LLC Cost in Washington D.C.
Last Updated: By TRUiC Team
Washington D.C. LLCs are relatively inexpensive — especially when you consider that an LLC can protect your personal assets and help grow your business. That’s why forming an LLC is the best choice for most small businesses.
The cost to form an LLC in DC starts at $220. This covers the primary cost of officially registering your LLC with the district.
Read our LLC Cost in Washington D.C. guide below to learn more about LLC costs and other fees associated with all DC businesses.
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You can form an LLC yourself and save a little money or use a professional service and save a lot of time.
Northwest ($29 plus state fees)
How Much Is an LLC in Washington D.C.?
Washington D.C LLC Filing Fee: $220+
To form an LLC in Washington D.C., you'll need to file the Articles of Organization (Form DLC-1) with the Washington D.C Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs and pay either $220 online and by mail or $320 in person.
You can complete this process yourself with our How to Start an LLC guide or use an LLC formation service.
Registered Agent Fee
Every Washington D.C. LLC must appoint a registered agent. Your Washington D.C. registered agent must be a resident of Washington D.C. and must be available to receive service of process during normal business hours at a designated street address.
You can be your own registered agent in Washington D.C., or you can use a registered agent service for a minimal cost.
Recommended: Get free registered agent services for one year when you form an LLC with Northwest ($29 plus state fees).
Washington D.C. LLC Biennial Report: $300
Washington D.C. requires LLCs to file a biennial report through the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs website.
Cost to Form a Foreign LLC in Washington: $220
LLCs registered in another state that want to expand into Washington D.C. must register as a foreign LLC in Washington D.C.
The cost for registering a Washington D.C. foreign LLC is $220. You can register a foreign LLC in Washington D.C. by filing a Foreign Registration Statement (Form FN-1) with the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.
Business Licenses and Permits
Your business might need federal and local permits/licenses to legally operate in Washington D.C., depending on your industry and geographical location. This is true whether you form an LLC or any other type of business structure.
Learn more about local licensing in our Washington D.C. business license guide.
Other Washington D.C. Business Filing Fees
There are fees associated with other, optional business filings in Washington D.C.
LLC Name Reservation
You can reserve a business name for your LLC for up to 60 days by filing an Application for Name Reservation (Form NR-1) and paying the $50 fee.
"Doing Business As" (DBA) Name
When an LLC is registered with the district, the LLC’s name is also officially registered. Some business owners choose to also file for a DBA name, known as a trade name in Washington D.C.
You can file a Trade Name Registration Form (Form TN-1) and pay the $55 filing fee to create a name other than your legal LLC business name.
Learn more in our Washington D.C. DBA guide.
Certified Document Copies
You can get certified copies of your DC business documents by ordering through the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs and paying $50 each.
Certificate of Good Standing
You can obtain a Washington D.C. Certificate of Good Standing by ordering it through the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs and paying the $50 fee.
A Certificate of Good Standing is often required by banks and lenders.
How to Start an LLC in Washington D.C.
Forming an LLC yourself is easy; just follow the five steps below.
Five Basic Steps to Start an LLC in Washington D.C.
Step 1: Name Your Washington D.C. LLC
Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent
Step 3: File a Articles of Organization
Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement
Step 5: Get an EIN
Step 1: Name Your Washington D.C. LLC
When you name your Washington D.C. LLC, you’ll need to choose a name that:
- Is available for use in Washington D.C.
- Meets Washington D.C.'s naming requirements
- Is available as a web domain
Check web domain (URL) availability with GoDaddy:
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Not sure what to name your business? Check out our free LLC name generator.
Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent
Washington D.C. LLCs are required to appoint a registered agent to receive service of process. Business owners can hire a registered agent service or appoint any Washington D.C. resident that is 18 years or older and is available during normal business hours at a specified address to receive service of process.
Recommended: Northwest offers one full year of registered agent services with their $29 (plus state fees) LLC formation package.
Step 3: File a DC Articles of Organization
To form an LLC in Washington D.C., you must file the Articles of Organization with the Washington D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. This can be done online through CorpOnline or by filing Form DLC-1 by mail or in person.
For a closer look at the filing process, check out our Washington D.C. Articles of Organization guide.
Step 4: Create an LLC Operating Agreement
Operating agreements are not required for Washington D.C. LLCs, but it’s a good practice to have one.
An operating agreement outlines the ownership and operating procedures of an LLC, ensuring that all members are on the same page and reducing the risk of conflict down the line.
Learn more in our Washington D.C. LLC Operating Agreement guide.
Step 5: Get an EIN
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a nine-digit number issued by the IRS to identify businesses for tax purposes. Think of an EIN as a Social Security number for your LLC.
To learn how to get an EIN for free, visit our How to Get an EIN Number guide.
Washington D.C. Business Resources
LLC Cost in Washington D.C. FAQ
What is the cheapest way to start an LLC in Washington D.C.?
The cheapest way to start an LLC in Washington D.C. is to handle the registration process individually. In order to do this, you will need to follow these steps:
- Name your LLC
- Choose a registered agent: This can be a registered agent service or an individual.
- File the Articles of Organization: The filing fee for this starts at $220 and can be done online, by mail, or in person.
- Create an LLC operating agreement: This is usually not a legal requirement, but it is highly recommended.
- Get an EIN: This is basically your business’s Social Security number (SSN).
How much does an LLC cost per year in Washington D.C.?
You will need to file a biennial report in order to maintain your Washington D.C. LLC. The fee for this is $300.
For a more in-depth analysis, see our How Much Does an LLC Cost? article.
How much does an LLC license cost in Washington D.C.?
An LLC is not a business license, but a business entity. Forming an LLC in Washington D.C. includes a filing fee of $220+ and a biennial report fee of $300.
You may be required to pay additional fees if you choose to pay for a registered agent service, an LLC formation service, or an LLC attorney.
See our How to Start an LLC in Washington D.C. for more information on registering your business as an LLC.
Do LLCs pay taxes in Washington D.C.?
Yes, LLCs are a “pass-through” tax entity. This means that the LLCs profits are “passed through” directly to its owner(s), who then pay income taxes independently.
This is advantageous compared to a corporation’s tax structure because it means that LLC members are not taxed twice.
Having said that, readers should keep in mind that LLCs are very flexible when it comes to how they can be taxed, and — depending on the specifics — they can choose to be taxed as a pass-through entity, a C corp, and an S corp.
For more information, see our How Is an LLC Taxed guide.
What are the tax benefits of an LLC?
The tax benefits of an LLC will depend on how you choose to be taxed, as well as on whether you are operating as a single or multi-member LLC.
Generally speaking, LLCs can choose to be taxed in several different ways, including:
- As a sole proprietorship or general partnership
- As a C corporation
- As an S corporation
See our Single-Member LLC Taxes guide for a detailed overview of the tax benefits of having an LLC as a small business.
Do I need to open a business bank account for my LLC?
Even though you do not necessarily “need” to open a bank account for your LLC, this is generally highly recommended for several reasons.
For one, having a separate bank account can allow you to maintain your LLC’s corporate veil — meaning that you will not risk losing your limited personal liability under the law. A business bank account also offers financial benefits, including the ability to build business credit more quickly and access to larger business loans.
Interested in opening a business bank account? See our review of the best banks for startups in 2023.