District of Columbia

LLC, Business License, Incorporation

The District of Columbia services both large and small businesses. Major industries in the District of Columbia include government and legal services. Regardless of your industry, we can help you take advantage of the District of Columbia's business services.

Forming a Corporation in the District of Columbia

Each state has its own set of rules for businesses seeking to form a corporation there. If you've decided to incorporate in the District of Columbia, The Company Corporation will take care of all the details. We'll research the availability of your company name and help you prepare and file your Articles of Incorporation with the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. We can also assist with many of your follow-up needs such as amendment filings, written consents, and annual report preparation and filing.

Here are some helpful facts about the District of Columbia's incorporation requirements:

Corporate Name Requirements

The District of Columbia requires corporations to have names that can't be confused with any other corporation. When you incorporate with The Company Corporation's help, we'll research your company name to make sure it meets the District of Columbia's standards.

Permitted designations: In the District of Columbia, corporate names may be followed by several approved designations, including:

  • Co.
  • Company
  • Corp.
  • Corporation
  • Inc.
  • Incorporated
  • Limited
  • Ltd.

Restricted designations: The use of certain words and phrases in corporate names is considered "restricted" in the District of Columbia, meaning they require special approval by the state. These include:

  • Bank
  • Insurance
  • Trust

Filing Requirements

Remember, when you work with The Company Corporation, we'll take care of your incorporation filing for you. This information is presented only for your reference.

Required documents: The District of Columbia requires businesses to file Articles of Incorporation as well as a Written Consent to Act as Registered Agent.

Turnaround time: In general, turnaround time for incorporating a business in the District of Columbia is 5-10 business days.

Follow-up filings: Businesses that pay taxes to the District of Columbia must obtain a Basic Business License prior to doing business.

Officers/Directors Information

Minimum number: Corporations are required to have one or more directors.

Director qualifications: The Articles of Incorporation or bylaws may prescribe the qualifications for directors. Directors are not required to be shareholders unless dictated by the bylaws or Articles of Incorporation.

Appearance in articles: Required. Directors' names and addresses must appear in the Articles of Incorporation.

Written consent: Permitted. Directors may act in writing in lieu of holding a meeting.

Principal office location

The District of Columbia requires a corporation's principal office to be located inside the district.

Biennial Reports

Time to file: Corporations must file a Two Year Report for Foreign and Domestic Business Corporations with the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs by April 15.

Turnaround time: Turnaround time at the state is between 120 and 180 days. Expedited options are available for an additional fee.

Signatures: The President, Vice President, Secretary, Assistant Secretary or Treasurer are authorized to sign biennial reports. Emailed or faxed signatures are not accepted.

Filing extensions: Not permitted.

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Forming an LLC in District of Columbia

Each state has its own set of requirements for businesses that plan on forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) there. If you decide to form an LLC in the District of Columbia, The Company Corporation will take care of all the details. We'll research the availability of your company name and help you prepare and file your Articles of Organization with the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. We can also take care of many of your company's follow-up needs, including annual report preparation and filing.

Here are some helpful facts about the District of Columbia's LLC requirements:

LLC Name Requirements

The District of Columbia requires Limited Liability Companies to have names that can't be confused with the names of any corporation, limited liability company, reserved limited liability company, limited partnership or forced fictitious name. When you form your LLC with The Company Corporation's help, we'll research your company name to make sure it meets the District of Columbia's standards.

Permitted designations: District of Columbia LLC names may be followed by several approved designations, including:

  • L.L.C.
  • LLC
  • Limited Liability Company

Restricted words: The use of certain words in LLC names is "restricted" in the District of Columbia, meaning special approval by the state is required. These include:

  • Bank
  • Insurance
  • Trust

Filing Requirements

Required documents: Companies that wish to form an LLC in the District of Columbia must file Articles of Organization and Written Consent to Act as Registered Agent. Remember, when you work with The Company Corporation, we'll take care of this filing for you.

Turnaround time: In general, turnaround time for forming an LLC in the District of Columbia is 5-10 business days.

Follow-up filing: Businesses which pay taxes to the District of Columbia must obtain a Basic Business License prior to doing business.

Managers/Members Information

Minimum number: LLCs are required to have one or more managers/members.

Principal Office Location: The District of Columbia permits an LLC's principal office to be located outside of the state.

Annual Reports

Frequency of filing: Biennially (every other year).

Time to file: LLCs must file their Two-Year Report for Foreign and Domestic Limited Liability Companies with the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs on or before June 16. The first report is due the year after formation.

Turnaround time: Turnaround time at the state is 120-180 business days.

Signatures: An authorized person must sign reports. Emailed or faxed signatures are accepted.

Filing extensions: Not permitted.

Ready to Incorporate in the Distri of Columbia? Get Started

Get District of Columbia Business Licenses

Before your business can legally begin to operate, you must satisfy its license, permit, and tax registration requirements. Almost all state, county, and local governments require businesses to obtain one or more licenses and permits. Additionally, selling taxable goods and services or hiring employees requires that you register with tax authorities. All business license, permit, and tax registration requirements vary by your industry and location.

Examples of possible licenses required in the District of Columbia:

  • Accounting License
  • Business License
  • Collection Agency License

Too busy to research your licensing requirements? We can help.

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