Register LLC in DC is something that every entrepreneur who wishes to form a limited liability company (LLC) in the District of Columbia must do. While it is a relatively easy process, you need to make sure that every step is properly done to ensure the smooth formation of your LLC and minimize potential problems.

You must:

  1. Name your LLC.
  2. Appoint a registered agent.
  3. File the Articles of Organization.
  4. Create an operating agreement.
  5. Obtain an EIN.
  6. Get a state tax identification number.
  7. Get a business license.
  8. Hold an organizational meeting.

Step-by-Step Guide to Forming an LLC in DC

Step 1: Name Your LLC

Naming your LLC is one of the most important steps in forming an LLC. It is essential that you do some research and thinking to determine if the name you chose is suitable for your business and easily searchable by your potential customers. The name of your LLC must end with “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” or another variant or abbreviation. If you wish to include restricted words such as “Attorney,” “Bank,” or “University” in the name, you are required to file more paperwork and may be required to be a licensed person, such as a lawyer or doctor.

In addition, you have to make sure the name you select is not already taken. This can be done by conducting a name search on the official website of the District of Columbia.

Step 2: Appoint a Registered Agent

All LLCs in DC must appoint a registered agent. A registered agent refers to an individual or business entity that consents to receive and send legal documents on your LLC's behalf. These documents include lawsuit notifications and state filings. You are required to elect a registered agent who is a resident of DC, a company authorized to conduct business in the state, or a commercial registered agent that is registered with the state. You are also allowed to select an individual in your company to be your registered agent, including yourself.

Step 3: File the Articles of Organization

In order to register your LLC, you are required to submit the Articles of Organization to the District of Columbia. You can do this online at the website of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA). You will be charged a non-refundable fee of $220 when you file the Articles of Organization. If you file as a walk-in customer, you are required to pay an additional $100. If you choose to submit the Articles of Organization by mail, the DCRA will take three to four weeks to process your application.

When you file the Articles of Organization, you must contain the following information:

  • Name of your LLC
  • Articles of Organization's effective date
  • Principal address of the LLC
  • Names of members of the LLC (must be at least one)
  • Dates when LLC members became members
  • Name and physical address of the registered agent
  • Names, addresses, and signatures of organizers (signatures do not have to be original on filings)

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement

While creating an operating agreement is not one of the requirements for establishing an LLC, it is highly recommended that you do so. An operating agreement is an important document that outlines an LLC's ownership and operating procedures.

Step 5: Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Also referred to as Federal Tax Identification Number, an EIN is a number used for identifying a business entity. It is essentially the social security number of your LLC. You need to have an EIN in order to file federal and state taxes and open a business checking account in some banks. An EIN can be obtained from the IRS online or by mail after the formation of your LLC.

Step 6: Register with the Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR)

If your LLC has employees or plans to sell goods and collect taxes, you are required to register with the DC OTR.

Step 7: Get a State Tax Identification Number

You can submit your application for a DC tax identification number online or by mail to the OTR.

Step 8: Get a Business License

The DCRA requires a business to be licensed before it can operate legally. The required license varies depending on the nature of your business.

Step 9: Hold an Organizational Meeting

The organizational meeting is the first meeting of your LLC's members. Your LLC must file Articles of Organization and Operating Agreement to conduct this meeting. Make sure you record minutes of the meeting and keep them in the company's record book.

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