Many types of businesses in Maryland are not required to have a business license - only certain types of business regulated by state law need to have a business license.
Businesses that usually need to obtain licenses from their local Clerk of the Court if they are physically located in Maryland include: auctioneer; billiard table; chain store; cigarette sales; commercial garage; console machines; construction firms; hawkers and peddlers; junk dealers; laundry establishments; music box (juke box), vending machine, and pinball machine owners/vendors; plumber and gas fitters; restaurants; storage warehouses; trader's and trader's show; and wholesale dealer-farm machinery.
Nonprofit organizations that obtain tax exempt status from the IRS do not require a business license in Maryland.
The statute of limitations on licensing investigation and penalties in Maryland for failure to obtain and file a business license is four years.
To find out if your business needs to be licensed, contact your local Clerk of the Court or call the State License Bureau at 410-260-6240. You can also search by your industry for licensing information on Maryland's Business License Information System online.
The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation details additional requirements for employers.
If you need a professional or occupational license, call the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing toll-free at (888) 218-5925.
If you are planning to operate a bank, credit union, consumer loan company, mortgage company, sales finance company, or a collection agency, you will need special licensing. For licensing information call the Division of Financial Regulation at (410) 230-6100.
To find your local chamber of commerce to help you with local business questions and support, visit List of Chambers of Commerce in Maryland.
Maryland State Comptroller