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G O V E R N M E N T O F T H E D I S T R I C T O F C O L U M B I A. Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs. LINDA K. ARGO, DIRECTOR. Business and Professional Licensing Administration. HAROLD B. PETTIGREW, JR., ADMINISTRATOR. Doing Business 2.0.

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G O V E R N M E N T O F T H E D I S T R I C T O F C O L U M B I A

Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs

LINDA K. ARGO, DIRECTOR

Business and Professional Licensing Administration

HAROLD B. PETTIGREW, JR., ADMINISTRATOR

Doing Business 2.0

Corporate Registration and Business Licensing Overview

October 13, 2010

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THE

LICENSING PROCESS

STEP- BY- STEP

the licensing process step by step
THE LICENSING PROCESS STEP-BY-STEP
  • Step 1: Determine The Corporate Structure

How will I register my business?

    • There are many options for registering a business as follows: Corporation (non-profit or for profit), Limited Labiality Company (LLC), Partnerships (Limited Partnership (LP), Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), General Partnership (GP), Corporative Association, Sole Proprietor (SP)
    • DCRA Corporations Division registers all the above listed entities (except Sole Proprietor)
    • If an entity / sole proprietor plans to use a trade name (doing business as - dba) then the trade name should be registered with DCRA’s Corporations Division
    • For more information please visit http://dcra.dc.gov/DC/DCRA/For+Business/Corporate+Registration
the licensing process step by step1
THE LICENSING PROCESS STEP-BY-STEP

CORPORATIONS ACTIVITY | STATISTICS BY YEAR

  • New Businesses: 11,000 registered annually
  • Certified Documentation/Status Certificates: 17,500 issued annually
  • Miscellaneous/Amendments (other corporate filings): 11,000 processed annually
  • Reports: 32,500 processed annually
  • Total Transactions: 70,000 processed annually
  • Active Corporate Entities: 75,000
the licensing process step by step2
THE LICENSING PROCESS STEP-BY-STEP
  • Corporate Online Services:
  • The Corporations Division will be launching a new application that will enable customers to file online. The online services will include the following corporate filings:
    • Formation filings for domestic entities (i.e. articles of incorporation)
    • Registration filings for foreign entities (i.e. certificate of authority)
    • File biannual reports
    • Request for good standing certificate
    • Trade name registration
    • Name reservation filing
  • Target launch December 2010
the licensing process step by step3
THE LICENSING PROCESS STEP-BY-STEP
  • Step 2: Employer Identification Number (EIN):
    • Also known as the “Tax Identification Number (TIN)”
    • EIN is assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
    • IRS uses the EIN number to identify business taxpayers
    • EIN numbers are required if a business is doing the following:

- Hiring employees

- Operating as a corporation, LLC or partnership

- Filing tax returns for employment

- Using a tax-deferred pension account

    • For more information visit www.irs.gov
    • To apply online, go to: https://sa2.www4.irs.gov/modiein/individual/index.jsp
the licensing process step by step4
THE LICENSING PROCESS STEP-BY-STEP
  • Step 3: Certificate of Occupancy:

A Certificate of Occupancy or Home Occupation Permit is issued through DCRA’s Permit Center:

    • From a Building:

If operating a business from any commercial property a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) is required for all commercial properties

    • From a Home:

If operating a business from your primary residency (home) a Home Occupation Permit (HOP) is required. Only 25% of the dwelling’s floor area, or 250 square feet, can be used for the business operation

the licensing process step by step5
THE LICENSING PROCESS STEP-BY-STEP

Expedited Home Occupation Permit (eHOP)

  • Launching November 2010

Customers can apply for an Expedited Home Occupation Permit (EHOP) online.

    • The DC Office of Tax and Revenue will verify that the applicant is the owner of the property
    • Must be the principal place of residence
    • If the applicant is a tenant, they must apply in person and bring a DC driver’s license to verify residency
    • The tenant must provide written authorization from the landlord
    • Only 25% of the dwelling’s floor area, or 250 square feet, can be used for the business operation
the licensing process step by step6
THE LICENSING PROCESS STEP-BY-STEP
  • Step 4: DC Business Tax Identification Number:
    • The FR-500 is a DC Combined Business Tax Registration document that:

- Provides ownership information

- Identifies the location of the business

- Identifies the type of business entity

    • The Certification of Registration is mailed to the business owner once it is reviewed and approved by the Office of Tax and Revenue
    • For further information visit www.otr.cfo.dc.gov
the licensing process step by step7
THE LICENSING PROCESS STEP-BY-STEP
  • Step 5: Clean Hands Certificate:

The Cleans Hands form is an affidavit to verify that a potential business owner does not owe no more than $100 to the District Government

    • If the business owner owes more than $100 it will need to be resolved with the Office of Tax (OTR) and Revenue before a Clean Hands Certificateis approved
    • A business license or permit will not be issued or approved without a Clean Hands Certificate
    • The Basic Business License application-packet includes the Clean Hands Certificate form
the licensing process step by step8
THE LICENSING PROCESS STEP-BY-STEP
  • Step 6: Basic Business License Application:
    • All businesses are required to obtain a Basic Business License (BBL)
    • BBL’s are renewed every two years
    • There are 16 endorsements and 165 categories under the Basic Business License program
    • Certain licensing categories require additional information to include:

- Bond

- Insurance

- Criminal History Check

- Other District Agency Signatory Approval (i.e. Department

of Health)

the licensing process step by step9
THE LICENSING PROCESS STEP-BY-STEP
  • BBL Online Renewals:
    • Certain business licenses can be renewed online. Please review your renewal bill to determine if you can renew online. The following items are required:
      • BBL Number: This number is printed on your renewal bill
      • FEIN: The Federal Employer Identification Number of your business
      • PIN: A Personal Identification Number that is sent to you with your renewal bill
      • Credit Card: Payment with Visa, MasterCard, or Discover is required for renewal
    • You can renew your business application online 30 days prior to the expiration of your current license. 
    • DCRA must verify the information prior to renewing your license.
    • To renew online, go to: https://cpms.dcra.dc.gov/osr/
the licensing process step by step10
THE LICENSING PROCESS STEP-BY-STEP

BUSINESS LICENSING ACTIVITY

  • Top 5 licensing categories:
    • One family rental,
    • home improvement contractors,
    • home improvement salesman,
    • restaurants and
    • general business
  • New Business Licenses: 9,000 processed
  • Renewals (including online renewals): 12,000 processed
  • Total Active Licenses: 45,000
small business resource center overview
SMALL BUSINESS RESOURCE CENTEROVERVIEW

The Small Business Resource Center (SBRC) will provide workshops and one-on-one technical assistance to customers seeking assistance with navigating the District’s regulatory environment.

small business resource center partnerships
SMALL BUSINESS RESOURCE CENTERPARTNERSHIPS
  • Washington, DC Economic Partnership
  • DC Women’s Business Center
  • DC Small Business Development Center at the DC Chamber of Commerce Foundation
  • Washington Area Community Investment Fund
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
  • DC Bar Pro Bono Program
small business resource center services
SMALL BUSINESS RESOURCE CENTERSERVICES

The SBRC will provide service, which will include:

  • One-on-One Technical Assistance Sessions:
    • Business Licensing
    • Corporate Registrations
  • Workshops:
    • Starting a home-based business
    • Navigating the Basic Business License (BBL) process
    • Establishing a corporate entity
    • Navigating Internal Revenue Service Requirements
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