Each state has different requirements for forming a corporation, and the District of Columbia is no exception. Whether you are starting a business or incorporating a business already in existence, you’ll want to understand District of Columbia (DC) incorporation requirements.
The corporation's name must contain the word "Corporation," "Company," "Incorporated," "Limited" or an abbreviation thereof. The name shall not be the same as or deceptively similar to name of a domestic corporation, authorized foreign corporation or reserved name already existing in Washington DC. The word “Bank” cannot be used unless the company is a bank.
The following are DC’s requirements for directors of corporations:
The document required to form a corporation in Washington DC is called the Articles of Incorporation. The information required in the formation document varies by state. DC's requirements include:
Washington DC allows professionals, such as accountants, attorneys and physicians, to form a professional corporation (PC).
DC does not have an initial report or publication requirement for corporations.
Corporations must keep the following items with their corporate records at the registered agent’s office or at the principal place of business:
Annual report and franchise tax. DC requires corporations to file a biennial report. The first report must be filed on or before April 1st of the second year following incorporation. The fee is $300 except for Nonprofits which is $80. DC also has a franchise tax that is due by the 15th day of the 5th month after the end of the corporation’s tax year. The minimum franchise tax is $100.
Taxes. For complete details on state taxes for DC corporations, visit http://www.toolkit.com/small_business_guide/sbg.aspx?nid=P07_4669 or http://otr.cfo.dc.gov/otr/site/default.asp .
Licenses. Business licenses and/or permits are required for most businesses. The BizFilings Business License Application Package can help you stay on top of these requirements.
Federal tax identification number (EIN). An EIN is required for corporations who will have employees. Additionally, most banks require an EIN in order to open a business bank account.
State tax identification number. DC does not require a state tax identification number.
State S corporation election. DC does not recognize the federal S corporation election and does not require a state-level S corporation election. You can still have an S corporation in DC. The S corporation will only be an S corporation for federal tax purposes and not for state tax purposes. For state purposes, the corporation will be treated as a regular C corporation.
The state in which you form your company can provide certain benefits.
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