The mission of DC Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) is to support the development, economic growth, and retention of District-based businesses, and promotes economic development throughout the city's commercial districts. We understand your needs and can give you access to the resources you need to grow your business. 

With so much information out there on how to build a business, it's no wonder that people often don't know where to begin. Whether you're in the beginning phases or have a fully-operating business, we want to support you every step of the way.


Here are resources to help get your business started:

  • The Center for Entrepreneurial Education & Development (CEED) provides information and services to entrepreneurs and companies looking to launch and strengthen and grow their business in the District. CEED is your one stop shop, bringing together resources from key District agencies including DSLBD, the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), and other non-profit and Federal organizations that serve District businesses.

  • Business Builder Tip Sheets are prepared by DSLBD with resource information and guidance to help you manage and grow your business. Download these sheets as a quick refererence guide for your business.

  • Business Licensing & Corporate Registration. Need a business license? Visit the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs to get step-by-step guidance on how to do so. Getting your license, however, is typically one of the final things you need to do when starting a business - not the first. If you're just getting started, visit the DSLBD website to sign up for workshops and counseling.

  • Doing Business in DC Guide. This guide, curated by the Washington DC Economic Partnership, covers the most current information essential to creating, relocating, and expanding your business in the District. Whether you are an entrepreneur looking for some guidance on starting a business in DC or have an existing business that you are looking to relocate to DC, or you are a DC-based company seeking to understand local business resources, you will find this guide indispensable.

Start growing with DSLBD: visit for more information.