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Maryland Business License

Once your business is registered in the state of Maryland, you can begin your operations only after you have received a proper business license or permit. At the same time, it is important to remember that not all types of businesses require a license. The options are:

  • Your business may require a license
  • Your business may require only a permit
  • Your business may require multiple licenses or permits
  • Your business may require a permit as well as a Maryland company license

Maryland Business License Requirements

You are probably surrounded by plenty of questions right now. For example, how do you find out whether your business needs a license or a permit or both? Who is responsible for issuing business license in Maryland? These are important questions and hence, we have created a guide that will help answer some of these questions.

Here is a step-by-step approach towards acquiring a Maryland company license:

Step#1: The Industry or Business Type

The state of Maryland provides business licenses and permits to different types of businesses. The type of industry or the activities of a business helps in identifying the type of business license required. At the same time, it is important to know that there are certain businesses that may require county or city clerk issued licenses instead of state licenses.

In the state of Maryland, the requirement for a permit or business license is dependent on the type of industry or services. Some of the main categories of services for which a license or permit is required are under the following:

  • Alcohol Beverage or Liquor
  • Slot Machines
  • Chain of Retail Stores
  • Scrap Metal Processor or Junk Dealer
  • Peddlers or Hawkers
  • Vending Machine
  • Transient Vendors
  • Construction
  • Storage Warehouse

These are some of the categories for which statewide licenses are issued. Click here to check for other state licenses.

Step#2: Licenses issued by County

If your business type doesn’t fall under a statewide license then you will have to check with the local county office. A business license in Maryland is not always issued by the state but also by local counties in which the business is located.

Let’s take a look at an example to understand this better. If you establish a business in Cecil County, MD and the focus area of your business is home improvement then your Maryland company license will be issued by the Clerk of the Circuit Court. According to Business Regulation Article 8-101(g), home improvement businesses are those that are involved in the addition or alteration, improvement, conversion, remodeling, modernization, replacement, or repair of a building or part of a building.

Step#3: License Issuer

Who is the issuing authority for business license in Maryland? The issuing authority depends completely on the type of business and varies according to the business. The following example will help you understand how the issuing authority can vary:

You are planning to set up a restaurant in Anne Arundel County, MD then it will be classified as a Food Service Facility.

Food Service Facility

  • Type of License – Food Service Facility License
  • Issuing Authority – Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • Requirements – You need to submit a Statement of Compliance with Worker’s Compensation Act along with relevant information regarding seating capacity at the facility and facility specific information to qualify for the Liquor business license in Maryland.
  • Types of License – There are different types of Food Service Facility Licenses to choose from and fees vary according to the type of business license. They are: Low Priority, Moderate Priority, High Priority ,Mobile Facilities, Seasonal or Special Events and Pool Snack Bars

Alcohol Serving at Restaurant or other places

  • Type of License – Alcoholic Beverage License
  • Issuing Authority – Board of License Commissioners for Anne Arundel County
  • Requirements – You need to submit Alcohol Awareness Certificate, Occupancy Permit, Retail Sales License, and Health Department License among others to qualify for the Liquor business license.
  • Types of License – There are different types of Alcohol licenses to choose from and fees vary according to the type of business license. They are: Class A beer and light wine licenses, Class A beer, wine and liquor licenses, Class B and C Licenses, Class BD7 Licenses, Class B-BWL licenses, Special class C licenses, Class D
    Arena Licenses, Class M-G Licenses

The bottom line is that the type of business license, the issuing authority, and licensing fee will depend on the city or county where your business is registered or based.

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