Massachusetts Reporting, Licensing & Filing Requirements for LLCs
Depending on the specifics of your Massachusetts business, you’ll be required to pay certain fees and fulfill different filing requirements. Some of these costs are payable to the Massachusetts Corporations Division, while others are due to the federal or Massachusetts government. We’ve summarized the most common requirements and fees here.
Note that Massachusetts business licenses and permits might need to be paid when you first form your business, on an ongoing schedule or on an ad hoc basis. Find more details below.
Massachusetts LLC Incorporation Filing and Fees
When you first incorporate your business in Massachusetts, you’ll need to file an LLC with the MA Corporations Division and pay a Massachusetts filing fee. Here are the current fees and filing times for Massachusetts:
When you form your MA LLC through Incfile, we automatically forward this fee to the Massachusetts Corporations Division when we file your incorporation paperwork.
Some states allow you to form your LLC more quickly by paying a rush fee. You can compare state filing times and fees here, including expedited fees for Massachusetts.Incorporate your Massachusetts LLC through Incfile today
Getting an Employer Identification Number for Your MA LLC
Every Massachusetts LLC should have a unique Employer Identification Number (EIN). These are provided by the Internal Revenue Service, and you use them when filing taxes, opening a business bank account and paying employees. You can get one yourself at no cost from the IRS or have Incfile obtain one on your behalf.Get and EIN for your Massachusetts LLC through Incfile
Certificate of Authority to Operate Outside Massachusetts
If you’re expanding your Massachusetts LLC beyond the borders of the state, you will need a Foreign Qualification or Certificate of Authority to operate in another state. These are typically necessary if you have a physical presence, employees or banking in a different state than Massachusetts. Fees and requirements for foreign qualifications depend on each state’s rules. Incfile provides a complete Foreign Qualification service for any state.Get a Foreign Qualification/Certificate of Authority Through Incfile
Massachusetts LLC Annual Report Filing and Fees
Most states need you to file a yearly (or other periodic) report with their Corporations Division. When you file your MA LLC Annual Report, you may need to pay a fee. Here are the annual filing requirements for Massachusetts:
Learn about your ongoing Massachusetts LLC filing requirements and business filing deadlines with our helpful Massachusetts ongoing filing lookup tool.
Incfile can also complete and file your Massachusetts Annual Report on your behalf.Incfile's Massachusetts annual report filing service
Massachusetts Business Licenses and Permits
Your Massachusetts LLC may need certain licenses and permits to comply with specific requirements. These business permits and licenses might be issued by Massachusetts, regional or federal organizations. Some of the associated fees only need to be paid once, while others have ongoing charges.
Permits and licenses vary based on:
- The industry your Massachusetts LLC operates in (e.g., restaurants will need health permits)
- The location of your Massachusetts LLC (state, county or city) (e.g., a license to conduct business from the city of Boston)
- The type of business that you run (e.g., healthcare providers must meet HIPAA requirements)
You can research these permits and licenses yourself or use Incfile’s Business License Research Package, which includes:
- A complete report on all the licenses, permits and tax registrations your Massachusetts LLC will need
- The application forms you will need to file with the Massachusetts, regional and federal licensing authorities
Remember that operating your business without the required licenses can expose you to risks and fines from federal, Massachusetts and local governments.Incfile's Massachusetts business license research package
Massachusetts LLC Operating Agreement
An Operating Agreement is a business document that covers how the business will be run, how managers and members are chosen, rights and duties of members and several other key areas.
An Operating Agreement is extremely useful for several reasons (learn about them here). If you’re interested in having your Operating Agreement created for you, Incfile can draft a general Operating Agreement template when you choose to form your Massachusetts business. You can choose to make changes to the template based on your unique requirements.
Ad Hoc Massachusetts Fees or Requirements for Your MA LLC
There are several other fees or requirements that you may need to meet during the life of your Massachusetts LLC. These ad hoc fees will only be payable in specific circumstances, which we’ve listed below.
To Obtain a Fictitious/DBA Name or Your Massachusetts LLC
If you want your MA business to trade under a different name, you can file a form with the Massachusetts Corporations Division. You will need to pay a Massachusetts filing fee. Incfile can file this form on your behalf.Incfile's Massachusetts fictitious name service
To Change the Massachusetts Registered Agent for Your MA LLC
Your Massachusetts LLC needs a Registered Agent, which must be appointed when you first incorporate your LLC. You can also switch to a new MA Registered Agent later. Incfile provides a complete Massachusetts Registered Agent service.Incfile's Massachusetts registered agent service
To Reserve a Name for Your Massachusetts LLC
If you don’t want to form your MA business right away, you can reserve a name with the Massachusetts Corporations Division. You will need to pay a small fee to do this.
To Amend Certain Facts About Your Massachusetts LLC
Your business formation documents state certain facts about your Massachusetts business when it was originally formed. Over time, these facts might change — if they do, you need to file “Articles of Amendment” with the Massachusetts Corporations Division. You can do this yourself or have Incfile complete the filing on your behalf.
Areas you might want to file Massachusetts Articles of Amendment for include:
- Adding, removing or changing a Massachusetts LLC member or manager
- Changing the business address of your LLC
- Altering the stated business activities of your Massachusetts LLC
Massachusetts Secretary of State Certificate of Good Standing
Some organizations will request that you prove your Massachusetts LLC’s compliance with laws and tax requirements. If you need to prove you have met your commitments, you will need a “Certificate of Good Standing” from the Massachusetts Corporations Division. Incfile can obtain a certificate on your behalf.Incfile's Massachusetts certificate of good standing service
The fees listed above detail all the charges that a standard MA 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 Massachusetts LLC will also probably need to pay self-employment, payroll, federal, state and sales taxes, but we will cover that when we talk about taxes for MA LLCs.
FAQs About Massachusetts LLC Costs
We charge you for this fee at cost and then pay the fee to the Corporations Division on your behalf when forming your Massachusetts business.
It depends on various factors including:
- The type of business you run
- Where you are located
- Governing organizations in your industry
- Federal, state and local regulations
That’s why our business license research package is so useful. It explores all of these areas for you and provides a comprehensive overview of exactly what your Massachusetts LLC needs to be compliant.