Maryland LLC Formation Guide

A Maryland LLC is a legal entity offering flexibility in management, pass-through taxation (by default), liability protection for business owners as well as liability protection for their personal assets. Although it sounds like a great idea, before your LLC can be legally registered, you will need to give it a name and designate a registered agent. Then, you must file Articles of Organization with Maryland Department of Assessments & Taxation. You will need to file the Articles of Organization by mail, in person, or online. It costs $100. If you file your LLC online, it takes around a week and if you do so by mail, up to six weeks. Although LLC formation can seem complicated, our step-by–step guide will help you.

1. Name Your LLC

It is important to choose a name for your LLC. This will determine how customers perceive your business. You can’t choose any name for the LLC. You must follow MD Corp & Assn code SS 1-502 (2019). Your LLC name must be:

  • Stand out from the crowd with Maryland’s business names
  • Include “Limited liability company,” “L.L.C.,” “LLC,” or “LLC,” or “LLC,” “L.C.” and “LC.”
  • Do not use identifiers to indicate that your business is a different type of entity such as “corporation” or “corporation”.

Is it possible to reserve a Maryland business name?

Yes. Maryland permits LLCs to reserve business names for up to 30 days. Fill out the Corporate name reservation application, pay the $25 fee and wait for your expedited service.

2. Designate a registered agent

Next, you need to designate a registered representative. Although they are called “resident agents” in Maryland, the terms can be interchanged. You, another Maryland resident or a professional like us could be your registered agent. To list on the Articles of Organization, all Maryland LLCs must have a registered agent.

What is a registered agent?

MD Corp & Assn code SS 7-205 outlines the requirements for a registered agents in Maryland. Your registered agent must at a minimum:

  • You must have a physical address in Maryland (no PO boxes, virtual offices).
  • Regular business hours should be observed at this address.
  • Accept legal mail from Maryland SDAT for your business. Get them to you quickly.

Are you able to be your own Maryland registered agent?

But should you? Privacy is very important. When you register your LLC as the registered agent, all your private information becomes public. A professional registered agent will register your information with the state. This protects you from hackers and spammers.

You could also miss important legal mail if you take a vacation. You don’t have to worry about leaving town or the office if you hire a registered agent. Your registered agent will receive all important legal mail from your LLC and ensure that your LLC is in compliance with state laws.

You will need to file the Articles of Organization (with SDAT) in order to officially create your LLC. You can file it by mail, in person, or online for $100. It takes $155 to expedite your online filing.

Note: All information in this form will be made public.

The following information will be required to complete the form:

  • Company name. Include “Limited Liability Company” (or an abbreviation such as “LLC” and “L.L.C.”
  • Purpose. This section is usually kept simple by most businesses with statements like “The purpose of this LLC to engage in any lawful activities in the state Maryland.”
  • An LLC address. Register a street address for Maryland
  • Registrar and address. Your registered agent’s name and address.
  • Maryland LLC authorized person. The authorized person to sign and submit the Articles of Organization for your Maryland LLC.

What can I do to keep my personal data from being made public?

Scammers and hackers may have a peek at your LLC’s state paperwork. It is best to have a registered agent to help you list your information instead of yours.

What is the average time it takes to create a Maryland LLC

Filing by post can take up six weeks. For $50, expedited mail filing can be obtained. This will reduce filing time by seven business days. Online filings take approximately one week to process. Hand-delivered documents will be processed within one week. To receive same-day LLC approval, you must be present by 4:15 PM.

How do I file Maryland Articles of Organization

Your articles can be submitted online, by mail or in person.

Mail and in person atState Department of Assessments and Taxation

Corporate Charter Division

301 W. Preston St. Room 801.

Baltimore, MD 21201

Online filings:

Maryland Business Express

4. Create an LLC Operating Agreement

Your LLC’s operating agreement is the most important document. Your operating agreement is the basis of how your LLC will function at its core. Operating agreements address issues such as the roles of members and revenue contribution obligations. They also provide details about how to dissolve the LLC. The operating agreement is the guideline for how to resolve any disagreements among LLC members.

Is Maryland a requirement for an LLC to have an Operating Agreement?

Although Maryland does not require operating agreements, it shouldn’t be taken as a sign that your LLC isn’t required to have one. Operating agreements are essential because they distinguish between the LLC members and their owners. Your LLC’s liability protection could be compromised if you fail to keep this distinction. Your LLC must operate in accordance with Maryland’s default LLC statutes without an operating agreement.

What should an operating agreement include?

You want to deal with the big ticket issues. However, you can include any other items in your operating agreement so long as they don’t violate Maryland law. It’s important to pay attention to:

  • Initial investments
  • Profits, losses, distributions
  • Voting rights, decision-making power, and management
  • Transfer of membership interest
  • Dissolution of the business

Is an operating agreement required for a single-member LLC?

Yes. To open a bank account, you will need to sign an operating agreement. A separate business bank account allows you to limit your LLC’s liability and creates a barrier between personal assets, business assets, and your personal assets.

5. Register for an EIN

To allow your LLC to open a bank or conduct business as a separate entity you need to register with the IRS. An EIN is a nine-digit code that you will use to file taxes and other IRS forms. Online applications for EINs can be made with the IRS.

What EIN do I need to get for my Maryland LLC?

Yes, it is. An EIN is required for your Maryland LLC. To open a bank account for your business, banks generally require an EIN. It is important to open a bank account for your company in order to prove that you and your LLC are distinct entities. An EIN is required if your LLC intends to hire employees.

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