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Get a Business License



Business activity in and/or to the District requires owners/operators to be licensed according to the business activity conducted (e.g. convenience stores, home improvement contractors, residential rentals, restaurants).

Each licensed activity has a set of requirements, see categories below, but all licenses have to complete the four requirements outlined in the Steps to Obtain a Basic Business License.

View Steps to Obtain a Basic Business License


How to Apply for a License

“Skip the Trip” and use the My DC Business Center to conduct business wherever and whenever you choose. Application requirements may be found below for which each category for which an application may be submitted online. If you have more detailed questions about the requirements and/or categories, contact us at (202) 442-4400.

Visit My DC Business Center


In Person 
Visit us at 1100 4th Street, SW, 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20024 to submit your application and receive your license. Depending the license type, your license may be issued the same day.


Get a Home Occupancy Permit

This permit is required for operating a business from your home. (You must live in the District of Columbia and it must be your primary residence)

Apply for a Permit


Business Licensing Categories

Note: For each category, other than the last category (“Regulated Businesses”), the requirements are identical for all licenses in that category.  However, the fee schedule may vary depending on the type of license.

Beauty & Grooming Services

Health Services

Rental Housing

Being or Becoming a Landlord in the District | A Handy Resource

If you are a current or aspiring landlord in the District, we have complied a new resource to help you with your business. See Resources and Information section on Rental Housing.

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