Welcome to the Department of Licensing and Consumer Protection (DLCP) Business and Professional Licensing Administration Business Licensing Division.
“Business” means any trade, profession, or activity which provides, or holds itself out to provide, goods or services to the general public or to any portion of the general public, for hire or compensation in the District of Columbia.
Business activity in the District requires owners/operators to be licensed according to the business activity conducted (e.g. convenience stores, home improvement contractors, residential rentals, restaurants).
Each licensed activity has a set of requirements, see categories below, but all licenses have to complete the four requirements outlined in the Steps to Obtain a Basic Business License.
Obtain a Basic Business License
How to Apply for a License
Visit the DC Business Licensing Portal. You can find personalized checklists with all the requirements you need to kick start your new business.
Visit the DC Business Licensing Portal
Want more information?
“Skip the Trip” and use the My DC Business Center to conduct business wherever and whenever you choose. Application requirements may be found below for which each category for which an application may be submitted online. If you have more detailed questions about the requirements and/or categories, contact us at (202) 671-4500.
Business Licensing Categories
Note: For each category, other than the last category (“Regulated Businesses”), the requirements are identical for all licenses in that category. However, the fee schedule may vary depending on the type of license.
Beauty & Grooming Services
Employee/Independent Salesperson Licenses
Flammable Product Sales & Services
General Sales/Services Business
Being or Becoming a Landlord in the District | A Handy Resource
If you are a current or aspiring landlord in the District, we have compiled a new resource to help you with your business: Resources and Information on Rental Housing.
- Asbestos Abatement Business
- Auction Sales
- Auto Repossession Business
- Consumer Goods (Auto Repair)
- Driving School
- Funeral Establishment
- General Contractor/Construction Manager
- Health Spa/Sales
- Home Improvement Contractor
- Massage Establishment
- Motor Vehicle Dealer
- Moving and Storage
- Parking Facility
- Public Hall
- Secondhand Dealers (A, B & C)
- Security Alarm Dealer
- Solid Waste Collector
- Solid Waste Vehicle
- Tow Truck
- Tow Truck Business
- Tow Truck Storage Lot
- Valet Parking