The first step to starting an LLC in Massachusetts is to name it.
Keep in mind that your business name can’t be too similar to another business’ name. I recommend doing some research for the names you would like and go from there. When you come to a couple favorites, do a name search to see if it’s available.
Massachusetts also requires your LLC to contain ‘Limited Liability Company’, ‘LLC’, ‘L.L.C.’, or ‘L.C.’. Whichever you prefer.
You are required to choose a Massachusetts Registered Agent to be legally compliant.
A Registered Agent is the person or organization that accepts notifications and legal documents on behalf of your business. Your Registered Agent has to be a Massachusetts resident and be available during regular office hours.
That said, you can hire a Registered Agent service and pay up to $160/year, or get an Alabama Registered Agent free of charge when you incorporate your LLC with IncFile – which is $100 less than other online incorporation services.
In this step you will want to register your Massachusetts LLC with the state.
You can get started now by filing the Certificate of Organization online.
Fee for filing the LLC: $520.
An EIN number (Employer Identification Number) or Federal Tax Identification Number is used to identify your LLC.
Think of it like a social security number for your business.
You’ll need an EIN number for tax purposes, hiring employees, and opening a bank account for the LLC. To get your (free) EIN number, you can print and mail in this form or apply online through the IRS.
The next step to starting a healthy Massachusetts LLC, put your profits and assets where they belong. Do this by opening a separate checking account for your business.
There are many options for opening a business checking account like Chase, Bank of America, or Citibank. Be sure to do your research and decide which is right for you. If you’d like a look at our favorite 3, see this review.
If you have followed the 5 steps above, you’re officially an LLC in Massachusetts. Congratulations! But before you click away, there are a few more things you’ll need to take care of in order to operate legally.
By writing a fully thought out business plan you will be removing a lot of risk that comes with starting a business, have a clear head on what to do next, and be able to move forward properly.
Although writing a business plan is not legally required, if you need funding to start-up or would like absolute clarity – a well written plan is a must.
When you’re starting a business in Massachusetts there will be some licensing and regulations you will need to adhere to. Depending on your location and industry the fees will vary. However they are mandatory.
To help you along with this process, here is a guide on navigating the Massachusetts business license process and everything you need to know.
Everyone has to pay taxes. Your brand new LLC is no different.
To determine your obligations and find the resources to help you keep them under control, I wrote an additional guide for you:
Massachusetts Business Taxes (What You Need to Know)
Although Massachusetts does not require your LLC to have an Operating Agreement, it’s highly recommended to have one.
This way any relationships or partnerships related to your business will be clearly outlined so no toes are stepped on (among other reasons).
Recommended Resource: Rocket Lawyer has an Operating Agreement that you can customize and sign online, free of charge.
Before you start marketing your Massachusetts LLC, it is important to have a business website. This will give you a solid online presence and credibility aspect.
Since you are likely starting a business on a budget, I highly recommend looking into building a website through WordPress. It is simple, easy, and free. Learn how to get started with this helpful guide.
This guide is intended for information purposes when starting an LLC in Massachusetts and is not legal advice. You should always go to your lawyer for matters about specific questions on how to form a Massachusetts LLC.