are we required to get a business license before we start doing inspections?

Where are you located?

Most states require a general business license of some sort. Some counties and cities also require a business license for performing business in their jurisdictions. This is above and beyond any license needed for home inspection.

You’re the problem in our industry! No research, no education lets just start doing inspections. If this is a real question you have choose a new career doing the rest of us a favour.

What Steven said above is correct.


Wouldn’t asking the question here be considered research?

No local business license needed here. Just an online filing with the Secretary of State.

I do work in 3 States, well 1 of them is Washington, D.C. not a state but rather a District. Maryland is a licensed state, D.C. has no license requirement, however they do require a general Business License. Virginia is a backwards state and does not require a License yet however they do offer a Certification for a cheap fee in addition to a bunch of requirements. Not sure why it is not considered an actual license as their requirement are actually more in depth that Maryland which is an actual Licensed state.

Oh well it’s all good for the professional portfolio and clients love it as do they lve all the NACHI certifications.


i live in california

i am located in california

do me a favour go choke on a chicken wing you cant even figure out your own problems let alone speak for the industry;)

I’ve got a similar question to this one…and the responses (but one) have been somewhat helpful but I’m not not certain what is actually expected of me in Virginia. Is there a chronological order of events in establishing a home inspection business?

I see that one response says I don’t need a “Home Inspectors” license but probably need a general “State” license in Virginia. I’ve visited the DBPR webpage for VA and looked over the requirements for certification there and it’s confusing me.

Do the minimum standard InterNACHI online training courses (of which I’ve completed and passed and intend to follow up with many more) satisfy those VA requirements?

If yes, then I need a state license number to have the transcripts sent over I assume…but if they don’t license what does that mean in this case should be my next step to getting this endeavor up and running. (by the way I have no intention of performing paid inspections until I’ve meet the proper standards)

Hi, James.

And, then, visit

Hi, Michael.


Then, visit

Some local governments require a “business license,” but it has nothing to do with getting licensed as an inspector under state law, it’s just a way to generate revenue. It’s usually the jurisdiction where you have your office. Sometimes the municipality will make you pay it even if your office is in your house.

Thank you I’ll communicate with the county on that one

Okay…thank you very much
I had checked the first link out and read:
The DPOR application states, “For those applicants who hold membership in good standing in a national or state professional home inspectors association, specific membership requirements that are equal to or exceed certification requirements listed above may be accepted to satisfy the classroom instruction, experience or written competency examination entry certification requirements.”

And this requirement:
High School graduate (or equivalent); 70 contact hours of classroom instruction and 25 certified home inspections under supervision.

And I guess I was hoping to verify that meeting or exceeding InterNACHI memebership minimums does fulfill their requirements (without “classroom” instruction)?

And Thanks also for the second link…I should have returned to that page after completing the requirements…I’m going to follow that approach right now, but I’m torn whether it’s best to establish an LLC or work under a sole proprietorship…

When I started last year, getting a business license was my first exposure to the fact that just about everyone has their hand out trying to get a piece of a business.

I went to the county court clerk to get the license. They gladly took my money, looked at the address, and said “This is a city address. You’ll need a city business license too.”

So I went to the City’s municipal building. They looked at the address, and said: “You’re not zoned for a business. You need to go the zoning department to get a variance.”

So then, I visited the zoning department. They worked me through the paperwork, and let me know the process of applying for the variance, presenting to the working group committee to get on the agenda, then attending the zoning board meeting.

After I got the variance (6 weeks later), I went back to the municipal office, got the business license, and paid the fee. They then told me that I needed to go to this other office to set up business trash service. Sigh.

That will teach you to walk into government offices voluntarily.
Next time you JayWalk be sure to wave your arms wildly and yell you are JayWalking.

No kidding. The mailman just delivered the business it’s “Personal Property Tax” accounting worksheet, so I can account to the county for all the business’ property. This is in a state that was just rated as a “B+” for small business. I really feel for the folks in places like California where it’s even worse.