How to Form an LLC in Maryland

A Maryland LLC offers flexibility management and pass-through taxation. This legal entity also protects business owners and their personal property.

This sounds wonderful, but you will first need to do a business entity search and give your Maryland LLC a legal name, designate a registered representative, and file Articles of Organization (MOA) with the Maryland Department of Assessments & Taxation.

The Articles of Organization can be filed in two ways: by mail or in person. Maryland’s LLC filing process takes approximately one week online. It can take up to six weeks by mail. It can be difficult to form an LLC.

1. Name Your LLC

Maryland Entity name search. The name you choose for your Maryland LLC is an important decision. It will define the image of your business to customers. Your LLC name must be unique. You will need MD Corp & Assn SS 502 (2019). Your LLC name must include:

  • Maryland has many business names that are unique.
  • Include “Limited liability company,” L.L.C., or “LLC,” either “LLC,” L.C.”, or “LC.”
  • Don’t use identifiers which suggest that your business may be another type, like “corporation”, or “corporation”.

Can I reserve my Maryland business name?

Yes. Maryland allows LLCs the right to reserve a business’ name for 30 days. You can simply fill out and submit a Corporation Name Reservation Application and pay the $25 application fee. (Add $20 to expedited service).

2. Designate an agent registered

Next is to identify a registered agents. Maryland refers to them as “resident agents”, but both terms can be interchanged. You, another Maryland resident, and a professional services like ours could all be registered agents. Maryland LLCs must list their Articles of Organization with a registered agent.

What is the role of a registered agent?

MD Corp & Assn. Code SS7205 outlines the requirements of a registered agent in Maryland. Your registered agent should:

  • Maryland residents must have a physical location (no PO boxes or virtual office addresses).
  • Maintain regular business hours at the address.
  • Accept legal mail and other correspondence for your business

Is it possible to be your own Maryland Registered Agent?

Yes. But, should you? Privacy is important. If you are the registered agent for your LLC, your private information will be public. Employing a registered agent professional will ensure that your information is registered with the state. This will protect you from hackers and spammers.

Additionally, if your vacation plans include the receipt of urgent legal mail, this could cause you to miss important legal mail. Your registered agent can be contacted for all of your important legal mail and help you keep your LLC compliant with the state.

To create an LLC, you must complete and file the Articles of Organization. It costs $100 to file your Articles of Organization by mail or in person. The expedited online filing fee is $155.

NOTE: All information contained in this form is public record

Please provide the following information regarding your LLC in order to complete the form

  • Company name. Include the word “Limited Liability Company”, an abbreviation, such as “LLC” or “L.L.C.”
  • Purpose. Most businesses leave this section as it is with a statement such as “The purpose for this LLC is to engage or any lawful activity in Maryland.”
  • LLC address. You can list a street in Maryland.
  • Name and address of your registered agent. Name and address for your registered agent.
  • Maryland LLC authorized representative. The authorized person to sign your LLC’s Articles of Organization and submit it.

How do I keep my personal data private?

Your LLC’s paperwork may give hackers and scammers a lot of access to your life. Hiring a registered agent, who will let you list their information on the form instead of yours, is the best way for protecting your private information.

How long does it take Maryland LLCs to form?

Filing by mail can take as long as six weeks. Emailed filings can take up to six weeks. You can pay $50 to expedite your filing. This will reduce the filing time to seven working days. Online filings usually take less than a week. Hand-delivered documents are processed in about a week. They will be available for same-day service between 8:30 and 4:30. To be eligible for same-day LLC approval you must be at the line by 4:05 pm.

How do you file the Maryland Articles of Organization

Your articles may be submitted online or by mail.

Mail and in Person: State Department of Assessments and Taxation

Corporate Charter Division

Room 801 at 301 W. Preston St.

Baltimore, MD 21201

Online filings:

Maryland Business Express

4. A LLC Operating Agreement

The operating agreement will be one of your most important documents. Your operating agreement will serve as the foundation for how your LLC functions at its core. Operating agreements can include details such as the roles and obligations of members, revenue contributions, and procedures for dissolving the LLC. If there is a dispute among LLC members, the operating agreements will be the road map to resolving it.

Are operating agreements required for Maryland LLCs?

Maryland does not legally require an Operating Agreement. But that doesn’t mean your LLC doesn’t have to have one. Operating agreements are vital because they make it clear that the LLC is distinct from the members. The LLC’s ability to protect itself from liability could be affected if this distinction is not maintained. Your LLC must comply with Maryland’s default LLC statutes if it does not have an operating agreement.

What should an operating arrangement include?

While you will generally want to address major ticket issues, it is possible to include almost any item in an operating agreement provided that it does not violate Maryland law. The following are the things you should be focusing on:

  • Initial investments
  • Profits, losses and distributions
  • Voting rights, decision making powers and management
  • Transfer of membership interest
  • Dissolution of the company

Do single-member LLCs need an operating contract?

Yes. A bank account opening agreement will be required. A separate business account can help you maintain the LLC’s limited liability. It acts as a barrier between your personal and business assets.

5. Get an EIN

You must register with IRS and get an Employer Identification Number for your LLC. This will allow it to open a banking account or run a business as a separate entity. An EIN (employer identification number) is a nine-digit code you’ll use to file taxes and other IRS-related forms. An online application for an EIN can be made to the IRS.

Do I require an EIN for my Maryland LLC

The answer is definitely yes. EINs are required to open a Maryland LLC. A business bank account will usually require an EIN. A bank account is necessary to establish that your LLC and yourself are distinct entities. EIN is also required if the LLC plans on hiring employees.

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