Start Your Business

Where to Begin?

The Department of Economic Development has designed a business checklist to outline the steps involved with starting you business. A complete Business Startup Guide is available in PDF format here.

Complimentary & Confidential Consulting Resources

Licensing for All Businesses

  • All Maryland businesses must complete basic registrations and must establish their tax accounts.  The Maryland Business Express allows businesses to register their name, business structure, and establish their tax accounts in a step-by-step format.  Please call 888-246-5941 with any filing related questions.
  • The Federal government requires a business to establish an Employer Tax Identification Number (EIN) for tax reporting purposes. This may be completed on the IRS website.  Please call 410-962-2590 with any EIN related questions.

Additional Licensing Requirements

Many businesses require additional licenses depending on their industry and the nature of the business. 
  • Traders License - A State of Maryland business license is required for most businesses, including retailers and wholesalers. A trader's license is required for buying and re-selling. Business activities that require licenses include, but are not limited to: amusements; auctions; chain stores; construction; dry cleaners; farm machinery; garages; hawkers and peddlers; junk dealers; plumbing and gas fitters; restaurants; retail stores; storage warehouses; traders; and vending machines.  In Frederick County, this license may be obtained at the County Courthouse (100 W. Patrick Street Frederick, MD 21701).  Please contact the Clerk of the Circuit Court at 301-600-1962 with questions.
  • Health Department - All food service businesses must be licensed through the Frederick County Health Department.  Please contact the Health Department at 301-600-1029 with questions.
  • Liquor Board - All businesses wishing to serve or sell alcohol must obtain a liquor license through the Frederick County Liquor Board. Please contact the Liquor Board at 301-600-2984 with questions.
  • Maryland Occupational & Professional Licensing - Many businesses and industry sectors, including healthcare, childcare, and home improvement trades require additional licensing from the State of Maryland.

Find a Business Location

  • The Department of Economic Development (DED) provides no cost business location services, including access to the CoStar commercial property database and verification of zoning.  Whether you are looking for an office, lab, retail, or industrial space, DED can assist in finding the perfect location.  Selected properties and location-related resources are available on the Find a Business Location page.

How to Finance Your Business

  • City of Frederick Tax Credit Programs - The City of Frederick offers several tax credits to encourage rehabilitation and reinvestment in the community. For details, contact the Department of Economic Development at 301-600-6360.
  • Small Commercial Tax Credit - The Maryland Historical Trust offers a small commercial tax credit for rehabilitation projects under $500,000. The income tax credit is equal to 20% of qualified rehabilitation expenditures.
  • Downtown Frederick Facade Improvement Program - In partnership with Downtown Frederick Partnership and the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, eligible businesses may receive a 1:1 match on qualified exterior facade improvements. For details, contact the Downtown Frederick Partnership at 301-698-8118.
  • Golden Mile Facade Improvement Program - In partnership with the Golden Mile Alliance and the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, eligible businesses may receive a 1:1 match on qualified exterior facade improvements. For details, contact the Golden Mile Alliance at: goldenmilealliance@gmail.com.
  • East Frederick Facade Improvement Program - In partnership with East Frederick Rising and the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, eligible businesses may receive a 1:1 match on qualified exterior facade improvements. For details, contact the Department of Economic Development at 301-600-6360.
  • State of Maryland Finance Programs - The Maryland Department of Commerce offers numerous finance programs and tax credits for businesses. For specific questions on available programs, contact Tamar Osterman, Senior Business Development Representative at 443-902-4487 or tamar.osterman@maryland.gov.
  • Maryland Venture Fund - The Maryland Venture Fund (MVF) provides seed and early-stage investments in innovative companies across numerous industry sectors, including cybersecurity, software, communications, healthcare IT, and more. Contact the MVF for more information.
  • Neighborhood BusinessWorks Program - The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development provides gap financing to new and expanding small businesses and non-profit organizations. Loan amounts of up to $500,000 or 50% of total project costs, whichever is less.

Marketing

Workforce & Hiring

  • Frederick County Workforce Services provides assistance to employers wishing to hire. Services include pre-screening candidates, job postings, and training. Contact Workforce Services at 301-600-2255.
All information provided as an informational resource. Individuals may wish to consult a tax professional or attorney.