What is the process to start a new business in Maryland?

Coming Up With Business Plan and Structure

The first step in establishing any business is coming up with a business plan and structure. The prospective owner of the new business should consider what type of business is ideal for the market and find out as much information about that type of business as possible. After deciding on the type of business, the owner should decide the structure of the business, such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation.

Register a Business in Maryland

The next step involves registering the business, which requires a name and location. Checking with local and county zoning requirements is an important part of the location selection process because violations can be expensive. Once the name and location are ready, the business owner can use the Maryland Central Business Licensing and Registration Portal to register a business trade name, form a business entity and establish a business tax account.

If Necessary, Obtain Any Additional Licenses

The final step in the process is obtaining any additional licenses that the government requires for the specific type of business. Maryland’s Business License Information System is a good resource to discover whether the business requires additional licensing beyond the business license. Many industries require special licensing to ensure that businesses in that industry follow certain laws pertaining to how the business must operate.

When starting a small business, people do not always know where to begin. It can be difficult to create a business plan if the prospective owner is unfamiliar with the industry, and so many new owners decide to open a business in a familiar industry to make the planning process easier. The most difficult part for many new business owners is deciding what business structure best suits the business, and a business law attorney can outline the advantages and disadvantages of each form.

Source: Department of Business & Economic Development, “Start a Business – The Process“, September 14, 2014

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