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Business

Business Defined | Initial License | Renewal License | Checklist

Business Defined

A business means any person engaged in the business of providing, or who undertakes to provide, armored car personnel, security officers, personal protection specialists, private investigators, couriers, security canine handlers, security canine teams, detector canine handlers, detector canine teams, alarm respondents, locksmiths, central station dispatchers, electronic security employees, electronic security sales representatives or electronic security technicians and their assistants to another person under contract, express or implied.

Initial License

Business licenses are issued for 24 months. These requirements can be found in 6 VAC 20-171-50.

Submit to the Department

  1. Initial business license application and applicable non-refundable fee.
  2. For each principal and supervisor of the applying business: fingerprint card, fingerprint processing application and applicable non-refundable fee. For more information, view the Fingerprints page.
  3. Electronic Security Services businesses will also be required to submit a fingerprint card, fingerprint processing application and applicable non-refundable fee for electronic security services employees who have access to information concerning the design, extent, status, password, contact list, or location of an end user’s electronic security equipment. The definition of Electronic Security Services Employee does not include Electronic Security Sales Representative, Technicians, Technician Assistants or Central Station Dispatchers who are individually defined and must already meet the fingerprint requirements for a Private Security Services Registration.
  4. Documentation verifying that the applicant has secured one of the following:
    • Surety bond in the amount of $100,000 executed by a surety company authorized to do business in Virginia.
    • Certificate of insurance reflecting DCJS as a certificate holder, showing a policy of comprehensive general liability insurance with a minimum coverage of $100,000 per individual occurrence and $300,000 general aggregate issued by an insurance company authorized to do business in Virginia.
  5. Irrevocable consent for service for each non-resident applicant.
  6. Identification number issued by the Virginia State Corporation Commission for verification that the entity is authorized to conduct business in the Commonwealth.
  7. A physical address in Virginia where records required to be maintained by the Code of Virginia and the Virginia Administrative Code are kept and available for inspection by DCJS and the physical address for all locations in Virginia in which regulated services are offered. A post office box is not considered a physical address.
  8. Designate at least one individual as the compliance agent who is certified or eligible for certification. For more information, view the Compliance Agent page.
  9. Designate on the license application the type of private security business license you are seeking. The initial business license fee includes one category. A separate fee will be charged for each additional category. The separate categories are identified as follows: Security Officers/Couriers (Armed and Unarmed); Private Investigators; Electronic Security; Armored Car; Personal Protection Specialists; Locksmiths and Detector Canine or Security Canine Handlers. Alarm Respondents crossover into both the Security Officer and Electronic Security categories, therefore if you are licensed in either of these categories, you may provide these services without purchasing and additional category.

Renewal License

Business licenses are issued for 24 months. These requirements can be found in 6 VAC 20-171-60.

Applications should be received by DCJS at least 30 days prior to expiration.

Submit to the Department

  1. Renewal business license application and applicable non-refundable fee.
  2. For any new principal and supervisor and electronic security services employee of the applying business a fingerprint card, fingerprint processing application and applicable non-refundable fee. For more information, view the Fingerprints page.
  3. Documentation verifying that the applicant has secured one of the following:
    • Surety bond in the amount of $100,000 executed by a surety company authorized to do business in Virginia.
    • Certificate of insurance reflecting DCJS as a certificate holder, showing a policy of comprehensive general liability insurance with a minimum coverage of $100,000 per individual occurrence and $300,000 general aggregate issued by an insurance company authorized to do business in Virginia.

Initial Application

Renewal Application

  1. What is a "private security services business"?

    Any person engaged in the business of providing, or who undertakes to provide, armored car personnel, security officers, personal protection specialists, private investigators, couriers, security canine handlers, security canine teams, detector canine handlers, detector canine teams, alarm respondents, locksmiths, central station dispatchers, electronic security employees, electronic security sales representatives or electronic security technicians and their assistants to another person under contract, expressed or implied.



  2. What is an "electronic security business"?
    Any person who engages in the business of or undertakes to (i) sell, (ii) install, service, maintain, design or consult in the design of any electronic security equipment to an end user; (iii) respond to or cause a response to electronic security equipment for an end user; or (iv) have access to confidential information concerning the design, extent, status, password, contact list, or location of an end user's electronic security equipment.

  3. How do I apply for a business license?
    Please see the Apply & Renew section of our website for details.

  4. How do I renew a business license?
    Please see the Apply & Renew section of our website for details.

  5. What is the business license number?
    The official number issued to a private security services business licensed by DCJS. The number will be 11- followed by 4 digits – (11-1234).

  6. What must I put my DCJS business license number on?
    You must display your business license number on business advertising material, display advertisements in telephone directories, letterhead, business cards, local newspaper advertising, and contracts.

  7. Who is considered a "principal" of a company?
    Any sole proprietor, individual listed as an officer or director with the Virginia State Corporation Commission, board member of the association, or partner of a licensed firm or applicant for licensure may be considered a "principal" of a company. This person(s) must submit fingerprints with the business license application.

  8. Does my business have to be licensed?
    A company is required to be licensed if it is engaged in the business of providing, or who undertakes to provide, armored car personnel, security officers, personal protection specialists, private investigators, couriers, security canine handlers, alarm respondents, central station dispatchers, electronic security employees, electronic security sales representatives or electronic security technicians and their assistants to another person under contract, expressed or implied.

  9. What is proprietary or "in-house"?
    Exclusively owned or private. For example: Kings Dominion Amusement Park employs personnel for their security needs. Kings Dominion is a proprietary business and their security employees are "in-house" proprietary security personnel. Additionally, "loss prevention" or "assets protection" for stores such as Kmart or Target are individuals employed by the company and therefore are not required to be registered with DCJS.

  10. What is considered to be subcontracting?
    If your business cannot provide all security services requested by your client, you may subcontract those services to another licensed private security services business.  If you choose to do this, keep in mind that a 1099 cannot be issued to the subcontractor.

  11. When can a business begin providing private security services in Virginia?
    The business may begin providing this service only after they have been issued a private security services business license.

  12. Can a business be issued a temporary business license?
    Yes, it may be issued while waiting the results of the state and national fingerprint search. In addition, all other requirements must be met.

  13. Is there a criminal penalty for operating a private security services business without a license?
    Yes, it is a Class I misdemeanor to engage in the private security services business without a license.

  14. What is the business license category fee?
    A $50.00 fee for each additional category of service over one category that the licensee provides.

  15. Can I solicit for business while I’m waiting for approval of my business license?
    No, you can only solicit business once issued a private security services business license.

  16. What is a compliance agent?
    This is an individual designated by the business and certified by DCJS whose responsibilities are to ensure that the licensee and all employees conform to all application requirements, administrative requirements and standards of conduct pursuant to the Code of Virginia and the state regulations. Compliance agents also maintain documentation for all employees, or persons, that verifies compliance with requirements pursuant to the Code of Virginia and the state regulations.

  17. Can a business have more than one compliance agent?

    Yes, a business is required to maintain one compliance agent but may designate as many compliance agents as needed.  If a company has more then one compliance agent it must advise DCJS of the primary agent for contact purposes.



  18. If a certified compliance agent is employed solely for the purpose of being designated as such for a licensee, must the certified compliance agent maintain a valid registration in a category that the business offers as a service?
    No, the compliance agent does not have to be trained and registered in any category unless he/she is actually providing regulated services in addition to compliance agent duties.

  19. How does a change in ownership affect licensure?

    If a new legal entity is created a new private security services license must be obtained.



  20. I didn’t receive my renewal reminder. Can I get an extension?

    No. Timely renewal of applications for licenses, registrations, and certifications are the responsibility of the individual businesses, training schools, instructors, compliance agents, and individual personnel. DCJS normally sends out a reminder as a courtesy to the last known mailing address or email address, but due to current technical difficulties the Department is unable to send individual reminders. The Department is working to address this issue. 

    To ensure that you renew timely, remember the expiration date is listed directly on your credential, and it is your responsibility to submit for renewal 30 days in advance of the expiration.  Should you fail to renew prior to the expiration, you may apply for reinstatement during the immediate 60 days after your expiration date.   There are limited reasons in which an individual may request an extension, for more information on extensions, see the Extension FAQ.


     



  21. When should DCJS receive business license renewals?
    Renewals should be submitted a minimum of 30 days prior to their expiration.

  22. What happens if my business fails to maintain at all times current liability coverage in at least the minimum amount prescribed by the Regulations?

    The license immediately becomes null and void and the business may not provide regulated services without the required liability coverage.  Each day of uninsured activity would be construed as an individual violation of the requirement to maintain current liability coverage and could result in sanctions to include monetary fines up to $2500.00 per day or suspension or revocation of the license.



     



  23. How long must a licensee maintain appropriate documentation to verify compliance of its employees with state regulations?
    Documents must be maintained after employment is terminated for a period of not less than 3 years.

  24. What are the duties of the compliance agent?
    Compliance agents ensure that the licensee and all employees conform to all application requirements, administrative requirements and standards of conduct pursuant to the Code of Virginia and the state regulations.  In addition, the agent ensures that all regulated employees carry a state issued photo identification.  Compliance agents also maintain documentation for all employees, or persons otherwise utilized, that verifies compliance with requirements pursuant to the Code of Virginia and the state regulations.

  25. What must a business do upon termination of the sole remaining compliance agent?

    The business must notify the department in writing within 10 calendar days and provide the name of the individual responsible for the licensee's adherence to applicable administrative requirements and standards of conduct during the period of replacement. 

    A new certified compliance agent must be designated within 90 days following the sole compliance agent's termination.



  26. Can a private security services business be issued an initial license without a compliance agent?
    No, a compliance agent must be designated in writing on forms provided by DCJS.

  27. Does DCJS need to be notified if a change in a business’ ownership or principals does not result in the creation of a new legal entity?
    Yes, DCJS needs written notification within 30 days of such a change. Written notification should include fingerprint cards and social security numbers of the new owners or principals.

  28. How can I find out if a business is licensed?
    Go to the directory on our website at http://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/ps/directory/businessSearch.cfm.

  29. How long after I submit the application will it take before I receive my license?
    It can take up to 30 days to be issued a business license depending on when all requirements are met.

  30. There has been a change in the type of owners/entity after receiving my business license. What do I have to do?
    Contact the Licensing Coordinator immediately to verify if any additional requirements need to be met. Any new officers will need to submit fingerprints and if there is an entity change it may require initial licensing requirements.

Return to the FAQ index.

Return to the Apply & Renew page.

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