Starting a Business

New Business Checklist:  The Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation provides a convenient check list with the basic requirements for starting a new business in Maryland.

Business Licenses:  The Clerk of the Circuit Court issues licenses required for doing business in Charles County, but not all categories of businesses are required to have a county license.  To determine whether or not you need a license, contact their office at 301-932-3223.  They can also direct you to resources for required state licenses. 

SBTDC - The Small Business and Technology Development Center assists small businesses start, grow and be profitable with low and no cost training and counseling.  Services include business plan assistance, market analysis and research, access to financing, marketing, managerial and technical support, as well as specialized services for Retail, Restaurants, Construction, Technology, and Contracting.  All services are free and confidential with additional low cost training options available. The Southern Region SBTDC for Charles County office is located at the (CSM) College of Southern Maryland’s La Plata Campus. Click here for a comprehensive list of free classes.  Click here for a Smart Start assessment.

Comptroller of Maryland:  online services to help you set up your tax accounts.

DBED's – Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development Office of Small Business is committed to helping business owners locate the tools they need to sustain, grow and prosper.  They will help business owners tap into and benefit from a variety of government programs, private organizations, community partnerships, and business service providers. 

Services include:

  • Navigating local, state and federal government regulations and processes
  • Identifying and connecting to state and federal resources
  • Expanding and developing through specially tailored business seminars and forums
  • Understanding permit and license requirements
  • Accessing state and federal financing programs and a host of other services

For general information, call (410) 767-0595.

Click here to access the Small Business Resource

SCORE – Service Corps of Retired Executives is a nonprofit association dedicated to entrepreneur education and the formation, growth, and success of small business nationwide. The SCORE of Southern Maryland Chapter offers free, confidential mentoring and conducts general and specialized workshops for which there are small charges.  SCORE is a resource partner of the US Small Business Administration.

SBA – The US Small Business Administration provides assistance to entrepreneurs thinking about starting or those having already started a small business, with essential needed information, online tools, finance programs, and other services. Many factors contribute to a well-run business, ranging from capital to marketing, sales, human resources, and the technology that is employed to keep businesses functioning smoothly.  Click here for SBA's 10 tips for starting a business, with links to more resources.

DGS – Maryland’s Department of General Services simplifies State procurement opportunities for small business with a centralized, online procurement system, eMaryland Marketplace.  Maryland’s Small Business Reserve and Small Business Preference programs make it easier for small businesses to compete for State contracts.  Registration in Maryland's small business program is the first step in accessing Charles County's Small Local Business Enterprise program that creates similar opportunity for Charles County based companies to do business with county government.

GSAThe US General Services Administration’s Small Business Utilization Center (SBUC) serves as the regional advocate for small businesses and provides information about various government contracts and procurement opportunities. The SBUC provides support and assistance through networking sessions, roundtables, hosting bimonthly training workshops, mentor/protégé program and providing one-on-one counseling.

IRSThe Internal Revenue Service website provides a wealth of information for the small business including basic federal tax information for people who are starting a business as well as information to assist in making basic business decisions.

Charles County SLBEThe Charles County Purchasing office runs the Small/Local Business Enterprise program to make it easier for small, Charles County companies to do business with county government.  For more information, contact Lucinia Mundy in the purchasing office at

Consumer Affairs: How to get a business loan - How do so many small businesses get started? It all begins with the right type of financing. Whether you are a startup business or are expanding your current business, you need money to get rolling. This guide will help you figure out the type of loan you need for your business and will look at the step-by-step process of securing a business loan

Start Up Resources

Small Business Grants for Minorities