The Process


Starting a business can feel like a daunting challenge so we are here to help. The easiest way to set up your business is through the Maryland Central Business Licensing and Registration Portal, part of the Maryland Made Easy site, which provides step-by-step business registration online. Before visiting this site, 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. Read our Frequently Asked Questions section to learn more about these steps.​

Once you are ready to go, visit the Maryland Central Business Licensing and Registration Portal. The site will enable you to:

  • 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.             ​

Maryland Checklist for New Businesses

The State Department of Assessments and Taxation provides a Maryland checklist for new businesses. A majority of these items can be accomplished via the aforementioned licensing and registration portal, but the checklist provides additional information about the necessary steps.

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.

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:

Maryland Online Business Registration