Starting a Business
The Harford County Office of Community & Economic Development provides information and support to entrepreneurs and small business owners of new, existing and start-up companies. The following guidelines provide a starting point to familiarize you with the basic requirements and considerations for starting a business in Harford County, Maryland. These guidelines give direction, but are not intended to replace specific legal information from certified professionals.
The state provides detailed information regarding business requirements on their website:
- Check county and city zoning requirements
- Create and register your business
- Obtain and complete Application for Business License
- Obtain federal, state, county and local tax information
- Obtain personal property tax information
- Register a trade name
- Select your business structure
The U.S. Small Business Administration also provides a 10-step guide to starting a business that details the planning stage, important financial considerations, and the legal activities required. You may also follow these steps:
- Register your business and establish the legal entity with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation
- Obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service
- Establish your tax accounts with the Maryland Comptroller of the Treasury
- Learn about state licenses through the Business License Information System
- Contact the Harford County Clerk of the Circuit Court regarding business licenses
For help preparing a business plan and guidance through the above processes, contact Ryan del Gallo at the Small Business Development Center at 443-373-3377. For assistance with site selection information, tax incentives, financial assistance and other business support services in Harford County, contact the Harford County Office of Community & Economic Development at 410-638-3059. For assistance with zoning in Harford County, contact the Harford County Office of Planning and Zoning at 410-638-3103.
The following websites are excellent resources for researching and defining your business strategies, skills and risk-tolerance, along with your industry, market and product. These websites also offer links to additional information and support for your efforts:
- The Harford County Public Library Small Business Center: Resources to start, run and grow a small business.
- The Small Business Technology Development Center: Located at Harford Community College, this center will help establish and expand business by providing a variety of management and technical assistance programs and tools.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration: Home page leads to a wealth of programs and services to start, grow and succeed in business.
- Maryland Small Business Resource Guide (PDF): The 16-page Maryland Small Business Resource Guide is on the Maryland Department of Commerce webpage.
- State of Maryland Small Business Assistance:
- The Governor's Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs: Acts as a small and minority-owned business liaison in cooperation with the State of Maryland’s various departments.