Apply for a Basic Business License (BBL)
In order to operate legally in the District of Columbia, all businesses must be licensed. Whether or not a Basic Business License (BBL) is required depends on the business activity conducted in the District. In some cases, business entities whose principals are required to maintain licensure by a local, state or national certification board or body will not be required to obtain a Basic Business License.
The Business License Center closes at 4:30 pm daily. The customers can obtain a Q-Matic Ticket to begin the licensing process until 4 pm. Note: the cashier closes promptly at 4:30.
DCRA's Basic Business Licenses are divided into 16 endorsements and numerous subsequent categories. Please review the directory below to locate the applicable business category, based on the primary business activity, and determine the requirements for licensure. Please note: more than one license category may be applicable.
- A Directory of All Basic Business License (BBL) Endorsements
- A Directory of All Basic Business License (BBL) Categories
- Apply for a Basic Business License Online
- Payment & Submission Methods
- Verify Clean Hands (Tax Compliance Status) - NEW!
DCRA's Basic Business Online Application Submission (OSUB) allows you to submit an application and pay the applicable fees for all Basic Business License (BBL) categories online. Some license categories are available for immediate issuance/printing. Expedited Home Occupation Permits (EHOPs) are available online for a specific set of home-based activities.