Frequently Asked Questions
Business owners rightly choose to protect their personal assets by forming entities, such as limited liability companies, partnerships and corporations. Upon forming a business entity, or commencing a Washington, D.C. presence by registering to conduct business in the District of Columbia, companies must identify a registered office and agent to receive, for example, important mail sent to them by the government, as well as parties to legal proceedings. It is necessary that the registered agent be located at a physical address within the District, as a post office box is not acceptable. Many companies and individuals are also required to obtain a District of Columbia business license, for which a resident agent is required.
In addition, other entities and individuals - such as estates, companies regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), private detective agencies and private security agencies - must designate agents in the District of Columbia for various reasons. District Registered Agent Services acts as a D.C agent in those circumstances as well.
If you plan to conduct business in Washington, D.C., whether for- or non-profit, and whether or not it already exists in another jurisdiction, you will likely need to register your organization with the Corporations Division of the District of Columbia Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs (DCRA).
In addition to registering your organization, most businesses are required to obtain a business license. To obtain your license, you will typically complete and file DCRA’s two-page Basic Business License Application Form (BBL EZ-FORM).
You may be able to register your business and obtain a license online, without the need to print out documents, mail documents or appear in person at DCRA.
Separately, other government agencies – both D.C. and federal – occasionally require organizations to have a Washington, D.C. agent, sometimes referred to as a resident agent, registered agent, general agent or (designated) agent to accept service of process. For example, the Federal Communications Commission requires certain telecommunications providers to appoint an agent in the District of Columbia for the service of process via the FCC Form 499a. Additionally, certain government agencies, including the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department’s Security Officers Management Branch, as well as the D.C. Superior Court’s Probate Division, require individuals, organizations and estates, as appropriate, to have an agent in Washington, D.C.
When we receive correspondence from the local or federal government, or service of process, we contact you to ensure that you timely receive the important correspondence you rely on your registered/resident/general agent to forward to you.
Unlike many of our competitors, District Registered Agent Services provides services only in Washington, D.C. Also, our flat annual fee of $140 hasn’t changed since we were established several years ago, our staff is very knowledgeable about the appropriate forms and processes associated with registered/resident/general agent services in Washington, we are located in downtown D.C., there is no minimum term (other than year-to-year) or auto-renewal and we do not charge for postage, photocopying or many other services (except for out-of-pocket charges for overnight deliveries or couriers).