I start a business out of my home?

A Home Occupation is any commercial endeavor which is undertaken in a residence.  There are two types of Home Occupations in Bridgewater:

  1. Level One Home Occupation is allowed in any residential district and requires a business license and a standard zoning permit for a business operating in a fixed location.
  2. Level Two Home Occupation also requires a business license and is allowed in any residential district only through a Special Use Permit. The Town Planner can help you with this process. Call 540-908-2536.
What permits and licenses do I need for a home business?
You will need to apply for the Zoning permit and Business License.  See the information above.
What resources do you have for businesses in Bridgewater?
We publish a quarterly newsletter called the B-Conomist that is geared towards our business community.  In it you will find news about town events and how you can use them to give back while promoting your business.  You will also see about opportunities and new resources that we have come across and want to share.  To receive the B-Conomist by email, contact the Town Planner at (540) 908-4212.
What resources are out there for small businesses?