While not the largest state in the Union, Maryland makes a significant effort to protect its consumers. Numerous state licenses aim to shield residents from unscrupulous or irregular business practices. Accordingly, entrepreneurs will find that in many cases, they need to obtain the state's blessing in order to operate their businesses.
In Maryland, specialty food shops such as spice, cheese and gourmet shops need retail food licenses. Depending on the state, county and city, these can amount to up to eight different licenses and permits. Retailers must also submit retail food plans and adhere to environmental health regulations in order to stay in business.