So You Want to be an Entrepreneur

Tips on starting a business in Fauquier County

By Miles Friedman

If you are opening a business in Fauquier County, the very first thing you should do is visit one of the county’s three business incubators; take advantage of the free counseling they offer. The Mason Enterprise Center – Fauquier, is located at 70 Main Street. Renee Younes, the director, will work with you and arrange appointments for you with counselors from the Small Business Development Center, George Mason University, and other helpful agencies. The other two centers are managed by Jennifer Goldman, who spends time at both the Vint Hill and Marshall locations; these are referred to as the Fauquier Enterprise Centers. Both offer free assistance to anyone who lives and/or has a business in Fauquier County.

There is paperwork to complete, including business licenses from the County or Town, tax forms, permits and other forms, but the business centers referred to above, as well as the County and Town economic development staff, will help you sort your way through those steps. We may also help you make an informed decision about whether you really want to start a business, or if your concept is viable.

Before applying for permits, business licenses, etc. it is strongly recommended you give careful thought to several issues, including, but not limited to:

  • What is it you want your business to be?
  • What is your value proposition; what do you have that people will pay for?
  • How are you financed: savings, family money, investors, loans, mortgages?
  • Do you have a business plan? What is your budget? Have you accounted for all costs?
  • Where do you need to be in order to reach customers and suppliers?
  • What kinds of marketing techniques do you plan to use?
  • How will your business be managed? How will you keep track of your finances?
  • What kinds of insurance do you need and how much will it cost?

Answers to these questions will give you a starting point. And the three business incubators can provide you with help in addressing these issues.

Last, but not least, are you ready for the roller coaster ride that is involved in starting and running a business? Boom and bust is not an uncommon form of stress during both cycles, for most new businesses.

The good news is Fauquier is a vibrant community where opportunity abounds. Best of all, there is lots of assistance available to help you succeed.

For further information and/or referrals to the folks listed above, please contact Fauquier business development coordinator, Beverly Pullen at 540-422-8270 or

Miles Friedman has been the the Director of Economic Development for Fauquier County since 2013.  He has a deep and diverse background in economic development, including consulting, teaching, lobbying and leading a national economic development group in Washington, DC. Friedman and his wife of 41 years, are the proud parents of two grown children, and Miles enjoys spending time with his two young grandsons and two granddaughters.


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