How to Get A Basic Business License in DC

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Did you know, in order to rent your DC property to tenants, it is required by DC law to acquire a Basic Business License? This information tends to come as a surprise to many homeowners, especially if this is your first rental experience. The process itself takes a bit of time, paperwork and coordination between 3 different DC government agencies. If you are a client with Nomadic Real Estate, you are in luck!  We take on the legwork of coordinating between our in house inspection team and each relevant governmental agency to get a Basic Business License for your DC rental property.

How to Obtain a BBL in DC


Online Application and Fee Payment

The very first step in acquiring your Basic Business License (BBL for short) is to fill out the BBL online form provided by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (also referred to as DCRA, for short).

Clean Hands Self Certification

The next step in acquiring your Basic Business License is to fill out the Clean Hands Form. What this does is, it essentially tells the government that you are cleared of owing substantial amounts of money in taxes, parking fees or any other types of government issued fines.

Registering with the Office of Tax and Revenue

The Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR, for short) requires all homeowners to fill out the form FR-500 and this can be done here.

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Filing for DC Rent Control/Exemption

The Department of Housing and Community Development requires any landlord renting out a residential property to file for rent control. If a property is less than 3 units, you would need to file for a rent control exemption.

DCRA Proactive Safety Inspection

For the last and final step of acquiring your Basic Business License, you will need to set up an inspection with the DCRA. The DCRA will send an official inspector to your residential property in order to ensure that your property is up to code and up to DC’s safety standards for tenant move in.

If you are a client of Nomadic Real Estate, we send our own representative alongside the DCRA inspector to document the results of the inspection. From there we utilize 12 years worth of relationship with local vendors to ensure that your home is up to city code and safety standards.

If you are considering whether or not to hire someone to manage your property, click here to get in touch.We would love to talk to you, and give you a free quote today!

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