We believe that everyone has the right to earn an honest living doing what they love. But starting a business in DC is expensive, confusing and time consuming; and many entrepreneurs find it difficult or impossible to turn their business dreams into a reality.

District Works is a coalition of small business owners, nonprofits, and community members striving to make it cheaper, faster, and simpler to start a business in DC.

Many entrepreneurs are unable to start their businesses because of the excessive red tape and expensive fees that the District imposes on new businesses. The current licensing process is difficult for both business owners and Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) staff to navigate. This results in loss of revenue, frustration and negative interactions between residents and government officials.

We believe that this can change.

What’s our Strategy?

We’re working to bring together the right stakeholders to get the job done. By hosting roundtables with business owners, talking to community members, meeting with councilmembers and agency officials and researching best practices for licensing around the country, we have created a list of reforms that would streamline the licensing process.

Our mission is to enact tangible reforms that will allow Washingtonians to earn a living for themselves and their families doing what they love.

Streamlining DC’s business licensing structure will create a system that will work for everyone involved and foster economic development across DC.

Who is District Works?

The list below is a group of small businesses, nonprofits and community leaders that have dedicated themselves to reforming and streamlining the DC business licensing process. This group represents a wide diversity of industries and backgrounds, demonstrating the extensive demand for comprehensive and immediate reform. 

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