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MASSACHUSETTS

Why Form a Limited Liability Company (LLC)?


$49 + State Fee & 1st Year FREE Registered Agent

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Simple Steps to Start Your Massachusetts LLC

As the most populous state in New England and the home of Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Pilgrim State is a prosperous and exciting place to be an entrepreneur. A rich history in academia and industry has made Massachusetts a global leader in education, science, biotechnology, finance, engineering and trade. If you want to start your own business in Massachusetts, one of the best ways to do so is by forming an LLC.

Massachusetts Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) are a business entity designed for startups and small- and medium-sized businesses. Forming an LLC is fast, easy and inexpensive. LLCs offer many of the protections and advantages of large corporations without all the rules, regulations and compliance issues common to larger business entities.

Let’s start by looking at the advantages of forming a Massachusetts LLC.

Advantages of Forming an LLC in Massachusetts

Massachusetts LLCs have several benefits for business owners.

  • The preparation to start a Massachusetts LLC is quick and easy: You can complete all the necessary forms and actions online to start your company. You can gather and prepare the information to start your business in an hour or two.
  • An LLC limits your personal liability: Any liabilities created by your Massachusetts business (debts, obligations and other liabilities) are legally considered to be completely separate from your personal assets as the business owner or founder.
  • Massachusetts LLCs are easy to maintain: LLCs are light on rules and regulations. There’s no need for boards of directors, complex rules and regulations or formal annual meetings.
  • LLCs are very easy to manage: General administration is fast and easy. Add and amend members and make other changes with just a little paperwork.
  • Taxes are simple: Any income you earn through your Massachusetts LLC is reported on your personal tax return. This means you won’t run into “double taxation” issues common with larger corporations.
  • Turnaround times for forming an LLC in Massachusetts: You will normally have the option of a “Standard” turnaround time and an “Expedited” turnaround time for forming your LLC. You can learn about those times here.
  • Fees for forming an LLC in Massachusetts: Learn about standard filing costs here.

Start your Massachusetts LLC in Six Steps

STEP 1: Name Your Massachusetts LLC

  • You will need a distinctive, original name for your Massachusetts LLC that’s not used by another business in Massachusetts
  • To find out if another company is using your choice of business name, carry out a Massachusetts business entity name search
  • The name should be unique and not able to be confused with the name of another Massachusetts business
  • The name of your business must end with "Limited Liability Company," "Limited Company" or the abbreviations L.L.C., L.C., LLC or LC
    • For example: “Massachusetts Global Exporters LLC” or “Warrington and Sons, Limited Liability Company”

STEP 2: Provide the Address for Your New Massachusetts LLC

A Massachusetts LLC must have a designated street address. That could be your home address (if you’re running the company from your residence), where your office is located or any physical address of your preference — it must be in the state of Massachusetts. It cannot be a P.O. Box.

STEP 3: Assign a Registered Agent for Your Massachusetts LLC

Every Massachusetts LLC must have a “Registered Agent.” That could be you, the managing director, owner or a dedicated Registered Agent service. The Registered Agent in Massachusetts is someone who receives official legal and tax correspondence and has responsibility for filing reports with the Massachusetts Secretary of State.

In Massachusetts, Registered Agents are known as “Resident Agents.”

At Incfile, all of our packages include a Registered Agent service that is free for the first year and just $119 per year thereafter. We also have a dashboard where you can log in and easily view any document your Registered Agent has received on your behalf. Here are a few reasons you might want to appoint Incfile as your Registered Agent service:

  • The Registered Agent must have a physical street address in the state where you are forming the company. Some people establish companies outside of the state they live in and will need to use a Registered Agent service to provide the address.
  • You always need to have someone on hand to receive important documents for your business during business hours (typically 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday). Therefore, a person must always be available to sign for legal correspondence.
  • The Registered Agent’s name and address are part of the public record and available through the Massachusetts Secretary of State's website. If you would prefer your name and address are not published, this is a good reason to choose a Registered Agent service.
  • If you change your Massachusetts business address or move out of state, you don’t need to file additional documentation with the Secretary of State for the new address of your Registered Agent. You will need to set up a new Registered Agent service in the new state.

STEP 4: You Should Provide Names and Addresses of all Massachusetts LLC Members

Your Massachusetts LLC members are the people who own and run the business. They will be the individuals who withdraw profits from the business to pay themselves. Massachusetts requires you to list the names and addresses of all managers or members when you register the Massachusetts LLC.

STEP 5: You Need to File Certificate of Organization With the Massachusetts Secretary of State

Once you've gathered all the information together for your LLC, you’ll need to file a formal document with the Massachusetts Secretary of State to create your LLC. This document is known as your Certificate of Organization and filing it starts the process of creating your Massachusetts LLC. You can do this online, mail in a form or have Incfile do it on your behalf.

STEP 6: You Can Create a Massachusetts LLC Operating Agreement

Massachusetts LLCs aren’t required to have an Operating Agreement, but they are extremely useful for several reasons. Your Operating Agreement covers how the business will be run, how managers and members are chosen, the rights and duties of members and several other key areas. Learn how to create your Operating Agreement here.

If you’re interested in having your Operating Agreement created for you, Incfile will draft a general Operating Agreement within most of our online business formation packages. It can also be selected as an add-on option in our Silver package. This Operating Agreement will be a basic template that you can make changes to anytime you see fit.

You can find lots more useful information on how to form an LLC here. It answers questions like:

  • Who can form an LLC?
  • Where should you form an LLC?
  • When should you form an LLC?
  • What are the ongoing responsibilities for an LLC?

Starting Your Massachusetts LLC: Useful Resources

Form a Massachusetts LLC Without Breaking the Bank

Incfile provides a cost-effective service to help you create your LLC. We guide you through the process and handle most of the administrative steps on your behalf, such as filing the Certificate of Organization. Our basic package also provides free Registered Agent service for the first year. If you're looking for help starting an LLC, our comprehensive services provide outstanding value.

Only $49 + State Fee To Launch Your Business

Clear Pricing. No Contracts. No Surprise.

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

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
$520 5 Business Days 1 Business Day

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: Anniversary date of formation or registration.

Filing Fee: $500

Learn more about starting a business in Massachusetts

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

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The Basics To Get You Started

Prepare & File Articles Of Organization
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EIN / Tax ID Number
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