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About Business Licensing

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.  Join the Business Licensing Center queue no later than 4:00 pm to ensure proper attention is given to your application(s) prior to the prompt closing of the Cashier's Office 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

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