Basic Business License (BBL)

A Basic Business License (BBL) is a document issued from the DCRA's Business Licensing Division and is required for such business activities as the operation of restaurants, convenience/retail stores, consulting firms, home improvement businesses, and many more.


All applicants for a BBL must submit a Basic Business License Application/BBL EZ-Form and the supporting documentation as determined by the category of licensure for which you are applying. There are prerequisites for obtaining a Basic Business License such as registration with the Corporations Division, (202) 442-4432, registration and compliance with the Office of Tax and Revenue, (202) 727-4829, and have a Certificate of Occupancy or Home Occupation Permit (if applicable), (202) 442-4576. Please review the directory of licenses to locate the applicable business category, based on the primary business activity, and determine the requirements for licensure.

A BBL is required to ensure the safety of both the business and the consumer with regard to certain business activities.

A BBL should be secured before the start of a business activity. Upon meeting the prerequisite registrations (i.e., corporate registrationtax registration), please submit an application for a Basic Business License.

Online. You may apply for a Basic Business License and pay with a major credit/debit card via the My DC Business Center. Some categories are available for immediate printing. Apply online now!

In-Person. You may apply for a Basic Business License in-person with cash, check, money order or a major credit/debit card by visiting the DCRA, Business License Center, 1100 4th Street, SW, 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20024. No appointments are required. Applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Note: American Express is not accepted in the Business License Center.

Via Mail. You may apply for a Basic Business License and pay with a check or money order via mail. Please submit all requirements including the associated fee. Make check or money order payable to “DC Treasurer.”

Mail complete application and payment to:Wells Fargo BankDC Government Wholesale Lockbox 913607175 Columbia Gateway DriveColumbia, MD 21046

Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs

1100 4th Street, SW, Washington, DC, 20024

Office Hours: Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday,Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm and Thursday 9:30am - 4:30pm

Phone: (202) 442-4400

This is map view of the location