License Department: Business Licenses

Please be advised that the laws regarding business license requirements for restaurants and traders have changed, effective October 1, 2022. 

A restaurant is now defined as an establishment that accommodates the public, provides seating, and is equipped with facilities for preparing and serving food.  Md. Code Ann., Bus. Reg. § 17-1601.  Restaurants no longer need to obtain a trader’s license.  Md. Code Ann., Bus. Reg. § 17-1804.  You may receive a renewal application that includes one, or both.

It is your duty to determine which license(s) your business requires.  The Clerk’s Office does not independently determine which license is appropriate for your business and will rely on information provided by you.

You may review the Tax Alert from the Comptroller of Maryland by clicking this link

Counties, cities, and other local governments may also have additional requirements for their local businesses, such as special requirements for liquor licenses. These local laws still apply in those localities, but the changes in state laws apply to every company doing business in the State of Maryland.

If you have questions on the type of license(s) your business requires, you may contact the State License Bureau, a division of the Office of the Comptroller, at 410-260-6240, or send email inquiries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  You may also want to consult your trade organization, such as the Maryland Restaurant Association, and/or applicable local government agencies for additional information.


  • Marriage License/Copies:  8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Business Licenses:  8:30 AM - 3:30 PM
  • Civil Ceremonies:  9:00 AM - 12:00 PM & 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM (PLEASE ARRIVE BY 3:45 P.M.)
  • Notary: Oath of Office and Certifications 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM

Monday through Friday (Closed weekends and State Holidays)

Appointments not accepted or required.

TO CONTACT US CALL: 410-222-1434

The License Department is located in the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County, 8 Church Circle Room H101 (directly behind security) Annapolis, Maryland 21401.

PARKING: Please refer to the HOME page ABOUT US tab for parking options and directions.

​**Please note, prior to obtaining a new business license in the Clerk's office, the business must be registered with the State Department of Assessment and Taxation (SDAT.)  Please click here for instructions on this process.

Obtaining a traders or construction license in person requires a minimum of one hour to complete and may require a visit to other state and county offices that are a short walking distance from the Clerk's Office. Applicants must arrive prior to 3:30 PM to ensure sufficient time is available to complete the process.

If you prefer, you can download the application and mail it in for processing. Please read all of the instructions below and use the link below to download the application.

Effective Monday July 18, 2022, online payments will be accepted for all business license application fees. The eLicense portal can be found at:

Persons Required to Obtain a Traders License

A person or business organization other than a grower, maker or manufacturer may not offer for sale, sell or otherwise dispose of any goods within Maryland, without first obtaining a license from the Clerk of the Circuit Court. A private individual may conduct a public sale of personal effects on his or her own property without a license, provided that no more than one sale is conducted for a period not to exceed 14 consecutive days in any one calendar year. An exhibitor who displays and sells goods at a show is not required to obtain any license if the show is promoted by: a church, any government agency or unit, an amateur radio organization, an antique vehicle, machine and equipment organization, a volunteer fire department or rescue squad, a model train collectors’ association.

The trader's license fee is based on the wholesale value of your retail inventory. The license year runs from May 1st through the following April 30th.

You may PRINT the application for walk in service or to mail in the completed application OR you may submit an application online. 

Brochure: Starting A Business In Anne Arundel County

Persons Required to Obtain Restaurant License

Restaurants are defined as an establishment that “(1) accommodates the public; (2) provides seating; and (3) is equipped with facilities for preparing and serving food.”

  • Restaurants must obtain a restaurant license.
  • Restaurants are not required to obtain a trader’s license unless required by local law.

You may PRINT the application for walk in service or to mail in the completed application OR you may submit an application online. 

Construction License Requirements

Any person or business organization must obtain a construction license from the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County on an annual basis for NEW CONSTRUCTION only. 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. Please call 410-230-6309 for additional information regarding Maryland Home Improvement Licenses.

Nonresident construction businesses, i.e., construction businesses headquartered in other states but doing business in Maryland, which were previously required to obtain a license in every county they did business in, are now only required to obtain a state license in the first county they do business in.

For additional information, please contact us:

License Department at the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County
8 Church Circle
Annapolis, Maryland 21401