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How To Start A Business In Maryland: A Mandatory Checklist

Updated: Jul 17, 2020

By Ashley Ellixson

Field in front of a farm (Photo by Edwin Remsberg).

Starting your business in any state, let alone Maryland, can be extremely daunting. To help guide you through the confusing task of creating your business here in Maryland, I will take you through a list of items that need to be completed in order to be a fully functioning entity. No matter what your business may be, all of these steps must be checked off the list and taken seriously so you don’t find yourself in any sort legal issues.

Before you start going through the list, it is important to consider creating a business plan (, and choose one of the several business structures, the name of your business, and location. Depending on where your business is located, you will need to check with the county and local zoning requirements. With that said, let us take a look at the checklist:

1) Register your business as a legal entity with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation.

Farmer holding a clipboard with a checklist in front of cows (Photo by Edwin Remsberg).

2) Search against existing Maryland business names and register a business trade name with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation.

3) Establish your necessary tax accounts with the Comptroller of the Treasury.

4) Obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) from the IRS as well as state and local tax information (

All of the above tasks can be completed by going to the Maryland Central Business Licensing and Registration Portal.

5) Check to see if there are any state and local licensing requirements (a State of Maryland Business License if required for most businesses while a trader’s license is required for buying and re-selling). Visit Maryland’s Business License Information System (BLIS) to determine which licenses and permits your business might need to operate.

These five steps are the basic and necessary items in setting up your business in Maryland. Each locality and county may have different requirements, so please make a point to contact your local agents to ensure you are in compliance with the rules of the area you plan to start your business.

If you have any specific questions, please feel free to email me at and I can put you in contact with the correct people to help you with your business planning issue.

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