Foreign qualification is a process by which a business that was originally formed in a different state seeks permission to operate in the District of Columbia. This involves registering with the Secretary of State in the District of Columbia and complying with certain legal requirements specific to conducting business in the district.
Follow the guide below to help you register with the Secretary of State in District of Columbia or use Mosey to do it.
District of Columbia Foreign Registration for C Corporation, LLC
Foreign entities "doing business" in DC must register with the Department of Licensing and Consumer Protection (DLCP) by filing a Foreign Registration Statement (Form FN-1). DC law defines a "business" as "any trade, profession, or activity which provides, or holds itself out to provide, goods or services to the general public or to any portion of the general public, for hire or compensation in the District of Columbia." It also provides a list of activities not considered "doing business."
Obtain a Certificate of Good Standing
DC requires a Certificate of Good Standing (also known as a Certificate of Existence) from your home state issued within 90 days.
Establish a Registered Agent
You must have a registered agent in DC designated to accept service of process. Your registered agent must have an DC street address and can be any DC resident or a corporation registered to do business in the district.
Create an Access DC Account
Create an Access DC account to access the Department of Licensing and Consumer Protection's online filing system.
File Foreign Registration Statement Online
Log into CorpOnline with your Access DC account to file a Foreign Registration Statement (Form FN-1).
What else do I need to know?
Once you are registered with the Secretary of State, you may have additional requirements to maintain your "good standing" in the state. Failing to do so can result in fines, back taxes, and forfeiting certain priveleges within the state.
Maintaining a Registered Agent
Most states require that you have a registered agent that can receive important mail from the Secretary of State should they need to contact you. There are many commercial options available or you can use Mosey to be your registered agent and keep your information private in District of Columbia.
Annual Reports and Taxes
In addition to maintaining a registered agent, most states require you to file a report annually. Registration can also trigger state taxes such as a franchise tax or income tax. You can use Mosey to identify these additional requirements to maintain good standing in District of Columbia.