Business Licenses and Other Regulations

A State of Maryland business license is required for most business, including wholesalers and retailers. A Maryland Business License lasts for one year and requires annual renewal. The Maryland Business License Information System (BLIS) is a web-based system that helps new and existing business owners determine which state licenses are needed to operate in Maryland. Once on the BLIS site, it is recommended you e-mail your situational questions to the listed e-mail address. BLIS will prepare a customized list of required licenses for your business and send an e-mail reply. BLIS significantly reduces the time and money that small and mid-sized companies typically spend researching the legal requirements of business licenses by providing most of the necessary information. 

In addition to State and local business licenses, individuals working in the specific areas, such as real estate, home improvements, and cosmetology need to obtain Occupational or Professional Licenses. They must meet educational and work experience standards as well as pass a qualifying examination in order to obtain such a license.

In some lines of business, specific local licenses are also needed from your city, town or county.
To determine whether your particular business activity requires licensing by the State of Maryland and needs any additional licenses and permits, contact the Clerk of the Circuit Court in the county (or Baltimore City) where your business is or will be located to ask questions about business license information that relates to your type of business.

Other Regulations

You’ll also have to meet zoning laws, building codes, and similar regulations. It is important to check with your local planning office to see if your business activity will comply with the planning and zoning requirements of your county. If you are planning to operate your business from home, you will need to determine whether or not your community or county restricts home-based businesses. Each county and municipality will have a planning and zoning office you can contact for further information.