Starting a business is an exciting and challenging undertaking. To help ensure your business' success, it is important that you familiarize yourself with the basic requirements for starting a business in Maryland. The following checklist provides a convenient starting point. Other useful information can be found of the Corporate Charter unit page and the Business Personal Property page.
Sole Proprietorships, General Partnerships
Sole proprietorships or general partnerships require no legal entry formalities except compliance with State and local licensing and taxation requirements.
Legal Entities (Corporations, Limited Liability Companies,
For information about registration requirements for legal entities, contact:
State Department of Assessments and Taxation
Corporate Charter Division
301 West Preston Street, 8th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21201
Telephone: (410) 767-1340
Be sure you choose a location properly zoned for your business activity. Other factors to consider include regulations on business signs and parking at the location. If you are planning to operate a business from home, you will need to consider whether your community or county restricts home-based businesses.
Jurisdictions with municipal corporations may require a license for businesses operating within their corporate limits. If your business is located in a municipal corporation, check with your municipal offices to see if a local business license is required.
You can get more information on State and local business license requirements from:
Department of Commerce
Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation
Applications for the Maryland business license may be obtained from the Clerk of the Circuit Court in the county in which your business will be located.
Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
The Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation is a major occupational and professional licensing agency in the State of Maryland.The Department is also responsible for the enforcement of commerce, employment, and workplace and public safety laws
Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (888) 218-5925
The Department's Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing regulates many business occupations and professions. Individuals working in the following areas need to obtain occupational or professional licenses in addition to State and local business licenses:
For most occupations and professions, individuals must meet educational and work experience standards as well as pass a qualifying examination in order to obtain a license.
The Division of Labor and Industry protects and promotes the health, safety and employment rights of Maryland citizens. The Division administers laws governing these areas (the underlined laws require licensing):
The Division of Financial Regulation regulates and, in many instances, licenses, the operation of banks, credit unions, consumer loan companies, sales finance companies, mortgage companies, and collection agencies.
Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
500 N. Calvert Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21202
Telephone: (410) 230-6000
301 W. Preston St., Baltimore, MD 21201-2395
410-767-1184 | Outside the Baltimore Metro Area 888-246-5941 | Maryland Relay 800-735-2258