LLC Cost in Massachusetts

Massachusetts LLCs are relatively inexpensive — especially when you consider that an LLC can protect your personal assets and help grow your business. That’s why forming an LLC is the best choice for most small businesses. 

The cost to form an LLC in Massachusetts is $500. This covers the primary cost of officially registering your LLC with the state.

Read our LLC Cost in Massachusetts guide below to learn more about LLC costs and other fees associated with all Massachusetts businesses.

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You can form an LLC yourself and save a little money or use a professional service and save a lot of time. 

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How Much Is an LLC in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts LLC Filing Fee: $500

To form an LLC in Massachusetts, you'll need to file the Certificate of Organization with the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth. The Massachusetts Secretary of Commonwealth charges a $500 fee to process and record this document online, by mail, by fax, or in person.

You can complete this process yourself with our How to Start an LLC guide or use an LLC formation service.

Resident Agent Fee

Every Massachusetts LLC must appoint a resident agent, known as a registered agent in most states. Your Massachusetts resident agent must be a resident of Massachusetts and must be available to receive service of process during normal business hours at a designated street address.

You can be your own resident agent in Massachusetts, or you can use a registered agent service for a minimal cost.

Recommended: Get free registered agent services for one year when you form an LLC with Northwest ($29 plus state fees).

Massachusetts Annual Report Fee: $500

Massachusetts requires LLCs to file an annual report with the Secretary of the Commonwealth each year. The cost to file the annual report is $500 online, by mail, by fax, or in person.

Cost to Form an Foreign LLC in Massachusetts: $500

LLCs registered in another state that want to expand into the state of Massachusetts must register as a foreign LLC in Massachusetts.

The cost for registering a Massachusetts foreign LLC is $500. You can register a foreign LLC in Massachusetts by filing a Foreign Limited Liability Company Application for Registration.

Business Licenses and Permits

Your business might need federal, state, and local permits/licenses to legally operate in Massachusetts, depending on your industry and geographical location. This is true whether you form an LLC or any other type of business structure.

Learn more about state and local licensing in our Massachusetts business license guide.

Other Massachusetts Business Filing Fees

There are fees associated with other, optional business filings in Massachusetts.

‘Doing Business As’ (DBA) Name

When an LLC is registered with the state, the LLC’s name is also officially registered. Some business owners choose to also file for a DBA name, known as a business certificate in Massachusetts.

You can file a business certificate with the city clerk where your business is set up in Massachusetts. The cost to file for a business certificate can vary by city.

Learn more in our Massachusetts DBA guide.

Certified Document Copies 

You can get certified copies of your Massachusetts business documents by ordering through the Secretary of the Commonwealth and paying $7 plus $2 per page.

Certificate of Good Standing

Obtain a Massachusetts Certificate of Good Standing by ordering through the Secretary of the Commonwealth online and paying the $25 fee. 

A Certificate of Good Standing is often required by banks and lenders.

Recommended: Learn more about LLC formation services in our Best LLC Services review.

How to Start an LLC in Massachusetts

Forming an LLC yourself is easy; just follow the five steps below.

Five Basic Steps to Start an LLC in Massachusetts

Step 1: Name Your Massachusetts LLC

Step 2: Choose a Resident Agent

Step 3: File a Certificate of Organization

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement

Step 5: Get an EIN 

Step 1: Name Your Massachusetts LLC

When you name your Massachusetts LLC, you’ll need to choose a name that:

  1. Is available for use in the state of Massachusetts
  2. Meets Massachusetts naming requirements
  3. Is available as a web domain

Check web domain (URL) availability with GoDaddy:

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Not sure what to name your business? Check out our free LLC name generator.

Step 2: Choose a Resident Agent

Massachusetts LLCs are required to appoint a resident agent to receive service of process. Business owners can hire a registered agent service or appoint any Massachusetts resident that is 18 years or older and is available during normal business hours at a specified address to receive service of process.

Recommended: Northwest offers one full year of registered agent services with their $29 (plus state fees) LLC formation package.

Step 3: File Massachusetts Certificate of Organization

To form an LLC in Massachusetts, you must file a Massachusetts Certificate of Organization with the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth. This can be done online, by mail, by fax, or in person.

For a closer look at the filing process, check out our Massachusetts Certificate of Organization guide.

Step 4: Create an LLC Operating Agreement

Operating agreements are not required for Massachusetts LLCs, but it’s a good practice to have one.

An operating agreement outlines the ownership and operating procedures of an LLC, ensuring that all members are on the same page and reducing the risk of conflict down the line.

Learn more in our Massachusetts LLC Operating Agreement guide.

Step 5: Get an EIN

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a nine-digit number issued by the IRS to identify businesses for tax purposes. Think of an EIN as a Social Security number for your LLC.

To learn how to get an EIN for free, visit our How to Get an EIN Number guide.

LLC Cost in Massachusetts FAQ

What is the cheapest way to start an LLC in Massachusetts?

The cheapest way to start an LLC in Massachusetts is to handle the registration process individually. In order to do this, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Name your LLC
  2. Choose a registered agent: This can be a registered agent service or an individual.
  3. File the Massachusetts Certificate of Organization: The filing fee for this is $500 and can be done online, by mail, by fax, or in person.
  4. Create an LLC operating agreement: This is usually not a legal requirement, but it is highly recommended.
  5. Get an EIN: This is basically your business’s Social Security number (SSN).

How much does an LLC cost per year in Massachusetts?

Annual report fees in Massachusetts are $500.

For a more in-depth analysis, see our How Much Does an LLC Cost? article. 

How much does an LLC license cost in Massachusetts?

An LLC is not a business license, but a business entity. Forming an LLC in Massachusetts includes a filing fee of $500. Annual reports must also be filed each year for $500.

See our How to Start an LLC in Massachusetts for more information on registering your business as an LLC.

Do LLCs pay taxes in Massachusetts?

Yes, LLCs are a “pass-through” tax entity. This means that the LLCs profits are “passed through” directly to its owner(s), who then pay income taxes independently. 

This is advantageous compared to a corporation’s tax structure because it means that LLC members are not taxed twice. 

Having said that, readers should keep in mind that LLCs are very flexible when it comes to how they can be taxed, and — depending on the specifics — they can choose to be taxed as a pass-through entity, a C corp, and an S corp. 

For more information, see our How Is an LLC Taxed guide. 

What are the tax benefits of an LLC?

The tax benefits of an LLC will depend on how you choose to be taxed, as well as on whether you are operating as a single or multi-member LLC. 

Generally speaking, LLCs can choose to be taxed in several different ways, including:

  • As a sole proprietorship or general partnership
  • As a C corporation
  • As an S corporation

See our Single-Member LLC Taxes guide for a detailed overview of the tax benefits of having an LLC as a small business. 

Do I need to open a business bank account for my LLC?

Even though you do not necessarily “need” to open a bank account for your LLC, this is generally highly recommended for several reasons. 

For one, having a separate bank account can allow you to maintain your LLC’s corporate veil — meaning that you will not risk losing your limited personal liability under the law. A business bank account also offers financial benefits, including the ability to build business credit more quickly and access to larger business loans. 

Interested in opening a business bank account? See our review of the best banks for startups in 2024.