Business License Information

Many types of business licenses can be obtained from the Clerk of the Circuit Court. A license may be required if selling a product at the retail level, wholesale farm machinery, operate a restaurant, laundry, storage warehouse, garage, vending machines or certain types of gaming machines. Other businesses may require a license such as a foot or motor vehicle peddler that sells goods or a business that engages in commercial construction.

The license year runs from May 1st through the following April 30th.

Persons Required to Obtain a Traders License

A person or business organization other than a grower, maker or manufacturer may not offer for sale, sell or otherwise dispose of any goods within Maryland, without first obtaining a Traders license from the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

The trader’s license fee is based on the wholesale value of the retail inventory.
Persons Required to Obtain a Construction License

A person or business entity acting as a general contractor, performing new construction or commercial construction must obtain a construction license.

A contractor or subcontractor who holds a license under the Maryland Home Improvement Commission is NOT required to hold a construction license issued by the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

The construction license fee is $17.00/year.

How to Obtain a Business License

1. Establish A Business Entity

Apply for a Sole Proprietorship or a business entity online at the Maryland Business Express website .

2. Application and Issuance

Once the business entity has been established, the business license can be obtained.

  • Online: Go to Maryland Business Licenses Online. The site provides the ability to apply for a new Harford County business licenses online as well as the ability to search the licensing system of the Maryland Judiciary for issued licenses.
  • Mail or Fax: Download the Business License Worksheet form and the Declaration of Inventory form for a trader’s license. Mail the completed form(s) to Clerk of the Circuit Court, Attn: Business License Department, 20 West Courtland Street, Bel Air, MD 21014, or fax to the Business License Department at 410-838-8540.
  • In Person: Obtain at the Business License office, 7 W. Courtland Street, Bel Air, MD 21014 between the hours of 8:30 am - 3:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

License fees are payable by cash, credit card, check or money order payable to the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

Contact the Licensing office at 410-638-3248 for additional information.