Washington DC Business License: Everything You Need To Know

Setting up a typical business in any location requires several things such as starting capital, premises, employees as well as initial stock and inventory. Another important thing you will need is a business license. In Washington DC, all types of businesses are required to have a valid business license in order to be allowed to operate. To get an official license in Washington DC, you will need to register your business with the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA). So, what do you need o get a DC Business License?

LLC Formations helps entrepreneurs in Washington DC and other states to secure valid business licenses.


Washington DC Business License

What Do I Need to Get a DC Business License?

To get a business license in DC, you will need to identify the relevant business category your new business will belong to. Next, you will need to register your business with the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) – Corporate Division. It’s crucial that you meet the various requirements set by DCRA before submitting your application for a DC business license.

DC Basic Business License

The DCRA does not require all businesses in DC to obtain a DC business license. Some businesses are only required to secure a basic business license. You have to pay some money to get a basic business license, but operating your business without a license can be costly in terms of penalties and fines.

Depending on the kind of business you run, a specific business license is required. A DC business license is needed for most businesses, except businesses whose owners are licensed professionals. In such cases, a DC business license is not required.

If you prefer to use your tax ID number and wish to be exempted from having a DC business license, you may apply for an Exemption Request Certificate from the DCRA.

How do You Apply for a Business License in DC?

Applying for a DC business license can be done by visiting the DCRA website and downloading a business license application form (BBL-EZ). After filling the application form, you can take it physically to the DCRA Business License Center or mail it to DCRA – Business Licensing Division.

Applications sent by mail should include your money order or check payment addressed to the Washington DC Treasurer. If you choose to go physically to the DCRA and pay in person, a money order, credit card, check or cash can be used.
Details on the exact requirements you will need to apply for a DC business license are provided on the DCRA website. If you cannot find a relevant application form on the DCRA website, you can request them to mail or fax you an application form by contacting them using this phone number (202) 442-4400.

How Much Does the DC Business License Cost?

There are several changes you will need to pay to get a DC business license. You will be required to pay $70 for a basic business license application. Deposits and payments for all DC business license applications should be paid to the DCRA through the Basic Business License fund. Additional business activities that you intend to undertake may warrant additional license fees.

Finally, for quick service delivery, the DCRA will require you to pay a tech fee that is equivalent to 10% of the total registration, permitting and licensing fees.

Is A FEIN Number Needed to Obtain A DC Business License?

You will need a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) to obtain a business license in DC. You can get a valid FEIN from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Do you need to Register with the Office of Revenue and Tax to Get A DC Business License?

You are required to file an FR-500 Business Tax Registration application form with the office of Revenue and Tax in order to obtain a DC business license. The DC Revenue and Tax office will send a notification upon receiving your application.

Is It Necessary To Obtain a DC Certificate of Occupancy To Secure a Business License?

You are required to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy if you want to have business premises in Washington DC. If you are leasing or renting a space, a Certificate of Occupancy will not be required. Your commercial building manager or owner will already have one in place.

If you opt to work from home, you are required to get a Home Occupation Permit from the DCRA instead of a Certificate of Occupancy.

You can download a Certificate of Occupancy application from the DCRA website.

Importance of Getting A DC Business License

A DC business license required for starting and running a business enterprise in Washington DC. Failure to secure a business license can get you into trouble with both state and federal authorities. You can get a DC business license by following the steps highlighted above.