District of Columbia Business Entity & Corporation Search

District of Columbia (DC) state mapIn this guide, I have described step-by-step instructions on how to search for a business registered in the District of Columbia.

Before we start, here are a few points you should know:

In DC, the Corporations Division of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) is the supreme body that is responsible for business formation and regulation.  Any business operating or looking to operate in DC must register with DCRA.

DCRA is also tasked with the record keeping of the registered businesses and making the data available to the public. Information such as business address, owner(s) name, registered agent details is a matter of public data and can be retrieved online.

Information about following business structures are available online:

  • Limited Liability Companies (LLC)
  • Limited Cooperative Associations
  • Business Corporations
  • Nonprofit Corporations
  • Limited Partnerships
  • Limited Liability Partnerships
  • General Cooperative Associations
  • Statutory Trusts

Additionally one can also search for specialized business licenses, such as:

  • Business License
  • Corporate Registration
  • Professional License
  • Certified Business Enterprise
  • Alcoholic Beverage License

How can the business entity search help?

Business search can be particularly helpful to check for business name availability. It can also help to check if the business is legally registered or not, or if it’s in good standing with the SOS. Using the search one can also find public information about any registered business in DC.

To help you better understand how to conduct a business entity search in District of Columbia, we’ve outlined the steps below.

District of Columbia Business Entity Search

Step 1: Open District of Columbia Business entity search page – Link.

Step 2:  You can conduct the search in two ways:

  • By License Number – If you are aware of business ID, then you can directly search.
  • Using Business Name or Officer(s) first/last name

District of Columbia Business Entity Search

By License Number

  1. Enter the License number in the text field.
  2. Select the ‘Search Criteria‘ and click on ‘Search‘ button.

If the entered license number is correct, you will be able to view the business information on the next page. Otherwise, you will receive an error ‘#License ID not found

By Business Name & First / Last Name

District of Columbia Business Search By Name

Use this form of search if you would like to conduct the search by either the name of the business or name of the business owner(s).

  • Search by Name:
  1. Enter the first few letters of the business name you are searching for. Auto-suggest will suggest the list of business entities matching the search string.
  2. Select the desired business entity name and click on ‘Search‘ button.
  • Search by Business Owner/License holder Name:
  1. Enter the first few letters of the first name in the ‘First Name‘ text box. From the auto suggest drop down, select the desired person’s name. If you would like to search by the last name of the person, follow the same process in ‘Last Name‘ text box.
  2. Click on ‘Search‘ button.

On the next page you will be able to view the following business details:

Corporation/Entity NameBusiness/Corporation registered Name
File NumberThe identification number assigned by the Columbia Secretary of State at the time of registration
Next Report YearNext Annual report due year
Entity AddressThe executive office of a business entity
Model TypeAn abstract representation of what a business does and how it makes money. In other words, Business Type – LLC/LLP/Corporation (For-Profit/Non-Profit)
Entity StatusThe current state of the Business – Active/Revoked/Name Changes/Terminated
EFFECTIVE DATEDate of Business Registration
LOCALEDomestic / Foreign

Note: If the business name you are looking for shows status such as ‘Active’, ‘Revoked’, ‘Withdrawn’ etc, it means the name is reserved.

District of Columbia Business Entity Search Result

Sample Search Result

 Contact Information
Address1100 4th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20024
PhonePhone: (202) 442-4400
Fax: (202) 442-9445
HoursMon, Tue, Wed, Fri – 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Thur – 9:30 am to 4:30 pm
Sat/Sun – off

Links & References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secretary_of_the_District_of_Columbia
  2. https://os.dc.gov/page/office-secretary

Last Updated: 08/11/2018

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