How to Get a Business License in Maryland (2022 Guide) – Forbes Advisor
Step 1. Name and form your business
Before you can obtain a business license in Maryland, you must name and form your business. That’s if you haven’t already. If not, you will need to register with the State of Maryland.
In order to form a limited liability company (LLC) in Maryland, you must first file articles of incorporation with the state Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT). For process service, you will also need to establish a registered agent in Maryland. Once you have started a business, make sure you have your key business information in order and ready to begin your business license applications in Maryland. You will need:
- A trade name
- An EIN (Employer Identification Number) or SSN (if you are a sole proprietor)
- A type of business entity (LLC, partnership, corporation, etc.)
- A business address and telephone number
- Forecast revenue and expenditure
- A certificate of insurance (COI) for your business insurance policy
For step-by-step instructions, find out how to create an LLC. Alternatively, you can outsource this step with the help of an LLC registration service. To help you find the service that’s right for you, check out the best LLC services.
Step 2. Apply for a business license in Maryland
Once you have gathered the necessary information, you will need to apply for Maryland business licenses.
You can search for and register licenses and permits granted by state agencies through Maryland’s OneStop licensing system. For more specific inquiries regarding statewide licensing or the status of your license, contact the Business and Occupational Licensing Division.
Step 3. Determine what other local licenses may be applicable
The local circuit court clerk can help you with any local licensing needs, depending on where your business is located. You can also contact your county inspections, licensing or permit office to determine other applicable local licenses.
Businesses selling goods will need to obtain a trader’s license from the Registrar of Court before proceeding with any sale. You will need a different license if you are operating a chain store or selling from a temporary location.
Step 4. Apply for any additional statewide licenses you need
In addition to a merchant’s license, any business that sells goods will need a sales tax permit. On the Maryland Comptroller’s website, you can register online or print an application for a sales and use license.
Step 5. Apply for federal licenses (if needed)
Finally, although the federal government does not require or issue general business operating licenses, you may need to obtain licenses from specific government agencies depending on the industry of your business. Common industries requiring a federal license include farming, fishing, firearms, liquor sales, and transportation.