The comprehensive evaluation for startup and operation characteristics of distributed generation(DG) is the basis of developing power grid black-start scheme with the aid of DGs. An index system for evaluating DGs' startup and operation characteristics is constructed. Considering the factors affecting the DG black-start ability, three evaluation criteria of generation capacity, efficiency and reliability are defined. Considering the indices that characterize the DG operation characteristics, three criteria of stability, power quality and economy are defined. Then a comprehensive evaluation method is proposed. Combining the analytic hierarchy process(AHP) with the coefficient of variation method to calculate the subjective and objective weights of indices, the reasonable setting of the index weight can be realized. The technique for order preference by similarity to an ideal solution(TOPSIS) is used to calculate the relative closeness degree between the evaluation object and the ideal solution. Then the ranking of DGs' startup and operation characteristics is realized. Ultimately, the example verifies the validity of the proposed evaluation index and method.