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MARYLAND

Why Form a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Maryland?


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Naming Your Maryland Limited Liability Company

You need the right name for your Maryland LLC. Choosing the right name is vital because it tells your suppliers, customers and employees what your business does. Maryland has several rules and regulations about what you can call your new business. Let’s explore what they are.

General Maryland Department of Assessment and Taxation Rules on Naming Your LLC

  • The name needs to be unique and not used by another LLC or business operating in Maryland
  • The name of your business must end with “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviations “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” “LC” or “L.C.”

Don't Confuse Your Maryland Business Name With Another Business Name

  • The following terms can’t be used to say your business name is different from another business name:
    • Suffixes, such as Corporation, Company, Incorporated, Incorporation, Limited, Corp., Co., Inc., Ltd., LLC
    • Definite articles like “A,” “And,” “An,” “&,” “The,” etc.
    • The singular, plural or possessive forms of a word
    • Punctuation and symbols
    • Abbreviations of words
    • Different typefaces, fonts, superscript, subscript, etc.
  • It should not be possible to confuse the name of your business with the name of another Maryland business
    • For example, you can’t claim that Blue Widget Co., Blue Widget LLC, Blue Widget Incorporated, Blue-Widget-Company or Blue Widget are different from one another

Rules on Words You Can’t Use in Your Business Name

  • The Maryland LLC name may not imply a purpose that it would be unlawful for the business to conduct
  • You can also be a Maryland LLC with a different “doing business as” name. In Maryland these are known as “trade names” and need to be registered with the Department of Assessment and Taxation. Learn about fictitious names in your state.

Maryland Information on Naming an LLC

  • You can reserve a name. Please note that you do not need to reserve a name if you are forming an LLC. By registering an LLC, the name will automatically be reserved for your business. You would normally only reserve a name if you are not planning on forming your new company anytime soon.
  • A name can be used to form any type of business entity, not just an LLC.
  • Just filing a name registration doesn’t guarantee you will be granted the name. You should wait until your LLC is formally created before using the name for anything else.

“Doing Business As (DBA)” Names

If you are going to use a different name other than your LLC name to conduct business, you will have to let the Maryland Department of Assessment and Taxation know. This alternative name is called your “Doing Business As” name, although in Maryland it is known as your “trade name.”

Rules About Infringing on Service Marks or Trademarks Inside or Outside Maryland

In addition to the rules above, it’s also vital to see if your Maryland LLC name might infringe on the trademark or service mark of another business. For example, it might not be a good idea to call yourself “Google Search Optimization Services,” since Google is a trademark.

The easiest way to see if your proposed business name infringes is to carry out a trademark search. You can do that via the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or Incfile can help you protect your business with our new Trademark Search and Registration service. You should also bear in mind that your Maryland business entity name cannot be substantially similar to an existing trademark or service mark.

How to Search for Your Maryland Business Entity Name

Search the database of the Maryland Department of Assessment and Taxation for your proposed business name to see if it's unique. You can search by business name or department ID.

What Should You Call Your Maryland LLC?

Finding the perfect name can be tough. You want a business name that:

  • Describes what your Maryland business does
  • Appeals to your planned audience
  • Makes your business easy to find
  • Is relatively unique
  • Doesn’t limit you to a particular location or type of product or service

Fortunately, we’ve got some good advice on seeking out the perfect business name for your Maryland LLC. Check out our guidance on naming your LLC and get inspired.

You’ve Found the Perfect Name; What Next?

Once you’ve found the right name for your business, it’s time to make it a reality. Check out our packages for starting your Maryland LLC and form your LLC today.

Only $49 + State Fee To Launch Your Business

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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 2 Weeks 3 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

Learn more about starting a business in Maryland

Additional resources, guides, and articles for better decision making.

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