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Business development is vital to the District’s efforts to attract businesses, create jobs, and spur economic growth in the nation’s capital. The Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development offers information and services to businesses seeking to start, relocate or expand a business within the District of Columbia. We also design and facilitate catalytic programs with stakeholder organizations to improve the business climate in the District.

Our Business Development Team is here to connect you to financial incentives and other resources, help you identify space for your business, attract and retain key employees, and identify strategic alliance partners. The District is open for business and we are here to show you why D.C. is the best place to establish and grow your company.

Learn more about why DC is a great place to live, work, play, and do business.

Business Development is leading formalized efforts to pursue strategic goals in priority areas such as inclusive innovation, commercial revitalization, and employer engagement.

DC’s Economic Strategy
DC’s Economic Strategy outlines not only how we will grow our economy, but how we will make sure that growth benefits all Washingtonians. Explore our initiatives for increasing the commercial tax base, creating jobs, fostering entrepreneurship and innovation, and advancing inclusive prosperity in DC.

International Business
Learn more about our international activities and access tools for both foreign investors and DC businesses seeking to expand to other markets.

Business Resources
Find funding opportunities, such as grants and other incentives, as well as space-finding and relocation tools, resources for entrepreneurs, talent and hiring programs, and regulatory support.

Achieving our strategic goals and supporting the DC business community requires collaboration with key external partners and agencies across District government.

Social + Events
Keep up with the latest news from the community and participate in conversations in-person and online.

International Business

Washington, DC has many faces. It is the home to the U.S. government while being remarkably international with approximately 180 resident embassies and respected global economic and policy organizations. DC is serviced by three airports with 74 nonstop international destinations and welcomed 24.6 million visitors in 2019, making the 10th year of record visits to the city. Four of the Fortune 500 companies call this city home, and they represent a variety of industries from finance to technology to professional services. Washington, DC is a thriving marketplace for ideas, inclusive innovation, and invention. It is considered one of the most accessible and welcoming of U.S. cities, with its low-profile skyline and with a lifestyle and culture that are the envy of other world capitals. The District also ranks high as #1 in the US for entrepreneurial talent, #2 city for women in tech, #3 most educated city in the country, and a top 10 global city for ease of doing business.

The International Business Team is responsible for four things: increasing foreign direct investment into the City, increasing exports out of the City, strengthening relationships with countries that have expressed interest in investing in the City, and planning and executing the Mayor’s Diplomatic/Trade Missions.

The District of Columbia Quick Statistics

Washington, DC, is a hub for thought leadership and global policy makers. Organizations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace consider Washington, DC, as a focal point for critical international conversations about the world economy, global politics, the environment, and peace. If your business is seeking to have an impact at an international level, this is the place for you.

 Washington, DC

Population 705,749
Population increase (Since 2010) 17.3%
Daytime Population 1.15 million
Population with Bachelor’s Degree 58.5%
Population with Graduate degree or higher 34%

Nonstop International Destinations                 Daily Departures         Destinations

Reagan National Airport (DCA)
*5 are international
410 98
Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI)
*10 are international
319 82
Dulles International Airport (IAD) – domestic 262 88
Dulles International Airport (IAD) – international 69 57

TOP OVERSEAS MARKETS TO DC (number of visitors, 2019)

1. China 190,000
2. United Kingdom 170,000
3. India 133,000
4. Germany 131,000
5. South Korea 110,000

International Business Resources

ExportDC advises DC-based businesses on how to sell their products and services in other countries. The team helps you determine if your business is export-ready, and counsels you on how to prepare to export.

International Business Guides
The DC Chamber of Commerce’s International Business Guides provide relevant information for foreign firms considering entering the U.S. market and establishing a presence in Washington, DC. The guides are available in four different languages: EnglishFrenchSpanish, and Arabic.

Office of International Affairs
The Office of International Affairs is located within the Office of the Secretary of State of the District of Columbia and is the District government’s primary liaison with the diplomatic and international community for both substantive and ceremonial matters.

Business Resources

One of the functions of the Business Development unit is helping companies navigate the business landscape in DC. This page contains a collection of resources for companies published by DMPED, other DC agencies, and partner organizations. Whether you’re starting, growing, or relocating your business to the District, these resources and their organizations are here to support you.

Funding Opportunities
The District wants to support companies who are driving innovation, growing the tax base, and creating jobs for District residents. Use this link to find funding opportunities such as grants, tax benefits, and other financial incentives.

Space & Relocation
Looking to start or relocate a business to the District? These resources can help you learn more about the physical landscape in DC, find a site for your business, and provide information to employees who may be new DC residents.

These resources provide tips and tools for starting, growing, and running your business in DC.

The Department of Employment Services offers several resources to help companies reduce the costs of hiring and training new employees.

Regulatory Support
Find the forms, licenses, permits, certifications, and other guidance you need to comply with DC business regulations and contract with the DC government.

Sector Overviews and Resources
Get information and resources on our core sectors (industries that currently have a significant presence in the DC economy) and opportunity areas (cross-cutting industry clusters that are poised for growth).