Get a Public Hall License
NAICS Description: This classification applies if you operate any building where entertainment of any description or kind is conducted for profit, except for movie theaters. And the occupancy load is over 400 people.
Endorsement Class: Entertainment Services
Legal Authority: DC Official Code: 47-2820; 47-2851; DC Municipal Regulations: Title 19, Chapter 16
License Duration: Two (2) Years
Category License Fee: $1,300.00
Application Fee: $70.00
Endorsement Fee: $25.00
10% Technology Fee: $139.50
Total Fee: $1,534.50
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
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
at (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.
Police Criminal History Report (Form PD-70)
All applicants for a Basic Business License for the Public Hall 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 1075, 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.
DC Health Approval
If prepared food is being sold, your business activity must be inspected by and/or receive approval to operate from the DC Health
, Food Protection Division, (202) 535-2180, 899 North Capitol Street, NE, 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20002.
DC Code 47-2820 requires that Department of Consumer Regulatory Affairs mail a 30-day notice to the affected Neighborhood Advisory Commissions if you file for an application to operate a public hall. The notice states that any resident or owner of a residential property within 600 feet of the boundary lines of the lot upon which the establishment is located is entitled to be heard. The notice contains the time and date of the hearing.
An applicant for the Basic Business License for the Public Hall category is required by DC Official Code 47-2820 to post two notices for a period of four weeks in a conspicuous place outside of the premises. The notice states that any resident or owner of a residential property within 600 feet of the boundary lines of the lot upon which the establishment is located is entitled to be heard. The notice shall contain the time and date of the hearing.
Note: If resident objects, a hearing will be held to determine the following:
The effect of the establishment on the peace, order, and quiet of the neighborhood; and/or
The effect of the establishment on the residential parking needs and vehicular and pedestrian safety of the neighborhood.
Application Submission Methods
You may apply for a Basic Business License and pay with a major credit/debit card via the Online Application System (OSUB). 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 Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, Business Licensing 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.