Business Startup Guide

The first vital step in starting a business is to carefully research and refine your business ideas; then, secondly, start writing your business plan. That includes identifying your reason for starting a business, determining your appetite for risk, and inventorying your skills and strategies. Answer the next three questions:

  • Do you want to be your own boss?
  • Are you willing and able to work 24-hours a day, 365 days a year?
  • Are you flexible enough to face and accept your limitations?

Quick Reference

The following websites are excellent resources for researching and defining your strategies, skills, risk tolerance, industry, market and product.

Step by Step

  1. Register your business and establish the legal entity with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation or 410-767-1340
  2. Obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service at irs.aov/businesses/small
  3. Establish your tax accounts with the Maryland Comptroller or call 410-767-1313
  4. Learn about state licenses through the Business License Information System as and learn about Harford County licenses at or 410-638-3344
  5. Contact the Harford County Clerk of the Circuit Court regarding business licenses or 410-638-3246
  6. For help preparing a business plan and guidance with the process contact the Small Business Development Center or 410-836-4237
  7. For assistance with zoning, site selection information, tax incentives, financial assistance and other business support services in the City of Havre de Grace or 410-939-1800
  8. For assistance with zoning in Harford County contact the Harford County Office of Planning and Zoning at (410) 368-3103
  9. For assistance with zoning in the City of Havre de Grace contact the City of Havre de Grace Planning and Zoning Department at (410) 939-1800