First Time Hiring Security? A Marylander’s Guide to Choosing the Right Guard Company

Waseem Jalal

As a Maryland resident, you understand the importance of safety and security. Whether you’re a business owner, property manager, or event planner, there might come a time when you need to consider hiring security guards. But if you’ve never navigated this process before, it can be overwhelming. Fear not, fellow Marylander! This guide will equip you with the knowledge and confidence to hire the perfect security company for your needs.

Step 1: Assess Your Security Needs

Before diving headfirst into contacting companies, take a step back and analyze your specific situation. Key questions to consider are:

  • What type of security do you need? Do you require on-site guards for access control, mobile patrols for a large property, or armed security for a high-risk environment?
  • What are your budget constraints? Security services vary in cost depending on factors like guard qualifications, service hours, and company reputation.
  • What is the duration of your security needs? Is it a one-time event, a temporary situation, or an ongoing requirement?
  • What kind of environment will the guards be working in? Knowing if it’s a construction site, a retail store, or a high-end event will help determine the necessary guard experience.
  • Are there any specific licensing requirements for guards in your area? In Maryland, licensing varies based on the type of guard service. Research local regulations to ensure compliance.

Step 2: Research Security Companies in Maryland

Now that you have a clear picture of your needs, it’s time to explore potential security companies in Maryland. Resources to get you started:

  • Online directories: Websites like ASIS International or Security Industry Association list security companies by location.
  • Local business associations: Chambers of Commerce or industry-specific associations often have member directories that may include security firms.
  • Word-of-mouth recommendations: Talk to colleagues, property managers in your area, or event planners who have used security services in the past.
  • Company websites: Look for established security companies with a strong online presence. Read their service descriptions, client testimonials, and ensure they have a Maryland license.

Step 3: Narrowing Down Your Options

Once you’ve compiled a list of potential companies, delve deeper into their offerings. Here are some key areas to evaluate:

  • Services Offered: Does the company provide the specific type of security you require (armed, unarmed, mobile patrols, etc.)?
  • Guard Qualifications: What kind of training and certifications do their guards possess? Are they licensed to operate in Maryland?
  • Experience: Does the company have experience in your industry or with similar security needs?
  • Technology Integration: Do they utilize advanced security technology like access control systems or video surveillance to complement their guards?
  • Customer Service: Look for companies that emphasize clear communication and responsiveness to client concerns.

Step 4: Get Proposals and Make Contact

Shortlist 2-3 companies that seem like a good fit. Contact them and request a formal proposal outlining their services, pricing structure, guard qualifications, and any additional fees.

Here are some additional questions to ask during your initial contact:

  • What is your process for screening and hiring guards?
  • How do you handle on-site supervision and communication?
  • Do you offer any training specific to my industry or location?
  • What is your insurance coverage like?
  • Can you provide references from similar clients in Maryland?

Step 5: Making Your Decision

Carefully compare the proposals you receive, considering not just price but also the experience, qualifications, and responsiveness of each company.

Here are some additional factors to weigh:

  • Security company’s reputation: Look for companies with a proven track record of providing excellent service.
  • Scalability: Consider if the company can adapt their services to grow with your future needs.
  • Communication style: Choose a company that prioritizes clear and consistent communication with you.


Hiring a security guard Baltimore Maryland for the first time can seem daunting, but with careful planning and research, you can find the perfect company to meet your specific needs. Remember, investing in professional security is an investment in peace of mind, allowing you to focus on running your business or event with confidence.

Additional Tip: Don’t be afraid to negotiate! 

Once you’ve chosen a company, discuss final pricing and contract terms. Be open to negotiation, especially if you’re considering a long-term security partnership.

Don’t be afraid to play your hand! After choosing a company, discuss pricing and contracts. Negotiate! Security is an investment, but there’s wiggle room. Highlight your long-term potential as a client and see if they can offer a better deal to secure your business. Remember, a strong negotiation lays the foundation for a successful, cost-effective security partnership.

Research average security guard rates in Maryland for your required service type. This equips you with a baseline for negotiation.

Focus on value, not just price. While cost is important, prioritize a company that demonstrates a strong understanding of your needs and proposes solutions that go beyond just guards, like offering security consultations or flexible scheduling. Highlighting these aspects during negotiation can help justify a slightly higher rate.

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