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.
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 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)
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.
Employee/Independent Salesperson Licenses
Flammable Product Sales & Services
General Sales/Services Business
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.
- Asbestos Abatement Business
- Auction Sales
- Auto Repossession Business
- Consumer Goods (Auto Repair)
- Driving School
- Funeral Establishment
- General Contractor/Construction Manager
- Health Spa/Sales
- Home Improvement Contractor
- Massage Establishment
- Motor Vehicle Dealer
- Moving and Storage
- Parking Facility
- Public Hall
- Secondhand Dealers (A, B & C)
- Security Alarm Dealer
- Solid Waste Collector
- Solid Waste Vehicle
- Tow Truck
- Tow Truck Business
- Tow Truck Storage Lot
- Valet Parking