Business Licenses

Many business 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 quite complex question.  If you are considering opening a business in Allegany County, or have questions about the licensing requirements for your existing business, please contact the Circuit Court Clerk's Office at (301) 777-5922 to determine what, if any, license you need to obtain from us.  The hours to obtain a license from the Clerk of Court is 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

!!! New Licenses for 2011—Other Tobacco Products !!!

Maryland license laws have been amended to create two new licenses that will be required effective May 1, 2011 for those who sell 'other tobacco products' at retail. The new licenses are:

  • Other Tobacco Products Retailer license;  and
  • Tobacconist license

'Other tobacco products' includes cigars (blunts, cigarillos, little cigars), pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, roll-your-own ("RYO") tobacco, snuff, snus, and other smokeless tobacco products.

Any business selling tobacco products other than cigarettes may need one of these two licenses.  Refer to the following documents, provided by the Maryland Comptroller of the Treasury, for more detailed information:

Applicants must register with the Central Registration Division of the Comptroller’s Office before they apply for a business license at After accessing the web site, Applicants then click on the Combined Registration Application link.

The first step is applying for your license at the Office of the Clerk, License Department. Then you must visit other offices, i.e., Assessments & Taxation, and the appropriate Finance Offices before returning your application to the Clerk's Office.

To complete the business license application, in addition to the Sales & Use Tax number and the amount of inventory in dollars (see chart below), the Applicant will need the following information: (1) full name of corporation or sole proprietor; (2) full location address and mailing address, if different; (3) EIN # (Federal Identification number) [if corporation] or Social Security number; (4) telephone number; and (5) workers’ compensation number (for those who are employers).

If the Applicant has a REGISTERED Trade Name (or fictitious name), this information must be on the application as well and the Applicant must have registered the trade name (or fictitious name) with the State Department of Assessments and Taxation or (410-767-1340).

The license year runs from May 1st through the following April 30th.

Type of Payment

The Clerk’s Office can only accept cash, checks or money orders.

Licenses available are:

  • Traders
  • Construction
  • Restaurant
  • Plumber & Gas Fitter
  • Billiard
  • Vending Machines
  • Cigarette and Special Retail Cigarette
  • Cleaning, Dying, Pressing & Laundry
  • Music Box
  • Storage Warehouse
  • Peddler

If you have more than one business location, you are considered a chain store.

Traders license fee is based on the wholesale value of your retail inventory. Please refer to the following chart for the fees. All licenses include a $2.00 issuing fee for each type of license.

Trader's License Fees -
All Counties Excluding Baltimore City
0 to 1,000 15
1,001 to 1,500 18
1,501 to 2,500 20
2,501 to 4,000 25
4,001 to 6,000 30
6,001 to 8,000 40
8,001 to 10,000 50
10,001 to 15,000 65
15,001 to 20,000 80
20,001 to 30,000 100
30,001 to 40,000 125
40,001 to 50,000 150
50,001 to 75,000 200
75,001 to 100,000 250
100,001 to 150,000 300
150,001 to 200,000 350
200,001 to 300,000 400
300,001 to 400,000 500
400,001 to 500,000 600
500,001 to 750,000 750
750,001 and over 800

A contractor or subcontractor who holds a license under the Maryland Home Improvement Law is not required to hold a construction license issued by the Clerk of the Circuit Court. 

The following web sites offer additional information on business licenses and opening a Maryland business: