​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Cost of Doing Business​​

​In ​2018, Forbes.com and Forbes Magazine placed Virginia as the 5th Best State for Business.

The cost of doing business here is well below the national average, thanks in large part to low City and state tax rates, competitive wages and a transportation infrastructure that provides businesses access to more than two-thirds of the U.S. population within a two-day drive.​

  • Virginia Beach was the first city in Virginia to eliminate the machinery and tools tax.
  • For businesses new to Virginia Beach, the City caps the business license fee at a flat rate of $50 for each of the first two years of operation.
  • The City adopted a new tax rate on computers and peripherals used in data centers of $0.40 per $100 of assessed value, with a depreciation schedule of 40 percent of original cost.

 Tax Rates

Local and State Tax Rates

Together, the Commonwealth of Virginia and the City of Virginia Beach have one of the fairest tax structures of the 50 states. The Commonwealth has not raised its corporate income tax rate of 6% since 1972, and Virginia’s unemployment insurance rates and workers’ compensation costs are among the lowest in the nation.​

Real Estate​​ $1.​01 per $100 assessed value
Real Estate Rate for Energy-Efficient Buildings $0.86​ per $100 assessed value
Personal Property $4.00 per $100 assessed value
Machinery and Tools $0.00
Business Property

​Data Center Business Property
$4.00 per $100 assessed value 40% of original cost (tangible property) 33% of original cost for manufacturers

$0.40 per $100 assessed value ​
depreciation schedule: 40% of original cost (computers and peripherals) for year 1-3; 30% for year four; 15% for year five and beyond ​​

Business License (per $100 of gross receipts)

Capped at flat fee of $50 for the first two years of operation for a business new to the City. ​

Business license fee applies to businesses with gross receipts exceeding $100,000.

Retailer: $0.20

Contracting: $0.16

Professional: $0.58

Service: $0.36

Wholesalers: $0.12 per $100 of gross purchases

Source: City of Virginia Beach​​

Real estate is assessed at 100% of its fair market value. Re-assessment notices are mailed the first part of March, and assessment reviews are held from mid-March to the end of April. Annual real estate taxes are collected in two installments. Payment for first half is due by December 5th of the same year, and the second half due by June 5th of the following year.​​​​

State of Virginia Tax Rates
Corporate Income Tax 6% 6.49​%
State and Local Sales/Use Tax 6% ​6.94%

Source: *​Calculated by Virginia Economic Develop​ment Partnership​​, September 2019

Federal Income Tax R​ates            

The United States federal corporate income tax rates are set based upon a variety of factors, and range between 15 percent and 40 percent. Corporations may deduct local and state income tax expenses when computing federal tax income, generally resulting in a net effective rate of approximately 35 percent.​​​​​​​

 Utilities and Cost of Living

Estimated Average Utility Rates
(Cents per kWh)
Natural Gas
(Dollars per 1000 cubic feet)
Sources: Dominion Virginia Power;​ US Department of Energy, May 2016 Industrial Rates
For additional information, click here. 

​​Cost of Living Index

Composite index96.5
Grocery items96.8
Health care96.9
Miscellaneous goods and services101.2
Source: Council for Community Economic Research Cost of Living Index, 2018 Annual Average Data​

 Workers' Compensation and Unemployment Costs

​​​Workers' Compensation and Unemployment Insurance Rate Comparison
PER $100 OF PAYROLL, 2016
PER EMPLOYEE, 2018 (Estimates)​
Virginia $0.76 $108
California $1.97 $303
Florida $1.32 $49
Georgia $1.10 $138
Maryland $1.00 $210
New Jersey $1.51 $606
New York $1.50 $271
North Carolina $1.06 $124
Pennsylvania $1.44 $550
U.S. Average $1.30 $144
Source:  Updated 2019 Virginia Economic Development Partnership​​​​​ (National Academy of Social Insurance​)​

 Real Estate Rates

Real Estate Type Rental Rates
(per square foot per year)
Commercial Class A ​$22.39
​Commercial Class B ​$16.95
​Commercial Class C ​$13.07
​Industrial Flex ​$11.16
​Industrial Warehouse ​​$5.05
​General Retail​$14.93
​Shopping Center​$14.10
Source: CoStar, Q1 ​2018 ​Southside Rates​​​​​​

According to first quarter 2018 national rankings by CBRE Research, the Virginia Beach MSA office market's total overall asking rental rate is the seventh lowest in the nation.