Why Create a Maryland LLC?
The state offers several business incentives, such as programs for women- and minority-owned businesses. In addition, numerous tax credits are available, including some aimed at specific verticals. Business owners can take advantage of these many programs to start and sustain their companies.
For many entrepreneurs, the fastest and easiest way to start a business is by creating a Maryland limited liability company (LLC), a business entity ideal for startups and small- to medium-sized businesses. You get the advantages and protections of a larger corporation with much simpler rules and regulations.
The benefits of starting a Maryland LLC:
Separating and limiting your personal liability from your business liability and debts
Quick and simple filing, management, compliance, regulation and administration
Easy tax filing and potential advantages for tax treatment
No franchise tax
Low cost to file ($100)
Learn more about the advantages of an LLC business structure.
In this guide, you’ll find information on naming your LLC, getting a Registered Agent, the fees you’ll need to pay, Maryland business taxes and much more. We also cover the various ways you’ll interact with the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (also known as Maryland SDAT), filing your LLC and your registration needs.
How to Form a Maryland LLC Yourself in 6 Steps
Complete a Maryland LLC Search and Choose a Unique Business Name
You'll need a distinctive and original name for your LLC that’s not used by any other business in the state. If you’re having trouble coming up with a name, try Incfile’s Business Name Generator to brainstorm ideas. There are also a few naming rules you’ll need to follow, which you can read about in detail on the Maryland Business Names page.
One Maryland rule, for example, is that certain restricted words require additional paperwork if you want to use them in your business name. This includes names associated with both institutions and certain qualified professions, such as insurance, surety, underwriters, banks, bankers, banking or any licensed professional services.
Once you’ve chosen a name, you’ll need to make sure it’s available in Maryland. To find out whether another company is using your chosen business name, use our tool to do a business name search. You can also carry out a name search via the Maryland Business Express online portal.
Provide an Official Business Address for Your LLC
Whether it’s an office building, a home (if you run your business from a residence) or any other physical location, every LLC in Maryland must have a street address. It can be located outside the state, but it cannot be a P.O. Box.
Assign a Registered Agent
Someone who receives official legal and tax correspondence and has responsibility for filing reports with the Maryland SDAT is called a Registered Agent. In Maryland, this is usually called a Resident Agent. We use these terms interchangeably. Every Maryland LLC is required to have a Resident Agent.
This official position can be filled by you, another manager in the business or a Resident Agent service. If your Maryland Registered Agent is a person, they must reside and have a physical address in Maryland, and they must be present during business hours to receive documents on behalf of your company. In Maryland, you are required to designate your Resident Agent when you file your Articles of Organization.
All of Incfile’s packages include Registered Agent service that is free for the first year and just $119 per year afterward. We also have a dashboard where you can log in and easily view any document your Registered Agent has received on your behalf.
File Your Articles of Organization with the Maryland SDAT
Once you've gathered all the information for your Maryland LLC, you’ll need to file your Articles of Organization with the Maryland DAT via their portal, Maryland Business Express. This officially creates your LLC.
You can file your Articles of Organization via the online system provided by the Maryland SDAT, mail in a form to the Maryland SDAT or have Incfile do it on your behalf. The Maryland LLC filing fee is $100. Maryland also requires that you file a certified copy of your Articles of Organization with the state.
File by Mail
Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation
301 W. Preston Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
You only need to file your Articles of Organization once, but every year after, you need to file an annual report. This is also something Incfile can remind you to do or do for you if you let us handle the paperwork.
What are the fees and requirements to form an LLC in Maryland?
Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service
You'll need an EIN (Employer Identification Number) to identify your business to the IRS. You use this number when filing and paying taxes or when submitting payroll information and payments for your employees. An EIN is also required to open a business bank account. You can obtain one directly from the IRS, or Incfile can get one for you as part of the Maryland LLC formation process.
Create an Operating Agreement
A sort of "instruction manual" that explains how you'll run your business, an LLC Operating Agreement outlines how the business is divided among members, how decisions will be made and what will happen should a member leave the company.
Some states require companies to create this document. You're not legally required to have a Texas Operating Agreement, but it’s a good idea to have one to protect your business from any future changes and events.
Other Maryland LLC Types
If your business is already operating in another state and expanding to Maryland—or vice versa—you’ll need to form a Foreign LLC.
Learn more about Maryland Foreign LLC registration.
Some states allow certain occupations to form Professional Limited Liability Companies (PLLCs). These types of businesses typically have specialized requirements and licensing. A standard LLC may be formed to provide professional services, such as the practice of medicine or dentistry, if all the members are licensed.
The state doesn’t use the term "Maryland PLLC," but they do allow licensed professionals to form an LLC to provide professional services.
Learn more about PLLC vs. LLC and which is right for your business.