District of Columbia (DC) LLC Cost

We’ve compiled the most common fees so you know exactly what to expect when starting your District of Columbia (DC) LLC.

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Start Your LLC in District of Columbia (DC)

FAQs on how to determine District of Columbia (DC) LLC costs

  • The first step to the official formation of your limited liability company (LLC) is to file your Articles of Organization. There are several pieces of information you will need to complete this process. We can make it easier with our District of Columbia LLC Formation Services.

    Get the help you need to register your District of Columbia LLC for $0 plus state fees.

  • What does it cost to start a business in DC? There is more than one District of Columbia LLC filing fee that could apply when you are starting your limited liability company.

    District of Columbia LLC Filing Fee

    $99: District of Columbia limited liability companies costs $99 to get started. These fees are subject to change, so make sure to check with the D.C. Corporations Division for the latest filing fee schedule

    Basic Business License

    $95 to $200: Every business in the District of Columbia needs to have a basic business license. Your business activity determines what type of license you need. Costs vary depending on the industry. You can apply for this license online, and it is good for two to four years.

    Registered Agent Fee

    Varies: This component can be free if you choose to be your own registered agent, but this course is not recommended because it requires availability during regular business hours, making it inconvenient. A registered agent is responsible for receiving all legal and business correspondence for your LLC.

    So, the cost to start a business in Washington, DC can vary depending on the type of business and whether you hire a registered agent.

  • The District of Columbia LLC filing fees can vary depending on your specific business. Here are some fees that may apply.

    Name Reservation Fee

    $50: Prevent another business from taking the name you have chosen by reserving your business name for up to 120 days.

    DBA in the District of Columbia

    $55: A DBA or “doing business as” is used when a business does not want to go by its legally registered name. In the District of Columbia, this is also called a Trade Name.

    D.C. Certificate of Fact

    $50: A Certificate of Fact is often referred to as a Certificate of Good Standing. It is frequently required by banks and lending institutions. You can receive this document through the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.

    Business Licenses and Permits

    Varies: Depending on your industry and location, you may need various business licenses and permits to operate your business. It is important to check for these at the federal and local levels. We can help reduce the countless hours you spend researching what you need with our Business License Report service.

    D.C. Biennial Report

    $300: This Biennial Report filing fee is paid on April 1st of the year following the formation of your District of Columbia LLC. A new report is due every second year on the same date.

    Starting at just $0 plus state fees, we can form your District of Columbia LLC for you in just minutes. No LegalZoom promo code required: Pay just $0 plus filing fees for fast LLC formation in the District of Columbia. 

  • If you fail to pay your filing fees on time in the District of Columbia, you may be subject to penalties and fees. These costs vary depending on which fees are late. 

  • Complete failure to submit required forms and fees could result in the dissolution of your limited liability company. Failing to pay your one-time fees for your Articles of Organization means that your LLC was never started, and you are operating as a sole proprietorship or general partnership. Neither of these business entities require official registration, although they do require other components of business compliance. You should also know that a sole proprietorship or general partnership does not offer robust liability protection.

  • Your Articles of Organization LLC formation fees are paid to the Washington D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.

  • The largest District of Columbia LLC cost you will incur upon formation is the $99 fee to register your Articles of Organization. Every other year, you will have a $300 fee for your Biennial Report.

  • If you are filing online, credit card payment is accepted. You can also mail your payment using a check or deliver your documents in person. Walk-in customers will be charged an additional $100 fee for expedited service.

How do I form my LLC in the District of Columbia?

1. Choose an LLC Name

It is important to follow all District of Columbia naming laws when choosing a name for your limited liability company. General rules include:

  • The name must not be currently in use by another business
  • The name must be distinguishable from other businesses (can’t be similar)
  • The name must include the terms “limited liability company” or an approved abbreviation of the term
  • The name can’t contain any words indicating that they are a financial institution unless officially approved by the mayor 

We can help make sure that your name is available in the District of Columbia using our Business Name Checker

2. Select a Registered Agent

Your registered agent can be an individual or a business but is required to be available during all normal business hours. This is one reason that hiring a registered agent is a good idea. You may need a vacation. 

A registered agent must have a Washington D.C. physical address and is responsible for receiving all business and legal correspondence, including that from the Department of Regulatory Affairs. We can help you find the best Registered Agent to fit your needs. You will have to have a registered agent before filing your Articles of Organization. 

3. File your LLC Articles of Organization

It is important to make sure that you gather all the necessary information before submitting your Articles of Organization and filing fee. Here are some of the things you will need to have ready:

  • The name of your District of Columbia limited liability company
  • The street address of the initial principal business office
  • Registered Agent’s name and address
  • Statement asserting that the LLC has at least one member
  • Effective date of formation (can be up to 90 days in advance) 
  • Optional provisions such as the LLC’s purpose
  • Contact information for each member/manager with specific ownership interests listed on the form
  • The organizer’s contact information and signature
  • The filing fee

You will want to make sure you can complete this form accurately and in its entirety to avoid having to make amendments later. 

4. Create an Operating Agreement

An Operating Agreement is not legally required in the District of Columbia, but having one is highly recommended. This internal document governs how your business will run and can be extremely helpful in times of controversy. 

Provisions may include member and manager roles and responsibilities, profit and loss sharing, transfer of ownership, dispute resolution, and more. 

If you do not have an Operating Agreement, your company will need to refer to DC statutes to handle disputes, which may not be the best thing for your business. We can help you get started with our Operating Agreement Template

5. Get an Employer Identification Number

Your Employer Identification Number (EIN) is like a social security number for your business. You can’t pay taxes or hire employees without one. Opening business bank accounts often requires an EIN as well. You can obtain the number yourself from the IRS, or we can get it for you with our EIN ID Number Service

Stay Legally Compliant in the District of Columbia

There is a lot to keep up with when you are running a business. Determining your District of Columbia LLC cost is just the first step in understanding what it takes to get going and keep growing. 

Each year, you will have reports and filings that are due. We can help you stay compliant and in good standing with our Worry-Free Compliance service. We also understand that things can change. With this service, you also have two complementary amendments that we will handle for you if necessary. 

We can help!

Running a business can be hard. There is so much to do, extending far beyond drafting documents and paying filing fees. We are here to help and guide you through the process so you can focus on the things you are best at. We can’t wait to watch your District of Columbia LLC grow. 

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.


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