Maryland Business Facts
Maryland is a state that ranks highly in almost every area including economy, education, quality of life and healthcare. With a strong core of research facilities, federal agencies, a thriving tech and science business base, an educated workforce and one of the highest median household incomes in the nation, Maryland has much to offer both business owners and employees.
Major Companies in Maryland
Maryland is the headquarters of numerous major companies including Johns Hopkins Medicine, Marriott International, Lockheed Martin and Black & Decker.
Maryland offers an especially friendly startup environment for women, ranking second in the nation for having the most women-owned businesses and eighth for women-owned firms with paid employees. Maryland also ranks fourth in the Kauffman Index of Growth Entrepreneurship and the city of Baltimore was recently named by Entrepreneur Magazine as “the hottest startup city” in America.
There are 3 basic options: a Corporation, LLC or DBA. Click here to learn more about business entities.
Choosing a business name is easier said than done – many legal and business problems can arise from picking the wrong name (you can always change it later but the less times you have to do that the better). In Step 3 we’ll show you how to search for the name in Maryland, but we highly recommend you do the following before searching Maryland state databases:
NOTE: Familiarize yourself with the Maryland naming guidelines. LLC entity names need to contain the words Limited Liability Company or the abbreviation LLC, and certain words are restricted or prohibited.
Restrictions on Maryland Business Name & Business Purpose
Each state has its own requirements for registering a business. Now that you’ve chosen a business structure and selected your business name, here are the requirements to register your business in Maryland.
How to form an LLC in Maryland
How to Incorporate in Maryland
NOTE: When registering a new company the Secretary of State can take several weeks to file the paperwork. You can expedite the process by hand delivering the documents directly to them or one of their field offices and paying an additional fee.
TIP: Check our order form to see how long Maryland is currently taking to process regular and expedited orders.
How to File a DBA in Maryland
Considerations when registering a Maryland business
Ready to register a business in Maryland?
Your EIN is like your Social Security Number for your company. It’s required for Corporations and LLC’s and optional for DBA’s (if you don’t have any employees, it’s required). However, if you are a DBA and don’t obtain an EIN you will be required to use your Social Security Number on many documents so it’s highly recommended that you obtain the EIN to prevent identity theft. You can apply online with the IRS or via IRS Form SS-4.
TIP: We can obtain your EIN for you if you we form your company.
To keep business and personal expenses separate, you should open a separate account for your business. In addition, getting business credit cards is how you begin to build a company credit profile (corporation or LLC required) and can later qualify for larger loans and lines of credit. To open the account simply call your chosen bank and inquire on the steps to open a business bank account. Typically you’ll need a) your filed paperwork b) your EIN c) a company resolution authorizing your company to open the account (signed by the owners, members, officers or directors, etc.).
TIP: Our business formation service includes a free banking resolution for your use.
Now that you’ve registered your business name you may need to obtain a business license for your company – this authorizes your company to do business in your city or county depending on what kind of service your provide. Typically this also involves registering for state taxes and permits (the city may require them as part of the business licensing process).
TIP: We work with a company that can obtain and prepare business licenses and permits for you. Click here to learn more.
DBA: Your Fictitious Business Name should be valid for 5 years (unless you change your company name or other information listed on the FBN) at which point you’ll need to renew it with the Department of Assessments & Taxation.
LLC: Maryland LLCs are required to file an annual report every year by April 15. Maryland LLCs must also file a Personal Property Tax Return with their annual report if the business owns, leases or uses personal property located in Maryland.
Corporation: Maryland corporations are required to file an annual report by April 15 of every year. Maryland corporations are also required to file a Personal Property Tax Return with their annual report if the business owns, leases or uses personal property located in Maryland.
Maryland Department of Assessments & Taxation
301 W. Preston St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
Maryland Taxation Departments
Maryland Labor and Employment Departments
Maryland Startup Resources
Small Business Administration (SBA) Maryland District Office
Maryland Legal Statutes
Maryland Chamber of Commerce – The Maryland Chamber of Commerce connects business leaders and policymakers across the state.
Maryland Business Express – Maryland Business Express provides you with all the resources you need to start a business in Maryland.
Angel.co Maryland Startups
Maryland Business News
Maryland Small Business Development Center (SBDC) – The Maryland Small Business Development Center (SBDC) offers FREE individualized consulting, from startups to established businesses.
Maryland Green Business Resources
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Excellent in all aspects. Perfect for new business owners with limited resources but wants to start it off right.