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Steps to Obtaining a Basic Business License

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Step 1 – Corporate Registration

If your business is operating as a corporate entity (corporation, limited liability company, or partnership), register as a corporation

Trade Name Registration
If you are planning to use a fictitious or shortened version of the corporate name when conducting business, register the trade name Visit CorpOnline.

Step 2 – Registration with Internal Revenue Service and DC Office of Tax and Revenue

Apply for Employer Identification Number (EIN) online, in-person at 77 K Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002, or via telephone at (202) 803-9000.

DC Office of Tax (OTR):
Register EIN with the DC Office of Tax and Revenue online. For more information visit 1101 4th Street, SW, 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20024, or call (202) 727-4TAX.

Clean Hands Certification:
Sign an affidavit stating you do not owe more than $100 to the Government of the District of Columbia. Verify Clean Hands.

Step 3 – Registration with Office of the Zoning Administrator

Certificate of Occupancy (COO):
If operating out of an office location in the District.
Learn more: Certificate of Occupancy

Home Occupation Permit (HOP):
If conducting business out of a home in the District.
Learn more: Home Occupation Permit

Step 4 - Basic Business License (BBL) Application

Submit a BBL application including the required supporting documentation and payment.
Your business' activities determine the type of Basic Business License required.

Apply for a Bussiness License