How To Start A Business In Maryland 2024?

How To Start A Business In Maryland 1
Maryland is a business-friendly state. Photo: Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

How to start a business in Maryland? The answer is you’ll require sufficient funds, time, general support, and expert help for it to succeed. Maryland is a business-friendly state with a progressive income tax rate of around 5.75 percent and strong economic development. 

Compliance with rules is critical for most Maryland firms. You will need to be familiar with the rules and regulations that apply to your industry. Also, you’ll need to know which agencies can help you — licenses and permits are necessary.

Business licenses are comparable to other licenses, except that they must be renewed annually. Businesses and small business owners must follow all applicable laws affecting them and comply with any government rules or standards. Now let us look at the crucial steps in starting a business in Maryland.

How To Start A Business In Maryland?

  • Pick a business idea
  • Plan your business 
  • Get funding
  • Choose a business structure
  • Register your Alaska business
  • Set up banking, credit cards, and accounting
  • Get Insured
  • Obtain Permits and licenses
  • Hire employees
  • Build a business website
  • Promo your business

11 Basic Steps To Start A Business In Maryland 2024 

To establish a successful business or LLC in Maryland, you must first understand the fundamental prerequisites for starting a business and becoming a business owner. Below is thorough information on how to start a business in Maryland:

Pick A Business Idea

The first step in beginning a Maryland business is to decide what type of business you want to start and then hunt for a business concept that fits your interests and ambitions. 

Most business ideas come with a name. Therefore, do a name search before moving on to the next stage after coming up with a concept. Your company’s name should be unique and not be registered with another company in Maryland. 

The Secretary of State’s website in Maryland allows you to do a business name search to see whether your selected business name is still available. There’s a form that can be used to reserve a business name. Reservations for names cost $25 each and are valid for 30 days.

Plan Your Business 

A well-planned process does more than just keep your company organized when launching your Maryland small business. Business plans are used to secure finance and assist in attaining key objectives. 

It is critical to have a well-thought-out company strategy. This will assist you in addressing any potential dangers to your new firm. You should know the answers to some basic questions, such as your company name and what distinguishes your product or service from the competitors.

How are you going to attract their attention and turn them into customers? Where are you going to acquire the funds? etc.

Get Funding

Before you can obtain finance for your small business, you must first pay initial charges and calculate the overall cost of beginning your firm.

Maryland boasts a slew of venture capital firms and angel investors because of the state’s favorable economic climate. You can request investment or self-financing for your company — there are a plethora of low-interest business loans on the market.

If you are looking for money, you will need to describe the type of loan you would want to apply for and the time it will last. Venture capital investments, direct loans, grants, and loan guarantees are just a few choices available via the Maryland Business Express.[1]

Choose A Business Structure

You may be unsure which sort of company entity to form — there are various options available to would-be entrepreneurs. 

Because various entities come with unique advantages, weighing them for each company structure should be a focus. On the other hand, others have drawbacks that may not have been anticipated.

Consider whether you need liability protection, want to attract investors, or run a sophisticated firm like a corporation. It is critical to pick a business structure that works best for you and your objectives. 

A limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation are the best options if you require liability protection. These two form a distinct legal entity from you that protects you from liabilities.

Sole Proprietorship

A solitary proprietorship conducts businesses with its name rather than forming a discrete statutory business structure. Some business founders utilize a DBA (doing business as) label without appropriately setting it up. 

The fundamental advantage of a sole proprietorship is that it does not necessitate any initial or continuous regulatory paperwork.

You do not have to file different tax statements for the company, and all earnings go to the proprietor. 

However, the primary downside of this company structure is the lack of owner’s personal assets protection. If someone sues you for contractual obligation, harm, or other legal concerns, you are individually responsible for all business obligations and legal liabilities.

LLCs

Limited liability corporations (LLCs) are a common corporate entity for small businesses. Should you choose a Maryland LLC, you should draft an operating agreement that spells out the rules and constraints of the corporation. 

A single-member or multi-member LLC is possible in Maryland. An LLC has several attractive features. They are simple to form, and the operating agreement allows for freedom in how the company is run.

An LLC operating agreement enables the shareholders to organize themselves in nearly any way they please. The owner is protected from responsibility if the LLC is properly managed. 

For an LLC to be maintained in Maryland, tax returns must be filed, and extensive documents must be kept. Otherwise, members may lose access to the corporate structure.

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Corporations

This corporate structure takes the most significant time and work to set up and manage, but it offers business owners the most security. A corporation business entity shields owners from personal liability for the company’s debts and legal issues. 

Even though a corporation protects you from legal responsibility, it is more challenging to keep up than a limited liability business.

If you need to attract many external investors, a corporate entity is the best option. You can select between an S corporation or a C corporation. They are appropriate for small enterprises.

If your company is substantial and you want to avoid double taxes, C corporations are the way to go.

Nonprofits

If you want to start a company to support a social purpose, a non-profit business structure is ideal. 

Contributions rather than investments will support your company, and you will be tax-free. Even though your organization is non-profit, you must incorporate it as a commercial entity since you will be held liable for its obligations and liabilities if it is not.

Maryland has nearly 30,000 non-profit organizations, according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics. Before you form a new non-profit in Maryland, you must first determine an unfulfilled need in society and ensure that no current entities are already serving your cause. 

Consider collaborating with another group if one exists, since this may be a more effective method to affect your society while using available resources.

Partnership

Like a sole proprietorship, a partnership is an unorganized business structure having several proprietors. Partnerships are not protected against liabilities without a recognized corporate framework. 

In a partnership, you and your partners (or associates) can decide who has the most influence over the business and, as a result, who has the greatest responsibility risk.

Register Your Maryland Business

Register Your Maryland Business
Registering your Maryland business is the next step. Photo: G-Stock Studio/Shutterstock

Start the official registration procedure once you have decided what type of business you want to create. The Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation will require you to sign up your company. 

This will create your company’s official identity and address and the registered agent or the person who will legally receive any delivery of proceedings if your company is sued or involved in a legal procedure.

Set Up Banking, Credit Cards, & Accounting

Adopting separate business banking and credit accounts is required for personal asset protection. Combining your corporate and personal accounts puts your valuables in jeopardy if your company is sued.

To get started with business banking, open a separate business bank account. You will need to provide the bank with several papers, such as your Employer Identification Number (EIN), articles of incorporation, organization, operating agreement, and certificate of good standing, depending on the bank and the form of your business.

After that, get a business credit card to help you build your corporation’s credit history and separate your personal and business expenses. Subsequently, establish an accounting procedure — a sound accounting system will allow you to track your company’s production. 

Investing in high-quality accounting software that makes accounting simple and quick is desirable.

Get Insured

Business insurance will secure your corporate credibility, and individual property in the event of an accident, personal harm, and litigation. 

General liability insurance, worker’s compensation insurance, and professional liability insurance are the most popular forms of insurance that Maryland businesses should consider.

We suggest that all small companies, especially residence firms, acquire general liability insurance. Professional liability insurance is often recommended for businesses that provide professional services, such as consultancy and accounting companies.

In Maryland, workers’ compensation insurance is required for firms with one or more personnel, comprising LLC shareholders and business executives.

Obtain Permits & Licenses

Although Maryland does not require companies to have a general license to operate, many municipalities do. Depending on the type of business, different licenses, and permissions are required to start and operate a business in Maryland. 

Building and zoning permits, a Trader’s license, a Sales and Use Tax license, and an Occupational license are among the most popular licenses and permits obtained in Maryland

For additional information on the licenses and permissions you may need to operate a business in Maryland, we suggest consulting the Maryland State Business License Information System.

Hire Employees

Hiring people is a complex and often perplexing procedure for a business proprietor since there are various organizations to register with and labor requirements to understand. 

Unless you intend to run your company by yourself, assembling a competent workforce is essential to your success. 

You should recruit the right individuals and follow all Maryland employment legal requirements.

You will be responsible for reporting new hires, income tax withholding, unemployment insurance, unemployment taxes, and payroll withholding taxes.

Build A Business Website

Even smaller businesses should have a website in this day and age because the online world is perhaps the first point of connection for most of your clients. While creating a website is a crucial step, you may be anxious, thinking you’ll be unable to create one owing to your lack of website development skills. 

Luckily, there are now several tools available to make the process of making a website much easier. 

Creating a website without prior web design experience or technical background is now possible. WIX, Squarespace, and Weebly are website builders that may be utilized.

Promote Your Business

Marketing and advertising help customers learn about your company’s products and services. Now, you should focus on generating revenue and expanding corporate recognition. 

You may promote your business in a variety of ways. Marketing your firm through media outlets is a cost-effective and long-term approach.

Some other ways you can promote your business include;

  • Facebook: create a Facebook page to interact with your customers
  • Google My Business: claim your business on Google My Business to increase your Google search engine rank and credibility
  • YouTube: Create a YouTube Channel to interact with customers and drive customers looking for content that your business provides

Type Of Business Start In Maryland

Type Of Business Start In Maryland
Maryland’s economic climate is ideal for beginning and expanding a business. Photo: G-Stock Studio/Shutterstock

Maryland’s economic climate is ideal for beginning and expanding a business. Maryland’s business-friendly tax legislation and practices will help your company grow swiftly. 

Here is a summary of some successful business concepts you might want to consider for a Maryland startup.

  • Vending medicine
  • Photography business
  • Restaurant business
  • Tour services
  • Daycare services business
  • Online marketing business
  • Professional consultancy business
  • Laundry and dry cleaning 

How Much Does It Cost To Start A Business In Maryland?

The cost of starting a business in Maryland varies. Still, certain common expenses such as permits and licenses, business entity registration, tax responsibilities, and other legal requirements must be met under federal, state, and local laws. 

If you need expedited services, it will cost $75; otherwise, it will cost $25. A $100 charge is required to register an LLC article of organization with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation. 

Business licenses and permits range in price from $50 to $150, contingent on the type of business. Nevertheless, some types of enterprises are required by the state to have general business licenses.

Important Steps After Forming A Business In Maryland

There are a couple more procedures to do once you have successfully set up your corporation and begun functioning in Maryland. 

If you have formed a limited liability company, we advocate drafting an operating agreement that spells out the ownership rights, workforce duties, and how revenues and liabilities are handled.

The next step is to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN/FEIN), also known as a Federal Employer Identification Number. In Maryland, you will need an EIN to recruit new staff, create business bank accounts, obtain company permits, and submit yearly taxes. 

Obtaining an EIN from the IRS is free, and you may do it by visiting their website, calling them, faxing them, or mailing them IRS Form SS-4. Unless your business is a sole proprietorship or partnership, all formal business entities in Maryland must file yearly statements with the state’s Department of Assessments and Taxation. 

Your company may be liable for various taxes, including sales, payroll, and property taxes. Just make sure you follow Maryland’s tax laws.[2]

Final Thoughts

Even though some crucial stages in establishing a business in Maryland must be completed independently, they are not extremely challenging. When you evaluate the entire procedure in one go, it might not be very comforting, but it becomes much more doable if you break it down and take care of each stage one at a time. 

Note that you do not have to go it alone; if the procedure becomes too much for you or you do not have the time or ability to commit, our top two suggested formation service providers may help.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does it take to register a business entity in Maryland?

The state can complete your paperwork in as little as seven days if you submit it online and establish your company entity, or up to six weeks if you file by mail.

What is the best business structure in Maryland?

Your company’s goals and requirements will determine the appropriate business structure. A limited liability company may be the optimum framework for certain businesses, while a corporation or partnership may be the best alternative for others. As a result, it is dependent on the type of business you choose to run.

What is an informal business structure?

There is no legal distinction between personal and business property in an informal business structure. Furthermore, this structure provides no personal liability protection. Business structures such as sole proprietorship and partnership are informal.

What qualifies as a small business for Small Business Administration (SBA) loans?

The SBA assigns a size standard to each NAICS code. Most manufacturing companies with 500 employees or fewer, and most non-manufacturing businesses with average annual receipts under $7.5 million, will qualify as small businesses.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ABOUT THE REVIEWER

Jazmin Castello holds a Master's degree in Business Management, owns two companies, and has also published a self-help book. When she is not working or writing, she likes to spend time with her family and to travel.

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Bizreport Advisor adheres to strict editorial integrity standards avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Bizreport, you can read more about the editorial process here.

  1. Maryland.gov. (2019). Funding a Maryland Business | Maryland Department of Commerce. [online] Available at: https://commerce.maryland.gov/fund.
  2. Marylandtaxes.gov. (2022). Tax Law and Regulations. [online] Available at: https://www.marylandtaxes.gov/business/tax-compliance/laws-and-regulations.php.
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