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Building Development Division

Who Should Apply for a Permit?

The first step is to determine whether your project requires a permit. The Do I Need a Permit? Web page explains which projects require permits. If you have additional questions, contact Building Permitting Services at 703-792-6924.

Once you have determined that you need a permit you will need to assign a permit holder. The permit holder is ultimately responsible for the work performed under that permit. An owner, contractor, or authorized agent can complete and sign the permit application. (All permit applications can be found on the eBuildingDevelopmentForms Web page.) The person applying for the permit should understand terms, material requirements, code requirements, and specifications, and be prepared to answer questions to clarify aspects of your project.

If you are a contractor or a homeowner who has hired a contractor, the contractor should be listed as the permit holder. In order for the permit to be put in the contractor's name you MUST provide the following:

Note: Do not complete the Statement of Exemption. This is only for homeowners completing a project themselves.

  • A copy of the Contractor's Virginia State Contractor's License. You may verify that a contractor has a Virginia State Contractor's License at the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation website. (Note that the Building Permitting Services staff cannot accept print-outs from the website in place of a copy of the original license.)
  • A copy of the contractor’s Prince William County business license. You may verify that a contractor has a business license by calling 703-792-6710.

If you are the homeowner, and will be performing the work yourself, you will be the permit holder. You will need to complete the Statement of Exemption, or you may fill one out at the Building Permitting Services Counter. The Statement of Exemption signifies that the property owner acknowledges they own the property and have the authority to undertake the improvements or alterations.

If you sign the Statement of Exemption and then knowingly hire an unlicensed contractor you are committing a Class I Misdemeanor under title 54.1-1115 in the Code of Virginia.

If a Contractor is bidding or practicing without a State Contractor’s License they are committing a Class I misdemeanor under title 54.1-1115 in the Code of Virginia.

By hiring a Licensed Contractor you make yourself eligible for monetary relief from the Contractors Transaction Recovery Fund in case of improper and dishonest conduct.

For further information about the limits of Class A, Class B, and Class C State contractor’s licenses refer to the Contractor Licensing Information handout.

Contact Building Permitting Services at 703-792-6924 if you have any additional questions.