Business Start Up

According to the 1997 Business and Economic Census there are about 400,000 businesses in the state of Maryland. Women and Minority businesses account for about 50 percent of these businesses.

The December 2003 issue of Fortune Small Business stated: “Even during the worst of the recent recession, entrepreneurs launched about six million new businesses a year, a number that has stayed consistent over the past decade. The number of firms launched by minorities has been growing fast, up 17% a year, according to the Milken Institute. A recent study by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, which studies entrepreneurship, found that African Americans are 50% more likely to start a business than whites. Latinos are 20% more likely”.

The following links provide good general sources of information for prospective business owners.

The U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. The SBA recognizes that small business is critical to our economic recovery and strength, as well as to building America's future, and to helping the United States compete in today's global marketplace.  Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services, such as business loans, and business development programs to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands and Guam.  For more information please click on the Link below:

The U.S. Department of Commerce's Minority Business Development Agency

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce and is the only federal agency created specifically to foster the establishment and growth of minority-owned businesses in America.  The long term goal of “Achieving entrepreneurial parity for minority business enterprises” is the benchmark by which MBDA’s critical Federal government role will be measured. Although businesses with revenues of $1 million or more constitute just 3% of the overall minority business community, these businesses are responsible for 66% of the total revenues of minority-owned enterprises and 54.4% of employment. In order to promote overall U.S. economic growth, it is critical to promote medium to large businesses enterprises that can have a significant impact on employment and the tax base in their communities. Increasing the number of medium and large minority businesses is in the short and long term strategic interest of achieving MBDA’s Vision of wealth creation. In pursuit of entrepreneurial parity, MBDA has established a Strategic Growth Policy. The Strategic Growth Policy is designed to address the issue of sustainable business value for firms of size operating in growth industries.  Programs focused on providing access to capital and markets will be the prime components of the Strategic Growth Policy.  For more information please click on the link below:

Specific information about special requirements in the state of Maryland can be found at the following links:

The Maryland Small Business Development Centers

The Small Business Development Center, (SBDC) is funded by the State of Maryland, and the Federal Government, designed to help small businesses like yours in terms of assistance/information on low-interest business loans, help in government contract procurement, as well as, the MBE certification process.   They offer both resources and tools that can help you accessing capital/business loans, including entrepreneurial business classes on topics like, how to start a business, business and marketing planning, even business acquisition etc., all at little or no cost to you.  For more information please click on the link below:

Maryland Business Licensing Information

The State of Maryland Business License Information System (BLIS) is where you can quickly obtain access to information on permits and licenses you may need to start, relocate, or expand a business in Maryland.  You can begin by performing a keyword search, or by choosing the business category for your license type.  For more information please click on the link below:

Professional and Occupational Licensing Information

Working in concert with 22 licensing boards, commissions and programs appointed by the Governor, the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (O&P) is responsible for licensing and regulating the activities of over 175,000 individuals, corporations and partnerships.  Twenty-one occupations and professions are covered ranging from the 61 bay pilots who navigate large commercial vessels on the Chesapeake Bay, to the more than 45,000 real estate professionals who handle real estate transactions in the State of Maryland.   O&P's mission is to protect the public by assuring that our licensees have met a standard of competence in their chosen profession and by responding to consumer complaints against incompetent or unscrupulous practitioners.  For more information please click on the link below:

Maryland State Business Taxes

Whether you need to file personal income tax or your business tax return, missed a deadline or have a tax liability to clear up, we can help you determine what to do next.  You can file your tax returns online, set up a payment plan online, pay by credit card, or contact them so they can help you make a payment arrangement or meet any filing requirements you may have or overlooked.  For more information please click on the link below:

Women Entrepreneurs of Maryland

Looking to start a business or run an existing business better?  Women Entrepreneurs of Baltimore, Inc. (WEB) is a nonprofit organization that provides entrepreneurial training, technical assistance, and follow-up services for micro-business start-up and development in the Baltimore metropolitan area.  For more information please click on the link below:

You should also visit your county's website for local business regulations and services.

The Chambers of Commerce
List of Local Chambers of Commerce

Need to network, or develop contacts and ideas with other Entrepreneurs/Business owner?  Maryland’s Public Information Network listing of Chambers of Commerce, where commerce is only part of what they do, is a good place to begin.  These business organizations are comprised of corporate and small companies helping the State’s business community grow and develop its economy by facilitating avenues for conducting business and growing partnerships with some of the state's largest firms and businesses. For more information please click on the link below:

Hispanic Chambers of Commerce

The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) was incorporated in the state of New Mexico, creating a structured organization aimed at developing a business network to represent the interests of the Hispanic community before both the public and private sectors.  The USHCC is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1979 to advocate, promote, and facilitate the success of Hispanic businesses. The backbone of the USHCC is the more than 150 local member chambers and their membership, entrepreneurs and small businesses membership.  For more information please click on the link below:

African American Chambers of Commerce

The National Black Chamber of Commerce, (NBCC) was incorporated in Washington, DC in March 1993, and is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nonsectarian organization dedicated to the economic empowerment of African American communities. This business association represents 95,000 Black owned businesses and provides an advocacy that reaches all 1 million Black owned businesses with an expendable income of over $800 billion in expendable income according to the US Bureau of Census.  For more information please click on the link below:


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