(Washington, DC) The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) last week launched a newly revised online Master Business License and Registration (MBLR) application process. The greatly improved site is designed to provide step-by-step guidance to customers in obtaining their Master Business License.
"We are very excited to launch our revised Master Business License online application, available at DCRA's website, www.dcra.dc.gov," stated DCRA Director David A. Clark. "The new site will guide customers through the entire MBLR application, from determining up front whether or not they even need to get a Master Business License, to describing all of the necessary requirements for their particular business. The new site also provides the option to either apply online or download all necessary forms to be mailed in at the customer's convenience."
In conjunction with Filnet, Inc., Optimus Corporation, Thompson, Cobb, Basilio & Associates, LC Systems and the Office of the Chief Technology Officer, DCRA developed the new site as a result of comments and suggestions received from customers on the previous system. For example, some customers noted that with the previous system they did not know what fees they would be charged until the very end of the application process. To address this concern, the new system offers a user-friendly "fee calculator" at the beginning of the application to allow customers to calculate all applicable fees before they proceed. Before launching the new site, DCRA conducted several focus group sessions with business owners in the District to test some of the new features on potential actual users. The feedback received was overwhelmingly positive.
Not all business categories may be processed online, because of required inspections or approvals. Nevertheless, the new site provides information on necessary requirements for all business categories. Additionally, the new site offers specialized paths for commercial establishments, home-based businesses, individuals with no fixed business location, and rental property owners, tailored to the specific requirements for those types of businesses. "The specialized paths were created based on the types of businesses required to get Master Business Licenses," noted Clark.
The MBLR is a new license program that is required under the Omnibus Regulatory Reform Act passed by the DC Council in 1998. DCRA began implementation of the new program in August 2001. The law establishes that all segments of the business population - for-profit and non-profit - obtain a Master Business License if the business generates $2,000 or more in gross receipts. The law puts no limits on age or business activity type.
The grace period for obtaining a Master Business License was recently extended by the DC Council to May 31, 2003. In addition, new Master Business License fees went into effect on January 7, 2003. The new fees are $35 for the Master Business License and $10 for each endorsement. The renewal fee will remain the same at $15.
For information on the MBLR program, visit the DCRA website or contact the MBL Info Center at 202-442-4311. Send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.