How To Start An LLC In The District Of Columbia 2022: Free Guide

A limited liability company (LLC) is a type of legal entity used to establish a business. It combines a corporation’s restricted liability with a partnership or sole proprietorship’s flexibility and absence of formality. Forming an LLC is a good idea for any business owner who wants to restrict their liability for business debts and lawsuits.

Looking to form a limited liability company (LLC) in the District of Columbia? This handy guide has all of the information you’ll need to get started. The following are the steps to forming an LLC in the District of Columbia.

Filing Requirements & Overall Massachusetts LLC Cost

A Massachusetts limited liability company (LLC) costs $500 to form. Only when LLC’s Certificate of Organization is filed with the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth is this charge submitted.

Fee for Filing an LLC Online

The $500 price to file your LLC’s Certificate of Organization online with the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth is the most expensive part of incorporating an LLC.

Registered Agent

You can be your registered agent in Massachusetts, but hiring a registered agent service keeps your firm in compliance and reminds you of critical filing deadlines, so you don’t pay late fines. For the first year, registered agent fees start at $39 per year.

Annual Report Fee 

LLCs must complete an annual report with the Secretary of the Commonwealth in Massachusetts. This application can be sent or submitted online through the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth’s website. It is due each year on the anniversary of the LLC’s formation.

Cost to start a foreign LLC

If you currently have an LLC registered in another state and want to extend your business into Massachusetts, you’ll need to register it as a foreign LLC.

The cost of forming a foreign LLC in Massachusetts is $500. A foreign limited liability company (LLC) can be registered in Massachusetts by submitting a Foreign Limited Liability Company Application for Registration. This can also be accomplished through the mail.

5 Basic Steps to Start an LLC In the District Of Columbia 2022

In the District of Columbia, forming an LLC is simple. You’ll be on your way in no time if you follow these five steps.

Choose a Name for Your Delivery Service, LLC

The name of your LLC must be easily distinguished from the names of other businesses registered with the District of Columbia Corporations Division of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA). The District of Columbia Corporations Division company name database can be searched to see if a name is available.

A $50 fee can be paid to reserve an available name for 120 days. Reservations can be made online through the Corporations Division of the District of Columbia or by mail using Form GN-3, Name Reservation Registration & Transfer.

Choose Your Registered Agent

For service of process in the District of Columbia, every LLC must have a Washington DC registered agent. This is a person or company who agrees to accept legal papers on behalf of the LLC if it is is sued. If the LLC’s office address is in the District, a member of the LLC can act as the registered agent. You can search the Internet for a registered agent in Columbia.

File Articles of Organization

The Articles of Organization for Domestic Limited Liability Company, DLC-1, were filed with the District of Columbia Corporations Division to form a District of Columbia LLC.

The certificate must have the following information: The name of the LLC, the street address of the LLC’s principal office, the name and address of the LLC’s registered agent, the effective date of the Articles—whether when filed or later, the name and address of the LLC’s organizer, and the organizer’s signature. Articles can be submitted online or by mail. The cost of submitting is $220.

Create an LLC Operating Agreement for a Delivery Service

In the District of Columbia, an LLC operating agreement is not needed, but it is strongly recommended. This is an internal document that lays out the rules for how your LLC will operate. In addition, it outlines the members’ and managers’ rights and responsibilities, as well as how the LLC will be handled.

It can also assist you in keeping your limited liability status by demonstrating that your LLC is a separate legal organization. In the absence of an operating agreement, your LLC will be governed by District of Columbia LLC law. It is not necessary to file an operating agreement with the Articles of Organization.

Obtaining an EIN

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assigns a nine-digit Employer Identification Number (EIN) to your LLC to identify it for tax purposes. You can get your EIN from the IRS by mail or online.

Important Steps After Forming An LLC In the District Of Columbia

Following the formation of your LLC, you should take the following steps to protect and expand your business:

Separate Your Personal And Business Assets

To safeguard your company’s corporate veil, you must use specific business banking and credit accounts. When you mix your personal and business bank account, your personal assets (your home, car, and other possessions) are in danger if your LLC is issued.

Open a bank account for your business:

Separates your personal asset from the assets of your firm, which is required for personal asset protection. It simplifies bookkeeping and tax reporting.

Obtaining a credit card for your business:

It assists you in distinguishing between personal and commercial spending. Builds your company’s credit history, which can come in handy if you need to raise funds in the future.

Get A Website And Running

Regardless of your industry, a good website is crucial to the long-term success of your company. A website allows potential clients to find your company online and learn about the products or services you provide, as well as enhance your company’s credibility.

Get Permits And Licenses For Your Business

Your LLC must follow federal, state, and local government requirements in order to operate. Restaurants, for example, are likely to require health permits, construction permits, signage permissions, and other permits.

Keep in mind that you may be required to pay a fee, attend classes, or pass an exam in order to obtain some basic business license or permissions.

Register Your LLC For State Taxes

You may be needed to register for numerous types of state taxes, depending on the kind and location of your business:

  • If you’re selling a physical item, you’ll almost certainly have to register for sales and use tax.
  • If you have employees, you’ll almost certainly need to register for unemployment insurance and withholding taxes.

Get Accounting Begin

There are a lot of expenses to keep track of even before you formally open for business. An accounting system allows you to keep track of your company’s finances, such as bills, expenses, and revenue. It also makes filing your taxes easier each year.

Accounting software makes the process go quickly and smoothly. Look for software that does the following:

  • Automatically syncs with your bank
  • Transactions are matched with invoices, bills, and purchase orders.
  • It’s possible to use it on your phone.
  • It’s simple to collaborate with your accountant.

The Top 2 LLC Services District Of Columbia

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Choosing a ZenBusiness creation package, which starts at only $39 per year, makes forming a Washington D.C. LLC a breeze (plus the Washington D.C. state fee). In addition, ZenBusiness simplifies things so you can spend more time focused on your business’s growth.

Here are some of our favorite aspects of Zen Business:

  • You will receive more individualized attention from a smaller company than you would from a larger corporation.
  • For $39 plus district fees, you can get registered agents for the first year when you form your firm with Zen Business (this yearly package usually costs $119).
  • At $99 a year, it has one of the lowest à-la-carte registered agent prices.


Northwest is the only major national registered agent service that scans every document they receive as your agent locally for $125 per year. They also provide personalized customer service by assigning each client to a dedicated account representative.

Here are a few more great reasons to visit the Northwest:

  • If you utilize them for more than ten states or as the registered agents for more than ten businesses, you will receive a $100 discount per year per business.
  • Promises to never sell your personal information and uphold their Privacy by Default policy.
  • If you use their $39 LLC formation service, you get a year of free registered agents service ($125 per year will begin in the second year).

Final Thoughts

If you’re just getting started in business or have been working as a sole proprietor for a while, you might think about incorporating an LLC. LLCs minimize an owner’s personal liability for business debts and lawsuits, and they provide a great deal of flexibility in corporate ownership, management, and taxation.

The formation of your LLC provides you with a legal base on which to conduct business. Plan to maintain your LLC up to date and compliant with the state’s website. This could entail paying your taxes on a quarterly basis. It would help if you also had a registered agent for your company.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Can I Find Out If The Name I Want For My LLC Is Available?

It’s critical that the name of your LLC stands apart from that of other firms registered with the District of Columbia Corporations Division of the Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs. To ensure that your suggested name is available, you can run a free name search on the District of Columbia Corporations Division website.

In The District Of Columbia, May I Register A Single-Member LLC?

A single-member LLC in the District of Columbia is treated the same as a multi-member LLC for most purposes.

In The District Of Columbia, May I Form A Professional LLC?

If you wish to form an LLC in the District of Columbia and provide a licensed professional service, you must first form a professional limited liability corporation (PLLC).

When I’m Done, How Can I Dissolve My LLC?

If you’ve concluded that it’s time to shut down your company and stop all operations, you’ll need to dissolve your LLC correctly to protect yourself from litigation and government fees.




Jazmin Castello holds a Master's degree in Business Management, owns two companies, and has also published a self-help book. When she is not working or writing, she likes to spend time with her family and to travel.

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