Sign In

Biotechnology Investment Incentive Tax Credit (BIITC)

View Official FY2022 Queue

We are now accepting new investor applications for the FY2022 program.

BIITC provides an investor with a refundable State income tax credit for an eligible investment in a Qualified Maryland Biotechnology Company (QMBC). The program supports investment in seed and early stage biotech companies to promote and grow the biotech industry in Maryland.

BENEFIT

BIITC provides an income tax credit equal to 33% of an eligible investment in a QMBC up to $250,000 in tax credits, or 50% of an eligible investment in a QMBC up to $500,000 in tax credits if the QMBC is located in Allegany, Dorchester, Garrett or Somerset County. Enhanced tax credits are also available for eligible investments made in certain QMBCs located in Opportunity Zones.  

Total credits issued during the fiscal year cannot exceed the budget amount and are, therefore, issued on a first come basis. The credit is refundable if the investor has no Maryland income tax liability. 

Please continue to check this page for the most recent information regarding the availability of tax credits.


ELIGIBILITY

  • Qualified investor is an individual or any entity that invests at least $25,000 in a QMBC and is required to file an income tax return in any non-tax haven jurisdiction.  

  • QMBC is a biotechnology company that (1) has its headquarters and base of operations in Maryland; (2) has fewer than 50 full time employees; (3) has been in active business no longer than 12 years; (4) is certified by Commerce as a QMBC and (5) the qualified investors in the company have not received more than $7,000,000 in biotechnology investment Incentive tax credits.

  • Please refer to the Resources section for further details on qualification.

A single QMBC may not receive, for the benefit of investors, more than 10% of the program's fiscal year funding.

​APPLY

All applications must be submitted with all attachments through Commerce's online system. Please read the instructions below before visiting the online portal. 

 Apply Online

  1. Beginning on August 23, 2021, Commerce will begin accepting the Form B QMBC application through the online system. The Form B QMBC application must be completed and submitted before Commerce will accept investor applications.
  2. Beginning on September 7, 2021, Commerce will begin accepting the Form A investor applications through the online system. Investor applications must be submitted no later than September 27, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. in order to be eligible for the Online Electronic Queue Investor Registration. Investor applications submitted after September 27 at 11:59 p.m. will be issued a username and reference number after September 28, 2021.

    • Investors must separately register and apply through the online system. Investors may not apply through the registration of the biotechnology company. 
    • Investors will receive a five-letter username and six-digit reference number in an email confirming submission of the investor application. The username and reference number are required for the second step of the investor application process, which is to determine order in the first come, first served allocation of funds using the Online Electronic Queue Investor Registration system. 
  3. Beginning on September 28, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. EST, Commerce will open the Online Electronic Queue Investor Registration which will require investors to use the username and reference number received during the first part of the investor application process.
      • Submission order under the Online Electronic Queue Investor Registration will determine the first come, first serve allocation of funds. No other application may be filed for the purposes of determining submission order.
      • Investors must have Javascript and Adobe Flash plugins to view the official clock and Recaptcha verification.
      • Multiple submissions by an applicant using the same username and reference number will be considered filed at the date and time of the LAST submission. This rule is to maintain that the application procedure is as fair and equitable as possible. Applications are reviewed and approved based on the order received.
      • An eligible investor has 30 days from the date when Commerce issues the initial tax credit certificate to make the investment in a QMBC or prospective QMBC. Within 10 days of making the investment, the eligible investor shall provide written notice with the required supporting proof of investment documentation to Commerce. If the qualified investor fails to provide notice of investment to Commerce within 40 days after the issuance of the initial tax credit certificate, Commerce shall rescind the initial tax credit certificate. Based on the actual investment, not to exceed the approved amount, Commerce will issue a final tax credit certificate.
      • Any decision made by Commerce during the application process is considered final.
      • To qualify for the credit, the applications must be submitted through Commerce's online system. Paper forms are for informational use only.

Investors making qualified investments in QMBCs in Montgomery County, Maryland, in addition to receiving Maryland's Biotechnology Investment Incentive Tax Credit, may receive a payment from the County's Supplemental Program. The program is subject to appropriation of funds. For more details, please contact the Montgomery County Department of Finance at 240-777-8860.

Investor Application Forms:

(For informational purposes only)

Individual Investors: Download Form A1 
Corporate Investors: Download Form A2
Pass-Through Entities: Download Form A3 

QMBC Application Form:

(For informational purposes only)

Form B​ – #11 Attachments do not have to be submitted for each prospective investor in a QMBC if a current Form B is on file with Commerce and is 30 days old or less.


RESOURCES

  • Statute: The Biotechnology Investment Incentive Tax Credit program was significantly modified by recent legislation, Senate Bill 19. To the extent that Senate Bill 19 is inconsistent with the original statute, the language in Senate Bill 19 will control.
  • Regulations​


​CONTACT

For more information about BIITC contact:

Jason Sobel, Tax Specialist
Maryland Department of Commerce, Office of Finance Programs

Virginia CrewsTax Specialist, Biotechnology
Maryland Department of Commerce, Office of Finance Programs
virginia.crews@maryland.gov

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS​

  • What constitutes a biotechnology company?
    • Biotechnology company means a company for profit that is primarily engaged in, or within 2 months of the receipt of an investment will be primarily engaged in, the research, development, or commercialization of innovative and proprietary technology that comprises, interacts with, or analyzes biological material including biomolecules, cells, tissues, or organs. 
      The company must own or have immediately available and useable rights in a biotechnology-related intellectual property; and be actively engaged in the research, development, or production of a commercially oriented, innovative, and patent-protectable biotechnology product based on this intellectual property. This former requires the company to have: a U.S. non-provisional patent filing, an issued U.S. patent, an assigned U.S. patent, or a fully executed exclusive licensing agreement with the owner(s) of the U.S. issued patent or U.S. non-provisional patent filing under active prosecution for the biotechnology-related product.  For all non-issued U.S. patents, the company must be actively pursuing patent prosecution in the U.S. simultaneous to any related foreign filings.  


  • What is active business of a biotechnology company?
    • “Active business” means that the Department can reasonably determine and establish the nature of the Company’s commercial biotechnology research, development or production operations. The mere legal organization, appointment or election of officers or managers, initial capitalization, and establishment of business offices of a company, alone or in combination, are not sufficient to establish that the company is engaged in active business for the purposes of this tax credit.

      The period of “active business” by a predecessor in interest, parent company, subsidiary or affiliate may be attributed to the Company based on the totality of the circumstances and key factors include, but are not limited to, commonality in ownership, management, personnel, headquarters, and intellectual property.   


  • Who are the essential employees in order for a biotechnology company to be certified?
    • ​The company must have at least one full-time non-executive employee engaged in qualified biotechnology research and development in Maryland.

  • What constitutes a “headquarters and base of operations”?
    • ​“Headquarters and base of operations” means the facility or facilities located in the State, where the qualified Maryland biotechnology company’s financial, personnel, planning, management, administrative, biotechnology research, biotechnology development, and biotechnology production activities are primarily handled.

  • What types of investments qualify for the tax credit?
    • ​The contribution of money in cash or cash equivalents expressed in United State dollars, at a risk of loss, to a QMBC in exchange for stock, a partnership or membership interest, or other ownership interest.  

      Investment includes a convertible debt that is created by the investor within one year prior to the date that the investor applies to the program and such convertible debt is converted to an equity interest within 30 days after the issuance of an initial certificate of eligibility for tax credit.  

      Investment does not include any transaction in which a purchase of an interest in a qualified Maryland biotechnology company is to be financed, in whole or part, by the qualified Maryland biotechnology company (or any of its subsidiaries). This would include a transaction in which a potential investor has agreed to pay any portion of the tax credit to the qualified Maryland biotechnology company.



  • What types of investors are disqualified from the program?
    • A qualified investor does not include: (1) a qualified pension plan, individual retirement account, or other qualified retirement plan under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended, or fiduciaries or custodians under such plans, or similar tax-favored plans or entities under the laws of other countries; and (2) a founder or   current employee of the qualified Maryland biotechnology company if the company has  been active business for more than 5 years. 
       
      The term "employee" is a measure of control and independence in the employer/worker relationship. It includes any person performing paid or unpaid work where the Department can reasonably determine and establish the employer/worker relationship based on those elements.   The term "current employee" includes any person receiving pay for services performed for the company or an entity under the same controlled group of corporation or under common control, or has received pay from the company or an entity under the same controlled group of corporation or under common control within one year prior to the date that the investor applies for an initial certificate of eligibility for the tax credit. “Pay for services” includes wages, deferred compensation, stock, current or future stock options, and any other type of benefits provided by the company for services. Certain individuals, as listed under IRC 267(b), related to the company’s senior management will be ineligible as a qualified investor, if the latter either currently works for the company or had worked for the company within one year prior to the date that the individual seeks to apply for an initial certificate of eligibility for the tax credit.
       
      “Founder” includes persons who were actively engaged and had a decisive role in the establishment of the company as an active business. Founders extend beyond those involved with the company at the time of the legal organization, appointment or election of officers or managers, initial capitalization, and establishment of business offices. Attribution rules under IRC 267(b) will apply in determining whether an individual is included among those actively engaged in the establishment of the Company as an active business. 

      In the case of a proposed investor that is an entity (LLC, corporation, partnership, trust, etc.), which is itself owned, directly or indirectly, by an individual (or entity) who is disqualified for any of the above reasons, the entity investor is itself disqualified unless the ownership interest in the entity investor attributable to the disqualified individual (or entity) is less than 5%.  Where there are 2 or more disqualified individuals (or entities) that own a portion of the proposed entity investor, the entity investor is itself disqualified unless the ownership interest in the entity investor attributable to the disqualified individuals (or entities) is cumulatively less than 5%.


  • May subsidiaries participate in the BIITC program?
    • ​A subsidiary is eligible for participation in the BIITC program to the extent the Department can reasonably determine and establish the qualifications of the subsidiary as being independent of any existing relationship with a parent company or affiliate.  The constructive ownership rules under IRC 267 apply.