Form an LLC in Maryland.

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Your LLC’s Name

The name you choose for your new Maryland LLC must be able to be distinguished from any other Maryland business entity registered with the Maryland Secretary of State.

The last words of the name must be one of the following terms: “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Company,” “LC,” “L.C.,” “LLC,” or “L.L.C.” The LLC’s name may not include the word “corporation,” “incorporated,” “limited partnership,” “LP,” “L.P.,” “Ltd.,” or any abbreviation or term that states or implies that it has been formed for some purpose not included in its articles of organization, or that it is a part of the government.

You may reserve your new LLC’s name for up to 30 days before you actually file for organization with the Maryland Secretary of State.

Articles of Organization

Forming your new LLC in Maryland requires filing articles of organization with the Corporations Division of the Maryland Secretary of State. The filing fee is $100.

The new LLC’s articles of organization must be executed (signed) by at least one organizer and include the company’s name, the purpose for which it is being formed, the address of the LLC’s principal Maryland office, the name and address of the LLC’s registered agent, and any other provisions which the members want to set forth (so long as they are not inconsistent to state law, of course).

Your LLC is considered “organized” once an original and a copy of the articles of organization are received by the Maryland Secretary of State’s office with the appropriate filing fee. The articles of organization are effective as of when they are filed.

You can get a certified copy of the original articles returned to you by including an additional $20 plus $1 per page in your filing fee check.

Registered Agent and Office

Maryland LLCs must continuously maintain have an in-state registered agent and registered office to receive official state correspondence, both administrative and legal. An LLC’s registered agent can be an individual Maryland citizen who resides in the state, or it can be a Maryland corporation or LLC authorized to conduct business in the state.

The registered office can be a place of the LLC’s business, but the registered agent must have as a business office that is the same as the registered office.

Operating Agreement

One of the LLC’s most important documents is its operating agreement, which can be amended or repealed as allowed by the agreement itself or applicable state law. Having an operating agreement isn’t required by state law as such-but it’s a vital internal document that officially sets out how the LLC will operate. The operating agreement lists the members, how much each one has invested, how profits are to be divided, and how much relative weight each member has when matters come to a vote.

The operating agreement may also list when meetings can be held, how much notice must be given, what constitutes a quorum, voting rules, and so on, but it is not required to. Usually, though, it does list rules already specified in state laws. It can also include constraints on the members’ power to adopt, change, or repeal an operating agreement. If there is more than one member, the original operating agreement must be approved by all the LLC’s members in writing.

Unless otherwise specified in the operating agreement itself, the operating agreement may only be amended by the unanimous agreement of all the LLC’s members.

Membership in the LLC

An LLC has to have at least one member, and each member must be a natural person or a recognized business entity. A member may be admitted as a member of the LLC when it is formed, at a later time specified in the operating agreement, after formation directly from the LLC in compliance with the operating agreement, or with the written consent of all members.

To become a member, the newcomer normally needs to make a contribution, pay cash, or transfer property to the LLC, or take on an obligation to do so. However, a person may be admitted as a member of the LLC without acquiring a membership interest if there is such a provision in the articles of organization or operating agreement, or if all members consent and the person’s admission is documented in the LLC’s records.

Members’ contributions to the LLC can be in the form of cash, property, promissory notes, services previously rendered, or some other valuable consideration.

A member can only resign from the LLC in the way that the articles of organization or operating agreement specify. In the case of Maryland LLCs, a member may only withdraw or resign after six months’ written notice to the other members at their respective addresses-and the operating agreement can stipulate that the member does not have the power to withdraw at all, or it may specify another time or condition for withdrawal.

Unless otherwise specified in the operating agreement, members manage the LLC. The Maryland LLC Act does not mention managers or manager management as such, but it does allow the LLC’s operating agreement to delegate management to persons who are not members. In effect, this allows LLCs to choose manager management, and to assign management to one or more persons (who may or may not be members).

Unless otherwise provided in the articles of organization or operating agreement, members must vote in proportion to their relative interests in the LLC’s profits. The approval of members owning a majority of such interests is required for membership action.

Ongoing Requirements

In Maryland, annual reports are part of the Personal Property Return [PPR] for an entity, and are due on April 15 each year. The annual report fee is $300. This does not, however, include any taxes due as part of your personal property return.

Maryland LLC’s should also keep their organization’s records available for inspection at their principal executive office in the state. It’s also a good idea to keep available minutes of the proceedings of the board and committees of the owners or members.


An LLC is dissolved when any one of the following events occurs:

  • An event or events occur that the articles of organization or operating agreement specify as requiring dissolution
  • All members agree to dissolve the LLC
  • When a judicial order requiring dissolution is entered
  • Unless otherwise provided in the operating agreement, when the LLC has no members for 90 consecutive days

In this last case, within 90 days of the time the LLC has no remaining members, the LLC does not have to be dissolved or wind up its affairs so long as the last remaining member’s personal representative or successor agrees in writing to continue the LLC and to be admitted as a member (or to appoint a designee as a member), or a member is admitted to the LLC as set forth in the operating agreement as of the time the last remaining member ceased to be a member.


An LLC provides certain tax advantages compared to a corporation, including being able to make more deductions. An LLC is not treated as a separate tax entity like a corporation, but rather can be a “pass-through entity” when it comes to taxes, so that the LLC owners report business losses or profits on their personal tax returns.

The tax rate for Maryland LLCs varies, based on taxable net income.

Learn more about forming an LLC in Maryland

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The Basics To Get You Started Preliminary company name clearance and filing of Articles of Organization.

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EIN / Tax ID Number Providing an EIN is required to open a
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Personalized Operating Agreement Includes most common provisions to protect members from liability

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Commonly Asked Questions For Starting a Maryland LLC

How is an LLC Taxed?
For federal income tax purposes the profits of an LLC (Limited Liability Company) "pass through" to the personal income of the members/owners. In the case of a single member LLC it is taxed the same as a sole proprietorship (i.e. typically filed on the schedule C of the owner's personal income tax filing). In the case of a multi member member it is taxed the same as a partnership (i.e. a 1065 partnership return is filed with the IRS, with a schedule K-1 being supplied to each partner/member showing the proportional profit/loss allocated to them, with this being filed on the schedule C or E).
NOTE: These are general tax explanations and may not apply to everyone. You should confer with the appropriate accounting/tax specialists to make sure you understand your personal tax liability.
What is the Management Structure of an LLC?
An LLC is typically managed by its members/owners (referred to as member-managed). In that respect an LLC is unlike a corporation, which has a much more rigid and defined management structure, including directors and officers. All owners of the LLC are typically referred to as members, and they can have control and voting interest proportional to their ownership interest, or in proportions different from their ownership interest; however the members agree.
Are Non-US Residents allowed to own a Corporation of LLC?
There are no citizenship or residence requirements for ownership of a C Corporation or an LLC. The S Corporation however does not allow nonresident aliens to be shareholders (owner), but any US citizen or resident alien may be a shareholder (owner). You would, of course, require an in state street address for the state to forward official legal and tax correspondence including service of process, known as the registered agent address, but neither residency nor citizenship is required for ownership of a C Corporation or an LLC.
Can I form an LLC with just one member?
There was a time when almost every state required the LLC to have two or more members, but that is no longer the case. This important change came in response to revised IRS regulations that clearly permitted single-member LLCs. As a result, in most states, if you plan to be the sole owner of a business and you wish to limit your personal liability, you can choose between forming a corporation or an LLC.
What is an Operating Agreement?
The operating agreement is akin to a partnership agreement for a General Partnership or Limited Liability Partnership (LLP). It is an internal contract amongst the members/owners of the LLC, and it lays out such things as ownership interest, member responsibilities, accounting method, adding or removing members, terms for concluding the LLC, etc. It is generally not required by a given state for forming an LLC (with the exception of New York), although it is certainly recommended. When dealing with private companies for financing issues (loans, mortgages, etc.) it may be required by that company. A customizable operating agreement is included with the LLC/Corp Kit.
Can another business entity be a member of an LLC?

In the majority of states, The members of an LLC can be individuals, corporations, or other LLCs. These members of the LLC can be out of state residents or even foreign nationals. Furthermore there is no limit to the amount of members that an LLC can have.

The flexibility of an LLC in contrast to an S Corporation is stark considering the S corporations are limited to 75 shareholders who must either be United States citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents.

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