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.

  • 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

  • VA OSDBU (Veterans Affairs' Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization)
    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
    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.


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.

  • Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech)
    The Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) is a national leader in entrepreneurship and innovation education and venture creation and is a pioneer in building successful university-company partnerships.

  • Private Career Schools
    Listing of state-certified courses for refreshing or learning skills.

International Trade


Legal Requirements / Regulations



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: February 12, 2018