This is a question every potential business owner should ask as early in the planning process as possible. Between city, county, state, and federal requirements, nearly every commercial enterprise will have to apply for some kind of license or permit. In fact, most businesses will need several different licenses issued by multiple entities. As a commercial licensing and permitting attorney, Traci Scudder can help you understand what is required for your business and how to get the permissions you need to launch your dream business.
First Step: Do You Need a Professional License?
Many occupations require a professional license in order to legally serve customers or clients. For example, contractors, plumbers, building inspectors, cosmetologists, hairstylists, counselors, therapists, and electricians all require a license issued by the state. In order to get a professional license, practitioners have to meet certain standards, including completion of some kind of training program and payment of fees. If you are planning to open your own business to offer your services, you must—first and foremost—obtain and maintain your professional license.
Licenses & Permits for Business in PGC
Whether your industry requires an individual professional license or not, you will have to apply for several other types of licenses and permits in order to operate a business in Maryland. Before beginning the building process on a new site or opening up your business in an existing space, you must have up-to-date permits and licenses from the city and county.
New Businesses in Prince George’s County Will Need These Licenses & Permits at a Minimum
- Occupancy permit. Every business is required to obtain a Use and Occupancy Permit (U&O) from PGC County. This permit confirms that your business meets local zoning and safety requirements and is in compliance with health codes. In addition, the city in which the business is located might also require an occupancy permit of some type. Applying for these permits requires tax ID numbers, lease agreements, site plans, and more.
- Building and construction permit. If you are planning to do any construction, renovation, removal, or demolition to your proposed site, you will need a county construction permit. Most cities within the county also require a city building permit.
- Business license. Most business activities require a license from either Prince George’s County or the state of Maryland. Determining which entity issues the license you need is not difficult, but it is essential. For example, most retailers and restaurants will need a license from the state license, while PCG County issues licenses for benefit events, food truck hubs, and mobile vendors. In addition, you might need a specific city license if you are selling alcohol or setting up a temporary business.
- Signage permit. Every business with exterior signage is required to have a Sign Permit issued by PCG County. You might also need a sign permit from the city in which your business is located.
- Business-specific licenses. Depending on the nature of your business, you might be required to apply for additional licenses and permits. If you are selling alcohol, for example, you will need a state liquor license. If you are serving food, you will need a county health department inspection and a food service permit.
- Variances. It might be necessary to apply for a variance or commercial departure in order to get your site plan approved. Issues such as sign designs, parking spaces, and landscaping design could require a variance.
All of these permits also require the payment of a fee.
Partnering with a lawyer from the planning stage through the opening of the doors of your new business is a smart way to ensure that you have all of the permits and licenses you need to operate in Prince George’s County.
Contact Scudder Legal During the Planning Phase
Local ordinances require local expertise. If you are planning to start a business in Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, Anne Arundel County, or the District of Columbia, fill out the form on this page to find out how Scudder Legal can help you obtain the commercial licenses and permits you will need. We only accept cases when we know we can provide effective, efficient service, so you don’t have to worry about wasting your time. Contact us online or call 240-273-3294 to get started.