Because the District of Columbia is a state, county and city all in one, its residents can enjoy fewer regulatory agencies than in other part of the country. Additionally, the District is making efforts to streamline its licensing process, slowly moving application processes online and making forms easier to complete.
In District of Columbia, any business that serves food can endanger public health. That’s why restaurants are some of the most regulated businesses out there. Multiple state, county and city environmental health permits are common for restaurants. Those that serve alcohol need even more licensing. Prospective restaurateurs should expect to apply for at least five licenses and permits and in many cases much more.