Starting a business in Maryland can prove to be a viable prospect, but there are a few laws and regulations you should know before you start the process. Working with a business law attorney in Frederick, MD, will provide you with exceptional support and a strong foundation to start your business.
Consider some additional steps to take to ensure you get your business off to the right start.
Get to Know Maryland’s Workforce
Maryland offers business owners a wide range of opportunities, including a highly educated workforce, a strong business-friendly structure, and modern infrastructure. According to the Maryland website:
- Maryland ranks #1 in the technology and science workforce
- #1 in the highest concentration of Ph.D. scientists
- #2 in the nation for graduate and professional degree attainment
- #5 in bachelor’s degree attainment
If you need high-quality leaders for your business or talent to help it grow and flourish locally, you’ll find it here.
Maryland Business Laws and Regulations You Need to Know
Starting a business in Frederick, Maryland, or the surrounding cities has several steps. Here are some key topics to help you get started.
Create a Business Name
Utilize the Maryland Secretary of State’s website to help you find an available name for your company. The state requires companies to have names that are unique and not easily confused with businesses already present in the state. Register your name there, or work with a business law attorney to help you get this process started.
Register your business
Maryland makes it easy to establish your business in the state. Once you decide on the type of business you plan to launch (a Limited Liability Company -LLC or a corporation, for example), you can register using the online portal at Maryland Business Express. This portal is one of the most important tools for establishing your business. Work with an attorney to aid you in business formation in Maryland. This includes registering with the state, filing Articles of Incorporation, and meeting ongoing requirements with a Registered Agent.
Obtain Permits and Licenses
Use Maryland OneStop to help you determine which licenses and permits you’re required to maintain in the state. This may include all professional licenses you need to maintain, business formation requirements, and licenses to operate various types of businesses. Each city has its own rules related to permitting operations as well.
Navigate Maryland’s Wage Payment and Employment Standards Requirements
While the state’s employers have to meet all federal regulations as well, Maryland has a set of wage payment and employment standards that all employers must comply with to hire anyone. These fall under the Maryland Department of Labor’s oversight. Some key areas include:
- Frequency of pay: Employees in the state must be paid at least one time every two weeks or twice a month. Some administrative, executive, and professional employees may be paid less often.
- Wages: Employers are required to pay all wages earned on time. Employers may not keep any part of the employee’s wages either, such as security against some type of future risk.
- Minimum wage and overtime: In Maryland, the minimum wage effective 1/1/23 is $13.25, while this will increase to $14.00 per hour on 1/1/24 and applies to all employers with more than 15 employees. Those under this number must pay $12.80 per hour as of 1/1/23, which will be upgraded to $13.40 per hour on 1/1/24. Employees must be paid 1.5 times their hourly rate if they work over 40 hours per week.
- Leave laws: Maryland has a number of leave laws or rules that allow individuals to take time off from work without the risk of losing that job. This includes adoption leave, Flexible Leave Act time when an immediate family member is ill or upon their death, and deployment leave for any employer with over 50 employees. Parental leave is also required of many employees.
- Employment at will: In Maryland, employees work “at the will” of employers. That means they can be hired or fired for nearly any reason, though discrimination laws remain in place for all employees.
It is critical that you understand all Maryland business laws related to hiring and maintaining a workforce to protect your business from fines and even the risk of closure.
Business Contracting and Management
As your business starts, work closely with a business law attorney in Frederick, MD, to help you build a solid legal foundation. You can do that by putting in place legally binding contracts. These must be done according to Maryland law, which ensures that they will be done properly and, therefore, enforceable.
You may wish to establish contracts for most of the work you do. This includes for:
- Independent contractors
Allow an attorney to create a solid plan forward for your business here, addressing all of the specific needs you have for your business.
Work with an Attorney for Managing OSHA Requirements
OSHA is a large force in the operation of many businesses in Maryland. You will be required to create a safe workplace for your employees, and OSHA will ensure you meet those obligations. This will include the following:
- Job site safety
- Cleanliness and hygiene
You will also need to meet the requirements set by the local health departments for your location. If you are facing fines or claims against your business as a result of violations like these, we highly encourage you to work with an attorney to navigate the process.
Most business owners don’t start out thinking they will need to hire an attorney for litigation. Yet, there are many concerns where you may need to do so, including:
- Product risk
- Property Liability
- Claims made against your company
- Contract disputes
- Corporate issues
In all these cases, having a highly skilled attorney to help guide and support you is critical. Maryland is a very business-friendly state, but laws have become very much in favor of supporting a victim. For that reason, it is always beneficial to have an attorney available to guide and support you.
Work with a Business Law Attorney in Frederick, MA
Hiring a business law attorney in Frederick, MD, creates an opportunity for you to start and manage your company with confidence going forward. At Lusk Law, LLC, we can help you to get your business off the ground, create legally binding contracts, and support you as you push to create a strong foundation. We encourage you to contact us today for any aspect of business formation, litigation, or other legal challenges you may be facing.