Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs

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Just Starting Your Business?

Open For Business GraphicAll businesses operating in DC are required to be registered or licensed by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA).This department also issues permits and recognizes business ownership types. The Business License Center of the department is for obtaining business licenses and register your organization and the Permit Center is for occupation and construction permits in the District of Columbia.

Both centers provide technical assistance and the option to complete the process on-site or online.

If you would like to operate in the District of Columbia as a for-profit corporation, non-profit corporation, Limited Liability Company, partnership (limited partnership or limited liability partnership), cooperative association (limited or general) or business trust you must register with Corporations Division of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. For more information, please, click on the following link: Corporate Registration.

To register as a foreign company (if your business is already registered outside the District of Columbia), you must file for certificate of registration. Click on the following link for more information on how to register: Register A Foreign Entity.