Doing Business in Annapolis
Vibrant, Diverse and Resilient
We’re Here for You
We’re pleased you’ve chosen Annapolis for your business. The process of starting or expanding your business is both exciting and challenging. We know you have lots of questions and concerns about the types of permits and licenses you will need and the process that goes along with obtaining them. The City is committed to making this process as straightforward as possible and invites you to connect with the Annapolis Economic Development Division, located on the third floor of 145 Gorman Street, across the street from the Noah Hillman Parking Garage. Our Economic Development team will meet with you, answer questions, and facilitate introductions with other departments from which you may require input and assist you in finding the best location for your new or expanding operation.
Shape Your Success
From guiding businesses in finding space and setting up shop, to navigating the permitting process, or helping large-scale infrastructure projects move forward, Annapolis is passionate about supporting a flourishing and expansive local economy. The Annapolis Economic Development Division is dedicated to promoting the long-term economic health of the City and solidifying an economic base that is vibrant, diverse and resilient—much like Annapolis itself. We welcome you to build your own model of success, and live the life of your dreams here in Annapolis.
Robust Entrepreneurial Infrastructure
There are many services to help move your new or existing business in the right direction. Our team works with the collaborative assistance of a wide variety of partners and allies to bring quality information, assistance, and guidance to businesses. Entrepreneurs are welcome to visit the resources listed which offer assistance to start-ups, existing, or expanding businesses. In addition to the organizations in our six business neighborhoods, the following are among the many additional groups that reflect the strength and diversity of Annapolis’ vibrant economy.
- Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce
- Annapolis Green
- Entrepreneur’s Exchange
- Launch! Annapolis
- Maryland Department of Commerce
- Maryland Tech Council
- SCORE – Local Chapter #390
- Small Business Development Center Resource Center
- Anne Arundel Community College Entrepreneurial Studies Institute
The City’s Economic Development Division will connect you to the resources that you need to launch, relocate or expand your business in Annapolis.
Help to Find a Location
For most businesses, there is much wisdom in the old adage “Location, Location, Location.” Whether working out of your home, or leasing commercial space, space can play an important part in your company’s future; especially when you are just getting started. Annapolis is home to a diversity of spaces and styles. We are here to help you find the space that fits your needs, from shared entrepreneurial workspaces, to state-of-the-art technology space. We provide site selection services to businesses in the Annapolis area through a comprehensive commercial real estate database.
Please remember: before signing a lease, do some preliminary research on the potential cost for any tenant fit-out work and always double check the zoning of the property to ensure your type of business is permitted under the City’s zoning regulations. The City of Annapolis also regulates the operation of home-based businesses, so if you are planning to operate from your home, be sure to review the City’s regulations online at Annapolis Code 21.64.330.
Workshops & Events
Often the best ways to educate yourself to successfully start, manage, and grow your business is to take advantage of the many workshops and training programs available to small business owners in several formats. By attending these workshops, you will learn not only from the presenters, but also from the other attendees who are going through the same process.
Annapolis Mayor’s Public Safety Initiative
Disasters can cost businesses a lot—from lost time, money and resources, to lost customers. Roughly 40 to 60 percent of small businesses never reopen their doors following a disaster. Therefore, the Mayor has requested that the City of Annapolis Office of Emergency Management and Police Department to collaborate with businesses to address civil unrest, bomb threats, active shooters, vagrancy, shoplifting, business thefts and building safety audits. Businesses can contact these departments to schedule a free building safety or emergency response plan consultation.
Take time to get your company ready for whatever could happen. Learn more about preparing, planning, responding, and recovering from man-made or natural disasters. If you’re not prepared, a disaster could put you and your employees at risk, and possibly shut down your business forever. Disaster planning and preparedness can be your lifeline to staying in business.
Small, Minority- & Woman-Owned Business Resources
Annapolis is a growing community consisting of an increasingly diverse population. This diversity provides for a vibrant community that promotes growth. The City believes that all of its citizens should benefit from this economic growth, without regard to race, color, religion or economic status. To that end, the City is committed to creating an environment that expands the prosperity of small, minority- and woman-owned businesses, cultivates mutually beneficial partnerships, and engages the community to improve the quality of life for all citizens of the city. The City’s Economic Development Division is committed to fulfilling these goals.
Although the business landscape is similar for all business owners, small, minority- and women-owned businesses may experience certain challenges. There are several organizations and programs dedicated to supporting and assisting. The links below provide a few in the region and beyond that can help you develop and expand your business.
- African Women’s Council
- Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council
- Ethiopian Community Development Council, Inc.
- Latino Economic Development Center
- Maryland Governor’s Ethnic Commissions
- Maryland Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs
- Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- Maryland Veteran Entrepreneurs
- Maryland Washington Minority Companies Association
- Minority Business Development Agency
- Morgan State University Entrepreneurial Development & Assistance Center (EDAC)
- National Minority Business Council
- U.S. Small Business Administration
- U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Women’s Business Ownership
La Pagina Empresarial
The City of Annapolis is pleased to connect Spanish Speaking Entrepreneurs with Technical Assistance and to do so, we provide Spanish language assistance to start-up and expanding small businesses. Spanish language entrepreneurs are encouraged to contact the City's Economic Development Division for assistance on evaluating their readiness to prepare to grow a small business.
Recursos del Negocio
- Crear un Negocio en Annapolis
- Center of Help
- Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- Maryland Hispanic Business Conference
- Maryland Small Business Development Centro Hispano de Negocios
- Hispanic Business Foundation of Maryland
- Governor’s Commission on Hispanic Affairs
- Governor’s Office of Small, Minority and Women Business Affairs
- Latino Economic Development Center
- U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- We Are CASA
Have questions about doing business in Annapolis? Contact Hollis Minor, Economic Development Manager for the City of Annapolis at (410) 263-7961, ext. 7770 or by email at HGMinor@annapolis.gov.