Many business must be licensed through the office of the Clerk of Circuit Court. Whether a business must obtain a license from the Clerk depends upon the nature of the business, and can sometimes be a quite complex question. If you are considering opening a business in Allegany County, or have questions about the licensing requirements for your existing business, please contact the Circuit Court Clerk's Office at (301) 777-5922 to determine what, if any, license you need to obtain from us. The hours to obtain a license from the Clerk of Court is 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
New Licenses for 2011—Other Tobacco Products
Maryland license laws have been amended to create two new licenses that will be required effective May 1, 2011 for those who sell 'other tobacco products' at retail. The new licenses are:
- Other Tobacco Products Retailer license; and
- Tobacconist license
'Other tobacco products' includes cigars (blunts, cigarillos, little cigars), pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, roll-your-own ("RYO") tobacco, snuff, snus, and other smokeless tobacco products.
Any business selling tobacco products other than cigarettes may need one of these two licenses. Refer to the following documents, provided by the Maryland Comptroller of the Treasury, for more detailed information:
- Bulletin TT-68 - Other Tobacco Products (OTP) Retailers Licenses
- Frequently Asked Questions - Other Tobacco Products (OTP) Retailers Licenses
Starting a Business in Maryland
This information is to be used as a reference guide and not to dictate the needs of these agencies. It is recommended that you contact each agency for their requirements.
- Register your business and establish the legal entity with Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation:
(410) 767-1340, (410) 767-1170 or (888) 246-5941;
Or online at Maryland Business Express
- Obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number from the IRS.
- Establish your tax accounts with the Maryland Comptroller of the Treasury, (410) 260-7980
- Learn about state and county licenses through the Maryland Business Resources website.
The license year runs from May 1st through the following April 30th.
Type of Payment
The Clerk’s Office can only accept cash, checks or money orders.
Licenses available are:
- Plumber & Gas Fitter
- Vending Machines
- Cigarette and Special Retail Cigarette
- Cleaning, Dying, Pressing & Laundry
- Music Box
- Storage Warehouse
If you have more than one business location, you are considered a chain store.
Traders license fee is based on the wholesale value of your retail inventory. Please refer to the following chart for the fees. All licenses include a $2.00 issuing fee for each type of license.
|Trader's License Fees -
All Counties Excluding Baltimore City
|750,001 and over||800|
A contractor or subcontractor who holds a license under the Maryland Home Improvement Law is not required to hold a construction license issued by the Clerk of the Circuit Court.
The following web sites offer additional information on business licenses and opening a Maryland business:
- Maryland Business Resources (includes startup information and an alphabetized list of all State licenses and permits)
- Maryland Business Express Online Portal
- Comptroller of Maryland - Business Information and Services
Includes tax information, business license information, and a Business Owners Toolkit.