How to Start a Business in District of Columbia (Step by Step Guide)

District of Columbia Business formationAre you thinking about starting your own business in District of Columbia? If so, then you have come to the right place!

On this page, you can find step by step instructions on how to incorporate your business in District of Columbia. From selecting the business entity type to forms to be filled, we have covered it all.

Let’s get Started

The first step in setting up your business is to select the business structure.

Broadly there are 4 types of business entities:

  1. Limited Liability Company (Most Popular)
  2. Corporation
  3. Sole Proprietorship
  4. Partnership

Each business structure differs on the basis of taxation, asset liability and estate planning. We have written a detailed tutorial on how to choose a business entity type for your business here.

Below we have given a broad outline of the steps involved in registering an LLC or Corporation in District of Columbia.

Clicking on each step, opens up a detailed guide on how to complete it.

How to start an LLC in District of Columbia

Agency NameDistrict of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA)
Form(s) to be filledArticles of Organization for Domestic Limited Liability Company DLC-1
ModeOnline, Mail, In-person
Name ReservationOptional, Fee $50 (Mail/Online) [Option to Expedite]
Filing Fee$220 + Expedite fee: $50 (optional)
TimeBy Mail : 4 weeks, Online: 2 weeks (Option to expedite)
LawD.C. Code §§ 29-801


Summary:

  1. Search for business name availability
  2. File for Business name reservation
  3. Select Registered Agent
  4. Fill Articles of Organization for Domestic Limited Liability Company (Form DLC-1)
  5. Create an Operating Agreement
  6. Get EIN Number for your business
  7. Obtain Tax ID Number
  8. Obtain necessary Business Licenses and Permits
  9. File initial/Biennial Report (Ongoing)

How to start a Corporation in District of Columbia
Agency NameDistrict of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA)
Form(s) to be filledArticles of Incorporation for Domestic For-Profit Corporation (Form DBU-1)
ModeOnline, Mail, In-person
Name ReservationOptional, Fee $50 (Mail/Online) [Option to Expedite]
Filing Fee$220 + Expedite fee: $50 (optional)
TimeBy Mail : 4 weeks, Online: 2 weeks (Option to expedite)
LawD.C. Code §§ 29-301


Summary:

  1. Search for a Business Name
  2. File for Business Name Reservation
  3. Select Registered Agent
  4. Fill the Articles of Incorporation for Domestic For-Profit Corporation form (Form DBU-1)
  5. Create Bylaws
  6. Get an EIN Number
  7. Obtain Tax ID Number
  8. Obtain necessary Business Licenses and Permits
  9. File initial/Biennial Report (Ongoing)


References:
https://code.dccouncil.us/dc/council/code/titles/29/chapters/8/
https://code.dccouncil.us/dc/council/code/titles/29/chapters/3/

Fact-checked on 24/07/2018