How to Register an LLC in Maryland: A Step-by-Step Guide

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By: Michaela Dale Updated on: June 13, 2024

Maryland is a notoriously business-friendly state offering entrepreneurs low taxes and a powerful economy to work with. If you’re ready to register an LLC in Maryland, you’ve come to the right place. These are the six steps you need to take to start a Maryland LLC today. 

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Maryland LLC Quick Facts

  • Forming a limited liability company (LLC) provides personal asset protection. 
  • To register an LLC in Maryland, you must file Articles of Organization.
  • The filing fee to start an LLC in Maryland is $100.
  • All LLCs in Maryland are required to appoint a resident agent with a physical address in the state.

6 Steps to Registering an LLC in Maryland

By following these steps, you will be on your way to officially registering your LLC in Maryland.

Ready to register an LLC in Maryland? Follow these six steps to get started:

  1. Name Your Maryland LLC
  2. Appoint a Registered Agent
  3. File the Articles of Organization
  4. Create an Operating Agreement
  5. Obtain an EIN and Handle Taxes
  6. File a Beneficial Ownership Information Report

Step 1: Name Your Maryland LLC

To begin the process of registering an LLC in Maryland, the first step is to choose a name for your business. When selecting a name, ensure that it complies with Maryland’s naming requirements, such as: 

  • Including “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” or “Limited Company” in the name
  • Being unique and distinguishable from any other business entity in the state
  • Avoiding terms that imply government affiliation or falsify the business’s purpose

For a full list of naming rules for LLCs in Maryland, review the state’s statutes

To check the availability of your desired business name, conduct a search on the Maryland Business Express website. This will help you determine if the name is already in use by another business entity in the state. 

If you’ve found your perfect LLC name, don’t forget to secure the matching domain name. Visit GoDaddy today to buy your LLC’s domain name.

Step 2: Appoint a Registered Agent

To register an LLC in Maryland, you are required to designate a registered agent. A registered agent, also known as a resident agent in Maryland, is an individual or business entity responsible for receiving important documents and information on behalf of your LLC, such as legal notices or tax forms.

When appointing a registered agent in Maryland, the individual or business entity must:

  • Be a resident of Maryland or a business entity authorized to conduct business in the state
  • Have a physical street address within the state
  • Be available during regular business hours to receive and sign for documents on behalf of the LLC

Who Can Serve as a Registered Agent In Maryland?

A registered agent in Maryland can be the LLC owner, an employee of the company, a friend, a family member, or a professional registered agent service. It is important to choose a reliable and responsible individual or service to act as the registered agent for your LLC in Maryland.

Step 3: File the Articles of Organization

Your next step is to file the Articles of Organization with the Department of Assessments and Taxation. This can be done online, or by submitting this form by mail or in person to the appropriate office.

The filing fee is $100

We recommend having the following information prepared: 

  • Your LLC’s name and address
  • The purpose for which your LLC is being formed 
  • The name and address of the resident agent 
  • Signature and return address of the organizer 

Quick Note: If your business is already registered in another state, you will need to register as a Maryland Foreign LLC. You can do this by submitting this form online, by mail, or in person along with a $100 filing fee. 

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement

In Maryland, creating an operating agreement for your LLC is not required by law, but it is highly recommended. An operating agreement is a crucial document that outlines the internal workings and ownership structure of your company. 

Even though it is not mandatory to file the operating agreement with the state, it is important to have one in place to avoid any potential conflicts or misunderstandings among LLC members. Keeping an updated operating agreement on file will ensure that all parties involved are on the same page and can help in guiding the operations of the LLC effectively.

Step 5: Obtain an EIN and Handle Taxes 

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is required by the IRS for tax reporting purposes and allows them to track your business. It is essential to have an EIN for tax purposes, hiring employees, and opening a business bank account. 

You can obtain your EIN for free through the IRS website.

Additionally, it is crucial to identify any additional tax obligations that your business may have. You can find more information about tax requirements by visiting the Comptroller of Maryland website.

Step 6: File a Beneficial Ownership Information Report

All LLCs are required to submit a Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) report with the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). 

Existing LLCs have until January 1st, 2025 to complete this filing. New LLCs must complete this filing within 90 days of formation. 

Failure to complete the filing may result in a $500 per day fine. 

You can file a BOI report on the FinCEN website

Next Steps 

  • Obtain any necessary business licenses and permits required for your specific industry or location in Maryland. You can find information on what licenses are needed through the Comptroller of Maryland website.
  • Consider getting business insurance to protect your LLC from potential risks, such as general liability, property, and professional liability insurance. NEXT Insurance makes getting insurance coverage for your business quick and easy. 
  • Stay compliant with Maryland regulations by filing any required annual reports or renewals with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation.
  • Open a business bank account to protect your personal assets. We recommend Lili Banking and Accounting Services for business banking. Open your account in minutes. 

Lili is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by Sunrise Banks N.A., Member FDIC.

Additional Tips for Success 

  • Build a strong network within the local business community to gain valuable insights and support for your LLC journey.
  • Stay informed about compliance requirements and deadlines to ensure your LLC remains in good standing with the state.
  • Plan for the future by setting clear goals and milestones for your business to achieve long-term success and growth.

Conclusion 

Forming an LLC in Maryland requires attention to detail, ensuring you are following the steps carefully to start your business off strong. If you comply with the state requirements, registering your LLC in Maryland is simple.