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Register and License Your Business

Register Your Business

First, decide what kind of business entity (legal structure) is best for you. For a description of the pros and cons of legal structures, go to forms of business organization. 

Use the Maryland Central Business Licensing and Registration portal to:

  • Register your business
  • Establish tax accounts
  • Register a trade name

To register a business name for a sole proprietorship contact your local county recorder where you intend to do business.

Employee Identification Number (EIN or FEIN)

Employers with employees, business partnerships, and corporations must obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Even if you are a sole proprietor and don’t have employees, it is still good practice to obtain an EIN. You will often need it for government forms, banks often require it for loans, and it can be used in place of your personal Social Security Number to protect against identify theft.

Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) online 

State and City Licensing and Permits

There are additional licenses for some professional service providers. A full list of these licenses can be found on the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation website.  You can review our online database of Baltimore city business permits and licenses.  

Understanding that it can be difficult to navigate through all the requirements, the Baltimore Small Business Resource Center has put together this helpful frequently asked questions document. Please feel free to call our staff if you have any questions at 443-451-7160.

Employer reporting

As an employer, you will be responsible for additional employment insurance and worker’s compensation insurance. This includes applying for federal and state withholding requirements.

A helpful checklist for new businesses is available on the Maryland Department of Assessments & Taxation website.