Event and wedding planners help individuals, couples and organizations plan their big events. Even a planning firm of one is a business. Many consultants operate out of their homes and make the mistake of assuming they can run their businesses license-free. However, most cities and states require business tax registration and licensing for all businesses, of all sizes – and some require Home Occupation Permits for home-based businesses.
Virginia Beach's economy thrives off tourism, military and agribusiness sectors. The city's economy also contains a large retail component, manifested largely through local small businesses. Major companies headquartered in Virginia Beach include Amerigroup, the Christian Broadcasting Network, Operation Blessing International, and Stihl. Other major employers include GEICO, VT and Navy Exchange Service Command. Forbes rated Virginia Beach as the 25th best places for business and careers. Tourism produces a large share of Virginia Beach's economy. With an estimated $857 million spent in tourism related industries, 14,900 jobs cater to 2.75 million visitors. City coffers benefit as visitors provide $73 million in revenue. Virginia Beach opened a Convention Center in 2005 which caters to large group meetings and events. Hotels not only line the Oceanfront but also cluster around Virginia Beach Town Center and other parts of the City. Restaurants and entertainment industries also directly benefit from Virginia Beach's tourism. Virginia Beach has a large agribusiness sector which produces $80 million for the city economy. One hundred-seventy-two farms exist in Virginia Beach, mostly below the greenline in the southern portion of the City. Farmers are able to sell their goods and products at the City's Farmer's Market.