Filing Your Annual Report in District of Columbia (DC)

Discover the essential role of a Biennial Report for your business in the District of Columbia—more than a compliance obligation, it's a strategic asset for transparency and growth; explore our guide below to effortlessly navigate this process and propel your company toward sustained success in the nation's capital.

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If you run a limited liability company (LLC) or corporation in the nation’s capital, you have to file a District of Columbia biennial report with the government. As the name suggests, the report is due every two years and must be submitted to the Corporations Division in order to keep a business in good standing. The report, along with a $300 filing fee, must be submitted by April 1 every other year. 

You’re probably familiar with some mandated forms, like the ones required to form your LLC in DC or a corporation. The biennial report asks a lot of the same questions as a company’s formation papers, and is meant to keep the government informed about your business’s contact info and other information. 

Whether you hire a service to handle the report filing or you do it yourself, this guide will provide the necessary information to get the job done.

What is a District of Columbia biennial report? 

The DC biennial report is a one-page document that asks for information about your company. The report gives the government important contact information for key members of your business, like the company’s registered agent, officers, or members.

As mentioned, the reports are due every two years. However, new businesses do have to file an initial report. The report is due by April 1 during the first year of business. All subsequent reports are due every two years, also by April 1. 

The report is filed with the District of Columbia Corporations Division, and you can submit it online, by mail, or in-person. 

Note: This report only certifies you to do business in the District of Columbia itself. If you do business in any of the surrounding states, check their reporting requirements, as well.

DC biennial report for corporations vs LLCs 

Corporations and LLCs must file a biennial report with the District of Columbia government. The form is the same for both corporations and LLCs, as is the filing fee of $300. 

Where do I file my DC biennial report? 

The DC biennial report can be filed online through the CorpOnline portal (where it is referred to as “Form BRA-25”). To file online, a business owner must set up an account first and can only file the report when it’s due. You will pay the filing fee with a credit card after completing the biennial report. You can also submit the report in person.

If you decide to submit the document at the Business License Center, you will be charged an additional expedited service fee of $100 for same-day service. That’s in addition to the $300 filing fee. Note: COVID-19 restrictions may limit the days and times the Business License Center is open to the public. Be sure to check their website or call for current information. A business owner can also choose to print the report and mail it in.

Once a DC biennial report is filed, it becomes public record. Anyone can go to the DC Business Center website and look up a business.

When is the DC biennial report due? 

The DC biennial report is due every two years by April 1st. This applies to all filing entities, including LLCs, corporations, and nonprofit corporations. 

However, businesses that are new to DC must file an initial report in the first year of business by April 1st. After the initial report is filed, a report is due biennially, or every two years.

The DC government does send reminder notices to business entities, but they aren’t always reliable. Whether or not you receive the notice, it’s your responsibility to file the biennial report on time.

If the report is not filed by April 1, a business will be charged a $100 late fee. If the report and fees aren’t filed by September 1, the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) will administratively dissolve your business. 

If a business is dissolved, a business owner has to file additional paperwork with the government and pay more fees to have the business reinstated. To revive a dissolved business, the owner must file a DC Reinstatement of Domestic Filing Entity form and pay a $300 filing fee. All past-due reports and filing fees must be paid in full, as well. It may take up to 15 days to process reinstatement documents. 

How much does the DC biennial report cost? 

The cost to file a DC biennial report online is $300 for both LLCs and corporations. If an owner wants to hand-deliver the report to the Business Licensing Center, there is an additional $100 same-day fee added to the amount. Filing the report late will incur another $100 fee. The cost for nonprofits to file the report is $80.

What information do I need to file my DC biennial report? 

The District of Columbia Corporations Division provides detailed instructions to properly fill out a biennial report. The report requires the following information: 

  • The name of the domestic or foreign entity
  • The state of formation
  • The name and address of the current registered agent 
  • A brief statement of all business that’s conducted in DC
  • The names, residence, and business addresses for all managing members
    • More specifically, the form asks for any person whose share of the business exceeds 10%, any person who controls daily operations, and any person in control of financial decisions.
  • Foreign LLCs and corporations need to provide a certificate of good standing with the company’s formation state, or, if the company isn’t in good standing, a letter describing efforts to earn a good standing status back
  • An electronic signature of the company owner or registered agent

After filling out the form online, you must pay the $300 filing fee by credit card. 

What happens after I file my biennial report? 

Once a biennial report is filed, it can take up to 15 days to process. However, immediately following the online submission of the report, you’ll see a confirmation page that you can print and save for your records. 

Once the form is accepted, the next filing date is in two years. Until then, all information in the filing is made searchable online to the public.

What if I miss the deadline to file my DC biennial report? 

If you miss the April 1 filing deadline, the District of Columbia government charges a $100 penalty. The government gives business owners until September 1 to file, pay the filing fee, and pay the late fee. If the report is still ignored, the government will administratively dissolve the company. 

When a company is dissolved, it loses all of the protections otherwise provided as that business entity. An LLC or corporation would no longer have the entity’s tax status or liability protection for its owners.

To reinstate a business after dissolution requires a reinstatement form, an additional $300 fee, and the submission of all missing reports and late fees. Processing time for reinstatement documents is about 15 days. 

Who do I contact if I have issues filing my DC biennial report? 

For business owners who have questions, call the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Corporations Divisions.

District of Columbia (DC) Biennial Report FAQs

  • The cost to file a biennial report in DC is $300. The fee is the same for for-profit corporations or LLCs, whether online or by mail. Nonprofits pay $80. People who decide to file the report in person are automatically charged a same-day expedited service charge of $100, which is in addition to the regular filing fee of $300.

  • If a report isn’t filed by April 1st, a business is fined $100. A company has until September 1 to file the report, pay the $300 filing fee, and pay the $100 late fee. If the business owner takes action, the company will return to good standing with the DC government.
    If you neglect to file the report past September, the government will dissolve the business. Once dissolved, you must file a DC Reinstatement of Domestic Filing Entity, pay an additional $300, file all missing reports, and pay all outstanding filing fees and late fees. Until then, your company structure isn’t recognized by the state, which can open your personal assets up to risk from business debts or lawsuits.

  • If the report isn’t filed, it can create serious problems for a business. The DC government will charge your business a $100 late fee and will dissolve your business as a corporation or an LLC if the report and fee aren’t submitted by September 1.

  • If your DC business is closed, you need to do the following:
    File dissolution paperwork with the Corporations Division
    Cancel your basic business license with the Business Licensing Division
    Review tax required with the Office of Tax and Revenue
    Once the government is notified about your business closure, biennial reports are no longer required. However, a business that closes but doesn’t tell the DC government about it is still responsible for filing a biennial report and paying the filing fees associated with it.

  • Filling out the report takes minutes and can be done easily online. Once submitted, the government must review and approve the report for a company to remain in good standing. The processing time usually takes about 15 days.

  • Digital signatures are accepted when a biennial report is submitted online.

  • A corporation’s owner, governor, or authorized officer can file a report for their company, while any member of an LLC can file. A business can also hire a registered agent/business compliance service to file the report on their behalf.

  • In DC, all new businesses must file an initial report during their first year of business by April 1. Once the initial report is filed, the due date remains April 1, but reports are due every two years.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.

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Written by Team ZenBusiness

Start Your District of Columbia (DC) LLC