Why Form a Limited Liability Company (LLC)?


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LLC Fees and Filing Requirements in DC

Some types of businesses have different requirements in Washington DC, including related fees and costs. Your DC LLC needs to pay various fees to the federal government, the local government and other agencies. Some of these fees are levied by the Washington DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs or other organizations, while others come from the federal government. On this page, we’ve summarized the most common fees and requirements.

Note that Washington DC business licenses and permits might need to be paid when you first form your business, on an ongoing schedule or on an ad hoc basis. Find more details below.

Washington DC LLC Formation Filing and Fees

To create your business in Washington DC, you’ll file an LLC with the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs and pay an associated LLC formation fee. Every region has different LLC filing fees and filing times. Here is the current information for Washington DC:

State Fee State Filing Time Expedited Filing Time
$220 3 Weeks 4 Business Days

When you incorporate through Incfile, we forward this fee to the Washington DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs on your behalf when we file your paperwork. 

Some states allow you to form your LLC more quickly by paying a rush fee. You can compare state filing times and fees here, including expedited fees for Washington DC.

Incorporate your Washington DC LLC through Incfile today

Getting an Employer Identification Number for Your DC LLC

Every Washington DC LLC should have a unique Employer Identification Number (EIN). These are provided by the Internal Revenue Service, and you use them when filing taxes, opening a business bank account and paying employees. You can get one yourself at no cost from the IRS or have Incfile obtain one on your behalf.

Get an EIN for your Washington DC LLC through Incfile

Certificate of Authority to Operate Outside Washington DC

If you’re expanding your Washington DC LLC beyond the borders of the state, you will need a Foreign Qualification or Certificate of Authority to operate in another state. These are typically necessary if you have a physical presence, employees or banking in a different state than Washington DC. Fees and requirements for foreign qualifications depend on each state’s rules. Incfile provides a complete Foreign Qualification service for any state.

Get a Foreign Qualification/Certificate of Authority through Incfile

Ongoing Washington DC Filing and Annual Fees

Washington DC requires you to file a report the year after you incorporate, then every other year after that. When you file your DC LLC annual report, you will need to pay a fee. Here are the filing requirements for Washington DC:

Annual Report

Frequency: Biennially

Due Date: April 1st

Note: Starts with year after incorporation or qualification; then each second year thereafter.

Filing Fee: $300

Learn about your ongoing Washington DC LLC filing requirements and business filing deadlines with our helpful Washington DC ongoing filing lookup tool.

Incfile can also complete and file your Washington DC Annual Report on your behalf.

Incfile’s Washington DC Annual Report filing service

Washington DC Business Licenses and Permits

Your Washington DC LLC may need certain business permits and licenses to comply with specific requirements. These business permits and licenses might be issued by Washington DC, regional or federal organizations. Some of the associated fees only need to be paid once, while others have ongoing charges.

Permits and licenses vary based on:

  • The industry your Washington DC LLC operates in (e.g., restaurants will need health permits)
  • The type of business that you run (e.g., healthcare providers must meet HIPAA requirements)

You can research these permits and licenses yourself or use Incfile’s Business License Research Package, which includes:

  • A complete report on all the licenses, permits and tax registrations your Washington DC LLC will need

  • The application forms you will need to file with the Washington DC, regional and federal licensing authorities

Remember that operating your business without the required licenses can expose you to risks and fines from federal, Washington DC and local governments.

Incfile’s Washington DC Business License Research Package

An Operating Agreement for Your Washington DC LLC

An Operating Agreement is a business document that covers how the business will be run, how managers and members are chosen, rights and duties of members and several other key areas.

An Operating Agreement is extremely useful for several reasons (learn about them here). If you’re interested in having your Operating Agreement created for you, Incfile can draft a general Operating Agreement template when you choose to form your Washington DC business. You can choose to make changes to the template based on your unique requirements. 

Ad Hoc Washington DC Fees or Requirements for Your DC LLC

There are several other fees or requirements that you may need to meet during the life of your Washington DC LLC. These ad hoc fees will only be payable in specific circumstances, which we’ve listed below.

To Obtain a Fictitious/DBA Name for Your Washington DC LLC

If you want your DC business to trade under a different name, you can file a form with the Washington DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. You will need to pay a Washington DC filing fee. Incfile can file this form on your behalf.

Incfile’s Washington DC Fictitious Name service

To Change the Washington DC Registered Agent for Your DC LLC

Your Washington DC LLC needs a Registered Agent, which must be appointed when you first incorporate your LLC. You can also switch to a new DC Registered Agent later. Incfile provides a complete Washington DC Registered Agent service.

Incfile’s Washington DC Registered Agent service

To Reserve a Name for Your Washington DC LLC

If you don’t want to form your DC business right away, you can reserve a name with the Washington DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. You will need to pay a small fee to do this.

To Amend Certain Facts About Your Washington DC LLC

Your business formation documents state certain facts about your Washington DC business when it was originally formed. Over time, these facts might change — if they do, you need to file “Articles of Amendment” with the Washington DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. You can do this yourself or have Incfile complete the filing on your behalf.

Areas you might want to file Washington DC Articles of Amendment for include:

  • Adding, removing or changing a Washington DC LLC member or manager

  • Changing the business address of your LLC

  • Altering the stated business activities of your Washington DC LLC

Incfile’s Washington DC Articles of Amendment service

The Washington DC Corporation Commission Certificate of Good Standing

Some organizations will request that you prove your Washington DC LLC’s compliance with laws and tax requirements. If you need to prove you have met your commitments, you will need a “Certificate of Good Standing” from the Washington DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. Incfile can obtain a certificate on your behalf.

Incfile’s Washington DC Certificate of Good Standing service

The fees listed above detail all the charges that a standard DC LLC will be required to pay. In some circumstances, there may be other one-off, periodic or ad hoc fees not listed above. 

Of course, your Washington DC LLC will also probably need to pay self-employment, payroll, federal, state and sales taxes, but we will cover that when we talk about taxes for DC LLCs.

FAQs About Washington DC LLC Costs

What Happens to the State Fees That I Am Charged When Forming My Washington DC LLC?

We charge you for this fee at cost and then pay the fee to the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs on your behalf when forming your Washington DC business. 

Do I Need to Pay an Annual Report Fee Every Year?

Not in Washington DC, as they only require you to file a report every other year, when there will be a fee due. You can find out more on the compliance page for your area.

Who Will I Need to Get Business Licenses and Permits From for My Washington DC LLC?

It depends on various factors including:

  • The type of business you run
  • Where you are located
  • Governing organizations in your industry
  • Federal and local regulations

That’s why our Business License Research Package is so useful. It explores all of these areas for you and provides a comprehensive overview of exactly what your Washington DC LLC needs to be compliant.

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What are the fees and requirements to form a business in Washington Dc?

Filing Time and Price

The state charges this amount to file a new business entity. This fee goes directly to the Secretary of State.

State Fee State Filing Time Expedited Filing Time
$220 3 Weeks 4 Business Days

Compliance Requirements

This report is mandatory and must be filed within the specified time frame in order for the entity to remain in good standing with the state. Failure to file this report can lead to the company being revoked or administratively dissolved.

Annual Report

Frequency: Biennially

Due Date: April 1st

Note: Starts with year after incorporation or qualification; then each second year thereafter.

Filing Fee: $300

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