15 Fascinating Maryland Small Business Statistics


The federal government invests heavily in the Old Line State. Maryland has over 50 federal agencies and science facilities, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Johns Hopkins University, and many more.

The Fort George Meade military installation is currently the largest federal employer in Maryland, with a total of 44,540 employees. Other large private employers include Lockheed Martin, Black and Decker, IBM, Northrop Grumman, General Motors, and Verizon.

Most small businesses are also concentrated in the professional, science, and technology industries due to the proximity to government research agencies that offer grants and contract money for scientific research and studies. As such, there is very high competition between small and large businesses and the latter often win the prize. 

Maryland’s high per capita income offsets the expensive cost of living and high taxes. However, the labor market is quite robust, meaning strong enthusiasm among professionals and business owners for the days ahead.

Here are some statistics about small businesses (SMBs) in Maryland:

  • There are 604,176 small businesses in Maryland, accounting for 99.5% of all businesses in the state.
  • Small business owners employ over 1.2 million individuals, who represent 49.5% of the private workforce in the state.
  • A recent study by WalletHub ranks Maryland at 40th out of 51 jurisdictions in terms of small businesses most affected by COVID-19. The state also ranked 48th among states with the highest average annual federal small-business funding per GDP.
  • Maryland’s proximity to Washington, DC, means that small business owners have easier access to government contracts and grants.
  • Maryland ranks second per capita and third overall in the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) awards, which encourages small business owners to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to commercialize products. 
  • The average median income for self-employed individuals running their own incorporated businesses is $60,000. Those with unincorporated businesses have an average median income of $29,000.
  • To form a corporation in Maryland, you need to file your Articles of Incorporation with the Maryland Department of Assessments & Taxation. The filing fee is $100.
  • In Maryland, there is a flat general tax of 8.25% on net income allocable to the state. If your limited liability company (LLC) is taxed as a corporation you'll need to pay this tax. The state's corporation tax return is filed with the Comptroller of Maryland.
  • In the fourth quarter of 2018, 3,911 SMBs closed down, resulting in 14,033 lost jobs. During the same period, 3,580 businesses started up, generating 17,666 new jobs.
  • 5,727 small firms account for 38.1% of Maryland’s $10.6 billion worth of export revenue.
  • There are 149,160 people employed by small businesses in the professional, scientific, and technical services sector.
  • The three industries with the largest number of small businesses are:
    • Professional, scientific, and technical services (96,310)
    • Health care and social assistance (62,546)
    • Construction (56,047)
  • There are only 118 small businesses in the mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction industries. Most of these firms are located in more remote areas of the state near its northern border with Pennsylvania.
  • In 2019, Maryland banks issued 124,145 loans under $100,000 to small businesses worth a total of $1.7 billion.


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