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Consulting Resources

You decided to start your own business. You have the idea and entrepreneurial set of mind, but need to know how to make your idea a reality. Maryland Capital Enterprises (MCE) will guide you through the process, from having the idea to opening your door for the first customer. Below is a list of resource links to assist in the opening of your new business.

Develop a Business Plan

One of the first steps is developing a detailed business plan. You can develop a business plan yourself through online templates, BPlans.com, receive assistance from the MCE staff, or obtain assistance through a consultant.

Choose Your Business Structure

Determine which form of business structure is more appropriate for your operations. The 4 most common forms of business structure are:

  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Corporation

Visit DAT.Maryland.gov for additional information on these business structures.

Analyze Your Credit

If you need start-up funding, your first step should be to get a better understanding of your credit history. You can obtain a free credit report annually by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com, or go to one of the following credit agencies:

Select and Register Your Business Name

Registering the legal name of your business is a requirement for every business structure except sole proprietorship and general partnership.

DAT.Maryland.gov

Consulting and Technical Assistance

Maryland Capital Enterprises offers free one-on-one counseling to future business owners. This consultation can include, but is not limited to:

  • A business consulting session with the prospective applicant.
  • An initial assessment, including a review of the business idea and feasibility of the plan.
  • A business start-up checklist that is provided.
  • Start-up cost identification; business plan development, marketing plan assistance, and financial projection (cash flow) assistance would be provided in subsequent sessions.
  • Information on the legal description of business, and registering a business is discussed.
  • Importance of credit and collateral that is reviewed and discussed.
  • Filling out a small business loan application, personal financial statement, and other related forms, if applicable.
  • Small business training courses which are recommended.

Employer Identification Number (EIN)

You must have an employer identification number (EIN) before you can register your business (unless you are a sole proprietorship or applying for a Sales and Use Tax License and do not have an EIN).

IRS.gov

Maryland provides one-stop business registration online for state taxes.

MarylandTaxes.com

County and Local Zoning Requirements

Choose a location properly zoned for your business activity. If operating a business from home, consider whether your community or county restricts home-based businesses.

State and Local Licensing Requirements

Maryland’s Business License Information System (BLIS) offers business owners a resource to determine many of the state permits and licenses that may be necessary to operate their businesses.

https://businessexpress.maryland.gov/start/licenses-and-permits

Business Insurance

Every business must have Workmen’s Compensation Insurance and Unemployment Insurance. It is required of every employer in Maryland for work-related injuries. The coverage may be obtained from a private carrier, the Injured Workers Insurance Fund (IWIF), or by becoming self-insured.