Find Info:  Business and Investing:  Resource Guide for the Small Business Owner

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Counseling and Education


Counseling Available




  • Maryland Small Business Development Center
    Individual counseling (no cost) and workshops are offered on a variety of topics. Locate a local office from this directory. On a regular basis a program entitled "The Nuts and Bolts of Starting Your Own Business" is presented at the Towson Branch of the Baltimore County Public Library.





Educational Opportunities





  • Technology Advancement Program (TAP)
    University of Maryland's dynamic environment for technology based start-up companies.

  • Technology Council of Maryland
    Maryland's largest technology trade association which brings its members access to the regional technology industry. Provides valuable resources and benefits to help businesses succeed.



Disaster Preparedness



  • Small Business Administration on Disaster Preparedness
    This Small Business Administration site lists topics that business owners should be considering such as:  insurance, computer system back-ups and location of alternate suppliers.

  • Federal Emergency Management Administration
    The Federal Emergency Management Administration provides a great deal of information about protecting a company's physical plant. Obtain flood maps on-line.

  • Institute for Business and Home Safety
    The Institute for Business and Home Safety, a nonprofit association whose mission is to reduce deaths, injuries, property damage, economic losses and human suffering caused by natural disasters, provides extensive information on preparing for earthquakes, floods, freezing weather, hail, hurricanes, tornados and wildfires. 




Tax Issues





Obtaining Financial Support




  • Franchise Direct
    This comprehensive website deals with franchise opportunities worldwide. The International listings are extensive. Tips as well as research news and articles about latest developments are also provided.

  • Franchise Gator
    Franchise opportunities and business-for-sale listings. Top franchising concepts are showcased.

  • Franchise Zone: Entrepreneur Magazine
    A comprehensive website that helps the potential franchisee to assess opportunities, find help and how-to information from experts and keep up to date with trends in the field (a feature that is updated daily).  Also features Opportunity Finder, an interactive tool to explore franchise and business opportunities.


Government Procurement


In Baltimore County


  • Baltimore County Purchasing and Disbursements Division: Events Calendar
    The Office of Budget and Finance, Purchasing and Disbursements Division regularly schedules procurement outreach (formerly open house) events to provide an opportunity for vendors to:

    • Gain an Understanding of the Purchasing Process

    • Meet the County Buyers

    • Ask Questions

    • Learn about Bid Opportunities with the County

    • Review a List of Current Contracts

    • Network with other vendors



In the State


In the Federal Government


  • Federal Acquisition Jumpstation
    The U.S. Government's one-stop virtual marketplace. Through this single point-of-entry, commercial vendors and government buyers are invited to post, search, monitor and retrieve opportunities solicited by the entire Federal contracting community.

  • Federal Business Opportunities
    Learn about doing business with the Federal government using electronic data interchange (EDI).

  • System for Award Management (SAM)
    Serves as a government-contracting portal and enables small business owners to register to do business with the federal government, and represent/self-certify as a small business all in one place

    The federal web portal for veterans who want to start or expand their business. Information on prime or subcontract opportunities, getting started, marketing, mentoring sources, financing, etc.

    This site targets the 5 specific stages that a woman business owner should go through to explore doing business with the government.


Home Based Business



Human Resources


Benefits - Health


  • Maryland Health Connection: Small Business Health Options Program
    Attract and retain the best talent by offering coverage through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) — open to businesses with 50 or fewer full-time-equivalent employees. Use the Full-time Employee Calculator to see if you qualify for the SHOP.

  • Maryland Health Benefits Exchange
    Maryland’s state-based health insurance exchange. Goal is to make health insurance affordable and accessible for all Maryland residents, including the approximately 730,000 or 14 percent of Maryland’s 5.8 million residents who are currently uninsured.

  • Maryland Health Connection: Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP)
    Provides Maryland small businesses with 50 or fewer employees a variety of insurance plans and carriers to choose from. SHOP allows owners or employees to do side-by-side comparisons of private health plans, benefits, premiums and quality online.


Finding Staff








  • Maryland Workforce Exchange (opens in new window)
    On-the-job training program for entry level positions. Tax credits for employers hiring from the program.



International Trade



  • Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development: Office of International Operations
    The place to start if you want to export products and services to consumers abroad. Offers trade information and export marketing assistance. One on one assistance is available.

  • United States Export Assistance Center
    Assists Maryland firms in exporting by providing expert counseling and advice, information on markets abroad, international contacts and advocacy services.  The resources of the Commercial Service are combined with the finance expertise of the Small Business Administration, and can provide information on all Federal programs designed to support international trade

Legal Requirements / Regulations




  • Find Information: Law
    presented by Baltimore County Public Library
    Find local and state codes, laws, and regulations and facts about our courts. Points way to legal assistance through a lawyer or other legal services. Find law libraries, legal forms and terminology, notary services, and legal research resources.

  • Guide to Legal Aspects of Doing Business in Maryland [PDF]
    A general guide to the laws and regulations pertaining to business operations in Maryland. A joint publication of the Office of the Attorney General and the Department of Business and Economic Development.

  • Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development: Permits and Licensing
    When starting a business in Maryland, there are a number of resources available for information on business licensing, registration, occupational licenses and other regulatory and compliance issues.



Legal Forms



Patents, Trademarks, Trade Names



Permits, Licenses



Zoning Issues



Americans with Disabilities Act





Major Resources



Demographic Sources



Business and Investing Databases
BCPL offers a number of subscription business and investing databases which are free for use to BCPL library card holders.

Links to electronic resources that contain valuable business information and are purchased by the library for the use of all Baltimore County Public Library card holders. A BCPL library card and your library PIN may be needed to access these resources.

  • Regional Business NewsBusiness Source Premier
    Features the full text for more than 2,200 journals back to 1965, and searchable cited references back to 1998.


  • Hoover's Hoover's
    Provides company details such as description, contact information, competitors and key personnel. This information can be used for client meetings, sales presentations, vendor and partner negotiations, and marketing efforts. News from the business world and scheduled IPOs are also included.

  • Reference USA ButtonReference USA
    Database of over 11 million company profiles including address and phone number, NAIC codes, numbers of employees, sales volume, product lines and corporate structure. Also includes a residential directory. Featured are:

    • US Businesses

    • US Standard White Pages

    • US Healthcare

    • US New Businesses

    • Canadian White Pages Canadian Businesses

    • US Consumers/Lifestyles -  This module broadly applies census information from your neighborhood as well as other “public” records (such as what magazines you subscribe to or memberships that you may have) and makes generalizations about your interests and marketing characteristics. This information is downloadable for potential marketers.

    • US New Movers/Homeowners

  • Regional Business NewsRegional Business News
    Provides full text for nearly 100 regional U.S. and Canadian business publications including the Daily Record.

  • Standard and Poors NetadvantageStandard & Poor's NetAdvantage
    Standard & Poor's is s a comprehensive source of business and investment information. Full text access for many S&P publications.

  • Value LinkValue Line Investment Survey Online
    Valueline is a comprehensive source of information and advice on approximately 1,700 stocks, more than 90 industries, the stock market, and the economy. Database includes The S&P Register which allows users to search a business information database of 90,000 public and private companies which include 400,000 key executives and a database of over 70,000 biographies of top company officials.

Minority / Women Assistance



Newspapers / Periodicals



  General Resources


Revised: March 30, 2016