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Corporate Registration FAQs: Process

How do I contact the Corporations Division?

The Corporations Division can be contacted by phone, fax, email, US Postal Service or walk-in visit:

  • Phone: (202) 442-4400
  • Fax: (202) 442-4523
  • Mailing Address: DCRA Corporations Division, PO Box 92300, Washington, DC 20090
  • Business License Center (Walk-in): 1100 4th Street SW, Second Floor, Washington, DC 20024
  • Operating Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm; and Thursday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm.
  • Email: dcra@dc.gov
  • Website Main: http:/dcra.dc.gov/DC/DCRA/For+Business/Corporate+Registration
  • Online Service Site: https:/corp.dcra.dc.gov/

 

What is series LLC and how can I form such LLC in the District?

Series Limited Liability Company is the special type of LLC in which the members, managers, or interest holders have separate rights, powers, or duties with respect to specified property or obligations of the limited liability company.

For LLC to become series LLC it is generally a two-step process.

1-customer will answer “yes” to series question on articles of organization form DLC-1 (for LLCs formed after 1/1/12); for LLCs formed prior to 1/1/12 you will need to amend or restate articles of organization forms DLC-2/3 and add series statement such as the one identified below:

‘The company will have one or more series that is treated as a separate entity which limits the debts, obligations, and other liabilities to the assets of a particular series as provided in the operating agreement as authorized by § 29-802.06”

2-To designate the actual series you would file form DLC-4 certificate of series designation; 

 

If I incorporate my business in DC, is that registration valid in other states?

No. Formation of the entity in the District of Columbia allows for that entity to conduct business in the District only. If domestic filing entity wishes to conduct business outside of the District of Columbia then it shall meet the requirements of each jurisdiction in which it wants to do business. Contact the corporate licensing authority in the appropriate state or province for more information.

If I registered my business outside DC, do I need to register to conduct business in DC?

An organization registered in another state or country that seeks to transact business in the District of Columbia must obtain authority by filing an application for foreign registration.

How do I get certified copies of documents?

You can get a certified copy of any Corporations Division document by walk-in visit or online.

Online

Go to CorpOnline site at https://corp.dcra.dc.gov, create the profile, access the online services main page, click on For-Profit or Non-Profit Certified Copy Request link and proceed. Online customers must pay by using the credit card and certificate will be delivered on the last page and will also be emailed to the address on the profile. Mail-in requests will no longer be accepted for certified copies.

Available certified copies include but are not limited to:

  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Organization Documents
  • Two-Year Annual Reports
  • Articles of Merger/Amendment
  • Certificates of Authority/Registration
  • Qualification Forms for Partnerships

Note for Walk-In Customers:
Expedited fee in the amount of $100 for one day service and $50 for three day service will apply to all walk-in customers.

Walk-In
Business License Center
1100 4th Street, SW, Second Floor
Washington, DC 20024

DCRA Service Hours

  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • Thursday: 9:30 am - 4:30 pm

Call the Corporations Division at (202) 442-4400 to learn more.

How do I get a Certificate of Good Standing?

You can get a Certificate of Good Standing from the Corporations Division by walk-in visit or online.

Online
Go to CorpOnline site, create the profile, access the online services main page , click on Domestic/Foreign For-Profit or Non-Profit Request link and proceed. Online customers must pay by using the credit card and certificate will be delivered on the last page and will also be emailed to the address on the profile. Mail-in requests will no longer be accepted for good standing certificates.

Note for Walk-In Customers:
Expedited fee in the amount of $100 for one day service and $50 for three day service will apply to all walk-in customers.

Walk-In
Business License Center
1100 4th Street, SW, Second Floor
Washington, DC 20024

DCRA Service Hours

  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • Thursday: 9:30 am - 4:30 pm

What's the penalty for operating in the District of Columbia without getting certificate of foreign registration?

As a part of application process, foreign filing entities (limited liability companies, non-profit and for-profit corporations, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, general partnerships, general and limited cooperative association and statutory trusts) must disclose the date when entity commenced its business in the District of Columbia.

Foreign filing entities that commenced business before the registration with Corporations division are liable for the payment of all back fees and all back reports.

The number of reports and the amount of fees depends on the commencement date.

What are the Corporate Registration Fees?

Corporate Registration fees are broken down by entity. For detailed requirements, please, contact Corporations Division at (202) 442-4400.

Where can I get my corporate seal?

Corporate seals and other corporate supplies may be obtained at a legal stationery store or corporate supplier.

May I fax a request or my registration documents to the Division of Corporations?

No. You may not file your registration documents, nor obtain copies of documents by fax, or request verification documents of a corporate filing by facsimile. Each of these actions requires a payment which must be paid at the time of the request for documents.

What is the average turnaround for corporate filings?

Mail-In Filings
For mail-in filings Corporations division will process within 15 business days from the receipt of the paperwork. All mail-in filings go to our banking agent for payment processing first. Once payment is processed, payment confirmation along with filing will be forwarded to Corporations Division main office in Washington, DC for final processing. The 15 business days turnaround does not start until division receives the paperwork and proof of payment from the bank.
Filings that are sent to the overnight address are subject to the same turnaround guidelines.

Walk-In Filings
For walk-in filings, Corporations division will process and approve or reject filings while you wait.
Expedited fee in the amount of $100 for one day service and $50 for three day service will apply to all walk-in customers.

Online Filings
For online filings Corporations division will process within 15 business days from the date of submission. Print the confirmation page and record the date of submission.

What are the registered agent requirements in the District of Columbia?

The Registered agent (RA) is the individual or the entity that performs the following duties:

  1. Forward to the represented entity at the address most recently supplied to the agent by the entity any process, notice, or demand that is served on the agent;
  2. Provide the notices required by Business Organizations Act Title 29 to the entity at the address most recently supplied to the agent by the entity.

Who can act as RA in the District of Columbia?

1-Commercial registered agent; “Commercial registered agent” means a person (an individual or domestic or foreign filing entity) who have filed “Listing of commercial registered agent” filing required under § 29-104.05 with Corporations Division.

2-Noncommercial registered agent; “Noncommercial registered agent” means a person that is not a commercial registered agent and is:

  • (A) An individual or domestic or foreign entity that serves in the District as the agent for service of process of an entity;
  • (B) An individual who holds the office or other position in an entity who is designated as the agent for service of process; or
  • (C) A member in good standing of the District of Columbia Bar who maintains an office in the District of Columbia.

What are address requirements for RAs?

RA's address must be physical street address in the District of Columbia. RA’s address may not be PO Box or address outside the District.

Can Entity act as its own RA if it has office address in the District of Columbia?

Yes. Domestic or foreign filing entity may appoint an individual within the organization to act as the registered agent in the District.

What Entities should have an RA?

All domestic and foreign filing entities are required to appoint and maintain the registered agent.

Filing entities include the following:

  • Limited liability companies
  • Non-profit and for-profit corporations 
  • Limited partnerships
  • Limited liability partnerships
  • General partnerships
  • General and limited cooperative association
  • Statutory trusts

What is the penalty for failure to maintain RA?

Entity's status may be revoked if it fails to maintain registered agent.

What is the difference between a trade name and a corporate name?

A corporate, limited liability or partnership name is the name under which the organization is formed, or registered, and must include a distinct qualifier, for example, inc, llc, pllc, llp, lp, pc.

A trade name is the name under which a business operates or does business. The trade name is NOT the true or real name of the business. For example, Verizon Center is the trade name of the DC Arena, LP. It is the name that is most commonly associated with the business.  Go to CorpOnline site at https:/corp.dcra.dc.gov, create the profile, access the online services main page (use Internet Explorer 7 or IE8). Follow the links under "Trade Names" to proceed through the registration process. Online customers must pay by using the credit card.

How can I get refund for my corporate filing?

Pursuant to DC Code Title 29 the following are the instances where refund can be issued:

“Overpayments and duplicate and erroneous payments shall be refunded. A mere change of purpose after the payment of money, as when a party desires to withdraw a filing, shall not entitle a party to a refund.”

If a customer overpaid for any corporate filing, then a refund can be issued. If a customer paid twice for the same filing, then a refund can be issued. If customer made a payment to the Corporations Division that was intended for another party, such as the Licensing Division, Tax Office, or any other party, then refund can be issued.

However, if a customer paid for the filing and received a service, and afterwards wants to cancel the filing a refund may not be issued.

If a customer applied for service but the approval for the request made is still pending, then a customer may contact the Corporations Division to cancel the pending filing and initiate a refund.

In order to get a refund processed, the Corporations Division will need proof of payment, the Work Order ID number, and the refund form (GN-15) filled out completely.  Proof of payment includes a copy of the credit card statement you used for payment or a copy of the canceled check used for payment. The Work Order ID number can be found in your CorpOnline account under the “Services Management” tab. Contact the Corporations Division for more information, or for assistance with initiating a refund.

Request for Refund for Web Transactions Form GN-15 Version 2

 

Does the Corporations Division provide “apostille” (authentication) service for issued documents?

Corporations division does not provide that service. However, you may request this service from D.C. Office of the Secretary.

To do so, please, follow these steps:

  1.  Locate document or certificate that you need and request a certified copy of that document from Corporations Division.
  2.  Once certified copy of the document or certificate is received from Corporations Division; contact D.C. Office of the Secretary to request document authentication.
  3.  Here is the link for more information  

Another service is being provided for document authentication by U.S. Department of State.
For more information, please, refer to the following link to the Office of Authentication