Can I start applications for the Basic Business License or the Certificate of Occupancy before I settle/own a property?

Congratulations on your future purchase. We are excited for the opportunity to help you. 

While you might be antsy to get everything going, we recommend that you wait until a day or two before settlement before you start applying. Here’s why: You need to show that you own the property before you can make an application with D.C., so we prefer to start the application(s) when we get to that point. 

Tip: If you are just purchasing the property, we will need a copy of the deed to show Department of Buildings (DOB) that you are in fact the owner of the property. When you go to the settlement table, ask the Settlement Attorney/Officer to provide you with a copy of the deed that will be sent to the Recorder of Deeds’ office. We can use this to show proof of ownership, which is required in most cases to start the process.


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