After you have developed a solid business plan, the next step is to actually register your business with the State of Maryland.

Step 1 Form the Legal Entity for Your Business with the Maryland Department of Assessments & Taxation

Registering your business with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation is the first step. Maryland Business Express’ award-winning online filing portal makes this quick and easy, and accepts filings for most entity types.

Upon Approval

Upon approval, the Department of Assessments and Taxation will issue you an SDAT Identification Number, which will begin with a number (“D”, “F”, “W”, “L”, or “Z”). This number serves as Maryland’s unique identifier for your business. Importantly, this is not the FEIN number issued by the IRS and required by financial institutions to open an account.

Important Notes

Keeping Your Identification Numbers Straight

Please be aware that once a state, federal, or local agency approves your registration, they may give you identification numbers that look similar, but are actually unique. For example, all legal entities are required to have a Department Identification Number from the Maryland Department of Assessments & Taxation. However, many businesses also need a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) from the IRS, and a Central Registration Number from Maryland’s Office of the Comptroller. It’s very important you recognize that these are different, unique identifiers. This is one of the most common oversights by business owners and taking notice now will save you from many headaches in the future!

Multiple Registrations

Depending on the type of business you select, you may need to register with multiple state, federal, and local agencies.

Sole proprietorships and general partnerships

Sole proprietorships and general partnerships are not technically legal entities, and are therefore not required to register with the state or submit annual filings. However, you will need an SDAT Identification Number if you wish to open a business account, which can be obtained using the above portal.

I Cannot or Do Not Want to File Online

Maryland Business Express' online filing portal is the easiest and quickest way to file these documents. However, you may also file them with the Maryland Department of Assessments & Taxation either in-person or by mail. Download the filings from SDAT’s Forms and Applications Page, or contact sdat.charterhelp@maryland.gov or 410-767-1350 for more information.

What’s next?

Congratulations! You have finished the first step that all Maryland entities are required to complete. The next three steps that most Maryland businesses will need to complete involve (2) obtaining a Federal Tax ID Number from the IRS, (3) applying for Maryland Tax and Insurance Accounts, and (4) completing any necessary licensing and permitting registrations.