If your organization is a corporation, limited liability company, partnership, or in some cases, a trust, said organization must be registered and in good standing with the Corporations Division. For more information, including assistance with completing the application process, please contact the Corporations Division at (202) 442-4432 or visit DCRA Corporate Registration Information Center.
If you are not a resident of the District of Columbia, you'll need to appoint a Resident Agent or an Attorney-in-Fact who lives or works in an office in the District, who will be the official recipient of any financial, process, or legal notices that we need to send to you. If you are not a DC resident, please complete the Certified Resident Agent Appointment Form.
Any business required to register with the Corporations Division is required to maintain a registered agent. Said registered agent may be a bona fide District of Columbia resident or a company physically located in the District of Columbia. The registered agent’s office may or may not be the same address as the place of business.
Family trusts, general partnerships, and sole proprietors are required to maintain a resident agent. Said resident agent may be a bona fide District of Columbia resident or a company physically located in the District of Columbia. The resident agent’s office may or may not be the same address as the place of business.
A business operating under a fictitious name or a name other than the legally recognized name must register the trade name with the Corporations Division. For more information, including assistance with completing the trade name application process, please contact the Corporations Division at (202) 442-4432 or visit DCRA Corporate Registration Information Center.
All applicants for a Basic Business License must complete an application, remit the associated payment, and submit the required supporting documentation.
Clean Hands Self-Certification
All applicants must certify that no more than $100 is owed to the District of Columbia Government as a result of fees, penalties, interest, or taxes through completion of a Clean Hands Self-Certification.
All Applicants must provide a registered tax number (i.e., SSN or FEIN) at the time of application. Register by completing and filing a Combined Business Tax Registration Application (Form FR-500) with the Office of Tax and Revenue, 1101 4th Street, SW, Suite W270, Washington, DC 20024. Online registration is available at the Business Tax Service Center. For more information, please call the Tax Customer Service Center at (202) 727-4829.
All applicants for a Basic Business License operating from a premise located in the District of Columbia must provide a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) for the premise address from which the business activity is conducted in order to demonstrate the activity does not conflict with building and zoning codes. For more information, please call the Office of the Zoning Administrator, (202) 442-4576, 1100 4th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20024.
All applicants for a Basic Business License for the Home Improvement Contractor category must provide a certified copy of his/her Police Criminal History Report from the jurisdiction of residence. A resident of the District of Columbia may obtain a Police Criminal History Report (PD-70) from the DC Metropolitan Police Department, Police Criminal History Report Division, 300 Indiana Avenue, NW, Room 3055, Washington, DC 20001. Call (202) 727-4245 for details. A non-resident shall obtain this report from the jurisdiction in which he/she resides. All of the partners in a partnership, and the president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer of a corporation must provide a Police Criminal History Report. The report must be no older than 30 days from the time of application. Please provide court documentation/dispostions regarding any criminal convictions(s) to avoid delay in the review of your application.
All applicants for a Basic Business License for the Home Improvement Contractor category must post a Surety Bond in the amount of twenty five thousand ($25,000) for the duration of the two-year license period. The Surety Bond may be issued by an authorized insurance carrier, or the applicant may post a cash bond with the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.
All applicants for a Basic Business License for the Home Improvement Contractor category shall furnish an original certificate of insurance policy in the amount of fifty thousand to one hundred thousand ($50, 000 to $100,000) and property damage in the amount of ten thousand to twenty five thousand ($10, 000 to $25,000) for the license period pursuant to DC Code and DC Municipal Regulations.
All applicants for a Basic Business License for the Home Improvement Contractor category must submit a Home Improvement Contract (triplicate, i.e., carbon-copies), on form which shall comply with existing regulations pursuant to DC Code and DC Municipal Regulations.
Home Improvement Salesperson Designation Letter
All applicants for a Basic Business License for the Home Improvement Contractor category must provide a list of salespersons working for the company. At least one Home Improvement Salesperson application must be submitted along with the application for the Home Improvement Contractor. Please refer to the Fact Sheet for the Home Improvement Salesperson.
This category of the Basic Business License is subject to a thirty (30) day background investigation prior to issuance of a license. This investigation will be conducted after a Basic Business License Application, all required supporting documentation, and payments have been received and accepted by the Business Licensing Division.
You may apply for a Basic Business License and pay with a major credit/debit card via the DC Business Portal. Some categories are available for immediate printing. Get out of line and get online! APPLY ONLINE NOW!
You may apply for a Basic Business License in-person with cash, check, money order or a major credit/debit card by visiting the DCRA, Business License Center, 1100 4th Street, SW, 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20024. No appointments are required. Applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
You may apply for a Basic Business License and pay with a check or money order via mail. Please submit all requirements including the associated fee. Make check or money order payable to “DC Treasurer.”
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