DC Doing Business Guide

Chapter 1: Initial Startup Considerations

Whether you are creating a new business or relocating an existing one, you will need to know the requirements to operate a business in Washington, DC. If this is your first business venture in our nation’s capital, there are a number of factors that you must consider. This chapter will take you through the basic steps of starting a business in the District.

Basic Steps to Create or Relocate Your Business in DC

Business Planning:
What are you selling? Who are your customers? Who is your competition? How will your business make money? How will you finance your business?

Selecting a Location:
Where are your customers? Where will you operate your business? How much space do you need? What are the zoning requirements?

Making Your Business Legal:
What business structure will your company have? What kind of licensing or registration requirements will you need? What tax forms do you need?

Financing Your Business:
Will you need a business loan? Do you qualify for a loan? What are the sources for financing? What financial incentives are available for your business based on your industry, location, or services?