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.
|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
|Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI)
*10 are international
|Dulles International Airport (IAD) – domestic||262||88|
|Dulles International Airport (IAD) – international||69||57|
TOP OVERSEAS MARKETS TO DC (number of visitors, 2019)
|2. United Kingdom||170,000|
|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: English, French, Spanish, 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.
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.
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.
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).