Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 2.2. Administration of Government
Chapter 16.1. Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity
5/29/2022

Chapter 16.1. Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity.

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 2.2-1603. Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity created; appointment of Director; offices; personnel.

A. There is hereby created a Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (the Department), which shall be headed by a Director appointed by the Governor to serve at his pleasure. The Director shall also serve as a special assistant to the Governor for small, women-owned, and minority-owned business development.

B. The Director of the Department shall, under the direction and control of the Governor, exercise the powers and perform the duties conferred or imposed upon him by law and perform such other duties as may be required by the Governor.

C. The Department shall have its main office in Richmond and may have branch offices as may be necessary, as determined by the Director subject to the approval of the Secretary of Commerce and Trade.

2013, c. 482.

§ 2.2-1604. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Certification" means the process by which (i) a business is determined to be a small, women-owned, or minority-owned business or (ii) an employment services organization, for the purpose of reporting small, women-owned, and minority-owned business and employment services organization participation in state contracts and purchases pursuant to §§ 2.2-1608 and 2.2-1610.

"Department" means the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity or any division of the Department to which the Director has delegated or assigned duties and responsibilities.

"Employment services organization" means an organization that provides community-based employment services to individuals with disabilities that is an approved Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) accredited vendor of the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services.

"Historically black colleges and university" includes any college or university that was established prior to 1964; whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans; and that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association determined by the Secretary of Education.

"Minority individual" means an individual who is a citizen of the United States or a legal resident alien and who satisfies one or more of the following definitions:

1. "African American" means a person having origins in any of the original peoples of Africa and who is regarded as such by the community of which this person claims to be a part.

2. "Asian American" means a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, or the Pacific Islands, including but not limited to Japan, China, Vietnam, Samoa, Laos, Cambodia, Taiwan, Northern Mariana Islands, the Philippines, a U.S. territory of the Pacific, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, or Sri Lanka, and who is regarded as such by the community of which this person claims to be a part.

3. "Hispanic American" means a person having origins in any of the Spanish-speaking peoples of Mexico, South or Central America, or the Caribbean Islands or other Spanish or Portuguese cultures and who is regarded as such by the community of which this person claims to be a part.

4. "Native American" means a person having origins in any of the original peoples of North America and who is regarded as such by the community of which this person claims to be a part or who is recognized by a tribal organization.

"Minority-owned business" means a business that is at least 51 percent owned by one or more minority individuals who are U.S. citizens or legal resident aliens, or in the case of a corporation, partnership, or limited liability company or other entity, at least 51 percent of the equity ownership interest in the corporation, partnership, or limited liability company or other entity is owned by one or more minority individuals who are U.S. citizens or legal resident aliens, and both the management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more minority individuals, or any historically black college or university, regardless of the percentage ownership by minority individuals or, in the case of a corporation, partnership, or limited liability company or other entity, the equity ownership interest in the corporation, partnership, or limited liability company or other entity.

"Small business" means a business that is at least 51 percent independently owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are U.S. citizens or legal resident aliens and, together with affiliates, has 250 or fewer employees or average annual gross receipts of $10 million or less averaged over the previous three years. One or more of the individual owners shall control both the management and daily business operations of the small business.

"State agency" means any authority, board, department, instrumentality, institution, agency, or other unit of state government. "State agency" does not include any county, city, or town.

"Women-owned business" means a business that is at least 51 percent owned by one or more women who are U.S. citizens or legal resident aliens, or in the case of a corporation, partnership, or limited liability company or other entity, at least 51 percent of the equity ownership interest is owned by one or more women who are U.S. citizens or legal resident aliens, and both the management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more women.

2013, c. 482; 2015, cc. 765, 775; 2016, c. 525.

§ 2.2-1605. Powers and duties of Department.

A. The Department shall have the following powers and duties:

1. Coordinate as consistent with prevailing law the plans, programs, and operations of the state government that affect or may contribute to the establishment, preservation, and strengthening of small, women-owned, and minority-owned businesses;

2. Promote the mobilization of activities and resources of state and local governments, businesses and trade associations, baccalaureate institutions of higher education, foundations, professional organizations, and volunteer and other groups towards the growth of small businesses and businesses owned by women and minorities, and facilitate the coordination of the efforts of these groups with those of state departments and agencies;

3. Establish a center for the development, collection, summarization, and dissemination of information that will be helpful to persons and organizations throughout the nation in undertaking or promoting procurement from small, women-owned, and minority-owned businesses;

4. Consistent with prevailing law and availability of funds, and according to the Director's discretion, provide technical and management assistance to small, women-owned, and minority-owned businesses and defray all or part of the costs of pilot or demonstration projects that are designed to overcome the special problems of small, women-owned, and minority-owned businesses;

5. Advise the Small Business Financing Authority on the management and administration of the Small, Women-owned, and Minority-owned Business Loan Fund created pursuant to § 2.2-2311.1;

6. Implement any remediation or enhancement measure for small, women-owned, or minority-owned businesses as may be authorized by the Governor pursuant to subsection C of § 2.2-4310 and develop regulations, consistent with prevailing law, for program implementation. Such regulations shall be developed in consultation with the state agencies with procurement responsibility and promulgated by those agencies in accordance with applicable law; and

7. Receive and coordinate, with the appropriate state agency, the investigation of complaints that a business certified pursuant to this chapter has failed to comply with its subcontracting plan under subsection D of § 2.2-4310. If the Department determines that a business certified pursuant to this chapter has failed to comply with the subcontracting plan, the business shall provide a written explanation.

B. In addition, the Department shall serve as the liaison between the Commonwealth's existing businesses and state government in order to promote the development of Virginia's economy. To that end, the Department shall:

1. Encourage the training or retraining of individuals for specific employment opportunities at new or expanding business facilities in the Commonwealth;

2. Develop and implement programs to assist small businesses in the Commonwealth in order to promote their growth and the creation and retention of jobs for Virginians;

3. Establish an industry program that is the principal point of communication between basic employers in the Commonwealth and the state government that will address issues of significance to business;

4. Make available to existing businesses, in conjunction and cooperation with localities, chambers of commerce, and other public and private groups, basic information and pertinent factors of interest and concern to such businesses; and

5. Develop statistical reports on job creation and the general economic conditions in the Commonwealth.

C. All agencies of the Commonwealth shall assist the Department upon request and furnish such information and assistance as the Department may require in the discharge of its duties.

2013, c. 482; 2014, cc. 41, 464; 2015, cc. 696, 697, 733; 2016, c. 520; 2020, c. 1234.

§ 2.2-1606. Powers of Director.

As deemed necessary or appropriate to better fulfill the duties of the Department, the Director may:

1. With the participation of other state departments and agencies, develop comprehensive plans and specific program goals for small, women-owned, and minority-owned business programs; establish regular performance monitoring and reporting systems to assure that goals of state agencies and institutions are being achieved; and evaluate the impact of federal and state support in achieving objectives.

2. Employ the necessary personnel or subcontract, according to his discretion, with localities to supplement the functions of business development organizations.

3. Assure the coordinated review of all proposed state training and technical assistance activities in direct support of small, women-owned, and minority-owned business programs to ensure consistency with program goals and to avoid duplication.

4. Convene, for purposes of coordination, meetings of the heads of departments and agencies, or their designees, whose programs and activities may affect or contribute to the purposes of this chapter.

5. Convene business leaders, educators, and other representatives of the private sector who are engaged in assisting the development of small, women-owned, and minority-owned business programs or who could contribute to their development for the purpose of proposing, evaluating, or coordinating governmental and private activities in furtherance of the objectives of this chapter.

6. Provide the managerial and organizational framework through which joint undertakings with state departments or agencies or private organizations can be planned and implemented.

7. Recommend appropriate legislative or executive actions.

8. Adopt regulations to implement certification programs for small, women-owned, and minority-owned businesses and employment services organizations, which regulations shall be exempt from the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) pursuant to subdivision B 2 of § 2.2-4002. Such certification programs shall allow applications for certification to be submitted by electronic means as authorized by § 59.1-496 and the applicant to affix thereto his electronic signature, as defined in § 59.1-480. Such certification programs shall deny certification to vendors from states that deny like certifications to Virginia-based small, women-owned, or minority-owned businesses and employment services organizations or that provide a preference for small, women-owned, or minority-owned businesses and employment services organizations based in that state that is not available to Virginia-based businesses. The regulations shall (i) establish minimum requirements for certification of small, women-owned, and minority-owned businesses and employment services organizations; (ii) provide a process for evaluating existing local, state, and private sector certification programs that meet the minimum requirements; and (iii) mandate certification without any additional paperwork of any small, women-owned, or minority-owned business that has obtained (a) certification under any federal certification program or (b) certification under any other certification program that is determined to meet the minimum requirements established in the regulations, and of any employment services organization that has been approved by the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services. All employment services organization certifications shall remain in effect until the Department is notified by the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services that such organization is no longer approved. The regulations shall also require as a prerequisite for approval that any out-of-state business applying for certification in Virginia as a small, women-owned, or minority-owned business have the equivalent certification in the business's state of origin. An out-of-state business located in a state that does not have a small, women-owned, or minority-owned business certification program shall be exempt from the requirements of this provision. The regulations shall establish a process for businesses that are denied initial certification as a small, women-owned, or minority-owned business to appeal such denial on the basis that the Department made a mistake in denying the business's application for certification.

9. Establish an interdepartmental board in accordance with § 2.2-1608 to supply the Director with information useful in promoting minority business activity.

2013, c. 482; 2017, cc. 380, 573; 2018, c. 681; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 149.

§ 2.2-1607. Nonstock corporation to assist small businesses.

The Department may establish a nonstock corporation under Chapter 10 (§ 13.1-801 et seq.) of Title 13.1 as an instrumentality to assist the Department in providing support to the small business segment of the economy of the Commonwealth. The Department may do all things necessary to qualify such corporation as a certified development company under Subchapter V of the Small Business Investment Act of 1958 (15 U.S.C. § 695 et seq.), or any amendment or successor statute thereto, as well as regulations adopted thereunder by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Any action by the Department to establish such a corporation prior to July 1, 1986, is ratified and approved.

2013, c. 482.

§ 2.2-1608. Interdepartmental Board; cooperation with Department.

A. The Interdepartmental Board established by the Director shall be composed of heads of the several departments and agencies of state government, or their respective designees, whose functions affect small, women-owned, and minority-owned businesses. The participating departments and agencies shall be determined by the Director of the Department. The Interdepartmental Board shall meet at the call of the Director and shall supply the Director with information useful in promoting small, women-owned, and minority-owned business development.

B. The head of each participating state department and agency or his designee shall furnish information, assistance, and reports to, and shall otherwise cooperate with, the Director in the performance of his duties as needed.

C. The head of each participating state department or agency shall, when so requested by the Director, designate an assistant or such other similar official to have primary and continuing responsibility for the participation and cooperation of that department or agency in matters concerning small, women-owned, and minority-owned businesses.

D. Each participating state department or agency shall, within constraints of law and availability of funding, continue all current efforts to foster and promote small, women-owned, and minority-owned businesses and to support small, women-owned, and minority-owned business programs, and shall cooperate with the Director in increasing the total state effort.

2013, c. 482.

§ 2.2-1609. Use of vendors identified by public institutions of higher education as small, women-owned, and minority-owned businesses.

For purposes of compliance with § 2.2-4310, a public institution of higher education that meets the conditions prescribed in subsection A of § 23.1-1002 may procure goods, services, and construction from vendors identified by such public institutions of higher education as small, women-owned, or minority-owned businesses that the institution has certified as such based on criteria approved by the Department. An institution exercising the authority granted by this section shall establish and follow internal procedures and processes designed to verify whether or not a vendor qualifies to be certified as a small, women-owned, or minority-owned business under the Department-approved criteria and the certification requirements. The institution shall notify the Department promptly of the certification and shall provide the Department with a copy of its written certification identifying the vendor as a small, women-owned, or minority-owned business and all application materials submitted by the vendor to the institution. Such certification shall remain in effect unless and until the Department notifies the institution that the vendor does not meet the certification requirements.

2013, c. 482.

§ 2.2-1610. Reports and recommendations; collection of data.

The Director shall, from time to time, submit directly or through an assistant to the Governor his recommendations for legislation or other action as he deems desirable to promote the purposes of this chapter.

The Director shall report, on or before November 1 of each year, to the Governor and the General Assembly the identity of the state departments and agencies failing to submit annual progress reports on small, women-owned, and minority-owned business procurement required by § 2.2-4310 and the nature and extent of such lack of compliance. The annual report shall include recommendations on the ways to improve compliance with the provisions of § 2.2-4310 and such other related matters as the Director deems appropriate.

The Director, with the assistance of the Comptroller, shall develop and implement a systematic data collection process that will provide information for a report to the Governor and General Assembly on state expenditures to small, women-owned, and minority-owned businesses during the previous fiscal year.

An institution exercising authority granted under this section shall promptly make available to the Department, upon request, copies of its procurement records, receipts, and transactions in regard to procurement from small, women-owned, and minority-owned businesses in order for the Department to ensure institution compliance with its approved reporting and certification criteria.

2013, c. 482.

Article 2. Small Business Investment Grant Fund.

§ 2.2-1611. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2020, cc. 1234, cl. 2, effective April 22, 2020.

§ 2.2-1612. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2014, cc. 41 and 464, cl. 2.

§ 2.2-1615. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2020, cc. 1234, cl. 2, effective April 22, 2020.

§ 2.2-1616. Creation, administration, and management of the Small Business Investment Grant Fund.

A. As used in this section:

"Authority" means the Virginia Small Business Financing Authority.

"Eligible investor" means an individual subject to the tax imposed by § 58.1-320 or a special purpose entity established for the purpose of making investments for an individual. "Eligible investor" does not include an individual who engages in the business of making debt or equity investments in private businesses, or any person that would be allocated a portion of the grant under this section as a partner, shareholder, member, or owner of an entity that engages in such business.

"Fund" means the Small Business Investment Grant Fund.

"Pass-through entity" means the same as that term is defined in § 58.1-390.1.

"Qualified investment" means a cash investment in a qualified business in the form of equity or subordinated debt.

"Small business" means a corporation, pass-through entity, or other entity that (i) has annual gross revenues of no more than $5 million in its most recent fiscal year; (ii) has its principal office or facility in the Commonwealth; (iii) is engaged in business primarily in or does substantially all of its production in the Commonwealth; (iv) has not obtained during its existence more than $5 million in aggregate gross cash proceeds from the issuance of its equity or debt investments, not including commercial loans from national or state-chartered banking or savings and loan institutions; (v) has no more than 50 employees who are employed within the Commonwealth; and (vi) has been designated as such by the Authority pursuant to the provisions of this section.

"Subordinated debt" means indebtedness of a corporation, general or limited partnership, or limited liability company that (i) by its terms required no repayment of principal for the first three years after issuance, (ii) is not guaranteed by any other person or secured by any assets of the issuer or any other person, and (iii) is subordinated to all indebtedness and obligations of the issuer to national or state-chartered banking or savings and loan institutions.

B. From such funds as may be appropriated by the General Assembly and any gifts, grants, or donations from public or private sources, there is hereby created in the state treasury a special nonreverting, permanent fund to be known as the Small Business Investment Grant Fund, to be administered by the Department. The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller. Interest earned on moneys in the Fund shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it. Any moneys remaining in the Fund at the end of each fiscal year, including interest thereon, shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. Expenditures and disbursements from the Fund, which shall be in the form of grants pursuant to this section, shall be made by the State Treasurer on warrants issued by the Comptroller upon written request bearing the signature of the Director. Grants from the Fund shall only be made to applications pursuant to this section.

C. An eligible investor that makes a qualified investment in a small business on or after July 1, 2019, but prior to January 1, 2022, that has been certified by the Authority pursuant to subsection D shall be eligible for a grant in an amount equal to the lesser of 25 percent of the qualified investment or $50,000. An eligible investor may apply for a grant for each qualified investment that is made to one or more small businesses not to exceed a total grant allocation from the Fund of $250,000 per eligible investor.

D. A small business shall apply with the Authority to receive qualified investments eligible for the grant pursuant to this section and shall provide to the Authority such information as the Authority deems necessary to demonstrate that it meets the qualifications set forth in subsection A.

E. Any eligible investor applying for a grant pursuant to this section shall submit an application to the Authority. The Authority shall determine the amount of the grant allowable to the eligible investor for the year.

F. If an eligible investor is awarded a grant pursuant to this section and the small business in which the investment was made (i) relocates outside of the Commonwealth within two years of the award of the grant or (ii) closes within two years of the award of the grant as a result of a criminal conviction on the part of any officer, director, manager, or general partner of such business relating to his involvement with the business, such investor shall forfeit the grant and refund such moneys to the Authority.

Additionally, unless the eligible investor transfers the equity received in connection with a qualified investment as a result of (a) the liquidation of the small business issuing such equity; (b) the merger, consolidation, or other acquisition of such business with or by a party not affiliated with such business; or (c) the death of the eligible investor, any eligible investor that fails to hold such equity for at least two years shall forfeit the grant and shall pay the Authority interest on the total allowed grant at the rate of one percent per month, compounded monthly, from the date the grant was awarded to the taxpayer.

The Authority shall deposit any amounts received under this subsection into the general fund of the Commonwealth.

G. Grants shall be issued in the order that each completed eligible application is received by the Authority. In the event that the amount of eligible grants requested in a fiscal year exceeds the funds available in the Fund, such grants shall be paid in the next fiscal year in which funds are available.

H. An eligible investor shall not be awarded a grant pursuant to this section for any investment in a small business for which the eligible investor has been allowed a tax credit pursuant to § 58.1-339.4.

I. The Authority shall establish policies and procedures relating to (i) the certification of small businesses, (ii) the application for grants, and (iii) the recapture of grant awards claimed with interest in the event that the qualified investment is not held for the requisite period set forth in subsection F. Such policies and procedures shall be exempt from the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).

2013, c. 482; 2016, c. 520; 2017, c. 383; 2019, c. 35; 2020, c. 1234.

Article 3. Small Business Permitting.

§ 2.2-1617. One-stop small business permitting program.

A. As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Business Permitting Center" or "Center" means the business registration and permitting center established by this section and located in and under the administrative control of the Department.

"Comprehensive application" means a document incorporating pertinent data from existing applications for permits covered under this section.

"Comprehensive permit" means the single document designed for public display issued by the Business Permitting Center that certifies state agency permit approval and that incorporates the endorsements for individual permits included in the comprehensive permitting program.

"Comprehensive permitting program" or "Program" means the mechanism by which comprehensive permits are issued and renewed, permit and regulatory information is disseminated, and account data is exchanged by state agencies.

"Permit" means the whole or part of any state agency permit, license, certificate, approval, registration, charter, or any form or permission required by law, to engage in activity associated with or involving the establishment of a small business in the Commonwealth.

"Permit information packet" means a collection of information about permitting requirements and application procedures custom assembled for each request.

"Regulatory" means all permitting and other governmental or statutory requirements establishing a small business or professional activities associated with establishing a small business.

"Regulatory agency" means any state agency, board, commission, or division that regulates one or more professions, occupations, industries, businesses, or activities.

"Renewal application" means a document used to collect pertinent data for renewal of permits covered under this section.

"Small business" means an independently owned and operated business that, together with affiliates, has 250 or fewer employees or average annual gross receipts of $10 million or less averaged over the previous three years.

"Veteran" means an individual who has served in the active military, naval, or air service and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable.

B. There is created within the Department the comprehensive permitting program (the Program). The Program is established to serve as a single access point to aid entrepreneurs in filling out the various permit applications associated with establishing a small business in Virginia. The Program in no way supersedes or supplants any regulatory authority granted to any state agency with permits covered by this section. As part of the Program, the Department shall coordinate with the regulatory agency, and the regulatory agency shall determine, consistent with applicable law, what types of permits are appropriate for inclusion in the Program as well as the rules governing the submission of and payment for those permits. The website of the Department shall provide access to information regarding the Program. The Department shall have the power and duty to:

1. Create a comprehensive application that will allow an entrepreneur, or an agent thereof, seeking to establish a small business, to create accounts that will allow them to acquire the appropriate permits required in the Commonwealth. The comprehensive application shall:

a. Allow the business owner to choose a business type and to provide common information, such as name, address, and telephone number, on the front page, eliminating the need to repeatedly provide common information on each permit application;

b. Allow the business owner to preview and answer questions related to the operation of the business;

c. Provide business owners with a customized to-do agency checklist, which checklist shall provide the permit applications pertinent to each business type and provide the rules, regulations, and general laws applicable to each business type as well as local licensing information;

d. Allow the business owner to submit permit applications by electronic means as authorized by § 59.1-496 and to affix thereto his electronic signature as defined in § 59.1-480;

e. Allow the business owner to check on the status of applications online and to receive information from the permitting agencies electronically; and

f. Allow a business owner to submit electronic payment of application or permitting fees for applications that have been accepted by the permitting agency.

2. Develop and administer a computerized system program capable of storing, retrieving, and exchanging permit information while protecting the confidentiality of information submitted to the Department to the extent allowable by law. Information submitted to the Department shall be subject to the provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.) as the same would apply were the information submitted directly to the Department or to any permitting agency.

3. Issue and renew comprehensive permits in an efficient manner.

4. Identify the types of permits appropriate for inclusion in the Program. The Department shall coordinate with the regulatory agency, and the regulatory agency shall determine, consistent with applicable law, what types of permits are appropriate for inclusion in the Program.

5. Incorporate permits into the Program.

6. Do all acts necessary or convenient to carry out the purposes of this chapter.

C. Regulatory agencies shall, by November 30 of each year, provide the Department with information outlining any changes to the agency's policies and regulations. The Business Permitting Center shall compile information regarding the regulatory programs associated with each of the permits obtainable under the Program. This information shall include, at a minimum, a listing of the statutes and administrative rules requiring the permits and pertaining to the regulatory programs that are directly related to the permit. The Center shall provide information governed by this section to any person requesting it. Materials used by the Center to describe the services provided by the Center shall indicate that this information is available upon request.

D. Each state agency shall cooperate and provide reasonable assistance to the Department in the implementation of this section.

E. The State Corporation Commission and the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity shall by January 1, 2020, establish one or more processes by which data or information relevant to the Program can be collected and exchanged electronically.

F. Any person requiring permits that have been incorporated into the Program may submit a comprehensive application to the Department requesting the issuance of the permits. The comprehensive application form shall contain in consolidated form information necessary for the issuance of the permits.

G. The applicant, if not a veteran, shall include with the application the handling fee established by the Department. An applicant who is a veteran shall be exempt from payment of the handling fee prescribed by this subsection. The amount of the handling fee assessed against the applicant shall be set by the Department at a level necessary to cover the costs of administering the comprehensive permitting program.

H. The authority for approving the issuance and renewal of any requested permit that requires investigation, inspection, testing, or other judgmental review by the regulatory agency otherwise legally authorized to issue the permit shall remain with that agency. The Center may issue those permits for which proper fee payment and a completed application form have been received and for which no approval action is required by the regulatory agency.

I. Upon receipt of the application, and proper fee payment for any permit for which issuance is subject to regulatory agency action under subsection H, the Department shall immediately notify the State Corporation Commission or the regulatory agency with authority to approve the permit issuance or renewal requested by the applicant. The State Corporation Commission or the regulatory agency shall advise the Department within a reasonable time after receiving the notice of one of the following:

1. That the State Corporation Commission or the regulatory agency approves the issuance of the requested permit and will advise the applicant of any specific conditions required for issuing the permit;

2. That the State Corporation Commission or the regulatory agency denies the issuance of the permit and gives the applicant reasons for the denial;

3. That the application is pending; or

4. That the application is incomplete and further information from or action by the applicant is necessary.

J. The Department shall issue a comprehensive permit endorsed for all the approved permits to the applicant and advise the applicant of the status of other requested permits. The applicant shall be responsible for contesting any decision regarding conditions imposed or permits denied through the normal process established by statute or by the State Corporation Commission or the regulatory agency with the authority for approving the issuance of the permit.

K. Regulatory agencies shall be provided information from the comprehensive application for their permitting and regulatory functions.

L. The Department shall be responsible for directing the applicant to make all payments for applicable fees established by the regulatory agency directly to the proper agency.

M. There is hereby created in the state treasury a special nonreverting fund to be known as the Comprehensive Permitting Fund, hereafter referred to as "the Fund." The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller. The Fund shall consist of all moneys collected from the handling fee established by the Department pursuant to subsection G and such other funds as may be appropriated by the General Assembly. Interest earned on moneys in the Fund shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it. Any moneys remaining in the Fund, including interest thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. Moneys in the Fund shall be used solely to administer the Program. Expenditures and disbursements from the Fund shall be made by the State Treasurer on warrants issued by the Comptroller upon written request signed by the Director of the Department.

N. Unless otherwise directed by the regulatory agency, the Department shall not issue or renew a comprehensive permit to any person under any of the following circumstances:

1. The person does not have a valid tax registration, if required;

2. The person is a corporation, limited liability company, business trust, limited partnership, or registered limited liability partnership that (i) is delinquent in the payment of fees or penalties collected by the State Corporation Commission pursuant to the business entity statutes it administers, (ii) does not exist, or (iii) is not authorized to transact business in the Commonwealth pursuant to one of the business entity statutes administered by the State Corporation Commission; or

3. The person has not submitted the sum of all fees and deposits required for the requested individual permit endorsements, any outstanding comprehensive permit delinquency fee, or other fees and penalties to be collected through the comprehensive permitting program.

O. The Department shall develop and provide guidance to businesses with newly approved permits regarding responsibilities and requirements for maintaining such business. Such guidance shall include information regarding sales tax and unemployment tax requirements, workers' compensation insurance requirements, and postings required by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry and the U.S. Department of Labor. Any guidance provided for in this subsection may be provided electronically.

P. The Department may adopt regulations in accordance with § 2.2-1606 as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this section.

2013, cc. 155, 206, 482; 2014, c. 758; 2018, c. 218; 2020, c. 750.