A guide to help you understand the ins and outs of business in Washington, DC
The District of Columbia, located on the north bank of the Potomac River, is the capital city of the United States. The centers of all three branches of the US federal government are located in the city, as are many of the nation's monuments and museums. Washington, DC hosts 176 foreign embassies as well as the headquarters of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) among other international organizations. The headquarters of other institutions such as national trade unions, lobbying groups, and professional associations are also located in the District. Washington is home to a number of higher learning institutions including the National Defense University, National Defense Intelligence College, University of the District of Columbia, American University, George Washington University, Georgetown University and Howard University among others.In 2020, the real GDP of the District of Columbia was 122.11 billion US dollars. DC residents pay the third highest in taxes as a percentage of their income.
The top sectors driving the economy are the federal government, technology, construction, international business, and hospitality. Manufacturing has never been a strong suit; only 3.9 percent of area jobs were in manufacturing, and that figure is expected to fall to 2.8 percent by 2015. Indeed, people often think of Washington, DC as a "company town" where most people work for the federal government. It has been ranked 2nd Best City for Startups, 6th Smart City in the World and 3rd Tech City in America.
The Qataris are one of the top donors to DC think tanks — the Brookings Institution alone receives more than $2 million annually from Qatar. Qatar is, by far, the leading foreign donor to American Universities, outspending China. The Qataris are also major investors in DC real estate. Qatar invested more than $600 million to become the primary owner of the gleaming City Center in the heart of DC and has since purchased other prominent real estate around town. Most recently, in April 2020, the Embassy of the State of Qatar bought the historic Hollerith House in Georgetown for $17.75 million, the most expensive home purchased in the nation’s capital since Amazon founder Jeff Bezos dropped $22 million on a DC home in 2017.
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The District of Columbia has a single-rate corporate tax system. Beginning with tax year 2020, all QHTC's will pay corporation franchise tax at the regular franchise tax rate, currently 8.25%. There are 52 business incentives programs in Washington, DC like DC Tech Incentives, Supermarket Tax Credit and HUBZone Program.