Overview of the Commission
The State Corporation Commission is vested with regulatory authority over many business
and economic interests in Virginia. These interests are as varied as the SCC's powers,
which are delineated by the state constitution and state law. Its authority ranges
from setting rates charged by large investor-owned utilities to serving as the central
filing agency for corporations in Virginia.
Initially established to oversee the railroad and telephone and telegraph industries
in Virginia, the SCC's jurisdiction now includes many businesses which directly
impact Virginia consumers. The SCC's authority encompasses utilities, insurance,
state-chartered financial institutions, securities, retail franchising, and railroads.
It is the state's central filing office for corporations, limited partnerships,
limited liability companies and Uniform Commercial Code liens.
The SCC's structure is unique in that it is organized as a separate department of
government with delegated administrative, legislative, and judicial powers. SCC
decisions can only be appealed to the Virginia Supreme Court.
The Virginia Constitution of 1902 created the SCC to replace the Board of Public
Works and the Office of Railroad Commissioner. The three-member Commission was charged
with regulating the state railroads and telephone and telegraph companies and with
registering corporations in Virginia. The SCC began operations on March 2, 1903.
Since then, the Virginia General Assembly has broadened the SCC's regulatory authority.
The 1902 Constitution vested the SCC with three forms of power -- judicial, legislative,
and executive. The SCC acts as a court of record and holds formal hearings when
warranted. It can enforce its orders by fines or contempt citations. There is a
right of appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court from any SCC decision. The SCC's executive
authority is exercised in its day-to-day administration. Its legislative authority
is exercised when it makes rules or sets rates.
SCC 1903-2003: Celebrating a Century of Service to the Commonwealth
The Commission's Objective
Headquartered in the Tyler Building in downtown Richmond, the SCC is near the State
Capitol and adjacent to Richmond's major financial and commerce center. This location,
between the government and business districts, is symbolic of the Commission's objective.
The SCC's objective is to fulfill the duties prescribed by the law. To achieve that
objective, the Commission has identified the following Chief Goals:
- Carry out the duties prescribed by the Constitution and the laws enacted by the
General Assembly of Virginia fully and to the best of its ability;
- Ensure that all parties and persons who appear before the Commission receive due
process of law;
- Provide reliable information and assistance to Virginians in a consistent and high-quality
- Provide assistance to Virginians who have valid disputes with regulated companies;
- Adopt rules and regulations that keep pace with legislative, business, economic,
social and technological changes.
The State Corporation Commission will strive to apply law and regulation to balance
the interests of citizens, businesses, and customers in regulating Virginia's business
and economic concerns and work continually to improve the regulatory and administrative
To obtain general information about the SCC, contact the Division of Information
Resources. This division has publications available about the SCC. It answers general
questions about the SCC divisions and areas of SCC jurisdiction. This division refers
callers to the appropriate division or other state agencies, if necessary. Information
Resources arranges for SCC speakers and works with student groups. You may call
the division at (804) 371-9141 or toll-free at 1-800-552-7945.
Review Annual Report of the State Corporation Commission