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Incorporate in the District of Columbia - State Requirements

You will make wise use of your time by first determining if your future company will be better off incorporating in a different state, other than your home state, before you settle on plans to incorporate in the District of Columbia. There are no laws that require you to incorporate your business in the state where its headquarters is located.

Authorities are in agreement that Delaware is the state that provides the most progressive, supportive and inexpensive system for the formation of business entities. In fact, 50% of all Fortune 500 companies, or more, incorporate in Delaware. For companies of that size and complexity, the tax benefits, anonymity and streamlined corporate bylaws of the state of Delaware are important business factors.

It is prudent to explore if incorporating in Delaware would have a significant impact on the operations of your company, before you make a final decision on the state where you will register your business entity. We recommend that you review the "Incorporate in Delaware" article on this site. Then, either continue with your review of this article, and other steps to incorporate in the District of Columbia, or begin reading about the simple procedures that allow you to initiate an incorporation in Delaware.

Name Search, Selection and Registration for the District of Columbia

A name search is required for registration of a company name. Contingent on the name search, any proposed name for a new corporation that is a duplicate of the name for an existing corporation will be denied registration. In addition, any proposed name for a new corporation that can be construed as or mistaken for an existing domestic or foreign corporation will be denied registration.

The word "Incorporated," "Corporation," "Company," "Limited," or an abbreviated version of any of these signifiers must be included as part of the incorporated business name.

District of Columbia Incorporation, Board and Operations Requirements

  • The Board must have a minimum of one director.
  • A place-of-residence requirement is not imposed.
  • An age requirement for directors is not imposed.
  • Articles of incorporation require names of directors to be listed.
  • Articles of incorporation do not require names of corporate officers to be listed.
  • A complete list of all current shareholders must be available at the main corporate headquarters.
  • The S Corporation is not a recognized entity.
  • Initial filing fees are not revised if shares or par value increases.


  • If you want to learn more about the procedures that must be followed to incorporate in the District of Columbia, you can read detailed articles on this site that explain how to select a business entity, as well as articles that outline the step-by-step process of incorporation.


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