Step 1) Select a Name for Your Maryland Corporation

Choose a Business NameUpon starting a business in Maryland, you must come up with a business name that conforms to the stipulations set by the state of Maryland. In the actual business name, any of these words should be found: ‘Corporation’, ‘Company’, ‘Incorporated’, or ‘Limited’.

However, if the word ‘Company’ is used, it should not follow ‘and’ or its corresponding abbreviation. In addition, the business name should not bear a close resemblance to any business name existing and legally registered with the Department of Assessments and Taxation.

To verify if the name you have chosen is not in use and available, you can check it using the Maryland business name search tool. An Application for Reservation of Name may be filed to the Secretary of State through mail. It is valid for 120 days with a $25 filing fee.


Step 2) File the Articles of Incorporation

Register an LLCIncorporating in Maryland means that you are legally forming your Corporation through an Articles of Incorporation filing.

Filing a Corporation in Maryland is done through the Department of Assessments and Taxation by mail. Various information about the owners of the Corporation as well as the actual Corporation and the Registered Agent are asked when filling out the form.

Filing fee: $100 with an additional $20 for organization and capitalization fee.


Step 3) Find a Maryland Registered Agent

Choose a Registered AgentWhen you incorporate a business, the services of a Maryland Registered Agent is required by the state, so you should hire one to become legally compliant.

The Registered Agent in Maryland can be an adult individual who is residing in Maryland or another Corporation that is legally registered to transact business within the state. A physical street address in Maryland should be provided as well.

The Registered Agent should consent to accepting service of process in behalf of your company prior to designation. You can look into IncFile’s Registered Agent Services for professional and reliable Registered Agents in Maryland.


Step 4) Maintain a Corporate Records Book

File Annual Reports & Publication RequirementsA Corporate Records Book is an indispensable organizer for your Maryland Corporation registration documents, business tax forms and license registration forms, minutes of the meeting, corporate bylaws, and other pertinent document important to the operations of your business.

You must keep one in your Corporation office. A Corporate Records Book can be bought in an office supply store or you can directly have it shipped to your office through an Amazon purchase.


Step 5) Elect the Initial Set of Directors for Your Maryland Corporation

Choose the Initial DirectorsAs the incorporator of your business, you must elect an initial set of directors for your Maryland Corporation.

When forming a Corporation in Maryland, these directors will primarily serve the board and help you make crucial decisions until the first shareholder’s meeting takes place. An Incorporator’s Statement should be created as soon as the directors are elected, and this record should be kept in the Corporate Records Book.


Step 6) Conduct an Initial Meeting with Your New Set of Directors

Hold a Meeting with Your Board of DirectorsAs part of the tasks when starting a Maryland Corporation and now that you have the directors, schedule an initial meeting to discuss and decide on the following agenda:

Note: If the Corporation is an S Corporation, this should also be decided during the initial meeting.

A minutes of the meeting should be prepared to be signed by all the attendees of the said meeting.


Step 7) Take Care of Your Maryland Business Tax and Corporate Licensing Requirements

Business LicensesAs part of the requirements for Maryland Corporation maintenance, be sure to take care of your Maryland business taxes. Follow the steps below to kick off this task:

  1. Process an Employer Identification Number for your Maryland Corporation for free through the IRS website.
  2. Have a good grasp of the complexities of business taxes and comply each requirement successfully (Visit our Maryland Tax guide for more information).
  3. Should you decide on an S Corporation status, file Form 2553 Election to be signed by all the corporate shareholders.

After starting a Maryland Corporation, you need to file a Personal Property Return (PPR) form which will serve as a Maryland Corporation annual report.

This form is to be filed to the Maryland Department of Assessment and Taxation through mail every year that the business in operation. It must be filed by April 15 of every year or else, fines will be imposed.

Filing Fee: $300


Step 8) Open a Business Bank Account

Best Business Bank AccountAs you start a business in Maryland, it is very important to keep your personal and business finances separate by opening a business bank account. This keeps your personal liability at a minimum and makes tax time much more simple.

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.


To-Do After Starting a Maryland Corporation

Now that you have followed the steps above, you are officially a Maryland Corporation. Other than those 8 steps that are based on state guidelines, here are a few additional steps based on best practices for starting a successful Corporation. Not required, but highly recommended.

1) Create a Funding Ready Business Plan

Write a Business PlanA business cannot become operational without funding, it is your business plan that can help you get that funding.

What’s more, a business plan is a roadmap that your business operations should be based on as day-to-day operations progress. Learn to write a funding-ready business plan today. Refer to the links below.

Quick Links to Writing a Business Plan


2) Build a Business Website

Build a Business WebsiteTo be able to compete with existing businesses, you need to have a business website to build trust with your customers. The best alternative to hiring an expensive designer is to start a website on WordPress.

Bluehost has one-click-to-install option that a non-tech savvy entrepreneur can do themselves. Learn how to get started with this simple guide.


3) Create Corporate Bylaws

Prepare Corporate BylawsMaryland Corporation bylaws are not a state requirement upon incorporation, but it is an essential internal document.

Your Corporation bylaws set the internal operating rules within your organization. This document also proves your legitimacy as a Corporation.

Be advised accordingly that this article is only an informational guide. This article should in no way be treated as a legal document or expert advice. The expertise of a business lawyer should always be consulted for the legal aspects involved in how to form a Corporation in Maryland or starting a business in Maryland in general.

Need Help Forming Your Corporation?

Have a reliable incorporation service like IncFile or LegalZoom do the work for you. Just answer a few questions about your business and they’ll take care of the paperwork.

Although both offer virtually the same service, IncFile is $100 less and our top pick. Enjoy!

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