Starting a Business in Maryland: 6 Things to Know

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Starting a business in Maryland is a fantastic option for entrepreneurs; it offers a very favorable environment for startups to thrive, it is located strategically, and there are lots of different businesses that can thrive there. If you are thinking of starting a business in Maryland, here are a few things you should know.

A Choice of Different Business Structures

Maryland is open to any business structure you would like to use for your business. The Maryland Department of Assessment and Taxation says that you can opt for a partnership, sole proprietorship, a corporation, or a limited liability company. If you do not know which structure would work best for your business, talk to your attorney, accountant, or the Maryland Department of Assessment and Taxation for additional information on how to set everything up.

Help with Licenses and Permits

To operate a business in Maryland, you will require different licenses or permits. Business licenses are mandatory, but depending on the type of business you run, you may need additional professional and occupational licenses. Note that any other businesses or professionals you choose to work with should also have their licenses and permits in order.

To know which licenses and permits you need to run your business, check Maryland’s licensing database or county licensing database. If you are not sure about the licenses and permits you require, you should get in touch with the Department of Labor.

Baltimore Is Perfect for Different Types of Businesses

Baltimore is one of the best places to start a business in Maryland for various reasons. One, it is close to both Washington and New York. This places businesses that start here close to federal agencies which usually have a lot of money to spend, and they’ll be close to the nation’s financial capital which makes it easier to find investors. Two, entrepreneurs shouldn’t sleep on Baltimore because of its proximity to the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Maryland Medical Center. All these institutions make Baltimore very lucrative for biotech startups.

Tech startups also get access to the Emerging Tech center which is a business incubator that focuses on technology startups. If you are starting any other type of business, the Baltimore Development Corporation can help you out by offering you a loan as they do to a number of other small businesses.

You Need a Federal Employer Identification Number

All new businesses are required to register for a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) through the Internal Revenue Service. The EIN is important for unemployment insurance, employees and business withholding as well as in a number of other scenarios.

To make things easier, you can also establish your EIN when you register your business. This is done through the Maryland Business Express.

The Maryland Business Express

The Maryland Business Express portal is run by the Department of Assessments and Taxation and is where all businesses in Maryland are registered. The portal is very intuitive and it provides a step-by-step process that business owners can follow to have their businesses registered properly.

You Will Need a Unique Business Name

The Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation (DAT) mandates that all businesses established as corporations and limited liability companies use a unique name. To check for availability, business owners should visit the DAT business entity database.

For partnerships and sole proprietorships, you need to file an Application for Trade name with the DAT. This is usually mandated where the business name to be used is different from the names of the business owners or the partners. Also, do note that trade names must be renewed every five years.

Starting a business is a very exciting chapter in an entrepreneur’s life. Maryland stands out as one of the best states to do so due to how easy its government makes things, its vibrant business environment, and its proximity to New York and Washington.


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