The Process


Starting a business can feel like a daunting challenge so we are here to help. The state of Maryland now offers a step-by-step process to register your business online. We've worked across state agencies in attempt to remove barriers and consolidate the process. Before starting your registration, there are a few items you should consider, such as creating a business plan, choosing a business structure, name, and location, and checking county and local zoning requirements. Visit our Frequently Asked Questions section for more information that relates to your business.​

Once you are ready to go, visit the Maryland Central Business Licensing and Registration PortalThe site will enable you to:Maryland Online Business Registration

  • Register your business and form the legal business entity with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation.
  • Search against existing Maryland business names and register a business trade name with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation.
  • Establish your necessary tax accounts with the Comptroller of the Treasury.
  • Get easy access to obtain and/or enter a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) from the IRS.

Not sure if you're ready? Check out the "demo"​ which will give you a sneak peek into the registration process.

State and local license requirements

Once you have completed online registration, check to see if there are any state and local license requirements. A State of Maryland Business License is required for most businesses, including retailers and wholesalers. A trader’s license is required for buying and re-selling. Business activities that require licenses include, but are not limited to: amusements; auctions; chain stores; construction; dry cleaners; farm machinery; garages; hawkers and peddlers; junk dealers; plumbing and gas fitters; restaurants; retail stores; storage warehouses; traders; and vending machines.

Visit Maryland’s Business License Information System (BLIS) to determine the licenses and permits your business might need to operate in Maryland. 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.

Looking for the status of your license? Not sure if you need a license or want more information? Contact the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation​ directly at 410-230-6001.

Additional Regulations

So you’re registered through the Portal and visited BLIS to find out if any additional licenses are necessary. Just a few more items to check off the list from the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR), a major occupational and professional licensing agency. Divisions in DLLR related to starting a business include: