The Process


Starting a business can be challenging for anyone. We understand and we're here to help. The new Maryland Central Business Licensing and Registration Portal offers a step-by-step process to register your business online from one easy-to-use website. 

Before you begin the actual registration process, 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 for important details about starting a 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.

In an effort to make things a bit easier, DBED has compiled a database of statewide and county level licenses that may be needed to operate your business in Maryland. Browse through the system to get a better understanding of what is required and where you need to go next.

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: