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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
All applicants for a Basic Business License for the Two Family Rental category must provide a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) in order to demonstrate the property does not conflict with building and zoning codes. For more information, please call the Office of the Zoning Administrator, (202) 442-4576, 1100 4th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20024.
If an applicant for a Basic Business License for the Two Family Rental category currently has tenants residing at the rental property, a BBL Inspections Consent Form must be completed by the current tenant(s) before inspectors can enter the unit(s).
All applicants for a Basic Business License for the Two Family Rental 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, 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20020 as required by the Rental Housing Act of 1985. The 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.
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.
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 “DC Treasurer.”
Wells Fargo Bank
DC Government Wholesale Lockbox 91360
7175 Columbia Gateway Drive
Columbia, MD 21046