Apply For A Business License Baltimore, Maryland

Will I need a business license to operate my business in Baltimore, Maryland?

Yes, if your business activity is not one of the noted business-specific licenses, then you will be mandated to apply for and receive the Business and Occupation License prior to commencing business services of any kind. The licenses are:

  • Liquor and Beer License
  • Cigarette Sales License
  • Business and Occupation License (includes home businesses)
  • Apartment License
  • Garage Sales Permit
  • Parking Permit (for events and for anyone in Kickapoo, Rountree, Phelps Grove and mid-town parking districts
  • Video Game License
  • Amusement Device and Pool Table License
  • Food License
  • Food Service Manager Certification
  • Live Entertainment License
  • Auto Dealer License
  • Pawnbroker License
  • Retail Business District License

All of these licenses can be found at

Baltimore Business License, please understand that this list is subject to change at any time. To verify, please contact the City of Baltimore Small Business Team at (410) 260-7980.

City of Baltimore
Small Business Team
417 East Fayette Street
Baltimore, MD 21202

What has to be done to have a business in Baltimore?

Anyone who wishes to open a business in Baltimore, Maryland will need to find out if they will be required by the City of Baltimore to obtain a business license. In addition, they will be obligated to obtain several other permits or licenses that will need to be in place in order to commence business. Each and every business will need to speak to a representative of the City of Baltimore about their business license, which can either be requested in person from the City Hall of Baltimore at:
City of Baltimore
Planning Department
417 East Fayette Street
8th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 396-7526

You can also print the business license applications from the website Baltimore Business License.  Once you have completed your applications and questionnaires, they should be brought in person to City Hall to receive planning approval.  You should check with the Planning Department before entering into any real estate contracts to determine whether your business is approved for the zone in which you wish to conduct business. After you obtain building and planning approval, you will bring your applications and questionnaires to City Hall where you will pay applicable fees and or receive more information for additional licenses, permits, and approvals that may be a requirement for your type of business.

Is there general information required for a Baltimore business license application?

Yes, the business license applications are different one to another. However, the general information that will be needed is similar:

  1. Your name
  2. Your business name
  3. Your mailing address
  4. The physical address of your business
  5. Business mailing address (if different from physical address) and contact  numbers, fax, and email
  6. Ownership information: whether the business is owned by a partnership, sole proprietor, an LLC or is part of a larger corporation
  7. Current contact information for all owners
  8. Federal tax ID number, state seller’s permit, state tax number and contractor’s license number
  9. If applicable: home-based business information
  10. Signature and date

Note: It is important to ensure that every space is completed. If the application is incomplete, the business license will be rejected until you can remit an accurate, complete copy.

Must I pay for my Baltimore business license?

Yes. For an evaluation of what your projected fees will be, please contact the City of Baltimore Small Business Team at (410) 260-7980. Since so many factors are assessed for the total fee you will need to pay, the City of Baltimore asks that you call them directly so that you will have accurate information. This is why most of the fees are not published online.

How long will my Baltimore business license be valid?

Business licenses are typically valid between 6 months and 1 year.

Do you need a business license if your business is home-based in Baltimore?

Everyone who wishes to have a home business must obtain a Baltimore business license, also known as the Business and Occupation License. This application is found at Baltimore Business License. In addition to applying for the Business and Occupation License you need to remit your home property location information to the Planning Department. The required application can be obtained at Planning Department at:

City of Baltimore
Planning Department
417 East Fayette Street
8th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 396-7526

This will be completed by anyone wishing to run their business from home. You will also be required to complete information for the Fire Department.

Are you looking to start a Baltimore food business?

If you are planning to operate a food business of any kind, you will need to complete the Food License Application found at, remit your approval from the Springfield Health Department, apply for any other applicable Health Permits at, and  submit approval from the Planning Department website. You will need the Health Department information:

City of Baltimore
Health Department
1001 East Fayette Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 396-4398

Additionally, you can visit the City of Baltimore’s webpage at for a step-by-step guide to successfully begin your food business.

Are there any other forms or applications necessary to obtain a Baltimore business license?

The City of Baltimore obligates all commercial and home businesses alike to submit various forms depending on the nature of your business. The other approvals, inspections, permits, or licenses that you might need are:

  • Baltimore Plastic Bag Reduction Program
  • Minor Privilege Permit for Sidewalks and Awning Permits
  • Minor Privilege Permit for Seating
  • Waste Hauler Permit
  • Alarm Registration
  • Truck Loading Zone
  • Parking Meter Request

You may find details on each of these additional permits at

If I need more information, who should I contact?

Contact the Small Business Team for more information or to discuss any questions regarding business licenses. They can be reached via telephone at (410) 260-7980. Alternately, you may want to visit them in person at:

City of Baltimore
Small Business Team
100 Holliday Street
Baltimore, MD 21201-2384

The hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.


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