WASHINGTON DC HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR LICENSING GUIDE
Do I need a Washington DC Home Improvement Contractor License?
If you are hired to repair or remodel any residential property in Washington DC, you must have a Washington DC Home Improvement Contractor License.
How much does a Washington DC Home Improvement Contractor License Cost?
A two year license costs $288.20.
A four year license costs $471.90.
How do I get a Washington DC Home Improvement Contractor License?
In order to get your Washington DC Home Improvement Contractor License, you are required to complete the following tasks.
Select a Registered Agent
You are required to provide registered agent information when you register your business entity in Washington DC and when you complete the Basic Business License Application.
Register your Business
If you are planning on operating as a legal business entity such as a corporation or an LLC, you must first register your business with the DCRA Corporations Division. For more information on how to incorporate or how to form you District of Columbia LLC, check out our LLC formation page and our incorporation page.
Or Appoint a Resident Agent and/or Apply for a Certificate of Authority for Foreign Business Corporation
If you are an individual who does not live in Washington DC, you must appoint a resident agent with a valid DC street address to receive any legal correspondence from the DCRA.
Likewise, if your foreign legal business entity is applying for a DC Home Improvement Contractor License, you will also need a resident agent. In that case, you will need to submit an Application for Certificate of Authority for Foreign Business Corporation.
Register with the Washington DC Office of Tax and Revenue
In addition to registering your legal business entity with the DCRA, you must also provide proof that you have registered it with the Washington DC Office of Tax and Revenue. This can be completed online at the DC Office of Tax and Revenue website.
Obtain an EIN
An EIN is a unique nine-digit number that is issued by the Interal Revenue Service (IRS) for tax purposes. You are required to provide this number on your Basic Business License. Getting an EIN is easy, free, and can be completed online at the IRS website.
Get a Certificate of Occupancy or a Home Occupancy Permit
Before you can submit the Basic Business License application, you must have a Certificate of Occupancy of a Home Occupancy Permit if you are operating your business from within the District of Columbia. For more information on how to get one of these, check out our Free Licensing Guide Section.
Complete a Clean Hands Self-Certification
The Clean Hands Self Certification requires the signature of the applicant verifying that they do not owe the Washington DC Government more than $100. This Certification is included on the Basic Business License.
Complete the Application
Like most Washington DC licenses, the Home Improvement Contractor License begins with the Basic Business License. In addition to providing information about the business entity, you will need to include additional application materials.
Provide Police Criminal History Report
Home Improvement Contractor License Applications must provide a police criminal history report from their jurisdiction. If you live in the District of Columbia, you can obtain this report from the DC Metropolitan Police Department, Police Criminal History Report Division located at 300 Indiana Avenue, NW, Room 3055, Washington, DC 20001. You must provide this report in your application package within 30 days of obtaining it.
Post a Surety Bond
You must also post a surety bond in the amount of $25,000. A surety bond is an agreement that if you, the principal party, fail to fulfill the requirements of a contract, you will pay the obligee, or the person who has hired you to complete the work. This bond can be issued through a licensed insurance carrier or posted with the DCRA. A PDF of the Home Improvement Surety Bond is available for download from the DCRA website.
Fulfill Insurance Requirements
To obtain your Home Improvement Contractor License, you must provide a certificate of liability insurance for a $50,000 – $100,000 insurance policy and a property damage for $10,000 to $25,000.
Provide a Home Improvement Salesperson Designation Letter
Additionally, you are required to provide a list of every salesperson working for the registered company. You can download a PDF of the Home Improvement Salesperson(s) Designation Letter from the DCRA website.
Include Contract Samples
You must provide three contract samples to obtain your license. If you are submitting your application via mail, you have to include three copies of each contract sample. If you are applying online, you can upload the sample as a PDF. A sample contract PDF is available for download from the DCRA website.
Consent to Investigation
You must consent to a background check that will take place within 30 days of the license being issued.
Complete the Basic Business License ID Application
If you are submitting your application via mail or in-person, you must include a completed Basic Business License ID Application with your application packet. If you are submitting your application online, this step is included in the online process.
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In addition to listing the holder as “Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, 1100 3th Street, SW, 5th Floor, Washington DC, 20024, the certificate must be issued to the address listed on the Basic Business License Application and provide a description and location of services provided.
How do I submit my application, application materials, and fee for a DC Home Improvement Contractor License?
You can submit your application, application materials, and fee via mail, in-person, or online. A PDF version of the Basic Business License is available for print online.
To submit your application, application materials, and fee via mail, send all items to:
Wells Fargo Bank
DC Government Wholesale Lockbox 91360
7175 Columbia Gateway Drive
Columbia, MD 21046
Do not send cash in the mail. You can pay with a check or money order made out to “DC Treasurer.” When you submit your application packet via mail, processing time may take up to 30 days. Submitting your application in-person or online is much faster.
To apply in-person, bring all necessary materials, including a form of payment for the fee, to the DCRA Business License Center located at 1100 4th Street, SW, 2nd Floor, Washington DC 20024. You are not required to make an appointment, and applications are processed in the order in which they are received. You can with cash, card, check, or money order.
Submitting your application and application materials online is the easiest and fastest way to submit. Visit the Washington DC Business Center website. You will be prompted to create an account, and then you can submit all information, required materials, and fee online.
How do I renew my DC Home Improvement Contractor License?
Depending on whether you applied for a two year license or four year license, you will receive a notice before your license expires that contains instructions on how to renew. You must renew your license and provide the required materials and payment to stay in compliance with Washington DC Law.
Why is Washington DC Registered Agent LLC the best choice for the job?
Contractors know better than anyone else the importance of quality, efficiency, and straightforward communication. Here at Washington DC Registered Agent LLC, we hold these values near and dear to our heart. When it comes time to choose your registered agent, we’re here and ready to start today.