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What is a Clean Hands Certificate?

Have you ever heard of a Clean Hands Certificate?  This request seems to be frequently asked to the team in our DC office.  Deirdre Davis-Washington is the Assistant Vice President of Incorporating Services (Incserv) in Washington and is kind enough to share this explanation with us:

A Clean Hands certification form is required to be submitted with any application for a license or permit in the District of Columbia, including a Basic Business License.

A clean hands certification is used in the business license application and requires the entity and/or its owners to attest to the fact that they do not owe the District more than $100.   A new process was started which requires issuing an actual certificate to go with the business license application.   These are issued by the Office of Tax & Revenue (OTR).  A business MUST have filed the FR 500 Combined Registration Application and received a “Notice of Tax Registration” before the OTR will issue the Clean Hands Certificate.  This certificate does not attest to tax returns  filed, etc. (different from a  good standing) and usually is used just as supporting documentation.

If an applicant for a license or permit has failed to file District tax returns, they are also subject to the Clean Hands Law (DC Official Code §§47-2861 through 47-2866)and will be denied the license or permit. The Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR) Collection Division receives Clean Hands certifications from various District agencies.

What is owed to the Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs, (DCRA), the District’s equivalent to the Secretary of State, is totally separate.  DCRA governs the business entities and have a two-year report filing requirement.  Good Standing certificates, as it relates to the standing of the entity and fulfillment of the requirements of maintaining a business in DC, are issued by DCRA.  If they are not in good standing with DCRA, their authority to do business may be revoked.

For assistance with this or any other request from the District of Columbia, Federal Agencies and Embassies or for help in general, contact Deirdre and her team at 202-386-7575 or dcorders@incserv.com

 Nothing herein is intended to constitute legal advice on any subject or to create an attorney-client relationship. The materials presented here are in summary form. To be certain of their applicability and use for specific situations, we recommend an attorney be consulted.

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Biennial Reports and Trade Name Renewals Washington, DC – Due April 1st

April 1st is the deadline for biennial reports to be filed in the District of Columbia. All entity types are required to file a report; a $100 late fee is assessed for failing to do so timely. An entity’s first biennial report shall be delivered for filing by April 1 of the year following the calendar year in which the domestic filing entity was formed or the foreign filing entity registered to do business in the District. Reports are due biennially (every two years) after that.  Additionally, any trade name due to expire this year, must be renewed by April 1st to avoid cancellation.

There is no need to worry about providing original copies; the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) will accept copies for filing.

As always, if you have any questions about biennial reports or need assistance with filing, we are more than happy to help. Simply e-mail us at dcorders@incserv.com or call us at 202.386.7575 or 877.531.1131.

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New Things Are Happening In DC!

As you know, Washington, DC is the Capital of the United States. It’s busy and exciting! Right now there are so many new things happening in Washington, DC.

Check out our DC Special Report below!

Apostille and Notary Certificates – The DC Government has changed the look of their Apostille and Notary Certificates. They are now blue and on watermark paper. In addition, the notary certificates no longer have ribbons attaching the pages but are uniform with the Apostille certificates.

Business Licensing – DC Business Licensing has simplified its processes for obtaining a NEW general business license. We can submit an electronic request and print the licenses out same day, if approved by the division. This enables us to monitor the status of your request and be aware should the division have any questions.

Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC) – Every federal agency, including the OCC, quotes 20 business days for processing and most times, requests really do take this long to be returned. Our DC office now has the ability to track the progress of requests submitted to the OCC online. We will continue to pick up the original document(s) from the office. This new process is cutting the processing time down for certificates of corporate existence to 7-10 business days. All other copy retrieval requests are still running about 15-20 business days for processing but we hope the new system will continue to improve the turnaround times.

DCRA Biennial Report Deadline – All entities that were required to file its biennial report with the Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), Corporations Division this year and did not by the final due date of August 31st have now been revoked as of September 1st. However, don’t worry; if you inadvertently overlooked the deadline, you can still restore the status of your company by filing a reinstatement application and your two-year report. Incserv can assist with submitting your filings over the counter and have you back in good standing in as little as one to three days.

Hague Apostille Convention – Just a reminder, Chile, became a Hague Apostille Country as of August 30, 2016. If your documents are state-issued or have been notarized, you can now obtain an Apostille on the state level. If your document is a federally issued document, you will need to obtain your apostille from the U.S. Department of State. There is no need to go to the embassy any longer for full legalization.

For assistance in Washington, DC or to learn more about any of the above mentioned services, contact our office at dcorders@incserv.com.

The information within this post is intended for general information purposes only. Incserv and its employees cannot offer legal or financial advice. Please consult with your legal counsel for assistance in how this information may or may not affect you and your business prior to making any decisions. The above information (and any attachments) should be judged accordingly.

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Navigating D.C.’s Airbnb Rules & Regs

We are pleased to share the below article written by Ms. Valerie M. Blake of Keller Williams Realty in Washington, DC. The article appeared on August 28, 2016 on the website Washington Blade. An excerpt of the article is displayed below. Please click on the link at the end of the excerpt to read the article in its entirety.

Thinking of renting your D.C. home on Airbnb? There’s a long list of rules and regulations to navigate.

Have you ever awakened in the middle of the night and stumbled into the bathroom only to find a stranger there? If so, then either you were very drunk the night before and forgot who you brought home or you may be renting part of your home with Airbnb.

Airbnb, Inc. was founded in San Francisco in August 2008 as a peer-to-peer (P2P) service to make short-term housing available to business and vacation travelers who prefer the ambiance of a home to the sterility of a hotel. Properties are now available to rent in nearly 200 countries worldwide.

Eight years later, however, we are still struggling with the legality, security and logistics of having strangers in our homes, which prompted the Short-term Rental Regulation and Housing Protection Act of 2015 (DC B-414) to be introduced in the D.C. Council on Sept. 22, 2015 by then-Council member Vincent Orange. The bill would regulate transient housing accommodations offering stays of less than 30 days and is still under review by the Council.

In the interim, the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA)instructs a would-be Airbnb landlord to follow the current procedures for licensing a single unit property such as a house or condominium or, if applicable, a two-unit property such as the elusive rowhouse with English basement rental unit sought by many of today’s real estate buyers.

Each D.C. rental property must be properly licensed, meet the requirements of the D.C. Construction Codes and fall within the guidelines of any restrictive covenants placed on the property by a condominium, cooperative or homeowners association. Potential Airbnb landlords are often disappointed to find that their condo, co-op and HOA rules require a minimum lease of 12 months and that short-term rentals are prohibited.

A Basic Business License (BBL) is required for each property. An application for a two-year BBL must be filed with additional supporting documents and fees totaling slightly less than $200.

If you own your property as an entity such as a corporation, limited liability company (LLC) or partnership, then you may need to register with the Corporations Division of the DCRA before filing your BBL application.

Read the article in full

Special thanks again to Ms. Blake. She can be reached at 202-246-8602 or Valerie@DCHomeQuest.com. Each Keller Williams Realty office is independently owned and operated. Equal Housing Opportunity.

For assistance in Navigating through this process in Washington, DC contact our office at 202.386.7575 or dcorders@incserv.com.

The information within this post is intended for general information purposes only. Incserv and its employees cannot offer legal or financial advice. Please consult with your legal counsel for assistance in how this information may or may not affect you and your business prior to making any decisions. The above information (and any attachments) should be judged accordingly.

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Navigating D.C.’s Airbnb Rules & Regs

Navigating D.C.’s Airbnb Rules & Regs

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We are pleased to share the below article written by Ms. Valerie M. Blake of Keller Williams Realty in Washington, DC. The article appeared on August 28, 2016 on the website Washington Blade. An excerpt of the article is displayed below. Please click on the link at the end of the excerpt to read the article in its entirety.

Thinking of renting your D.C. home on Airbnb? There’s a long list of rules and regulations to navigate.

Have you ever awakened in the middle of the night and stumbled into the bathroom only to find a stranger there? If so, then either you were very drunk the night before and forgot who you brought home or you may be renting part of your home with Airbnb.

Airbnb, Inc. was founded in San Francisco in August 2008 as a peer-to-peer (P2P) service to make short-term housing available to business and vacation travelers who prefer the ambiance of a home to the sterility of a hotel. Properties are now available to rent in nearly 200 countries worldwide.

Eight years later, however, we are still struggling with the legality, security and logistics of having strangers in our homes, which prompted the Short-term Rental Regulation and Housing Protection Act of 2015 (DC B-414) to be introduced in the D.C. Council on Sept. 22, 2015 by then-Council member Vincent Orange. The bill would regulate transient housing accommodations offering stays of less than 30 days and is still under review by the Council.

In the interim, the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) instructs a would-be Airbnb landlord to follow the current procedures for licensing a single unit property such as a house or condominium or, if applicable, a two-unit property such as the elusive rowhouse with English basement rental unit sought by many of today’s real estate buyers.

Each D.C. rental property must be properly licensed, meet the requirements of the D.C. Construction Codes and fall within the guidelines of any restrictive covenants placed on the property by a condominium, cooperative or homeowners association. Potential Airbnb landlords are often disappointed to find that their condo, co-op and HOA rules require a minimum lease of 12 months and that short-term rentals are prohibited.

A Basic Business License (BBL) is required for each property. An application for a two-year BBL must be filed with additional supporting documents and fees totaling slightly less than $200.

If you own your property as an entity such as a corporation, limited liability company (LLC) or partnership, then you may need to register with the Corporations Division of the DCRA before filing your BBL application.

Read the article in full

Special thanks again to Ms. Blake. She can be reached at 202-246-8602 or Valerie@DCHomeQuest.com. Each Keller Williams Realty office is independently owned and operated. Equal Housing Opportunity.

For assistance in Navigating through this process in Washington, DC contact our office at 202.386.7575 or dcorders@incserv.com.

The information within this post is intended for general information purposes only. Incserv and its employees cannot offer legal or financial advice. Please consult with your legal counsel for assistance in how this information may or may not affect you and your business prior to making any decisions. The above information (and any attachments) should be judged accordingly.

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DC Biennial Report Deadline Extended!

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We recently reminded you biennial reports would be due by April 1st in Washington, DC. However, the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) has recently announced they will be extending this deadline to May 2nd. This extension only applies to the filing of biennial reports. Trade name renewals will remain due on April 1st. For more information, check out the DCRA website here.

As always, if you have questions or need assistance filing, please reach out to us via phone at 202.386.7579 or email to DCorders@incserv.com.

Thanks,

Amanda

Amanda Contreras is the Marketing Manager in our Dover, Delaware office.

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DCRA Penalties

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Just a reminder… you have until February 29th to save on penalties and interest when reinstating your District of Columbia entity.

In case you missed our blog back in December, The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) will waive all penalties and/or interest for revoked companies reinstating in the District of Columbia.  DCRA will also waive the requirement of filing all past due reports, requiring only the most recent report and reinstatement application.

Should you need assistance, please contact a Client Services Representative at 877.531.1131.

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The significance of April 1st!

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In searching for important events occurring April 1st, we discovered there were many things that happened on this date, but for the sake of keeping this short, we’ll only highlight a few.

April 1, 1970 – President Nixon banned the advertising of cigarettes on TV and radio.

April 1 1999 – Eleven of the countries in the European Union adopted the “Euro” as their common currency.

April 1, 2008 – Hillary Clinton compared herself to “Rocky”, referring to her ability to get back up after “stumbling and getting knocked down”.

Fast forwarding to 2016 and there are two even more important events (at least in Washington DC): The filing of the two year report by April 1st and the new regulation which requires renewal of all existing trade names, expiring this year, to be filed by April 1st.

Yep, we said all that just to tell you about changes in regulation and to remind you of the biennial report requirement in DC! What did you expect from the capital of the US?

If you are due to renew your trade name this year, you must do so by April 1st or risk having the registration cancelled after August 31st, which is consistent with the biennial report filing requirement.

So, don’t lose your registrations! Let IncServ keep you informed (of our history) and in compliance. As always, if you have any questions about biennial reports or need assistance with filing, we are more than happy to help. Simply e-mail us at DCorders@incserv.com or call us at 202.386.7575 or 877.531.1131.

Thanks for reading,

Deirdre

Deirdre Davis-Washington is an Assistant Vice President and manages the Washington, DC office.

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DCRA 60 Day Business Development Amnesty Program

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Effective January 1, 2016 through February 29, 2016, the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) will waive all penalties and/or interest for revoked companies wishing to reinstate in the District of Columbia.

DCRA will waive the requirement of filing all past due reports and will only require the most recent delinquent report along with the reinstatement application plus applicable filing fees. Additionally, DCRA will allow the reinstatement of revoked basic business licenses, without penalties, during this time period.

To see if you are eligible to participate in the Business Development Program or to read more, click here.

If you have any questions or would like assistance with filing, please feel free to reach out to us!

Thanks for reading,

Deirdre

Deirdre Davis-Washington is an Assistant Vice President and manages the Washington, DC office.

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DCRA 60 Day Business Development Amnesty Program

EffectivDC flage January 1, 2016 through February 29, 2016, the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) will waive all penalties and/or interest for revoked companies wishing to reinstate in the District of Columbia.

DCRA will waive the requirement of filing all past due reports and will only require the most recent delinquent report along with the reinstatement application plus applicable filing fees. Additionally, DCRA will allow the reinstatement of revoked basic business licenses, without penalties, during this time period.

To see if you are eligible to participate in the Business Development Program or to read more, click here.

If you have any questions or would like assistance with filing, please feel free to reach out to us!

Thanks for reading,

Deirdre

Deirdre Davis-Washington is an Assistant Vice President and manages the Washington, DC office. To learn more about Deirdre, read her bio here.