Last updated January 19, 2021
District of Columbia LLC
Articles of Organization
Quick Start Guide
This Quick Start Guide is a brief overview of how to form an LLC in the District of Columbia.
District of Columbia LLC Costs:
District of Columbia LLC formation: $220 (one-time)
District of Columbia LLC biennial report: $300 (every 2 years)
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Washington DC LLC Formation
The Articles of Organization is the form that officially creates your LLC in the District of Columbia.
District of Columbia LLC Filing Fee:
The District of Columbia LLC filing is $220.
This is a one-time filing fee.
Note: The “LLC filing fee” (the fee to create a District of Columbia LLC) is the same thing as the “Articles of Organization fee”. The Articles of Organization is the document, that once approved by the Corporations Division, creates your District of Columbia LLC.
LLC approval times
• If you form your District of Columbia LLC online, your LLC will be approved in 5 business days.
• If you form your District of Columbia LLC by mail, your LLC will be approved in 15 business days.
We recommend filing your DC LLC online. The filing is much easier and your LLC will be approved within 5 business days (as opposed to 15 business days for a mail-in filing).
(check out Northwest vs LegalZoom)
Online filing instructions only
The instructions below are for how to form an LLC in the District of Columbia online.
If you prefer to file your LLC by mail, the instructions will be similar, but instead of filing online, you’ll need to mail in a completed Articles of Organization to the Washington D.C. Corporations Division. Their mailing address is Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, Corporations Division, PO Box 92300, Washington, DC 20090. Send a check or money order for $220 payable to the “DC Treasurer”.
Prior LLC University® lessons
Before forming an LLC in the District of Columbia, make sure you have read the two prior lessons:
DC LLC Online Filing
In order to form an LLC online in the District of Columbia, you’ll need to create an account with the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA).
Create an online account with the DCRA
Click here to register for a DCRA online account:
Create a username and password. Then enter your name and address. Then click “Register” to complete the process. Make sure to save your login credentials.
If you already have an account, click here to login:
After you login, you’ll be redirected to your DCRA account homepage:
Let’s Get Started
- You’ll see 4 columns on the homepage
- Look in the first column on your left, titled “Domestic”
- Look under the “Limited Liability Company” section (3rd section down)
- Click “DLC-1 LLC/PLLC Articles of Organization Web”
- Review the “Instruction Sheet” page and click “Next” to begin
Note: We’ll discuss the LLC Biennial Report in another lesson.
Redeem Name Reservation
This step won’t apply to most filers since a name reservation is not a requirement when forming an LLC in DC. If you don’t have an LLC name reservation, just click “Next”.
However, if you reserved an LLC name ahead of time, go ahead and enter your file number, click “check reserved name”, and select your reservation for your LLC filing.
LLC Business Name
Enter your desired DC LLC name, but leave out the suffix, aka the designator (ex: “LLC”).
Note: CorpOnline won’t tell you if your desired LLC name is distinguishable from other businesses in the District. Meaning, if you enter an LLC name that is not available and proceed to submit your filing, it’ll be rejected.
Prior LLC University® lesson: For the above reason, make sure you read our District of Columbia LLC name search lesson before entering your LLC name here.
Select the desired “ending” (suffix/designator) for your LLC from the drop down menu.
As per section 29–103.02 of the DC.Business Organizations Code, an LLC in the District must include one of the following suffixes at the end of its name:
- Ltd. Co.
- Ltd. Company
- Limited Co.
- Limited Company
- Limited Liability Company
Tip: If you’re not sure which suffix to use, the ending “LLC” is the most common. It’s also the most recognizable and easy to remember.
LLC Effective Date
An LLC effective date is the date your DC LLC officially goes into existence.
Most filers leave the box as-is which will leave today’s date in place.
However, if you’re forming your Washington DC LLC later in the year, such as October, November, or December, it may be a good idea to forward-date your filing to January 1st of next year. This will save you the hassle of filing taxes for those few months.
Note: A Washington DC LLC cannot have an effective date more than 90 days ahead.
LLC Business Address
Enter your LLC’s office address or place of business.
This address can be a home address, an office address, a friend or family member’s address, or the address of your Commercial Registered Agent.
This address can be within the District or it can be in another state. The address can also be outside of the United States, if applicable.
Prior LLC University® lesson: Remember, you have a few options for who can be your LLC’s DC Registered Agent. Some options may be better than others. Make sure you’ve read our DC Registered Agent lesson before proceeding.
If you or someone you know will be the Registered Agent for your LLC:
To the right of “Is non-commercial Registered Agent?“, select “Yes“, then enter your/their name, email (optional), and address.
Tip: Your DC LLC’s Registered Agent information is public record, so feel free to leave the email blank (it’s not required) if you or someone you know will be your LLC’s Registered Agent. The email address isn’t even used by the DCRA. Instead, the DCRA sends Biennial Report reminders via mail to the Registered Agent every 2 years.
If you hired a Commercial Registered Agent:
To the right of “Is non-commercial Registered Agent?“, select “No“, then select the Registered Agent company you hired from the drop down menu.
Note: If you hired Northwest, you’ll notice their name is in the list twice. It doesn’t matter which one you select. They are both the same.
Note: We don’t provide information about Series LLCs. We only cover a subject matter if we can thoroughly research and document it for our readers. At this time, we don’t feel that there is enough established case law and tax decisions made for us to explain Series LLCs. If you do decide to form a Series LLC in DC, we strongly recommend working with a tax attorney in the District.
If you are forming a Series LLC in DC (as per section 29-802.06), click the checkbox to the right of “Has Series?“.
Check the box at the top to denote that your District of Columbia LLC has at least 1 LLC Member. Then enter today’s date (it’s easiest to copy/paste the date and time from “effective date” box) and click “Add Member”.
• If you are forwarding-dating your LLC filing, you can make the date here match the date in your “Effective Date” box.
• Although the online filing says that you can add LLC Member information in the “Misc. Provisions” box, just to let you know, adding Member information in the “Misc. Provisions” box is optional.
• The calendar icon doesn’t work. It’s easier to just copy and paste the address and time from the “effective date” box.
• After you click “Add Member” the box looks sort of blank or incorrect. It’s not. This is how it’ll look:
An LLC Organizer is the person who is completing the Articles of Organization. An LLC Organizer is not automatically a Member (owner) of your LLC. Again, they are just “organizing” the LLC and filing the Articles of Organization. However, an LLC Organizer can also be an LLC Member, or the LLC Organizer can be a lawyer, an accountant, a friend/family member, or anyone that you authorize to form your LLC.
Enter the name and address of your LLC’s Organizer and then click “Add Organizer”.
This section is used to add a sentence or two for additional provisions, articles, or rules to your DC LLC filing.
Most filers don’t add additional provisions unless they’ve been instructed by their attorney.
However, If you are forming a Professional LLC (PLLC):
Enter the type of professional services that your LLC will offer. “Professional services” include services rendered to the public by the following professionals:
- certified public accountants
- professional engineers
- other health professionals (as per section 3-1201.01)
If you’re not going to use this Misc. Provisions box, you can check off the checkbox to the right of “Delete”.
Like the “Misc. Provisions” box above, this section is used to add additional provisions, articles, or rules to your DC LLC filing.
The only difference is that this section is for adding text that is longer than 1-2 sentences. In fact, you can upload multiple pages or multiple addenda to your LLC filing.
Tip: Most filers don’t upload any additional documents unless they’ve been instructed to do so by their attorney.
Once you’re finished entering all the information in your DC filing, click the “Next” button to proceed.
Normal approval time for filing a DC LLC online is 5 business days (at no additional cost).
If you’d like to speed up your LLC approval time, you can expedite the review of your filing:
- $50 extra for 3 business days
- $100 extra for 1 business day
From the drop down, select whether or not you want to expedite your LLC filing and then click “Next” to proceed.
Review the information you entered in your DC LLC’s Articles of Organization. Check for any errors or typos.
If you need to make any changes, click the “Back” button at the bottom.
If everything looks good, click the “Next” button to proceed.
Select “Credit Card” from the first drop down menu. Enter your name, billing address, and phone number. Then enter your card information below, click “Next”, and finalize your payment to the DCRA.
Note: All information entered on this page is private. It will not become public record.
Congratulations, your District of Columbia LLC filing has been submitted to the DCRA!
Now you just need to wait for your LLC to be approved.
District of Columbia LLC Approval
After submitting your District of Columbia LLC Articles of Organization online, the DCRA will approve your LLC in 5 business days (unless you’ve paid extra for an expedited review).
Once your DC LLC is approved, you’ll receive an email notification and you’ll then be able to download your LLC approval documents from the “Approved Services” tab of your DCRA CorpOnline account.
There are 3 documents that make up your District of Columbia LLC approval:
- Certificate of Organization (with the DCRA seal)
- Articles of Organization (stamped and approved)
Next Step: DC LLC Operating Agreement
Once you file your DC LLC Articles of Organization, and it’s approved by the District, you can then proceed to the next lesson: District of Columbia LLC Operating Agreement.
DCRA Contact Info
If you have any questions, you can contact the DCRA at 202-442-4432. Their hours are 8:30am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday (except Thursday, where the hours are 9:30am to 4:30pm).
DCRA: Business Registration FAQs