MD Small Business Development Center - Eastern Region
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New Business StartupNew Business Startup

SBDC 4 Step Process
  • Step 1
  • Step 2
  • Step 3
  • Step 4


    Check Federal, State, and Local Tax Requirements
    All businesses in the State of Maryland are required to fulfill their federal, state, and local tax requirements. To help determine which taxes your business will be liable, it is encouraged that the Combined Registration Application is completed. You can obtain a copy of this application by personal pick-up, request through mail, or by downloading the form online from the Department of Assessments and Taxation (DAT) Web site.

    For federal tax requirements, all new businesses should contact the Internal Revenue Services to inquire about or register for: an Employer Identification Number, income-tax business and employee withholding, social security, state unemployment insurance, and other federal taxes. If Your Business will have employees: gather information on federal withholding; FICA and unemployment insurance; and obtain workers compensation coverage.

    For state tax requirements, all legal entities are automatically filed for property taxes when the organization is registered with the DAT. Sole proprietorships and general partnerships that own or lease property or need a business license must file an annual personal property tax return and fill out an application for a State Identification Number through the DAT. For questions on other county and local tax requirements call your local County Finance or Treasury.

    Department of Assessments and Taxation (DAT)
    DAT Taxpayer Registration Assistance Center: 410-767-1318
    DAT Personal Property Division:410-767-4991
    For legal entities:410-767-1170

    The Combined Registration Application
    Internal Revenue Services 410-962-2590

    Major Tax Forms to Register Your Business
    For any clarification on tax forms or the instructions, please consult an accountant or attorney. Other forms may apply to your business. Check with the IRS or the Taxpayer Assistance center for more information on tax obligations.

    Tax/ Employer Identification Number Form SS-4
    For the EIN application Form SS4:
    or search for the form and instructions under the forms and publications search on

    Entity Classification Election Form 8832
    Click here or search for the form and instructions under the forms and publications search on

    Subchapter S Election by a Small Business Corporation Form 2553
    Click here or search for the form and instructions under the forms and publications search on

    Zoning Requirements
    Go to to obtain zoning requirements. It is important to check with your local planning office to see if your business activity will comply with the planning and zoning requirements of your county. If you are planning to operate your business from home, you will need to consider whether or not your community or county restricts home-based businesses. Each county will have a planning and zoning office you can contact for further information. It is recommended you research the sites available to find answers to your questions.

    Determine if a License is Required
    A business license is required for most business, including wholesalers and retailers. A Maryland Business License lasts for one year and needs renewal by May 1st of every year. Click here.

    Business or Occupational Licensing
    Maryland Clerks of the Circuit Court

    The Business License Information System (BLIS)
    Once on the BLIS site, it is recommended you e-mail your situational questions to the listed e-mail address. BLIS will prepare a customized list of required licenses for your business and send an e-mail reply. Click here.

    The Maryland State License Bureau

    Occupational and Professional Licensing
    The Department's Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing

    Regulatory Licensing
    Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation

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