Why Form a Limited Liability Company (LLC)?

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Maryland Business Registration for Your LLC

Located on the east coast of the U.S., Maryland borders Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. In fact, it donated part of its land to form Washington in the late 18th century. Due to its location between many economically strong states and Washington, it currently boasts the highest household median income anywhere in the U.S. 

For most business owners, the fastest and easiest way to start a business in Maryland is by creating a Maryland LLC. A limited liability company (LLC) is a type of business entity that’s ideal for startups and small- to medium-sized businesses. You get the advantages and protections of larger Maryland corporations, but with much simpler rules and regulations.

Briefly, the benefits of starting a Maryland LLC include:

  • Separating and limiting your personal liability from your business liability and debts

  • Quick and simple filing, management, compliance, regulation and administration of your Maryland LLC

  • Easy tax filing and potential advantages for tax treatment

Learn more about the benefits of the LLC business structure here.

Six Quick Steps to Forming an LLC in Maryland

This guide has plenty of information on how to create your Maryland LLC, but you can break down the basics of forming a business in MD into just a few simple steps.

STEP 1: Gather Information for Your Members

First, you need to gather basic information about your LLC, including the names and addresses of the managers or members. The LLC members are typically the people who own and run the business. They are also the ones who can take profits out of the business to pay themselves.

STEP 2: Search for and Choose a Unique Business Name for Your Maryland LLC

You will need a distinctive and original name for your Maryland LLC that’s not used by any other business in MD. To find out if another company is using your chosen business name, carry out a Maryland business entity name search on the MD Business Express website.

There are a few rules you’ll need to follow when choosing an LLC name. You can find out more in our guide to searching for and naming your Maryland LLC.

Learn about Maryland LLC business naming rules.

STEP 3: Provide an Official Address for Your MD LLC

Every Maryland LLC must have a designated street address. That could be your home address (if you’re running the company from your residence), your company’s office building or any physical address of your preference. The address must be inside the state of Maryland, but it cannot be a P.O. Box.

STEP 4: Assign a Resident Agent for Your Maryland LLC

Every MD LLC must have a “Registered Agent,” known in Maryland as a “Resident Agent” when it is formed. This is an official position; the Registered Agent is someone who receives official legal and tax correspondence and has responsibility for filing reports with Maryland Business Express.

This position can be filled by you, another manager in the business or a dedicated Registered Agent service. Your MD Registered Agent must have a physical street address in Maryland and must be present to receive important documents for your company during business hours. 

At Incfile, all of our packages include a Maryland 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. 

Learn more about Maryland Registered Agents.

STEP 5: Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service

You will need an EIN 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. You can obtain one directly from the IRS, or we can get one for you as part of the Maryland LLC business formation process.

STEP 6: File Articles of Organization with Maryland Business Express

Once you've gathered all the information for your Maryland LLC, you’ll need to file a formal document with MD Business Express. This document is known as your “Articles of Organization,” and filing the document creates your Maryland LLC. Here’s what is typically included:

  • Your business name and address

  • Details of your Registered Agent

  • Purpose of your business

  • Name of the incorporator

You can file your Maryland LLC Articles of Organization online, mail in a form or have Incfile do it on your behalf. There is a fee to file and start an LLC in Maryland. You only need to file your Articles of Organization once. 

Form Your LLC Now

Review Information from Maryland Business Express

The MD Business Express website has plenty of information on forming and running a business in Maryland.

These are all the basic steps for forming an LLC in Maryland. You’ll find other useful information below.

Maryland Business Express for forming and running your MD LLC

Maryland Department of Labor for MD employers and hiring

Maryland Comptroller for MD taxes

Form a Foreign LLC in Maryland

If your business is already operating in another state and expanding to Maryland, you’ll need to form a foreign LLC. 

More information on Maryland filing and licensing requirements here <link to state subpage once published>

What to Do After Starting Your Maryland LLC

Want to know your next steps after creating a new LLC in Maryland? We’ve got you covered. Here’s our guide to understanding your ongoing requirements, setting up new bank accounts, protecting your business name, getting accounting in place and more. 

Learn More About How to Start a Maryland LLC

You’ll find plenty more insight and guidance on the other pages of this guide, including:

Naming Your Maryland LLC

How to search the Maryland business registry of MD Business Express and find the right name. Includes information on naming rules, fictitious names, reserving a Maryland LLC name and more.

Maryland Resident Agents for Your LLC

How to appoint a Maryland Registered Agent to your new LLC or change to a different Registered Agent. Includes information on Registered Agent rules and searching for Maryland Registered Agents.

Fees and Requirements for Your Maryland LLC

How to understand the various fees you’ll need to pay and the requirements you’ll need to meet for both federal and Maryland rules. Includes details of Employer Identification Numbers (EINs), Maryland and federal business licenses, Maryland annual reports and more.

Federal, State, Sales and Other Taxes for Your Maryland LLC

How to understand the various taxes you will need to pay to the federal and Maryland government. Includes details of federal taxes like income and self-employment, and Maryland taxes like sales tax and income tax.

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What are the fees and requirements to form a business in Maryland?

Filing Time and Price

The state charges this amount to file a new business entity. This fee goes directly to the Secretary of State.

State Fee State Filing Time Expedited Filing Time
$197 4 Weeks 10 Business Days

Compliance Requirements

This report is mandatory and must be filed within the specified time frame in order for the entity to remain in good standing with the state. Failure to file this report can lead to the company being revoked or administratively dissolved.

Annual Report

Frequency: Annually

Due Date: April 15th

Filing Fee:$300

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