In order to operate legally in the District of Columbia, all businesses must be licensed. Whether or not a Basic Business License (BBL) is required depends on the business activity conducted in the District. In some cases, more than one category is applicable. In some cases, business entities whose principals are required to maintain licensure by a local, state or national certification board or body will not be required to obtain a Basic Business License. The Business License Center is located at 1100 4th Street, SW, 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20024. Hours of operation are M, T, W, F from 8:30 am - 4:00 pm and Th from 9:30 am - 4:00 p.m. Customers may arrive no later than 4:00 pm to receive a Q-Matic Ticket to begin the licensing process. Note: The cashier closes promptly at 4:30 pm.
Ready to apply for a Basic Business License? Apply now!*
Visit the DC Business Portal!
* Most Basic Business Licenses (BBLs) can be issued or renewed without ever having to visit the DCRA!
Basic Business License Directories
Basic Business License Forms, Helpful Links and Information