Maryland Courts

Business Licenses

Many businesses must be licensed through the office of the Clerk of Circuit Court. Whether a business must obtain a license from the Clerk depends upon the nature of the business, and can sometimes be a complex question.  If you are considering opening a business in Washington County, or have questions about the licensing requirements for your existing business, please contact the Circuit Court Clerk's Office at (301) 790-7991 to determine what, if any, license you need to obtain from us. 

The licenses issued by this office are:

  • Construction (does not cover home improvement work)
  • Garages (storage of motor vehicles)
  • Junk Dealers and Scrap Metal Processors
  • Laundries and Dry Cleaners
  • Peddler:
    Foot Peddler
    Motor Vehicle Peddler
  • Plumbers      
  • Restaurant
  • Storage Warehouse
  • Tobacco Sales:
    Cigarette
    Special Cigarette
    Other Tobacco Products
  • Traders and Chain Stores (includes retail and wholesale)
  • Vending Machines

Zoning Requirements !!!

The County and each of the municipalities have certain codes regarding building permits (if you are modifying your business space), zoning, and “change of use” permits (if the prior use of your location differed from your intended use) that must be met before commencing your business.  Before investing time and money in the property you plan to use, please contact either the Washington County Permitting Department or, if your business will be located within the boundaries of one of the County’s nine incorporated towns, the Town, to ensure the property is zoned appropriately for your intended use and to learn of any specific zoning restrictions that may apply to the property.  Points of contact are as follows:

City of Hagerstown:   301-739-8577  x138;  dcalhoun@hagerstownmd.org
Town of Boonsboro:    301-432-5141;  town.manager@myactv.net
Town of Clear Spring 301-842-2252;  clear_spring@myactv.net
(note: the _ after "clear")
Town of Funkstown    301-791-0948;  bhaynes@myactv.net
Town of Hancock  301-678-5622;  hanmd@verizon.net
Town of Keedysville 301-432-5795;  townhall@keedysvillemd.com
Town of Sharpsburg 301-432-4428;  townofsharpsburg@comcast.net
Town of Smithsburg 301-991-3502;  rdick@townofsmithsburg.org
Town of Williamsport    301-223-7711;  planning_zoning@williamsportmd.org
(note: the _ after "planning")
Washington County Permitting Department; 240-313-2460;  publicaffairs@washco-md.net

More Information on Licenses

For more information on business licenses and opening a Maryland business, please visit the following sites:

  • Business License Information System (includes startup information and an alphabetized list of all State licenses and permits).
  • Comptroller of Maryland - Business Information and Services (includes business license tips, frequently asked questions, employer withholding information, tax registration).