Best Overall

LegalZoom is the biggest name in the LLC formation service industry. They’ve been a prominent player in this market for years, and they advertise more than most of their competitors combined.

They also serve a very high volume of customers, so there’s no denying that LegalZoom is a popular service. In addition, LegalZoom has thousands of mostly positive customer reviews available online.

However, their pricing is acceptable but uninspiring. Their LLC formation packages are threadbare and lacking value compared to many of their competitors.

If you prioritize using the company with the largest volume of customers or the biggest brand power, LegalZoom is certainly worth a look.

Are you interested in receiving personalized customer support? If so, give Northwest Registered Agent a look. Northwest provides all of its clients with support from their Corporate Guides.

These highly trained representatives walk you through each step of the formation process, and you can contact your Guide at any time to ask questions or get advice.

Northwest’s pricing starts at $225, and that rate includes 12 months of their registered agent service.

While their competitors typically only scan the government documents they’re legally required to scan, Northwest scans all documents they receive on your behalf.

They provide solid overall value, and they also receive strong reviews from their customers, albeit in a smaller volume of feedback than ZenBusiness has to offer. If you’re looking for personalized service, Northwest is a good D.C. LLC service.

Who doesn’t like getting things for free? Along with ZenBusiness, IncFile is one of the only companies we’ve ever heard of that actually offers to form your Washington, D.C., LLC at absolutely no charge, as long as you pay your own District fee.

This is a bargain, and it gets even better when you realize that IncFile is far from a barebones service. With IncFile, that free formation package we just discussed actually comes with a free year of registered agent service.

In addition, they have a positive reputation for customer feedback, as they have thousands upon thousands of reviews available online, and nearly all of them are perfect five-star scores.

The only real drawback of IncFile is that their customer support team can sometimes take a bit to get back to you. Still, it’s hard to complain about a company that offers to form your LLC for free, while still throwing in a full year of registered agent service.

What Is a Washington, D.C., LLC?

LLCs are formal legal entities that are typically taxed similarly to sole proprietorships and general partnerships, in that the owners include any company profits or losses into their personal returns — the LLC itself does not owe income taxes.

An LLC may also elect to be taxed like a corporation, although this is not a very common option.

There are similarities to corporations too, especially when it comes to financial responsibilities. In an LLC, the owners or members are not usually personally accountable for the financial status of the business. This means that if someone sues your LLC, your personal assets are not at risk.

In the District of Columbia, LLCs are not legally required to draft an operating agreement, but it’s strongly recommended. This document can help clear up any disagreements between your owners, and it’s also just generally convenient to have a roadmap of your LLC’s operational aspects.

The District of Columbia has reasonable fees for LLC formations, as you’ll pay $99 no matter how you choose to file. You can pay by check, money order, or credit/debit card. The District typically processes LLC formations within 15 business days.

The ongoing LLC maintenance requirements in Washington, D.C., include the biennial report. It’s due every other year by April 1, and there is a $300 filing fee.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where Can I Get More Information About Forming LLCs in Washington, D.C.?

We invite you to take a look at our comprehensive guide to forming a limited liability company in Washington, D.C. This article walks you through the LLC formation process in the District step by step, ensuring that you don’t miss any crucial elements.

How Can I Search the District of Columbia’s Business Name Database?

One of the most important steps in forming a Washington, D.C., LLC is choosing a business name. Once you come up with ideas for your name, you should search through the D.C. Business Center’s business search to make sure your desired name is available. For more information on conducting a business name search in Washington, D.C., check out our full article on the topic.

Where Can I Find the Washington, D.C., Articles of Organization?

You can fill out the Articles of Organization in the District’s CorpOnline system.

What Are D.C.’s Ongoing LLC Maintenance Requirements?

In Washington, D.C., an LLC’s ongoing maintenance requirements include the biennial report. This filing is due every other year by April 1, and there is a $300 filing fee.

Where Can I Learn More About the District of Columbia LLC Licensing and Permitting Requirements?

Chances are, you’ll require at least one license or permit to operate your LLC in compliance with District of Columbia law. For more information about business licenses and more in this jurisdiction, check out the District’s Business Licensing Division.

How Quickly Does D.C. Process LLC Formations?

If you submit your Articles of Organization online or by mail, the district will process your documents within 15 business days. Hand-delivered documents are processed while you wait, although you will need to pay an additional fee. There are also expedited options available if you need to speed things up for your online or mail filing: an additional $100 for one-day processing or $50 for three-day processing.

Which Company Provides the Best Washington, D.C., Registered Agent Service?

If you want more details about what these companies can offer in the District, or you’d like to take a look at some other options, check out our complete guide to D.C. registered agents.

How Can I Dissolve My District of Columbia LLC?

Unfortunately, not all businesses last forever. If the time comes when you need to close your LLC’s doors, you’ll need to do so in a manner consistent with the District’s regulations. That’s why we wrote our guide to D.C. LLC dissolutions, so you can complete the process in a compliant manner.

What if I Need to Expand a Business From Another State to Washington, D.C.?

If your LLC already exists in another state, you don’t actually need to “form” it in Washington, D.C. Instead, you’ll need to foreign qualify the business in the District. This process is somewhat similar to LLC formation, but there are some crucial differences as well. Take a look at our guide to foreign qualifications in the District of Columbia for more information.

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