Doing business in the Washington Metropolitan Area District

Business requirements

SBA’s Business Guide lists the requirements needed to start, grow, and expand your business. Since laws and taxes vary by state, here’s what you need to do before starting your business in the District of Columbia. If you need small business information for the state of Virginia, visit the Doing business in the Virginia District page. If you need small business information for the state of Maryland, visit the Doing business in the Baltimore District page.

Business name and registration

Register your business name with the county clerk where your business is located. If you are a corporation, you will also need to register with the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.

Business licensing and zoning

Licenses are typically administered by a variety of state and local departments. It is important to consider zoning regulations when choosing a site for your business. Contact the local business license office where you plan to locate your business. You may not be permitted to conduct business out of your home or engage in industrial activity in a retail district.

Taxes

IRS District of Columbia Taxpayer Assistance Center

77 K St. NE

Washington, DC 20002

Phone: 202-803-9000

DC Office of Tax and Revenue

1101 4th St. SW, Room 270

Washington, DC 20024

Phone: 202-727-4829

Health and safety

Department of Employment Services

4058 Minnesota Ave. NE

Washington, DC 20019

Phone: 202-671-1900



DC OSHA

4058 Minnesota Ave. NE

Washington, DC 20019

Phone: 202-671-1800

State small business profiles

Need information on the local business landscape? SBA's Office of Advocacy has the latest demographic and statistics on local small business economic activity.

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Local assistance

Need help? Get free business counseling in your area.

SBA lending in our area

  • Loan programs

    Loan programs icon
    Learn more about SBA's 7(a) loans, 504 loans, and microloans that you can use for your business.
  • Lender Match

    Lender Match icon
    Describe your business needs and get matched with an SBA-backed lender in your area.
  • Lending activity reports

    Lending activity reports icon
    View 7(a) and 504 lending activity reports from our district.

Additional local resources

Download our guide to SBA resources

Learn about the opportunities available for small businesses nationwide.

Last updated November 22, 2023