FAQ

Where is Fairfax County?
Fairfax County is located outside of Washington, DC in northern Virginia along the eastern seaboard of the United States. Fairfax County is part of the greater Washington metropolitan region. Maps showing Fairfax County's location are located in the Facts and Figures section of this Web site.

What is the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA)?
The FCEDA is a public entity funded by the Fairfax County Government. The authority promotes investment and business growth in Fairfax County by conducting market outreach programs to encourage businesses to expand or relocate to the county. In addition, the FCEDA provides assistance to existing and new firms by locating office space, obtaining market information and providing liaison services between businesses and Fairfax County regulatory agencies.

What are the hours of the FCEDA and where is the main office located?
The FCEDA offices are open 8:30 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday. The main FCEDA office is located at 8300 Boone Boulevard, Suite 450, Tysons Corner, Virginia 22182, near the intersection of Route 7 and Route 123. Directions to the FCEDA  office are available.

How can I contact the FCEDA?
The main phone number for the FCEDA is 703-790-0600. Our fax number is 703-893-1269. Information is also available via email.

Where are your other offices located?
In addition to the main Tysons Corner office, the FCEDA has marketing offices in seven markets worldwide: Los Angeles, Bangalore, London, Berlin, Seoul and Tel Aviv.

How can the FCEDA help me?
The FCEDA staff assists new and existing firms with general market information, locating office space and serving as a liaison with the main Fairfax County government. Specialized marketing staff can assist small, minority and women-owned companies, firms seeking venture capital or international firms wanting to open a U.S. office.

Are there any fees associated with any of the services provided?
There are no fees for any service provided by the FCEDA.

What assistance can the FCEDA provide if our company has already finished the site selection process and is just about to set up an office in Fairfax County?
The FCEDA can provide updated information about the following areas which are often crucial to ensuring a successful establishment of a new office: lists of local venture capital companies, law firms, banks, and accounting companies. In addition, there may be special concerns regarding housing, schools and cultural amenities on behalf of employees, which the FCEDA can provide assistance on.

What if our company is foreign owned and has been in the county for several years? Is there anything that the FCEDA can do for us?
The FCEDA is very interested in forming relationships with the international companies that are already in the county. Their investment in the county is extremely important and the International Marketing Division is designed to respond to the needs of these firms. Examples include assistance with identifying real estate options for an expansion, liaison with county agencies for information on tax issues, formation of strategic partnerships, and introductions to local business and political leaders. In addition, the FCEDA worldwide offices in Bangalore, London, Berlin, Seoul and Tel Aviv provide similar services to the headquarters operations in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

If the company is located in Fairfax County already and is about to expand, the FCEDA can generated real estate information and market data to provide insight to the local market. Also, the FCEDA international staff coordinates with the Commonwealth of Virginia to secure state-based incentives for companies.

What incentives will the county provide to ensure that I move my company to Fairfax?
For a sample listing of business incentives, please look in the Business Incentives section.

Why does the FCEDA advertise?
For many years the FCEDA has been on the forefront of locality advertising. Our advertisements -- heard on National Public Radio and seen in newspapers and magazines nationwide -- promote the county as a business location as well as touting the high quality of life. Examples of our advertising campaigns are found in the EDA Services section of this Web site.

Why should I locate my business in Fairfax County?

Fairfax County is ideally located between two major airports, Washington Dulles International and Ronald Reagan National, in northern Virginia. In addition, the county has more than 6,700 technology companies, in areas such as telecommunications, Internet, e-commerce, aeronautics, and bioinformatics, among others. Among the 19 jurisdictions that make up the Greater Washington Metropolitan Area, Fairfax County has more than one-fourth of the population, with 1 million people, and more high-tech companies than any other jurisdiction.

What are the primary industries in Fairfax County?
Primary industries includes homeland security, systems integration, biotechnology, telecommunications and many others. View an overview of the county's business community.

What companies have recently decided to move or expand in Fairfax County?
On a quarterly basis the FCEDA publishes a list of business relocations and expansions -- companies that are either moving to Fairfax County or expanding their operations here. In addition, our Media Center provides up-to-date information on FCEDA news, including company announcements.

Who are the largest employers in Fairfax County?
See a list of the largest employers in the county (.pdf). Ten Fortune 500 companies are also located in the county.

Where can I found out more about networking opportunities?
See the FCEDA Calendar for a comprehensive listing of FCEDA events as well as numerous business organizations that host networking events for business people.

Where can I find a database of Fairfax County Businesses?
The FCEDA no longer maintains a database of Fairfax County businesses. However, several online sources can assist you with your search.

How do I start a business in Fairfax County?
The Fairfax County Department of Tax Administration (DTA) has a terrific FAQ for new businesses on its Web site. You also may want to attend one of the FCEDA's monthly workshops -- "Entrepreneurship 101: Starting a Business in Fairfax County."

What licenses and permits are required to run a business in Fairfax County?
When you start a business in the county, you will need to obtain a business license -- which in Fairfax County is called a Business, Professional and Occupational License (BPOL). Contact the Fairfax County DTA at 703-222-8234 or visit the DTA Web site for details. Other permits and licenses also may be required, depending on what type of business you plan to run and whether or not you are operating under a trade name. You also must register your business with the state.

What are the state’s requirements for operating a business in Fairfax County?
Both new and existing business owners must register with the state for tax payment purposes. On the Web, visit the Virginia Department of Taxation’s VATAX Online Web site. Click on the “Businesses” portion of the state image and then choose the “Register a New Business Online” option. You'll be taken to iReg, the state’s online business registration system, where you can complete the necessary forms electronically.

What if I want to become an incorporated business in Fairfax County?
You will need to register and file the appropriate paperwork with Virginia's State Corporation Commission (SCC). For specifics, visit the Office of the Clerk's section of the SCC Web site, which discusses incorporation requirements.

I am interested in running a home-based business in Fairfax County. How do I go about getting licensed?
In addition to obtaining a BPOL license, businesses located at residential addresses must obtain a Home Occupation Permit or Non-Residential Use Permit from the Zoning Permit Review Branch of the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning, Zoning Administration Division. Permits are issued after certain zoning requirements are met. For further information, contact the Zoning Permit Review Branch at 12055 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, Virginia 22035, or telephone 703-222-1082.

Can I apply for a business license online?
No, you must apply in person or by mail. However, all the county forms you need are available for download in PDF format from the DTA Web site. Scroll down until you get to the section called "Business Tax Forms."

What are the tax requirements for a business in Fairfax County?
Visit the Tax page of this Web site for information on taxes.

How can the FCEDA help a small, start-up company?
We can provide information on how and where to get your business plan reviewed, provide a list of organizations that may be able to provide funding, provide class and seminar information for small businesses, and in some cases, introduce you to venture capitalists if your organization needs additional funds.

Where do I find more information on starting a business in Fairfax County?

What kind of office space is available in Fairfax County?

How much office space is in Fairfax County?
Fairfax County has more than 116 million square feet of office space, making it one of the largest office markets in the country. Almost 39 million square feet of industrial/flex space is located in the county. The FCEDA publishes a biannual Real Estate Report with the latest information on the county's commercial real estate market.

How can I found out more about specific areas of the county?
For commercial real estate purposes, Fairfax County is divided into 17 submarkets:

Does your organization maintain a database of commercial properties for rent or for sale?
FCEDA real estate staff are licensed users of CoStar, an online proprietary database of office and industrial/hybrid real estate space. Under the terms of the licensing agreement, access to the system is permissible only to users licensed directly by CoStar. If you're interested in learning more about CoStar, you may want to contact CoStar Realty Group at www.costar.com, or call its Bethesda office directly at 301-215-8300.

If you're in the market for office or flex space, please contact the FCEDA, and one of our marketing staff will get back to you to learn your requirements. We can then search our database (and other sources) to find the options that will best suit your needs.

Where can I get a copy of the Virginia Building Code and assistance in interpreting it?
The Fairfax County government Web site links directly to the Virginia Building Code. For guidance in interpreting the code, contact the county's Department of Public Works-Environmental Services, Construction Management division at 703-324-5111.

Where can I get a listing of retail properties in Fairfax County?
Visit the Real Estate section of this Web site for more information on the county's retail sector.