FFL Requirements in Virginia?

This is a discussion on FFL Requirements in Virginia? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; So I've been debating getting a FFL for awhile now. I've submitted a request on the ATF website for the applicable forms (can't download one ...

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Thread: FFL Requirements in Virginia?

  1. #1
    Member Array LeChuck's Avatar
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    FFL Requirements in Virginia?

    So I've been debating getting a FFL for awhile now. I've submitted a request on the ATF website for the applicable forms (can't download one of them off their site for some reason) and fingerprint cards. I've looked at the requirements and I meet them all except one.

    According to the ATF to obtain an FFL your place of 'business' must meet all county/city home business requirements. I live in Fairfax Virginia, and the county website has no information. The whole website seems to be directed towards doing business with the county, not starting a business IN the county. I've tried calling the numbers provided, but it's been a week now and three phone calls later I still can't get my questions answered. So I figure I'll ask here.

    I'm not planning on opening a store out of my house, so any issues with foot traffic are void. The only thing I've read that slightly scares me is the limit on how many packages you can receive in any given month. Something to do with it bothering neighbors, which I find laughable. Considering the amount of stuff I receive from Amazon and other places without any neighbors complaining I really don't get why this would ever be an issue. Who's business is it how much mail I receive, seems to me this is no one's concern but mine (especially considering it's not like they'll let a firearm sit out on the porch all day until I get home).

    Can anyone shed some light on this for me? I'm sick of being on the phone with people who have no clue what they're talking about (I was told by one person it's illegal to own handgun ammo in the county, I hung up for fear of saying something I'd regret) or even worse dealing with automated phone systems that won't even put you in touch with a living human being.

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array varob's Avatar
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    Try the Virginia Dept. of Taxation web site. I think you need to be a valid business in Va. not in Fairfax County. I know you need to be able to collect sales tax.

    There should be a "starting a new business" link.

    Some HOA's restrict running businesses out of homes.

    What the BATF form is saying is, you must be in compliance with all state and local laws and ordinances.



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    Member Array LeChuck's Avatar
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    Thanks, I've tried checking out that site and got no where, the hours I work make it impossible for me to get in touch with them. All the pertinent links on there either give me a broken web page, or an 'access denied'. I find it laughable how poorly set up these VA websites are. The fairfax county website, half their business links simply link back to the main business page. I should offer to fix their websites, the rate outside contractors get paid for in NOVA would be enough to allow me to give up on the FFL idea and retire.

    The issue isn't so much with VA itself though, it's the local zoning laws that are set up which can dictate whether you can run a business out of your home. Zoning laws vary from county to county. For instance, in Old Town you can't even put up a fence in your backyard without going through a long and drawn out inspection, and forget about replacing a window. Thankfully I do not live there.

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    VIP Member Array varob's Avatar
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    I know what you are saying. I lived in the City of Alexandria for years and went round after round with them about an issue with my dog.

    It might take some creativity when applying for certain permits , etc. but if there's a will, there is a way.
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    Distinguished Member Array kapnketel's Avatar
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    I have been considering the same issue, but I see reports that Home based FFL's are not being granted anyway. Any truth to this?

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    VIP Member Array varob's Avatar
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    I'm not sure. The ones around my area are mostly home FFl's. It seems like some do it as a part time gig. Mostly transfers.

    I'd call the Dept of Taxation and tell them you are considering starting an internet guns and accessories business out of your hone.

    Then see were it go's from there.

    I actually got all the paper work from the BATF and called VDoTax and asked for info and applications for this process.

    That was last week, so, it should be hear soon.
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    Distinguished Member Array GWRedDragon's Avatar
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    I would think that Fairfax would stick it to you and say that you can only do that on property that is zoned for commercial use. That seems to be the way things work around here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GWRedDragon View Post
    I would think that Fairfax would stick it to you and say that you can only do that on property that is zoned for commercial use. That seems to be the way things work around here.
    I lived up there for a while, and its not quite that bad.

    But, getting a business licenese to work from your home can be difficult in Fairfax county for anything that is not considered a professional business. Not impossible, but as mentioned previously, there key concerns are how it will affect the residential neighborhood. Any business that brings clients to the home, or has lots of deliveries is probably not gonna get approved.

    I'm not a CPA or attorney, so take it with a grain of salt, but the most basic form of business is a DBA (Doing Business As). You can get that license from the Commissioner of Revenue Office in the county or city where you live. Here is the number for Fairfax County - (703) 246-4100.

    Lots of good information here...
    City of Fairfax, Tax Information, Business License Tax or Business, Professional & Occupational License Tax

    Another route is to incorporate or form a limited partnership with your spouse as the president (woman owned tax benefits) with the state corporation commission.

    My best advice is get a good CPA and a good lawyer as there are tax implications, and several ways to incorporate, some can really cost a bundle in taxes.

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    Distinguished Member Array Knightrider's Avatar
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    I've been thinking about getting an FFL myself. Just haven't started the app
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    Member Array LeChuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctr View Post
    I lived up there for a while, and its not quite that bad.

    But, getting a business licenese to work from your home can be difficult in Fairfax county for anything that is not considered a professional business. Not impossible, but as mentioned previously, there key concerns are how it will affect the residential neighborhood. Any business that brings clients to the home, or has lots of deliveries is probably not gonna get approved.

    I'm not a CPA or attorney, so take it with a grain of salt, but the most basic form of business is a DBA (Doing Business As). You can get that license from the Commissioner of Revenue Office in the county or city where you live. Here is the number for Fairfax County - (703) 246-4100.

    Lots of good information here...
    City of Fairfax, Tax Information, Business License Tax or Business, Professional & Occupational License Tax

    Another route is to incorporate or form a limited partnership with your spouse as the president (woman owned tax benefits) with the state corporation commission.

    My best advice is get a good CPA and a good lawyer as there are tax implications, and several ways to incorporate, some can really cost a bundle in taxes.

    I slept in a Holiday Inn last night.
    I appreciate the advice, I'll have to look into all of that. I guess I'll have to request a day off during the week sometime, or switch my days off so I can actually call them. They seem to be closed on the weekends and after I get out of work.

    I was hoping I didn't actually have to get a business license, I was hoping they'd issue a FFL without it. With how many people sell crap on Amazon, Ebay, Half.com and all the others without licenses I was hoping I could do the same. Guess I'll get to deal with the bureaucratic ******** for awhile.

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    New Member Array smike277's Avatar
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    Possible stocking issue

    Quote Originally Posted by LeChuck View Post
    I appreciate the advice, I'll have to look into all of that. I guess I'll have to request a day off during the week sometime, or switch my days off so I can actually call them. They seem to be closed on the weekends and after I get out of work.

    I was hoping I didn't actually have to get a business license, I was hoping they'd issue a FFL without it. With how many people sell crap on Amazon, Ebay, Half.com and all the others without licenses I was hoping I could do the same. Guess I'll get to deal with the bureaucratic ******** for awhile.
    I am also getting ready to apply for an FFL in Fairfax County. I've formed three home-based businesses in Fairfax over the years - one partnership and two LLCs. The last time I applied for a business license, the county prohibited maintaining stock at a home business. This is a primary concern for me as I go through the process again, although I'll be using one of the existing LLCs instead of forming a new one.

    Have you made it further through the process to determine any possible speed bumps? I look forward to your feedback, though I figure I have a while before I receive the application package from ATF.

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    New Member Array winglover1's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Fairfax County Link vs. Fairfax City.

    Greetings,
    New member here. Here is the link for Fairfax County is: Business/Professional/Occupational Licenses*- Fairfax County, Virginia
    If your gross receipts are less that 10K, you don't need a County License.

    You will also need a Sales Tax number. To get that, you need a Federal Employer ID.
    Once you have a VA tax nuimber, you have to submit a sales tax return every month. EVERY month.
    Miss one and they assess you a fine of at least $10.00


    It's almost like they don't want you to start a business.

    We setup an LLC in Deleware, so that should be a first step if you want to make it a real business and protect your personal assetts. That also bring with it Federal Tax forms, but provides nice tax breaks.

    Good luck!





    Quote Originally Posted by ctr View Post
    I lived up there for a while, and its not quite that bad.

    But, getting a business licenese to work from your home can be difficult in Fairfax county for anything that is not considered a professional business. Not impossible, but as mentioned previously, there key concerns are how it will affect the residential neighborhood. Any business that brings clients to the home, or has lots of deliveries is probably not gonna get approved.

    I'm not a CPA or attorney, so take it with a grain of salt, but the most basic form of business is a DBA (Doing Business As). You can get that license from the Commissioner of Revenue Office in the county or city where you live. Here is the number for Fairfax County - (703) 246-4100.

    Lots of good information here...
    City of Fairfax, Tax Information, Business License Tax or Business, Professional & Occupational License Tax

    Another route is to incorporate or form a limited partnership with your spouse as the president (woman owned tax benefits) with the state corporation commission.

    My best advice is get a good CPA and a good lawyer as there are tax implications, and several ways to incorporate, some can really cost a bundle in taxes.

    I slept in a Holiday Inn last night.

  14. #13
    New Member Array winglover1's Avatar
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    Virginia State Police forms are here.
    Virginia State Police - Forms & Publications

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    I have been considering the same issue, but I see reports that Home based FFL's are not being granted anyway. Any truth to this?
    Absolutley not.

    The ATF only cares that you follow local guidelines. They dont want you to do it to further a hobby, they want you to do it as a buisness. If you follow all of the guidelines and your city/county/state has no issues with it, then you should be good to go.

    Most of what you hear on the internet about FFL's are mostly from people that have never done it or even have any idea of the process and most of it is wrong.
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