Ready to fulfill the dream of owning your own business, but don’t know how to make the process of starting an LLC in Washington D.C. comfortable and easy? This article is just what you need!
For your convenience, we’ve broken down the formation process into 7 simple steps. By following them, you will be able to quickly start an LLC that meets all of the state’s requirements and get to work, making your first deals.
One of the key decisions you should make to create an llc is choosing the right name. A good LLC name should be creative and meet the requirements for a Washington DC business entity name, such as:
Once you are sure that a DC LLC name meets all of the above criteria, you can start the registration. To do this, you will have to submit the Articles of Organization to the Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs (DCRA). Once the company is approved, it will get exclusive rights to the name assigned automatically.
If you’re not ready to officially open yet but want to keep your chosen name, a Name Reservation is a good option. A reservation in Washington D.C. lasts 120 days.
According to the law, to create your Washington D.C. LLC, you will need a Registered Agent. His main responsibility is maintaining legal communications between the business and the state.
Any person or entity who meets the following requirements can become an LLC registered agent:
The range of people who may become registered agents in the District of Columbia is quite broad:
Once you have selected the right registered agent and obtained their approval, enter their personal information in the Articles of Organization. Then send the documents to the District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs to officially launch an LLC.
The basic document required to create a limited liability company and commence business is Articles of Organization for Domestic Limited Liability Company DLC-1. The form is publicly available on the Secretary of State’s website. Usually, the following information is required:
You can submit documents to the District of Columbia Corporations Division for approval in one of the following ways:
Filing online is the fastest and most affordable option. Simply visit the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs website and fill the required form. The mandatory filing fee is $220, and it can be paid by credit or debit card.
If you prefer paper documents, you can mail your completed Articles of Organization and a check for payment of the state fee to:
Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
PO Box 92300
Washington, DC 20090
In case you live in or plan to travel to Washington, you can deliver the documents to the following address:
Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs
1100 4th Street SW
Washington, DC 20024
Please note that this option will require an additional $100 for expedited handling.
Once officially registered, the state will require a Washington D.C. Certificate of Formation needed for:
Although according to the District of Columbia business law, creating an operating agreement is not mandatory for conducting business, it is highly advisable.
An operating agreement is an internal LLC document that states the basic principles of its operation and the rights and obligations of its participants. It is one of the LLC’s most important internal documents, and usually contains such key points:
As it’s not a mandatory document, there is no official form. You can ask an attorney to draft an Operating Agreement or write one yourself using free Internet templates.
Once you register an LLC, in most cases you will need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Sometimes, it is also called a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or Federal Tax Identification Number (FTIN), depending on the state.
An EIN is a unique nine-digit code that the IRS assigns to a company for quick identification.
You will need an EIN if you plan to:
You can get an EIN using one of these three options:
There is no state fee.
Download Form SS-4 to your computer, fill it out and print it. Mail your Form SS-4 to:
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
You may fax the completed paperwork to:
Even though LLC formation in the District of Columbia is done by filing Articles of Organization, in most cases, it is not enough. To run a business legally, many LLCs in DC have to obtain applicable licenses and permits. Their number and type depend on the location and the business.
The most common type is a basic business license (BBL). You can get it to conduct business for a period of 2 years.
To learn more about what you need to comply with federal, state, and local government regulations, choose the following options:
Also, in addition to licenses and permits, you need to remember about D.C. LLC Tax Filing Requirements. You need to follow them to maintain good standing.
Depending on the specifics of your business, it may be subject to taxes such as:
Unlike some other states, Washington D.C. requires LLCs to report to the Superintendent of Corporations of DCRA once every two years.
The Biennial Report generally contains the following information about the company:
Each DC LLC should submit its first Biennial Report by April 1 of the year following the LLC formation year and then, regularly every 2 years. A $300 processing fee should be paid to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. Please mind that there is no refund if there are mistakes in the document.
You should also remember that a company can get a $100 penalty if it fails to file another Biennial Report by April 1. If the violation is not corrected within 60 days, the state has the right to subject the LLC to involuntary dissolution.
Filing a Biennial Report Online is a quick and easy process. You can do it with Washington DC CorpOnline by paying the required fee by card.
If for some reason, you don’t want to file the documents online, download a form to your computer, fill it out, and deliver it to:
Business License Center
1100 4th St., SW.
Washington, DC 20024
Please don’t forget that personal delivery will require an extra expedited fee of $100 that can be paid by card or check.
To summarize, launching an LLC in Washington D.C. is pretty easy, as long as you know how to obtain, fill out, and file all the necessary documents.
If you have doubts or just don’t like paperwork, consider hiring an LLC formation service that will take care of it on your behalf.
A professional online company will help you create your DC LLC quickly and efficiently, meeting all the state requirements. In addition, most can open a Limited Liability Company in Washington D.C. and make its subsequent operation more comfortable. For example, keep an LLC compliant by reminding you in advance of current reporting deadlines so that your business’s reputation is always great.