I had the absolute pleasure to speak with Ward 2 Councilmember Brooke Pinto discussing the Business and Entrepreneurship Support to Thrive Amendment Act of 2021, or BEST Act. You may or may not know this, but it is very difficult and costly in the District for Entrepreneurs to start a new business. This legislation would lower initial licensing costs, establish a progressive fee renewal structure based upon revenue earned, and remove outdated and duplicative licensing requirements that have long complicated the business incorporation and compliance processes. We learned about some very out dated laws and licensing requirements still on the books. including those for Horse Drawn Carriages. Yes I'm serious.
This bill addresses these issues by:
- Reducing the number of basic business license categories from 100+ to 10, greatly simplifying the licensing process;
- Lowering initial license fees to $99 for 2 years (or $49 for 6 months), allowing for an exemption from fees for businesses with under $10,000 in annual revenue;
- Establishing a progressive fee structure based on annual revenue for license renewals;
- Establishing a clearer process for business licensing by removing outdated and duplicative requirements;
- Allowing DCRA flexibility to implement policies and procedures as necessary to better serve the District’s burgeoning business community; and
- Streamlining the law by transferring sections of the code not directly relevant to the basic business licensing process from Title 47 Chapter 28 “General License Law” to more appropriate sections of the D.C. Code for a more intuitive law for the average resident.
Listen to the full interview below and get more information on the bill and how to support Councilmember Pinto HERE