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Department of Buildings

In observance of the Emancipation Day holiday, DOB will be closed on Tuesday, April 16, 2024; no construction will be allowed on this day without an after-hours permit. You may report illegal construction by submitting an Illegal Construction Inspection Request Form during normal business hours or by calling 311.

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Get a Home Occupation Permit

A home occupation is a business, profession or other economic activity conducted full- or part-time in the principal residence of the person conducting the business. This permit is required for operating a business from your home.

  • You must live in the District of Columbia
  • The home must be your primary residence

How to apply? 
If your occupation type is a businessperson; salesperson; independent consultant; journalist; writer; typing, word processing, or computing programming services; telemarketing services. 

Get a joint Basic Business License and an Expedited Home Occupation Permit (EHOP)

For all other HOP types, you must obtain a Home Occupation Permit (HOP) before you obtain your business license.

Get a Home Occupation Permit


Review these steps BEFORE you submit a Home Occupation Permit (HOP) application:

Applicant must submit an online HOP application and upload the required supporting documentation. An HOP application submitted by anyone other than the named applicant, for whom the premises is their primary residence, will not be accepted.

If applicant is a tenant of the residence, please upload proof of residency. Acceptable documents include:

  • Driver’s license or identification card issued by the District of Columbia.
  • Gas or electric utility bill.

If the applicant is presently operating a business in the residence, please upload a copy of all existing HOPs.

  • If the proposed business is a Corporation, please upload a copy of the Articles of Incorporation, Listing of Corporate Officers, and Letter of Good Standing.
    • The Letter of Good Standing is obtainable from CorpOnline, DLCP's online corporate registration and filing platform.

If the applicant classifies themselves as a licensed professional, please upload a copy of the license to practice in the District of Columbia. Examples of professions requiring professional licensure include, but are not limited to:

  • Attorney
  • Medical Doctor
  • Dentist
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • Registered Nurse (RN)
  • Funeral Director
  • Real Estate sales
  • Architects

If the proposed business is a Child Development Home (CDH) as defined by 11 DCMR B-100, please upload the required written and graphic fire evacuation plans and a copy of the applicant’s driver’s license.

Application Review Process

Zoning Application Process

The review process typically takes 24 hours for non-childcare applications and 72 hours to schedule an inspection for childcare applications

Track your application status on SCOUT


Resources and Information

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