Mark J. Nelson

Mark J. Nelson
  • Mark J. Nelson
    Attorney at Law

  • Phone: (434) 220-6112
  • Email:
  • Jamie Dunaway, Assistant

  • Phone: (434) 220-9387
  • Email:


Mark Nelson began his professional career with one of the “Big Eight” CPA firms and worked in public and private accounting and business management for six years. Upon graduation from law school, he served as a judicial law clerk for a Federal District Court Judge. Mark has practiced exclusively as an attorney in private practice since then, although he has maintained his CPA license.

Mark brings to his clients an extensive background in accounting and business. He has served as counsel to businesses at all stages of their existence, advising on a variety of tax and business law matters, and regularly represents clients in transactions involving both sales and purchases of businesses. Mark has significant experience in franchising, representing both franchisor and franchisee businesses.

Involvement in the Charlottesville community and family life keeps Mark busy. Mark and his wife have three sons, one daughter, a son-in-law and a daughter-in-law. Mark enjoys outdoor sports, travel and reading. The Nelsons attend Rivanna Community Church, where they are active members.


  • Tax - Advises and assists clients with tax planning issues in connection with business transactions. Represents taxpayers in U.S. Tax Court and in administrative proceedings before both the Internal Revenue Service and the Virginia Department of Taxation. Past cases have included representation of the owner of a group of entities in a Tax Court case involving significant depreciation deductions, representation of taxpayers in connection with IRS audits and appeals, and participation in Community Tax Law Project programs through pro bono representation of low-income taxpayers before the IRS
  • Franchising - Represents franchisor and franchisee clients on franchise-related matters, including registration of Franchise Disclosure Documents, structuring master franchise and area representative agreements, assisting with resolution of issues arising in the context of franchisor / franchisee relationships, and reviewing FDDs and assisting with the negotiation of franchise agreements
  • General Business - Advises small businesses in connection with a variety of legal matters, including: forming, structuring ownership/governance arrangements, operating and terminating business entities (corporations, partnerships, LLCs); franchising issues; tax, employment and intellectual property issues; and drafting, reviewing, advising, and negotiating various kinds of contracts used in business
  • Business Sale/Purchase Transactions - Represents clients in business sale/purchase transactions. Past transactions have included businesses such as a winery, a building supply business, a food service franchise territory, auto service franchises in metropolitan territory, an engineering consulting company, a construction/restoration company, professional practices, a motorcycle dealership, insurance agencies, a real estate agency, restaurants, health club businesses, and other retail and service businesses
  • Non-profits - Advises and assists non-profit organizations with business and tax issues.  Examples of organizations assisted includes those in education, scientific research, homeless services and youth development, professional and trade associations, and churches and religious ministry and mission organizations.  Assistance has included formation of non-profit corporations, advice on and assistance with applications with the IRS for recognition as a tax-exempt organizations (TEOs), assistance with re-instatement of TEO status, advice on legal and regulatory requirements applicable to TEOs, and provision of general legal representation to non-profits
  • Federal Law Clerk - Served as Law Clerk to U.S. District Honorable Judge Ralph W. Nimmons, Jr., Middle District of Florida, assisting with court cases involving various areas of law, including civil rights, employment, taxation, constitutional law, bankruptcy appeals, intellectual property, and rules of evidence and civil procedure
  • Accounting Experience - Worked in accounting for five years for Arthur Anderson & Co., CPAs and CBN
  • Articles - Authored and co-authored articles on corporate liability protection and tax issues
  • Presentations - Lectured in CLE and CPE programs on choice of entity and business formation issues, Virginia partnership law, and ethics in business representation


  • Virginia
  • Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia
  • U.S. Tax Court


  • BV Distinguished® Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell®

AV®, BV®, AV Preeminent® and BV Distinguished® are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used under in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.

News & Events

Recent Speaking Engagements:
  • January 29, 2014:  Mark Nelson and Jeff Lenhart presented a program to the Charlottesville Albemarle Bar Association regarding Choice of Entity and Common Issues with LLC's.
  • October 23, 2013:  Mark Nelson presented a program to the Thomas Jefferson Chapter of the Virginia Society of CPA's entitled Choice of Entity - Overview of Available Forms of Doing Business.
Professional Involvement
  • Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association
  • Virginia Bar Association
    • Tax Section Council (2015-present)
  • American Bar Association, Forum on Franchising
  • Virginia State Bar
  • Florida Bar
  • Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants
Community Involvement
  • Community Tax Law Project, Board of Directors (2013 – present)
  • Albemarle County Rotary Club
    • President (2016 - 2017)
    • Vice President (2014 - 2015)
    • Board of Directors (2012 – 2018)
  • Boy Scouts of America, Troop 75, Assistant Scoutmaster (2013 – 2016)
  • Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association, Board of Directors ( 2007 - 2009)
  • Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce

    • Board of Directors (2000 - 2007)
    • Chairman of the Board (2005)
  • United Way-Thomas Jefferson Area, Board of Directors (1999-2002)
  • Leadership Charlottesville (1995)
Practice Areas Education

University of Virginia School of Law
Charlottesville, Virginia
J.D., 1992

Regent University
Virginia Beach, Virginia
M.A., Summa Cum Laude, Biblical Studies, 1988

University of South Florida
Tampa, Florida
B.A., Summa Cum Laude, Business Administration (Accounting), 1983