Get an Apartment License
Quick Facts Checklist
NAICS CODE: 531110-1
NAICS DESCRIPTION: This classification applies if you rent or lease apartments in dwellings with 3 or more units, whether or not the units are occupied, or offered for occupancy, for a consideration.
Endorsement Class: Apartment
Legal Authority: DC Official Code: 47-2828; DC Municipal Regulations: Title 14, Chapter 12
License Duration: Two (2) Years
Application Fee: $70.00
Endorsement Fee: $25.00
RAO Fee: $43.00 per unit
OTA Fee: $7.00 per unit
10% Technology Fee: Varies
Category Fee: Varies (see below)
• 3-5 Units = $167.00
• 6-25 Units = $208.00
• 26+ Units = $208.00 + an additional $130 for every 25
units or fraction thereof
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for details. And, remember -- IT’S THE LAW!
All applicants for a Basic Business License must comply with the following DC Code requirements:
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
Non-Resident of the District of Columbia (including Foreign Corporations)
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.
Corporate Registered Agents
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.
Trade Name Registration (Use of Fictitious Business Name)
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
Basic Business License Application
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.
Certificate of Occupancy/Home Occupation Permit
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) or Home Occupation (HOP) 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 contact the Office of the Zoning Administrator
, 1100 4th Street, SW, 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20024, (202) 442-4576.
Note: In some cases, a business operating in an office building may operate under the umbrella of the C of O issued to the owner of the building as long as the C of O is issued for the entire building. Check with the building owner or management company for the holder’s name, C of O number, and issue date.
Department of Housing and Community Development Rent Control Registration
All applicants for a Basic Business License for the Apartment category must register the rental units with the Department of Housing and Community Development's Rental Accommodations Division (RAD), (202) 442-9505, at 1800 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20020 as required by the Rental Housing Act of 1985. The DCHD Rental Accommodations Registration Form
along with the Basic Business License Application must be presented to and stamped by the Rental Accommodations Division before the issuance of a Basic Business License. The fee associated with RAD registration is $43.00 per unit, per two-year license period in addition to the license, application, and endorsement fees.
Note: The Basic Business License Application must be approved and the associated fees must be paid prior to presenting the required documentation to the Department of Housing and Community Development's Rental Accommodations Division (RAD).
Housing accommodations must be in compliance with the District of Columbia Housing Regulations, District of Columbia Municipal Regulations, Title 14, Chapter 11.
More information about rental housing regulation and the Rental Housing Act of 1985 is available from Department of Housing and Community Development’s Housing Services Center at 1800 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20020, (202) 442-9505.
Proactive Inspections Fee
Beginning October 1, 2009, the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs began assessing all residential rental properties a $35.00 per unit fee up to a $2,000.00 maximum for the Proactive Inspections Program. The fee funds the cost of inspecting each residential property during a business license renewal period.
Application Submission Methods
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 “D.C. Treasurer.”
Mail complete application and payment to:
Wells Fargo Bank
DC Government Wholesale Lockbox 91360
7175 Columbia Gateway Drive
Columbia, MD 21046
Note: Processing times for Basic Business Licenses submitted by mail may take up to 30 business days. Please consider applying online or in-person for the fastest turnaround.