Information provided by Last updated July 7, 2012.

The decision to start a business is a significant one that is quickly followed by equally significant questions: What type of business? What business structure is advantageous to my venture? What makes an effective business plan? Where will the financing come from? What licenses, permits and registrations are required by the District government?

This online guide helps you take the next step toward business ownership. It walks you through the process—from deciding your company’s legal structure, to developing a business and marketing plan, to registering your business in DC.

Establish Your Organization
Planning is essential for a successful business. A number of resources can help you on your way.

Finance Your Business
Find financing and make a financial plan.

Fulfill Tax and License Requirements
Take the necessary steps to meet DC and federal requirements.

Grow and Maintain Your Business
Learn about how to keep your business running and ways to bring in additional sales.

Use the checklist to learn about the steps for starting a business in the District.

Or, use this quick guide if you are ready to start a business and only need to know about tax and license filing requirements.

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