If you own a rental property in the District you are supposed to obtain a DC business license. Whether it is a single family home, an apartment building, a condominium, or just a basement apartment, you are required to have a license, though many landlords do not.
To help landlords, and other businesses without the proper licenses, the City is offering a “Business License Amnesty Program” through the month of February. Through the 29th of February 2016, all businesses within the District of Columbia operating without a current license can obtain a new license under the amnesty program without fines and penalties.
The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) Director Melinda Bolling stated that “We understand that, sometimes, not being current with licensing requirements has more to do with economic hardship than indifference to the law. This Amnesty Program offers businesses who may have suffered a financial setback a fresh start for the new year…”
For DC landlords we would say the main problem is a lack of knowledge. Landlords are frequently unaware of the need for a business license. Many landlords don’t think of their rentalunit as a separate business enterprise requiring a separate business license, and such licenses were not always required, so many landlords have never thought to get a business license.
No one like more fees and expenses but if you want to get right with city hall landlords this is your chance. Most business licenses can be obtained online at <a href=http://dcra.dc.gov/node/551962>http://dcra.dc.gov/</a> or you can apply in person at the DCRA at 1100 4th Street SW, WDC 20024, with extended hours through February.
“With licensing and corporate registration, compliance is our priority. The Amnesty Program provides an opportunity for businesses across the District to come into full compliance with business license and corporation laws without financial penalty,” said Bolling.