DC Foreign LLC – Qualification and Registration

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If you already have an LLC in another state and want an LLC in DC, then starting an LLC would be somewhat different. You must register as a foreign LLC. We have here a guide on how you can qualify for and register as a DC foreign LLC

Forming an DC Foreign LLC

A foreign LLC does not need to be a company from another country but a business formed under the laws of another state. To start a foreign LLC in DC, you need to register it with the DC Secretary of State.

Step 1: Choose DC Foreign LLC Name

Obtain a name reservation certificate and submit it with your foreign qualification requirements at the DC Secretary of State. Your LLC’s legal name outside of DC will be listed on the application, along with the name it will use in DC. Take note of the requirements for naming your LLC

Check name availability at DC’s business entity names and reserve your LLC name.

Step 2: Select DC Foreign LLC Registered Agent

You’ll need a registered agent to form a foreign LLC in DC and take note that a DC registered agent must have a local address. Here are three of the best LLC services on our list that will provide you with registered agents to ease your worries: 

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Step 3: File Registration of DC Foreign LLC 

Fill out and submit a Foreign LLC Application for Registration form via email to dcra@dc.gov or by mail to Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Corporations Division PO Box 92300 Washington, DC 20090.

Include the following:

  • LLC’s full legal name. 
  • A fictitious name or a DBA (only if your LLC’s legal name is not available); Attach a statement of adoption of the fictitious name signed by all LLC members.
  • LLC’s principal office and mailing addresses.
  • LLC formation state and date.
  • Registered agent’s name and address in DC.
  • Date when your LLC will start operations in DC.
  • Credit card information on the last page of the form for the $150 application fee. 

The LLC cost in DC, even for foreign LLCs will differ between online filing and by mail.

Step 4: Determine How Your DC Foreign LLC is taxed

Foreign LLCs are also subjected to the DC Business Privilege Tax, and they must file LLC annual reports each year.

Note that forming a foreign LLC would be good for your business as you can legally operate in a different state thus reaching a larger market and opening more opportunities for higher profit.

Steps to Filing DC Foreign LLC Online

Time needed: 5 minutes.

If an LLC is originally registered in another State and intends to operate its business in DC, it shall be considered as a foreign LLC. To register your business in the District of Columbia, you are required to file a Foreign Registration Statement with the DCRA. The application fee for the registration of a foreign LLC in DC is $220. The registration statement form can be filed online or by mail or in person. We have explained the aspects you need to cover when you apply for DC Foreign LLC online.

  1. Visit the official DCRA CorpOnline Portal

    To register a foreign LLC in DC online, one needs to sign-up with the DCRA CorpOnline Official Site. The website will lead you to the Online Services Accessibility portal of the DC government.

  2. Sign-in

    On the page, you will get the options to “sign-in with Access DC” and “Sign-up” options in case you don’t have an Access DC Account. If you are already registered with the website, then you need to log in using the correct credentials. If you don’t have an existing account then create your account on ct.gov by clicking on “Sign-up now”.

  3. Create account

    On the opening page, fill in the required details such as your email ID, Name, Password, and Mobile Phone.

  4. Register

    After filling in the required details, click on the “Register” option.

  5. ‘Limited Liability Company’ option

    After registration, from their user homepage, select the option of ‘Limited Liability Company’ under the “Foreign” List.

  6. “DLC-1 LLC/PLLC Articles of Organization Web” option

    After this step, choose the option of “DLC-1 LLC/PLLC Articles of Organization Web” on the webpage and proceed with the registration.

  7. Fill-in details

    Fill in the other relevant details as required in the form.

  8. Review your information

    Review the information filled in the form and then submit your application for account registration. After registration of your CorpOnline account with the Secretary of State of Connecticut, proceed with the application for registration of your foreign LLC with the Secretary of State office.

    In case of non-compliance with the registration requirements, the business entity can be held liable for back reports and fees under Form FN-1. Visit the DCRA Website for information, forms, and other instructions for registering a foreign LLC in DC.

It is convenient plus easy to file for the foreign LLC if you are doing it online. The steps are very easy and that’s why it’s possible to go along with the steps and form the foreign LLC in DC. 

After Forming DC Foreign LLC

Here are added things you need to accomplish after forming your DC Foreign LLC

  1. Obtain Business Licenses. Find the business licenses you’ll need using the Business License Search.
  2. File LLC annual reports and Business Privilege Tax.
  3. Pay State Taxes like sales tax; you’ll need an EIN for your LLC

How Much Does It Cost to Register a Foreign LLC in District of Columbia

To register as a foreign LLC in District of Columbia, you can file through mail or online by paying $220 to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.

If you’re a business owner from a foreign country and would like to set up a branch office in the District of Columbia, you may wonder: How much does it cost to register a foreign LLC in DC? Here’s an overview of the costs involved. Once you’ve answered these questions, you can start looking for companies in the District of Columbia. You’ll also want to think about any taxes you’ll have to pay.

Filing fees for corporations, LLCs, and partnerships in DC are $300. Non-profits pay a lower fee of $80. Foreign LLCs have to file a biennial report every two years. The first report needs to be filed by April 1 of the year following its formation. The filing fee can be paid online or in person. You can pay by credit card, cash, or money order.

Foreign LLCs are required to attach a Certificate of Good Standing from their home state, which must be no older than 90 days. The fees for this process vary based on the type of LLC, but if you’re looking to register a foreign LLC in DC, the cost can be significantly lower. In addition to the fees for a foreign LLC, you’ll need to pay for a name reservation certificate and the Corporations Division fees for the DC Secretary of State.

The FN-1 foreign registration statement must be filed with the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Corporations Division. Once you’ve filed, you need to appoint a registered agent in D.C. During the biennial reporting period, you’ll need to file a biennial report on April 1 of the following year. Lastly, you’ll need to establish a physical address in the District of Columbia.

Filing a foreign LLC in the District of Columbia is easy. The DCRA will issue a Certificate of Good Standing, or COG, to your foreign LLC. Once it’s received, you’ll get a stamped copy of the document via mail. To expedite the process, you can pay an additional $100 and file your application in person or via CorpOnline. Either way, it should take no longer than fifteen business days to receive your certificate.

You can also choose to file your GN-3 online or visit your local Secretary of State’s office. Either way, filing online is the preferred method because it’s faster than the traditional process. In the meantime, you can use your time for growing your business instead of completing paperwork. If you’re a foreign business owner, consider hiring a Northwest Registered Agent to help you qualify your company. They’ll be able to file all the necessary forms and save you from thousands of dollars in penalties.

In DC, an LLC must file state tax returns. Different states have different taxes, so a DC LLC can be taxed in two different ways: as a corporation, it pays federal income taxes and payroll taxes. The DC sales tax is 6%. The DC Federal Self-Employment Tax, which applies to business owners who take profits from the DC LLC, is 15.3%.


What is a foreign LLC in DC?

If your LLC is formed under the laws of another state, it is referred to as a foreign LLC in DC.

Do I need a foreign LLC?

Businesses incorporated outside of the state where they operate must have “foreign qualifications” issued in the other states.

What is the main difference between domestic and foreign LLC?

A domestic LLC is a company registered in DC as an LLC. The entity type that has a physical presence in another state is a foreign LLC.

In Conclusion

Starting a foreign LLC in D.C. does not require a lot of documentation or tasks. However, it is always good to seek help from a professional when it comes to running your business. Get a professional registered agent and form your foreign LLC anywhere without a hassle.

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