Washington, DC

Photo by PoPville flickr user Erinn Shirley

Amnesty for D.C. condo buildings until Feb. 29 – Question

“I recently learned that the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) has introduced an amnesty program, through February 29th, allowing associations and businesses to come into full compliance with agency rules without penalty. Apparently to legally transact business here, a business or association, including HOAs, based in the District must register with DCRA.

However, I’ve recently learned that the city offers two registration options for condos: a General Business License (which costs about $350) or Cooperative Association License (which costs about $150 and applies to co-ops and HOAs). From the website:

[a] condominium association does not need a general business license when it is only providing or offering to provide services to the unit owners and not the general public. However, if the condominium association provides or offers to provide any services to the general public a general business license is required. In addition, a condominium association that offers units for sale to the general public must have a license as a real estate broker.

Given this, it seems like the Cooperative Association license would be more appropriate since we don’t conduct business for the general public (no pool, etc. Just homeowner business) but neither DCRA nor the Office of Tax and Revenue were very clear on the difference and what would be required.

I wanted to inquire if others in HOAs know anything about the requirements for a business license and if we might need one. This would be very helpful with the deadlines (which is tomorrow for the business license!) and fees.”

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