Princeton, WV, welcomes business owners and representatives interested in learning more about what our City has to offer. Use this page to navigate to various business resources and tools. Please note some links may take you to another website, like the Princeton Economic Development Authority's official website.

Running a Business in Princeton, WV

Princeton is well-known throughout the state as one of West Virginia’s bright spots because of our progressive attitude and immeasurable potential. The City of Princeton is uniquely positioned to take advantage of major opportunities that other municipalities can only dream about. The signs of economic prosperity and progress are everywhere, creating a growing and supportive environment for running a business in Princeton. The public and private investments in our city have proved, once again, that Princeton’s future is worth their confidence.

Princeton remains West Virginia’s “business friendly” city with our Business & Occupation Tax Incentive Program and our policy to encourage value-added manufacturing businesses to locate in our city.

Princeton will take its place in the development of this part of the state of West Virginia as a leading city. Our city is a symbol of hope and promise in southern West Virginia and a success story for the whole state. There has never been a better time for running a business in Princeton.

  • Two viable shopping districts on Mercer Street and Stafford Drive with multiple shopping centers
  • Healthy Business District
  • Key redevelopment areas and future growth corridors
  • Development of Historical District
  • Recipient of Excellence Award from the West Virginia Planning Association for Princeton Comprehensive Plan, containing long-term planning efforts for utility, economic development, and regional transportation projects
  • Prime location situated along two major transportation corridors – Interstate 77 and US Route 460
  • Progressive and supportive Chamber of Commerce
  • Princeton Community Hospital – State-of-the-art health care facility
  • Excellent physicians and health care services
  • Princeton Health and Fitness Center – modern, full-service facility for healthy lifestyles
  • Performing Arts Center
  • New Railroad Museum housing a unique display of memorabilia and artifacts
  • Mercer County – Rated among top 100 communities for youth
  • Excellent school system offering broad curriculum and a strong alliance with the business community.
  • Fire Department – Class 2 rating by Insurance Services Office. ISO statistics show that better fire protection leads to lower losses.
  • Response time for Police Department, Fire Department, and Emergency First Responder – 3 to 5 minutes
  • County Seat – Mercer County Courthouse and Courthouse Annex
  • Post Office
  • #2 Library in the State of West Virginia
  • Many banking facilities
  • Large number of restaurants and shopping centers
  • Recreation Department – City Park, 4 additional community parks, pool, recreation center, and numerous recreational programs and activities
  • Princeton city limits – 6,400 people. Princeton proper – approximately 35,000 people
A pie chart mapping the demographic makeup of Princeton, West Virginia's population by generation and gender.
This is a bar chart that features the overall cost of living in Princeton and West Virginia based on the national average. Text includes: Overall: Princeton -27.9%, WV - 20.6%. Grocery: Princeton - 6%, WV - 4.2%. Housing: Princeton - 70%, WV - 60.7%. Utilities: Princeton - 17.5%, WV - 60.7%. Transportation: Princeton - 26.3%, WV - 9.9%.

Starting a Business

A West Virginia Business Registration Certificate (License) is required by the State for all businesses operating in the state. Applications are available at City Hall for a WV State License, online at or by calling 1-800-982-8297. The WV State Tax Department in Beckley is also available to assist you. They are located at 401 Neville St.

After receiving your WV Business License, you will need to apply for a City of Princeton Business License. This is required before you open your new business. City Licenses are valid from July 1st to June 30th and must be renewed before July 1st each year.

Every business with a physical location within Princeton city limits must obtain a Certificate of Occupancy before a City Business License will be issued. A Certificate of Occupancy will require two inspections. The first will be pre-construction and the second and final inspection will be done before the business opens. For more information on the Certificate of Occupancy, contact Code Enforcement Director Ty Smith at 304-487-5024 or Fire Chief Matt Mould at 304-487-5017.

All business conducted in the city is subject to Business and Occupation Tax. The B&O Tax is based upon gross sales/service. The tax is due and payable each quarter. Forms and additional information are available by calling the City Tax Auditor at 304-487-5027.

As on July 1st, 2017, all businesses that are required to collect the 6% West Virginia Sales Tax are also required to collect a 1% Municipal Sales and Service Tax. Please remit the total tax collected (7%) to the West Virginia State Tax Department. (City Code 786.02)

Once your business in Princeton is up and running, you may want to consider a ribbon-cutting ceremony. This type of event offers a new business an introduction into the community and favorable free publicity. For more information, please contact the City Clerk at 304-487-5093.

What type of license do I need?

We have several different license types, and it can be difficult trying to find the best one to fit your business. Here are some examples:

  • Special Store: Retail Shop, Consignment, Gym
  • General Store: Restaurant, Convenience Store
  • Professional: Doctor, Vet, Cosmetologist
  • Hawker & Peddler: Sales Person, Vendor at Event

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