How to Get a Wholesale Dealer License in Maryland

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A wholesale dealer's license can get you started in the automotive business.
A wholesale dealer's license can get you started in the automotive business. (Image: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

A wholesale dealer's license will enable you to buy vehicles from nonpublic auctions. You apply for the license to sell vehicles to other auto dealers. Maryland prohibits wholesale dealers from selling vehicles to retail customers. An investigator from the business licensing unit will check your location for compliance with site requirements. If your license is approved you will receive information about fees and dealer tags.

Conduct a search for the business name you want to use (see Resources). Find out if another Maryland company uses the name already. Apply for a business name you want by completing a trade name application and paying a $25 fee, or a $75 fee for expedited services (see Resources).

Form an organizational structure for your wholesale dealership. Select a business structure such as a corporation, limited liability company, sole proprietorship or a partnership. Meet with an accountant to discuss the ideal business structure for your wholesale dealership.

Register your business as organized to operate in the state of Maryland, and obtain a trader’s license from your local circuit court (see Resources).

Apply for a federal tax identification number from the Internal Revenue Service (see Resources).

Read the instructions for a Maryland wholesale dealer’s license and complete the application (see Resources). Make sure that each owner, partner or company partner completes the application and the addendum.

Complete the forms and requested information that must accompany the wholesale dealer’s license, such as the zoning approval form, surety bond form, criminal record request form and the insurance information form.

Secure a building that is large enough for a wholesale dealership, allows you to maintain regular occupancy and will be solely used for your wholesale dealership. Include an addendum to your wholesale dealer’s license application that provides information about your dealership location and documents your ownership or leasing terms for the site. Prior to approval of your license, an inspector will determine if the site for your proposed dealership meets site requirements.

Call the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration to inquire about your application or the application process, at 800-950-1682.

Pay $250 for wholesale dealer licensing fees and $50 for interchangeable dealer tags after you have received approval for the wholesale dealer’s license.

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