The Clerk’s Office issues approximately 15,000 business licenses each year. These licenses include:
- Trader’s (Retail Stores, Wholesale Car Dealers, and Chain Stores)
Construction (New Homes and Commercial Buildings)
- Junk Dealers
- Laundry/Dry Cleaners
- Plumbers and Gas Fitters
- Storage Warehouses
- Trade Shows (3 or more)
- Vending Machines
- Video, Pinball Games, and Music Boxes
- Cigarettes ($125 fee + $2.00 issuing fee)
- Other Tobacco Products
Basic Steps in Obtaining or Renewing Business Licenses
Before applying for a business license
Any new business in Montgomery County must complete the following steps before its license is issued.
Register your business and establish the legal entity with the Maryland Department of Assessments & Taxation (www.dat.state.md.us; phone: 410-767-1184.
Click here for downloading instructions and forms required for creating or starting a new business in Maryland (Department of Assessments & Taxation).
Obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number from the IRS (www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fss4.pdf).
File your combined registration form with the Comptroller of the Treasury to establish your tax accounts. Click here for filing the form on-line (Maryland Comptroller’s Office).
Open a Use & Sales Tax account with the Comptroller's Office. Call 800-MDTAXES.
Register the trade name of your business with the Maryland Department of Assessments & Taxation.
Click here for downloading the instructions for trade name application and the form (Maryland Department of Assessments & Taxation).
Learn about state and county licenses through the Business License Information System (http://choosemaryland.org/blis/).
For current applicable fees call the License Department for assistance. The number is 240-777-9460.
Filing a Business License Application in the License Department
To get a business license in Montgomery County, the following information must be provided in person or by mail:
Trade Name (Optional if registered)
Type of Business
Location address and/or mailing address of the Business
Federal Tax ID or Social Security Number
Worker’s Compensation Number
Amount of Inventory
Click the links below to download a Business License Application form:
File the Application in person at the License Department or mail it to:
Montgomery Court License Department
50 Maryland Avenue, North Tower 1st floor, Rm 1300
Rockville, MD 20850
Only the owner, officer, or partner can sign the business license if it is a corporation. If there are no employees, the owner also signs in the designated area. The License Department cannot process unsigned applications and will return them.
All licenses expire on April 30th regardless of when during the year they were purchased. All renewal licenses are effective on May 1st. The license cost is prorated in most cases if you start your business at a later time of the year.
Displaying a License
Please be sure to display the license, not the application, in plain view. Failure to do so may result in fines and/or penalties.
Maryland Laws Concerning Business Licenses
For Maryland laws concerning business licensing, including license fees, see Maryland State Law Library (Maryland Codes, Title 17. Miscellaneous State Business Licenses and Title 16. Cigarette License). See below for specific Maryland Codes relevant to each licensing:
Traders: Subtitle 18. Traders and Chain Stores, §17-1801–16.
Cigarettes: Title 16. Cigarette Licenses, §16-101–508.
Construction (new homes and commercial construction only): Subtitle 6. Construction, §17-601–03.
Vending Machines: Subtitle 19. Vending Machines, §17-1901–07.
Dry Cleaners: Subtitle 11. Dry Cleaners, §17-1101–03.
Plumbers: Subtitle 15. Plumbers and Gas Fitters, §17-1501–04.
Storage Warehouses: Subtitle 12. Storage Warehouses, §17-1201–04.
Garages: Subtitle 8. Garages, §17-801–03.
Additional Information Regarding Business Licenses
For information on starting a new business in Maryland, click here (Maryland Comptroller’s Office)
50 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20850
Office Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM