As a place full of resourceful citizens with innovative ideas, DC has the opportunity to become a go-to city for business creation and inclusive economic development.
But unfortunately for District entrepreneurs, the way that DC licenses new businesses is outdated and far too cumbersome, lagging behind many of the city’s peers. With long wait times, costly, recurring fees, and complicated red tape, many Washingtonians just trying to get their businesses off the ground have been left feeling frustrated and helpless.
To illustrate this urgent need for change, District Works has created a flowchart of all the regulatory steps and processes to starting a business in DC. This flowchart makes clear how complex and confusing red tape discourages DC entrepreneurs, particularly those from vulnerable populations, from starting their businesses and achieving their dreams.
We know that District officials seek to build a regulatory environment that supports, rather than hinders, DC’s local entrepreneurs and small business community. But our flowchart shows that there is much work to do before the District realizes this ideal.
Until then, the flowchart serves as a guide for activists and policymakers who wish to make it cheaper, faster, and simpler to start a business in our city.