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14 Best Business Ideas In Virginia

Written by:

Esther is a business strategist with over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, executive, educator, and management advisor.

Edited by:

David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.

14 Best Business Ideas In Virginia

Virginia is the US’ leading data center market, and has an emerging unmanned systems industry, a diverse manufacturing sector, and strong logistics. The Old Dominion state is home to many successful corporations and several federal research labs, creating a vibrant life sciences sector. 

If you’re looking to start a business in Virginia, consider opening a spa, massage parlor, food cart, or design firm. Explore our extensive list of fantastic Virginia business ideas to see if anything excites you.

1. Security

How to start a security guard business

In the bustling commonwealth of Virginia, safety and security are paramount, especially in the urban centers of Northern Virginia, which nestle against the nation’s capital, and the coastal areas like Norfolk with its significant military presence. A security company here can cater to a range of clients, from private residences in the burgeoning suburbs to businesses and government contractors who require rigorous security protocols. The presence of high-security areas and the tech boom in regions like the Dulles Technology Corridor also provide ample opportunity for security firms specializing in digital surveillance and cybersecurity services.

2. Handyman Business

How to start a handyman business

Virginia’s housing market, characterized by historic homes in places like Old Town Alexandria and modern developments in suburban Ashburn, creates a consistent demand for skilled handymen. With a knack for fixing the old and maintaining the new, a handyman business in the Commonwealth can thrive by offering repair services, home improvement projects, and routine maintenance. As a state with four distinct seasons, Virginia’s homeowners face a range of weather-related challenges, ensuring year-round work for a well-operated handyman service.

3. Pool Service Business

How to start a pool cleaning business

The warm and humid summers of Virginia are perfect for a dip in the pool, leading many homeowners and community associations to invest in aquatic amenities. A pool service business can tap into this market, providing cleaning, maintenance, and seasonal opening and closing services. With an increase in home buyers seeking properties with pools and a sustained interest in private community pools, this business can be a lucrative endeavor, particularly in affluent areas like Loudoun County and the Richmond suburbs.

4. House Painting

How to start a painting business

Virginia’s diverse architectural landscape, from the historic Colonial styles in Williamsburg to the expansive new construction in Fairfax County, offers a broad canvas for a house painting business. This service is always in demand, with homeowners looking to preserve the charm of their properties or to refresh their appearance. A painting business that prides itself on quality and preservation, understanding Virginia’s climate and historical regulations, can build a strong, reputable brand.

5. Subscription Box Business

subscription box business idea

Virginians’ appetite for convenience and niche markets can make a subscription box business particularly successful, especially if it taps into the state’s rich agricultural and artisanal products. From Virginia wines and Chesapeake Bay seafood to locally sourced foods and crafts from the Shenandoah Valley, subscription boxes that curate and deliver the Commonwealth’s best can capitalize on both local pride and the growing e-commerce trend.

6. Food Cart

How to start a hot dog cart

Virginia’s food cart scene has the potential to flourish, especially in pedestrian-friendly cities like Charlottesville and Richmond, known for their foodie cultures and bustling downtowns. Offering everything from Southern comfort food to international cuisines, a food cart can attract a diverse clientele, including tourists, college students, and local professionals. With the right location, menu, and local regulations in mind, a mobile food vendor could become a culinary staple.

7. Hotel

How to start a hotel

Virginia, with its rich historical heritage, military bases, and thriving corporate business, has a consistent influx of tourists, family visitors, and professionals, making the hotel industry a promising venture. An establishment situated in a strategic location such as near the historic triangle of Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown or the business-centric Tysons Corner can capitalize on both the tourism and business travel sectors. With an emphasis on hospitality that reflects Virginia’s charm and modern amenities, a hotel can appeal to a wide array of guests.

8. Cosmetics

How to start a makeup business

In the style-conscious cities of Northern Virginia and the capital, Richmond, a cosmetics business could quickly find its niche. Virginians’ increasing interest in organic and locally-made products can be a significant draw if the business focuses on natural beauty products, tapping into the state’s agricultural resources for ingredients. Collaboration with local spas and salons could also boost a cosmetics line’s presence in the market.

9. Spa

How to start a spa business

The scenic beauty and serene landscapes of Virginia, from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the coastal plains, provide an ideal backdrop for a spa business. Offering a tranquil retreat for stress relief and wellness, a spa in Virginia could attract a clientele looking for luxury services or a holistic health experience. Targeting areas with high tourism or affluent neighborhoods can ensure a steady flow of customers seeking relaxation and rejuvenation.

10. Massage Therapy

How to start a massage business

With the Commonwealth’s high-density corridors of commerce and government, stress relief services like massage therapy have a ready market. Establishing a massage therapy business in corporate hubs like Arlington or near hospital complexes in Richmond could cater to overworked professionals and healthcare staff. Offering mobile services that travel to clients’ homes or offices could further differentiate the business in a market with a growing focus on health and wellness.

11. Boat Rental

How to start a boat rental business

Virginia’s extensive network of waterways, including the Potomac River, Chesapeake Bay, and numerous lakes, present vast opportunities for a boat rental business. Targeting areas with high recreational traffic like Lake Anna or the Virginia Beach oceanfront can attract a mix of locals and tourists. By offering a range of options from fishing boats to leisure pontoons, and including safety and navigational training, this business can appeal to water enthusiasts of all kinds.

12. Fitness Center

How to start a fitness business

As Virginians become increasingly health-conscious, a fitness center that offers a variety of exercise options could become a community staple. In urban areas like Norfolk or suburban locales such as Henrico County, a gym that provides state-of-the-art equipment, group classes, and personal training services can meet the needs of diverse populations, including busy professionals, parents, and senior citizens. Emphasizing personalized fitness plans and fostering a supportive community can create loyal clientele.

13. Drone Business

How to start a drone business

With its blend of rural beauty and urban landscapes, Virginia offers a fertile ground for a drone business that could serve multiple sectors, including real estate, agriculture, and tourism. Offering services like aerial photography, land surveying, and event filming can cater to a wide client base. Plus, the proximity to Washington D.C. with its plethora of events and the demand for advanced technology in the defense sector could provide additional B2B opportunities.

14. Tiny House Business

Tiny House business idea

As housing prices in Virginia continue to rise, the tiny house movement gains traction among those seeking a minimalist lifestyle or affordable housing options. A business specializing in the design and construction of tiny homes could capitalize on this trend, particularly by targeting millennials and downsizers. Focusing on sustainable materials and innovative designs that blend with Virginia’s landscapes can set a tiny house company apart in this emerging market.


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14 Best Business Ideas In Virginia