Starting a Security Company in Maryland | A Step-by-Step Guide

Steve Bennett
Business Formation Expert  |   Fact Checked by Editorial Team
Last updated: 
WebinarCare offers informative content for educational purposes only, not as a substitute for professional legal or tax advice. We may earn commissions if you use the services we recommend on this site.
WebinarCare is led by Steve Bennett, a seasoned expert in the business world. He's gathered a team that's passionate about giving you reliable advice on everything from starting a business to picking the right tools. We base our tips and guides on real-life experience, ensuring you get straightforward and proven advice. Our goal is to make your business journey smoother and more successful. When you choose WebinarCare, you're choosing a trustworthy guide for all things business.
Maryland Security Company

Starting a security company can be a lucrative business opportunity in Maryland, especially in today’s world, where the demand for security services is rising. However, Maryland requires careful planning, a thorough understanding of the industry, and diligent execution to ensure success. This article will provide a comprehensive guide on how to Start a Security Company in Maryland and help you navigate the various steps involved in setting up your own Limited Liability Company.

Webinarcare Editorial Team will help you gain knowledge through thorough research and market study. Before starting your Maryland security company, all the steps in this article must guide you.

What is a Security Company in Maryland

A security company in Maryland is a business organization providing varying protection services to individuals and other businesses. These services can range from personal protection, akin to bodyguard services, to security systems for large corporations. Such companies aim to safeguard their clients’ assets by mitigating potential threats and breaches. State laws regulate them; they must obtain appropriate licenses and certifications before starting their operations.

To start a security company in Maryland, one may form a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Setting up an LLC in Maryland adds credibility to the business, protects personal assets, and often simplifies tax filing processes. With an LLC, the company’s assets and liabilities are separate from those of its owners. Therefore, the owner’s personal property cannot cover the company’s debts.

Consider the Best LLC Services in Maryland to start an LLC for your security company.

LLC Service

Rating & Pricing

Top Features

Learn More

#1 Recommendation

$0 + State fee

  • Free LLC Formation

  • Legal Support

  • Highly Reputed Company

$299 + State fee

  • Single LLC formation package

  • Flat price for all services

  • Legal consultation

How to Start a Security Company in Maryland

To form an LLC for a security company, there are various steps you need to be aware of, especially if you will form it in Annapolis. Here are the necessary steps and proper guidelines for starting a security company. 

Step1: Research the Market and Competition

Before starting a security company, studying the market and competition in Maryland is essential. This will give you a better understanding of the existing security companies, their services, and their target clients. You can use various resources such as the internet, local business directories, and networking with security professionals in your area.

While researching the market, focus on identifying the demand for various security services, such as armed or unarmed security guards, alarm monitoring, and security systems installation. This will help you determine the type of services your company will offer and the target audience.

Step 2: Develop a Business Plan

A well-thought-out business plan is crucial for starting a security company in Maryland. The business plan should outline your company’s goals, target market, services, marketing strategies, and financial projections. It should also include an analysis of the competition and potential challenges your company might face.

A solid business plan will help you stay organized and focused on your objectives and will also be required when seeking financing or investment for your security company.

Step 3. Choose a Business Structure

When starting a security company in Maryland, you must choose a business structure that best suits your needs and meets the legal requirements. Here are the most common business structures to consider:

Sole Proprietorship

This is the simplest business structure, where you, as the owner, have full control over the business and are personally responsible for all debts and liabilities. This may be suitable for small security businesses with minimal risk exposure.

Partnership

Starting a limited partnership or general partnership in Maryland is also an ideal business structure since it is owned by two or more individuals who share the profits, losses, and responsibilities. This can be a good option if you’re starting a security company with a partner and want to share decision-making and financial responsibilities.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

An LLC combines a corporation’s and a partnership’s benefits. Owners, called members, have limited personal liability for the company’s debts and actions while also enjoying flexible management options. This is a popular choice for small to medium-sized security companies, as it provides some protection for personal assets.

Corporation

A corporation is a separate legal entity owned by shareholders. It provides the most protection from personal liability but also involves more regulations, paperwork, and costs to set up and maintain. Corporations in Maryland are typically more suitable for larger security companies with multiple employees and substantial assets.

When starting a security company in Maryland, consult with a Business Attorney in Maryland to determine the most suitable business structure for your specific needs and goals. We recommend to start an LLC since it offers limited liability protection for your business.

WEBINARCARE EDITORIAL TEAM

Step 4: Register Your Business

Once you’ve chosen a business structure, register your security company with the Maryland Secretary of State. This typically involves filing the necessary paperwork and paying a registration fee. Here are the things you need to apply for or hire to register your Maryland security company.

Choose a Name

Choosing a name for your Maryland security company is important in establishing your brand identity and reflecting your services. Here are some tips and suggestions to help you choose a name:

  • Keep it Simple and Memorable: Choose a name that is easy to pronounce, spell, and remember. This will make it easier for potential clients to find and remember your company.
  • Incorporate Keywords: Including words related to security, safety, or protection in your company name can help potential clients understand what services you provide. Some examples of keywords are “guard,” “patrol,” or “surveillance.”
  • Reflect on Your Niche: If your Maryland security company focuses on a specific niche, such as residential, commercial, or event security, consider incorporating this into your company name.
  • Consider Using Your Location: Incorporating the name of your Maryland or a specific city or region can help potential clients identify your company as a local business and establish a connection to your service area.
  • Check for Availability: Before settling on a name, ensure it is not already used by another security company in your area or registered as a trademark. You can check the availability of a name by searching the Maryland Business Express‘s website and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website.

Based on these tips, here are some sample names for a security company in Maryland:

  1. Maryland SecureGuard Services
  2. Maryland Sentinel Protection
  3. SafeShield Security Maryland
  4. Maryland Premier Patrol
  5. Maryland Homeland Security Solutions
  6. Maryland Watchtower Security Services

Remember to choose a name that reflects your company’s values, services, and target market while being unique and memorable. There is a complete guide on Maryland Business Name Search for you to have a proper Maryland security company name. 

In Maryland, if you do not wish to file your security company right away but want to hold the name that you have decided on, then you can reserve your security company name for 30 days. You must file a name reservation application with the Maryland Secretary of State to keep the name. 

You can register your business under a different legal name if your preferred name isn’t available. Once you have chosen a name, you can submit an application for Maryland DBA (doing business as)

Recommended: Embark on your entrepreneurial journey confidently and affordably with LegalZoom’s DBA service, the beacon that guides businesses to credible branding and comprehensive compliance. Discover how effortless success can truly be!

LegalZoom – ($99 + Filling Fees)

Hire a Resident Agent

In forming a security company in Maryland, the role of a Resident Agent is crucial for ensuring compliance with state regulations and maintaining a line of communication with the state government. A Resident Agent is a person or entity responsible for receiving important legal documents, and government notices on behalf of your security company. Here are some key roles and responsibilities of a Resident Agent in Maryland:

  • Legal Document Reception: A Resident Agent receives legal documents, including lawsuits (also known as service of process), subpoenas, and other official correspondence related to your business. They promptly inform you of legal actions or requirements affecting your security company.
  • Government Correspondence: A Resident Agent receives official notices, correspondence, and documentation from the state government, such as Annual Report notifications, tax notices, and other compliance-related information.
  • Compliance Assistance: A Resident Agent will help your security company maintain good standing in Maryland by promptly notifying you of legal and compliance-related matters. This can be crucial for avoiding penalties, fines, or even the dissolution of your business.
  • Maintaining a Physical Address: A Resident Agent must have a physical street address (not a P.O. Box) within Maryland, where they are available during normal business hours to receive legal documents and government notices. This is particularly important for businesses that do not have a physical office location in the state or for out-of-state business owners.
  • Record-Keeping: A Resident Agent may also offer additional services, such as maintaining and organizing your business records, tracking filing deadlines, and assisting with annual report submissions. 

You can serve as your Resident Agent, appoint a friend or family member, or hire the Best Maryland Resident Agent Services.

Recommended: Professional services will ensure your business gets legal notices and critical mail. With LegalZoom’s Registered Agent Services, they offer peace of mind and expert support for businesses, ensuring compliance and seamless communication with state authorities. That’s why we recommend using –

LegalZoom – $249/year

File The Articles of Organization 

If you form an LLC for your security company, you must file the Maryland Articles of Organization, which costs $100. It is crucial to provide accurate and complete information on this document, as errors or omissions may result in delays or rejection of your filing.

Create an Operating Agreement

An Operating Agreement in Maryland is a legal document outlining the ownership structure, management, and operating procedures of a Limited Liability Company (LLC). While not always required by law, having an operating agreement is highly recommended for security companies in Maryland to ensure clear communication and expectations among the owners.

Recommended: Creating an Operating Agreement is like having a personal legal guide at hand; it’s efficient, thorough, and ensures the smooth and compliant operation of your business. With LegalZoom’s operating agreement, it will protect your rights as an owner, keeping misunderstandings at bay and your business on the path to success. That’s why we recommend using –

LegalZoom – Starts at $99

Obtain an Employer Identification Number

You must first obtain an Employer identification number (EIN) in Maryland from the IRS if you will open a bank account or hire an employee for your Maryland security company. 

The application of an EIN in Maryland can be through the following:

  • Apply Online- The online EIN application is the preferred method for customers to apply for and obtain an EIN.
  • Apply by Fax- Taxpayers can fax the completed Form SS-4 application to the appropriate fax number), after ensuring that the Form SS-4 contains all of the required information.
  • Apply by Mail- The EIN application Form SS-4 can be filed via mail. The processing time frame to receive the mail is four weeks.
  • Apply by Telephone-International Applicants – International applicants may call 267-941-1099 (not a toll-free number) from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday to obtain their EIN.

Recommended: Professional services have the EIN included in their LLC formation package. We recommend using –

LegalZoom – ($0 + State Fee for LLC formation)

Step 5: Obtain Licenses and Permits

Starting a security company in Maryland requires obtaining specific licenses and permits. These may vary depending on your location and the services your company will offer. Some of the common licenses and permits needed for a security company include the following:

  • Security Company License: This mandatory license allows you to operate a security company in Maryland. The requirements for obtaining this license may vary depending on your location but generally include submitting an application, paying a fee, and passing a background check. The cost of filing a security company license ranges from $200 – $1,000 (depending on the license type).
  • Security Guard Licenses: If your company employs security guards, they must be licensed in Maryland. This typically involves completing a state-approved training program, passing a background check, and paying a licensing fee.
  • Firearms Permit: If your company provides armed security services, you and your employees must obtain firearms permits. The requirements for obtaining a firearms permit in Maryland may include completing a training course, passing a background check, and paying a fee.
  • Business License: Maryland may require a Business License. The business license fee in Maryland ranges from $50 – $300.

Recommended: Empowering your entrepreneurial journey, LegalZoom’s business license service simplifies the process of obtaining a business license in Maryland, allowing you to focus on what you do best, running your security company. That’s why we recommend –

LegalZoom – Starts at $99.99

Step 6: Get Insured

Insurance is crucial to starting a security company in Maryland. You’ll need to obtain various types of insurance to protect your business and employees, including:

  • General Liability Insurance: To protect your company from claims of bodily injury, property damage, and personal injury resulting from your services.
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance: To cover medical expenses and lost wages for employees who are injured on the job.
  • Professional Liability Insurance: To protect your company from claims of negligence or failure to perform professional duties.
  • Commercial Auto Insurance: If your company uses vehicles for business, you’ll need commercial auto insurance to cover accidents or damage.

You can apply for Maryland Business Insurance for your Maryland security company. 

Step 7: Hire and Train Employees

Hiring and training qualified employees is essential for the success of your security company in Maryland. When hiring security guards, look for individuals with previous security experience, military or law enforcement backgrounds, and strong communication skills.

Once you’ve hired your employees, you must provide them with the necessary training to perform their duties effectively. This may include state-approved security guard training programs, firearms training, specialized first aid, crisis management, and customer service courses. In addition, before hiring and training employees for your Maryland security company, you must obtain an EIN with the Internal Revenue Service.

Step 8: Invest in Equipment and Technology

Your Maryland company must invest in high-quality equipment and technology to provide top-notch security services. Some essential equipment for a security company in Maryland includes:

  • Uniforms and badges for your security guards
  • Firearms and non-lethal weapons (e.g., pepper spray, stun guns)
  • Security vehicles
  • Surveillance cameras and alarm systems
  • Communication devices, such as radios or smartphones
  • Computer hardware and software for managing your business operations

Step 9: Market Your Security Company

Effective marketing is essential for attracting clients and growing your security company in Maryland. Some marketing strategies include creating a professional website to showcase your services and expertise; printing and distributing business cards, brochures, and flyers; advertising online, in local newspapers, and on radio or television; offering discounts or promotions to attract new clients; networking with local business owners and community organizations; and participating in trade shows and industry events.

Step 10: Provide Excellent Customer Service

Providing excellent customer service is crucial for the success of your security company in Maryland. Strive to meet or exceed your client’s expectations by providing high-quality security services, addressing their concerns promptly, and maintaining open communication. You’ll build a strong reputation and encourage repeat business and referrals by consistently delivering exceptional customer service.

FAQs

What is required to start a security company in Maryland?
Companies that offer security services in Maryland are required to have a Security System Contractor’s License from the Maryland State Police.
How do I obtain a Security System Contractor’s License in Maryland?
To obtain a Security System Contractor’s License in Maryland, you need to submit a completed application and pay a fee to the Maryland State Police, along with passing a national background check and an examination.
Are there any education or training requirements to start a security company in Maryland?
There are no minimum education or training requirements to start a security company in Maryland, but having prior experience in law enforcement or security can be beneficial.
Does a security company need insurance in Maryland?
Yes, a security company in Maryland is required to have liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance.
How much does liability insurance cost for a security company in Maryland?
The cost of liability insurance for a security company in Maryland can vary greatly depending on the coverage amount and type of insurance.
Can an individual start a security company in Maryland, or is a corporation required?
Both individuals and corporations can start a security company in Maryland.
Is there a difference in the application process for a sole proprietorship versus a corporation when starting a security company in Maryland?
The application process is the same for both sole proprietorships and corporations when starting a security company in Maryland.
How does a security company in Maryland obtain security personnel?
Security personnel should be hired based on their experience, background, and qualifications, and must meet the state’s licensing requirements.
What types of security services can a security company provide in Maryland?
Security companies in Maryland can provide a wide range of services, including patrol, alarm monitoring, and guarding.
Are security guards required to be licensed in Maryland?
Yes, all security guards in Maryland are required to be licensed.
How does a security company obtain a contract with a business or organization in Maryland?
Security companies can obtain contracts through networking, advertising, and bidding on public contracts.
Are there any restrictions on what type of businesses a security company can provide services to in Maryland?
There are no restrictions on what type of businesses a security company can provide services to in Maryland, as long as they don’t discriminate against certain protected classes.
How long does it take to start a security company in Maryland?
The process of starting a security company in Maryland can take several months, as it involves obtaining licenses, insurance, and hiring qualified personnel.
Are there any zoning requirements to start a security company in Maryland?
There are no specific zoning requirements for starting a security company in Maryland, but businesses must comply with local zoning laws.
How much does it cost to start a security company in Maryland?
The cost of starting a security company in Maryland can vary greatly depending on factors such as licensing fees, insurance costs, and hiring expenses.
Can a security company provide services beyond the state of Maryland?
Yes, a security company in Maryland can provide services outside of the state, as long as they comply with the laws of those other states.
Is it necessary for security personnel to receive ongoing training in Maryland?
Yes, security personnel in Maryland are required to receive ongoing training to maintain their licensing and certification.
How can I find out about current laws and regulations regarding security companies in Maryland?
You can find information about current laws and regulations regarding security companies in Maryland through the Maryland State Police website.
How often does a security company need to renew their license in Maryland?
Security companies in Maryland are required to renew their licenses every two years.
What is the penalty for operating a security company without a license in Maryland?
The penalty for operating a security company without a license in Maryland can include fines and legal action.
Can I operate a security company from my home in Maryland?
Yes, you can operate a security company from your home in Maryland, but you must comply with local zoning laws.
Does Maryland have any regulations regarding the qualifications of security company owners?
There are no specific regulations regarding the qualifications of security company owners in Maryland, but they must comply with the state’s licensing and certification requirements.
How are security company fees typically structured in Maryland?
Security company fees in Maryland are typically structured on an hourly or monthly basis, with prices varying depending on the type of service provided.
Are there any tax incentives for starting a security company in Maryland?
There are various tax incentives available for small businesses in Maryland, including security companies. Consult with an accountant or financial advisor for more information.
What is the process for obtaining a name for a Maryland security company?
To obtain a name for a security company in Maryland, you need to submit a Maryland Articles of Incorporation or Association form to the Maryland State Department of Assessment and Taxation.
Can security companies list their services and fees on their website in Maryland?
Yes, security companies can list their services and fees on their website in Maryland.
How can a security company differentiate itself from competitors in Maryland?
Security companies can differentiate themselves from competitors in Maryland by offering unique services, developing relationships with clients, and maintaining a high level of professionalism.
Does Maryland have any financial assistance programs for small businesses, such as security companies?
Yes, Maryland has various financial assistance programs for small businesses, including security companies. Consult with Maryland Department of Commerce to learn more.
Are security companies required to share specific information about their clientele in Maryland?
Security companies are not required to share specific information about their clientele in Maryland unless required by law.
What kind of license is required to start a security company in Maryland?
A private detective or security guard agency license is required to start a security company in Maryland.
How do I apply for a private detective or security guard agency license in Maryland?
You can apply through the Maryland State Police Licensing Division.
How long does it take to obtain a private detective or security guard agency license in Maryland?
It can take up to 60 days to obtain a private detective or security guard agency license in Maryland.
Is there an age requirement to start a security company in Maryland?
Yes, you must be at least 21 years old to start a security company in Maryland.
What kind of insurance do I need to start a security company in Maryland?
You will need liability and worker’s compensation insurance to start a security company in Maryland.
Can out of state individuals start a security company in Maryland?
Yes, out of state individuals can start a security company in Maryland, but they will need to register as a foreign entity.
Do I need any specific training before starting a security company in Maryland?
Yes, you will need to have some basic knowledge and experience in security before starting a security company in Maryland.
Is there any other registration required besides the private detective or security guard agency license?
Yes, you will need to register your security guards with the Secretary of State in Maryland.
How many security guards must I employ to start a security company in Maryland?
You will need to employ at least two security guards to start a security company in Maryland.
Can I start a security company in Maryland with a felon record?
It is possible to start a security company in Maryland with a felon record, but it may present challenges in acquiring a license.
Can I use a fictitious name for my security company in Maryland?
Yes, you can use a fictitious name for your security company in Maryland, but you must register it with the State Department of Assessments and Taxation.
What type of background check is required for security guards in Maryland?
Security guards in Maryland must undergo a criminal background check.
How much can I expect to pay security guards in Maryland?
The average pay for security guards in Maryland is around $13-$14 per hour.
Are security guards in Maryland required to undergo any specific training?
Yes, they must undergo security guard training offered by a Maryland state-approved program.
Can I hire armed security guards in Maryland?
Yes, you can hire armed security guards in Maryland, but they must pass a background check and a state-administered firearms qualification course.
What is the difference between an unarmed and armed security guard company in Maryland?
An unarmed security guard company is a company that employs security guards who do not carry firearms, while an armed security guard company employs guards who carry firearms.
Can I sell my security company to another individual in Maryland?
Yes, as long as your company is in good standing, you can sell it to another individual.
How can I market my security company in Maryland?
You can market your security company in Maryland by running ads in local newspapers, flyers in local businesses or through online advertisements.
Is there a booming market for security companies in Maryland?
There is a growing demand for security companies in Maryland, particularly due to the rising crime rate.
Do I need to carry worker’s compensation insurance for my employees in Maryland?
Yes, you must carry worker’s compensation insurance for your employees in Maryland.
Can I use off-duty law enforcement officers as security guards for my security company in Maryland?
Yes, but you must follow certain guidelines and have agreements in place with law enforcement.
Can I start a security company on my own in Maryland?
Yes, as long as you have the qualifications required.
What percentage of the population in Maryland hire security companies?
The percentage of the population in Maryland that hire security companies is estimated at around 10-15%.
How often does Maryland’s regulatory environment for private detectives/security agency licensing change?
The regulatory environment for private detectives/security agency licensing in Maryland can change quarterly.
Can I get free training to start a security company in Maryland?
It is possible to find some free training resources, but many require payment of a fee.
Is there a network for security business owners in Maryland?
Yes, there are networking groups available for security business owners in Maryland.
Are business taxes higher for security companies in Maryland?
There are no specific taxes that only apply to security companies in Maryland.

Also Read

Conclusion

Starting a security company in Maryland can be rewarding and profitable. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to establishing a successful security business in your area. Remember to be patient and persistent, as building your client base and reputation may take time. Your security company can thrive in the competitive Maryland market with dedication and hard work.

Leave a Comment