Unless you are a grower or manufacturer, you may not offer for sale, sell or otherwise dispose of any goods within Maryland, without first obtaining a trader's license from the Clerk of the Circuit Court and opening a sales tax account. Business entities must register and qualify with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation.
A private individual may conduct a public sale of personal effects on his or her own property without a trader's license, provided that no more than one sale is conducted for a period not to exceed 14 consecutive days in any one calendar year.
The license year runs from May 1st through the following April 30th.
The legal requirement for the trader's license can be found in the Business Regulation Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland, Section 17-1804.
Fees and Penalties
A penalty of 10 percent for the first month of delinquency and 2 percent per month for each additional month of delinquency is added to the cost of a trader's license for all persons or business organizations that fail or neglect to procure a license within the time prescribed by law.
By law, the Clerk of the Circuit Court cannot issue a trader's license if the applicant owes personal property taxes to a local government, or if the applicant has not submitted up-to-date filing with the Department of Assessments and Taxation.
Sales Not Requiring a Trader's License
When you display and sell goods at a show, you are not required to obtain a trader's license if:
- The show is promoted by:
- A church as defined in Section 5-301 of the Corporations and Associations Article;
- 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; or
- If the exhibitor gives to the promoter an Exhibitor's Affidavit stating that the exhibitor:
- Gets less than 10% of annual income from selling like goods at the show; and
- Has not participated in more than three shows during the previous 365 days; or,
- If the exhibitor at an antique show, coin show, or collector show gives to the promoter an Exhibitor's Affidavit stating that the exhibitor:
- will display and sell at the show;
- receives less than 10% of the exhibitor's annual income in the state from selling the kind of goods that the exhibitor will display and sell at the show; and
- has not participated in more than 3 antique shows, coin shows or collector shows in the state during the previous 365 days.
An exhibitor who has a valid Trader's License for a fixed place of business in Maryland does not have to obtain another Trader's License provided the exhibitor presents a photocopy of the license to the promoter prior to the show.