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LLC Formation in the District of Columbia

When starting a business, one of the first things that you should decide is which business structure best suits your company. If you're thinking about forming an LLC, then you'll want to be sure that you understand all the necessary requirements. This article details LLC formation in the District of Columbia, including a link to the proper forms and relevant statutes.

Forms for Washington D.C. LLC Formation

LLC formation in the District of Columbia consists of the completion and filing of specific forms. This isn't a difficult process and FindLaw offers a District of Columbia. LLC Formation Package which has the forms you'll need to do it yourself.

LLC Attributes

LLCs combine aspects of corporations and partnerships to create a unique business organization. The LLC gives owners' the same liability protection as a corporation, while also providing the benefit of "pass-through" taxation, one of the qualities of a partnership.

Summary of LLC Formation in the District of Columbia

While LLC formation requirements can seem to be alike in many states, terminology and procedures can vary, depending on the jurisdiction. The chart below provides a summary of the steps to take when forming a District of Columbia LLC.

Statutes

District of Columbia Division V. Local Business Affairs:

Name the LLC

The LLC name must:

  • Contain the term "Limited Liability Company"; or the approved abbreviation "L.L.C." and
  • Be different from the names of existing businesses that are already registered with the District of Columbia Corporations Division of the Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs.

You can check the District of Columbia Corporations Division Business Name Database for name conflicts.

You may reserve your LLC name (online or via regular mail) for 120 days by paying a fee.

Select a Registered Agent

All District of Columbia LLCs must have a registered agent who will accept legal documents if the LLC is sued.

The agent must have a physical address within the District and can be one of the following:

  • An individual who resides in D.C.; or
  • A business entity with an office in D.C.; or
  • A commercial registered agent registered in D.C.


File Articles of Organization

You need to file the Articles of Organization with the District of Columbia Corporations Division. The filing (which includes fees) must include the following information:

  • The LLC's name and address;
  • The registered agent's name and address;
  • The name of at least one LLC member; and
  • Whether the LLC will have one or more series that is treated as a separate entity which limits the debts, obligations, and other liabilities to the assets of a series.

You may file online or via regular mail.

Create an Operating Agreement

D.C. doesn't require operating agreements. However, it's recommended that you create an operating agreement to ensure more organized business operations.

Comply with Tax and Regulatory Requirements; Determine Necessary Business Licenses/Permits

If your company sells goods and collects sales tax, you'll likely have to register with the District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue.

If your LLC has more than one member, then you must apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

You may also have to obtain local and state business licenses, depending on the type of business and the location.

Foreign LLCs

All LLCs organized outside of the District of Columbia must register with the superintendent of Corporations of the District of Columbia Regulatory Affairs agency to do business in the District. All foreign LLCs must appoint a registered agent for service of process who's physically located in D.C.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

LLC Formation in the District of Columbia: Related Resources

Need Help Forming a District of Columbia LLC? Speak to a Lawyer

LLC Formation in the District of Columbia is relatively easy once you have the right forms. However, you may need to speak to a lawyer if your legal issues are more complex or you have specific formation questions. Contact an experienced business organizations attorney near you right away.

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