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Forming an LLC in Maryland: A Strategic Business Move

Choosing to establish your business as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Maryland comes with various advantages, including liability protection for members and favorable taxation of personal income. Maryland, known as The Free State, offers a streamlined digital company formation process, reasonable state fees, and a positive business climate regarding taxes.


Here's a comprehensive guide on how to form your LLC in Maryland, covering key steps, timelines, and costs:


How to Form an LLC in Alabama | © CreateHer Stock.
How to Form an LLC in Maryland. | © Wix. Media.

Steps to Start an LLC in Maryland



1. Choose a name for your LLC (must be unique)


Every new business entity in Maryland requires a legal business name that is distinguishable from others and allowed for use in the state. The name should include the words “limited liability company” or abbreviations like “LLC” or “LC”. A business name search tool provided by the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation helps verify name availability. If your intended name is available, you can reserve it for 30 days at a fee of $25.



2. Pick a registered agent


All Maryland LLCs must appoint a registered agent (resident agent). This individual or service receives important business documents on behalf of your LLC, ensuring timely forwarding to you. Registered agents need to be available during business hours and have a valid street address in Maryland. You can hire a professional service or choose someone within your network. Using a registered agent service incurs additional costs but offers privacy and efficient handling of important correspondence.


3. Submit Maryland Articles of Organization


The Articles of Organization are a fundamental legal document signaling the formation of your LLC. It registers the company’s name, owners, management structure, and other essential details with the state. You can file articles online via the Business Express Portal or in person with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation in Baltimore. The filing cost is $100, and expedited services are available for an extra $50, providing hardcopy filings in 7-10 business days.



4. Get certified copies of your LLC registration documents


Certified copies of business documents may be required for various purposes, such as obtaining a loan or business license. While unofficial documents are available online, certified copies can be obtained through Maryland Business Express, starting at $20.


5. Create an LLC operating agreement


While not mandatory, an LLC operating agreement is highly recommended. It outlines key business information, including ownership structure, voting rights, change management, and operational procedures. Operating agreements are especially crucial for multi-member LLCs to prevent conflicts. Single-member LLCs can skip this step or use online templates or legal assistance for drafting.


6. Obtain an EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the IRS


IRS EIN Application. | © IRS.
IRS EIN Application. | © IRS.

An EIN is a 9-digit number issued by the IRS to identify businesses for federal tax purposes. It is necessary for filing tax returns, hiring employees, and opening a business bank account. Getting an EIN for your new LLC is free and can be done instantly by filling out a form on the IRS website.


Costs to form an LLC in Maryland


The costs of forming your Maryland LLC depend on factors such as size, complexity, and professional assistance. Estimated expenses may include:


  • Name reservation: $25

  • Professional registered agent service: $50 – $100 / annually

  • Articles of Organization filing: $100

  • Certified document copies: $20+

  • Operating agreement preparation: $0 – $2,000


Last Steps


Complete the LLC formation process in Maryland by opening a dedicated business bank account, ensuring legal separation of personal and business finances. Also, secure any necessary permits or licenses based on your business activities, checking the Maryland Department of Labor's Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing for specific requirements.


By following these steps, you'll navigate the LLC formation process in Maryland successfully, setting a solid foundation for your business endeavors.


Unlock a wealth of expertise by exploring Nikki Winston's articles covering small business accounting, entrepreneurship, career insights, personal finance, and the realities of motherhood. For a deeper dive into these topics, visit NikkiWinstonCPA.com. Connect with Nikki on LinkedIn to stay informed and inspired.

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