Code of the District of Columbia

§ 26–901. Businesses required to procure license and pay tax; appointment of resident agent; service of process or notice.

(a) It shall be unlawful and illegal to engage in the District of Columbia in the business of loaning money upon which a rate of interest greater than 6% per annum is charged on any security of any kind, direct or collateral, tangible or intangible, without procuring license; and all persons, firms, voluntary associations, joint-stock companies, incorporated societies, and corporations engaged in said business shall pay a license tax of $500 per annum to the District of Columbia. No license shall be granted to any person, firm, or voluntary association unless such person and the members of any such firm or voluntary association shall be bona fide residents of the District of Columbia, and no license shall be granted for a period longer than 1 year, and no license shall be granted to any joint-stock company, incorporated society, or corporation unless and until such company, society, or corporation shall, in writing and in due form, to be first approved by and filed with the Mayor of the District of Columbia, appoint an agent, resident in the District of Columbia, upon whom all judicial and other process or legal notice directed to such company, society, or corporation may be served. And in the case of death, removal from the District, or any legal disability or disqualification of any such agent, service of such process or notice may be made upon the Director of the Department of Licenses, Investigation and Inspections of the District of Columbia.

(b) Any license issued pursuant to this section shall be issued as a Financial Services endorsement to a basic business license under the basic business license system as set forth in subchapter I-A of Chapter 28 of Title 47 of the District of Columbia Official Code.


(Feb. 4, 1913, 37 Stat. 657, ch. 26, § 1; Mar. 3, 1917, 39 Stat. 1006, ch. 160; Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-261, § 2003(r), 46 DCR 3142; Oct. 28, 2003, D.C. Law 15-38, § 3(q), 50 DCR 6913.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 26-701.

1973 Ed., § 26-601.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 26-710 and § 28-3303.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-38, in subsec. (b), substituted “Financial Services endorsement to a basic business license under the basic” for “Class A Financial Services endorsement to a master business license under the master”.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3(q) of Streamlining Regulation Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-145, August 11, 2003, 50 DCR 6896).

Transfer of Functions

All functions of the Superintendent of Licenses were transferred to the Director of the Department of Economic Development by Commissioner’s Order No. 69-96, dated March 7, 1969. The Department of Economic Development was replaced by the Department of Licenses, Investigation and Inspection by Mayor’s Order No. 78-42, dated February 17, 1978.

The functions of the Department of Licenses, Investigations, and Inspections were transferred to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs by Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1983, effective March 31, 1983.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.