How to Obtain a Catering License in Maryland

by George Lawrence J.D.; Updated September 26, 2017

Food prepared with rotten ingredients or through unsafe cooking practices (such as undercooking, unclean hands or dirty utensils) is a health risk. Food service organizations, such as caterers, must be licensed to do business legally. In Maryland, caterers must obtain a food service facility license. To obtain a license, the caterer must ensure that his facility and food preparation methods comply with Maryland’s food service regulations.

Step 1

Review the provisions in Title 10, Chapter 15 of the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) that deal with food and food service facilities. Your kitchen and food preparation techniques must comply with the applicable sections of this code (such as, dealing with cleanliness of the building).

Step 2

Contact the health department in the county where your business is located. For a list of contact numbers by county see Resources.

Step 3

Schedule an inspection with the health department. Ask for a food service facility license application form. The clerk can help you obtain the proper forms.

Step 4

Pass the inspection. If your business complies with the food service facility regulations, you will be licensed to legally serve food in Maryland as a caterer.

About the Author

Based in Traverse City, Mich., George Lawrence has been writing professionally since 2009. His work primarily appears on various websites. An avid outdoorsman, Lawrence holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in both criminal justice and English from Michigan State University, as well as a Juris Doctor from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, where he graduated with honors.

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