Starting a Maryland LLC is Easy
You can register a Maryland LLC online by filing the Articles of Organization with the Department of Assessments and Taxation. The cost to set up an LLC in Maryland is $100.
Follow our How to Form an LLC in Maryland guide below to get started.
Step 1: Create A Name For Your Maryland LLC
Before you register your LLC, you'll need to come up with a name. Your business name needs to be catchy for branding purposes and legitimate for legal purposes.
We go into depth on this topic in our LLC naming guide. We’ll go over the basics below.
Naming Your LLC
First, brainstorm some possibilities. Use our LLC name generator to get the ideas flowing.
Next, make sure your name meets Maryland guidelines:
- it contains the words limited liability company, limited company, LLC or L.L.C.
- it doesn't contain restricted words or phrases (these often include words like bank, attorney, and university) without approval
- it's distinguishable from any other entity or trade name registered in Maryland
- full list of Maryland naming guidelines
Next, do a Maryland LLC name search with the Department of Assessments and Taxation to find out if your name is available in Maryland.
If your business name is available and meets guidelines, you’ll be able to register it when you file your Maryland Articles of Organization with the Department of Assessments and Taxation.
Is the URL available? Before you commit 100% to a name, check to see if there’s a good web domain available.
We recommend buying your domain right away because even if launching a business website isn’t on your radar right now, it will be soon.
Step 2: Appoint a Maryland Resident Agent
When you file your Articles of Organization, you'll need to list a registered agent, known as a resident agent in Maryland.
A registered agent's job is to accept legal documents like service of process and tax notices for your LLC.
Your registered agent can be a person or a registered agent service. You can act as your own registered agent, but many business owners choose to use a registered agent service.
Here are a few things to think about before you decide to act as your own registered agent:
- You’ll need to be available during normal (9 am - 5 pm) business hours at the address you provide
- If you run your business from home, you’ll have to make your personal address public
- You could be served with a lawsuit in front of your family or coworkers
Step 3: File the Maryland Articles of Organization
It’s time to officially form your LLC by filing the Articles of Organization with the Maryland Department of Taxation and Assessments.
Recommended: Now is a good time to decide if your LLC will be member-managed vs manager-managed.
You'll need to know the following information to complete each Article:
- Entity Name and Address
- Registered Agent Name and Registered Office Address
- Business Purpose
For more detailed help with completing the form, visit our Maryland Articles of Organization guide.
Mail Your Articles of Organization:
Send the form and payment (payable to the Secretary of State) to:
Department of Assessments and Taxation
301 W. Preston Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
How long does it take to get an LLC approved? LLC processing can take between 4 to 6 weeks, but this can be expedited for a fee.
Step 4: Create A Maryland LLC Operating Agreement
Creating a Maryland LLC operating agreement is the only way to legally lock down your LLC’s management and ownership structure. Having this document in place will give you something to return to if a dispute or lawsuit arises.
Even single-member LLCs benefit from having an operating agreement.
Your operating agreement should outline the following:
- Each member’s responsibilities
- How new members will be admitted
- How existing members may transfer or terminate their membership
- How profits and dividends will be distributed
You can add as many provisions as you want, as long as they don't conflict with Maryland business law. Take a look at our What is an Operating Agreement guide to learn more.
Download a template or create a custom Free Operating Agreement using our tool.
Step 5: Get an EIN
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is like a Social Security number (SSN) for your company. The IRS and the state of Maryland will use this number to track your business activity.
Your EIN will come in handy when it’s time to:
- Open a business bank account
- File Federal and State taxes
- Hire employees
The best way to get an EIN for your LLC in Maryland is by using the free online application on the IRS website.
Read our Get an EIN guide for instructions.
Steps After Forming an LLC
After forming your LLC, it's important to:
- Open a Business Bank Account. A business bank account legally separates personal finances from business finances. This separation is required to maintain your LLC's corporate veil (your limited liability protection).
- Research Maryland Business Licenses and Permits. For help, visit our How to Get a Maryland Business License guide. There are also business license services that can help.
- File Your Maryland LLC Annual Report. File online with the Maryland Department of Taxation and Assessments by April 15th each year.