Last Updated: May 13, 2024, 12:50 pm by TRUiC Team

How Long Does It Take to Form an LLC in Washington D.C.?

The nation’s capital proves to be a very popular place for small businesses. While starting an LLC in Washington D.C. may seem like a challenging process, the legal formation process is quite straightforward. All you are required to do is to fill out the Articles of Organization, pay the filing fee, and wait for the Department of Licensing to approve your LLC.

DC’s LLC approval process will take five days for online filing and six weeks for mail filing. This process starts when you submit your paperwork and closes when you receive your approval. The following guide will walk you through the approval process and the timeline for an LLC in Washington D.C.

We recommend using a professional LLC formation service to handle your business’s formation paperwork so you can focus on what matters most — running your business.

Two looking at a tablet while they work to form an LLC.

DC LLC Approval Time

Filing Options

Approval Time

Filing Delays

Expedited Filing (Fee)


Filing online

5 business days

No known delays

3 business day processing ($50)

Same-day processing ($100)


Filing by mail

6 weeks

4 weeks

3 business day processing ($50)

Same-day processing ($100)


Approval time refers to how long your LLC’s paperwork will take to be approved. This period will include any potential delays, transit time for mail file documents, and the amount of time it takes for the Department of Licensing to enter the data into their systems. Filing online can eliminate aspects like transit time, so it ultimately has the fastest approval time of the filing methods in DC.

DC LLC Processing Time

Processing time is the amount of time it takes the Department of Licensing to go over your LLC foundation paperwork and enter it into their records. Only document handling time is included in processing time, so transit time would not be included. The District of Columbia Department of Licensing and Consumer Protection will handle the paperwork so it must be submitted to them by mail or online through their Access DC portal. Your processing time depends on the method you use to file:

  • Online: 5 business days
  • By mail: 15 business days. 4 weeks during delays.

Remember that processing time is part of approval time, so it should not be used to gauge how long the process will take. Approval time is a much more accurate way to determine how long you will need to wait to be approved.

Expedited Filing for a DC LLC

DC offers two options for expedited filing, both of which can be applied to online and mail filings. An extra $50 can lower the processing time to three business days, and an extra $100 can get you same-day in-person processing. Remember, these are in addition to the $99 filing fee.

How Much Does It Cost to Start an LLC in DC?

Filing your DC Articles of Organization will require you to pay the $99 filing fee. If you decide to pay with a check, make it out to the “DC Treasurer.”

Should you decide you want expedited processing, you will need to pay the cost in addition to the filing fee. three-day processing will cost a total of $149, and same-day in-person processing will cost a total of $199.

LLC Formation Service

While hiring a professional LLC formation service won’t make your approval time any faster, they can save you the trouble of filling out and filing the paperwork for you, saving you the time and trouble of doing it yourself and ensuring it is done right the first time. Some services will even let you use their address when filing, so you won’t have to give out your private address when forming your LLC.

Read our LLC Formation Services Review to learn more

Should I Form an LLC in Washington D.C.?

LLCs are formal business structures that provide owners with limited liability protection and pass-through taxation. If you plan to do business in DC, an LLC may be beneficial, and the nation’s capital is a great place for starting an LLC.

Favorable Tax Rates

While the cost of living in Washington D.C. is a bit high, there are ways to save some money, especially for businesses. DC has a competitive tax rate for businesses, coming in just under the national average. This is an easy way for your LLC to save some money in the long run.

Educated Population

DC is something of a hotspot for young professionals in just about every field imaginable. The nation’s capital is home to many prestigious universities like Georgetown University and American University and attracts many professionals who have finished their academic endeavors. Starting an LLC in DC would give you access to no shortage of qualified candidates to help your business become reality.

High Traffic Tourism

The nation’s capital is known for its collection of culture and art, making it an ever-popular tourist destination. 2022 alone saw over 20 million visitors, with that number only counting domestic tourists. High-traffic tourist destinations tend to have stronger economies as well, so even if your LLC does not actively participate in the tourism business, your profits are likely to get a bump from all the people visiting Washington D.C.