How Much Does Starting a Maryland LLC Cost?
Legal business registration — and keeping your business in good standing — involves some necessary expenses. Some of these costs are payable to the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation (MD DAT), while others are due to the federal or other state government entity. We’ve summarized some of the most common requirements and fees here.
Note that Maryland business license or permit fees will need to be paid when you first form your business, on an ongoing schedule or on an ad hoc basis. Find more details below.
Initial Maryland LLC Fees
When you first form your business, you’ll need to file as an LLC with the MD DAT and pay a filing fee. Here are the current Maryland LLC fees and filing times:
When you form with Incfile, we automatically charge you this fee and forward it to the MD DAT when we file your formation paperwork.
Employer Identification Number
Every LLC in the U.S. should have a unique Employer Identification Number (EIN). This is provided by the Internal Revenue Service, and you use it when you file taxes, open a business bank account and pay employees. You can get one yourself at no cost from the IRS or have Incfile do it for you.
When you want to do business in a state other than the one where your business is based, you must create a foreign LLC.
Maryland Foreign LLC Registration
Before you can bring an arm of your business from another state into Maryland, you must request Maryland Foreign Qualification. This means the state gives you permission to conduct business there.
To request registration of a Maryland Foreign LLC, you must complete a Limited Liability Company Registration for
non-Maryland LLC form and pay a filing fee of $100. The state may have additional requirements so contact the Maryland Secretary of State for more information.
Foreign Qualification to Operate in Another State
If you plan to expand your Maryland LLC into another state, you’ll first need Foreign Qualification or a Certificate of Authority from that state. This is necessary if you'll have a physical presence, employees or banking in that state.
To complete this process, you'll likely have to complete applications and pay filing fees—each state has different requirements. Before you move forward, compare state filing times and state filing fees so you can plan accordingly. Contact the state government entity that administers business (usually the Secretary of State) to confirm their requirements and for specific instructions.
If you need assistance, Incfile provides complete Foreign Qualification service for all states.
Annual Report Requirements
Most states — including Maryland — require businesses to file an annual (or other periodic) report with their Secretary of State. When you file your annual report, you'll need to pay a $300 fee. Here are the annual filing requirements for Maryland:
Maryland Business Licenses and Permits
As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to make sure you have the proper state, federal or local business licenses to operate your LLC. Some of the associated fees only need to be paid once, while others are ongoing charges.
Permits and licenses vary based on:
Maryland does not require you to have an Operating Agreement for your LLC.
An Operating Agreement covers how the business will be run, how managers and members are chosen, rights and duties of members and several other key areas.
It can help ensure sure you’re organized and prepared for future events that may affect your business.
You can then make changes to the template based on your specific requirements.
Other Potential LLC Fees or Requirements in Maryland
There are several other fees or requirements that you may need to meet during the life of your LLC. These ad hoc fees will only be payable in specific circumstances, which we’ve listed below.
Obtaining a Trade Name or DBA
Reserving a Name for Your LLC
If you don’t want to form your LLC right away, you can reserve a business name for 30 days with the MD DAT for a $25 fee. First, perform a Maryland business search and learn about rules pertaining to Maryland business names to ensure the name you choose meets all state requirements.
Amending Certain Facts About Your LLC
Your business formation documents state certain facts about your Maryland business when it was originally formed. Over time, these facts may change. If they do, you must file Articles of Amendment with the MD DAT and pay a $100 filing fee. You can do this yourself or have Incfile complete the filing on your behalf.
You may want to file Articles of Amendment when you:
- Add, remove or change an LLC member or manager
- Change your LLC's business address
- Alter your LLC's stated business activities
Getting a Maryland Certificate of Good Standing
Some organizations will request that you prove your LLC’s compliance with laws and tax requirements. If you need to prove you have met your commitments, you'll need a Certificate of Good Standing from the MD DAT.
The fees listed above detail many of the charges a standard LLC will be required to pay. In some unusual circumstances, there may be other one-off, periodic or ad hoc fees not listed above.
Of course, your LLC will also probably need to pay self-employment, payroll, federal, state and sales taxes. More information about taxes can be found on the Maryland Business Taxes page.