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How Much Does It Cost to Form an MD Corporation?

Legal business registration — and keeping your business in good standing — involves necessary expenses and investment. Some of these costs are payable to the MD Secretary of State, while others are due to additional state entities or the federal government. Here are some common requirements and fees.

Please note that fees for a State of Maryland business license or permit may be due when you first form your business, on an ongoing schedule or on an ad hoc basis. Find more details below.

Initial Maryland Corporation Filing Fees

When starting a business in Maryland State, you’ll need to file a form and pay a filing fee. Here are the current Maryland corporation filing fees and times:

State Fee State Filing Time Expedited Filing Time
$218 5 Weeks 5 Business Days
State Fee $218
State Filing Time 5 Weeks
Expedited Filing Time 5 Business Days

When you use Bizee to register a business in Maryland, we charge you the state filing fee and forward it to the Secretary of State when we file your incorporation paperwork.

Bizee can file your incorporation paperwork for you for free.

Just pay the required Maryland corporation filing fees.

Maryland allows you to incorporate more quickly by paying a rush fee

Employer Identification Number

Every corporation in the country should have a unique EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the Internal Revenue Service. You'll use it when you open a business bank account, file taxes and pay employees. You can get one directly from the IRS, or Bizee can get one for you.

Foreign Corporations

If you want to do business in a state other than the one where your business is based, you must create a Foreign Corporation.

Maryland Foreign Corporation Registration

Before you can bring an arm of your business from another state into Maryland, you must request Maryland Foreign Qualification. This means the state gives you permission to conduct business there.

To request registration of a Maryland Foreign Corporation, you must complete an application for Foreign Qualification and pay a processing fee of $100. The state may have additional registration requirements, so contact the Maryland State Secretary of State directly for more information and to ensure you're in compliance with MD corporation law.

Foreign Qualification to Operate in Another State

If you plan to expand your Maryland corporation into another state, you’ll first need Foreign Qualification or a Certificate of Authority from that state. This is necessary before you can create a physical presence, hire employees or bank in that state.

You'll likely have to complete at least one application and pay a filing fee, but each state has its own requirements. Before you start the process, compare state filing times and state filing fees so you can plan accordingly.

Above all, contact the state government entity that administers business (usually the Secretary of State) to confirm their requirements and for specific instructions.

If you need assistance, Bizee provides a complete Foreign Qualification service for all states.

Maryland Annual Report Requirements

Most states require business entities to file an annual (or other periodic) report. Maryland requires an annual report to be filed once a year with the MD Secretary of State.

When you complete your annual report, you'll do so online via the Business Express Portal accompanied with a filing fee of $300 in addition to a service fee of $3 or 3% depending on which payment method you choose.

Annual Report

Frequency

Annually

Due Date

April 15th

Filling Fee

$300
Bizee can complete and file your annual report on your behalf

State of Maryland Business License and Permit Requirements

Before you start doing business, you must secure the necessary state, federal or local business licenses and permits to operate your corporation. Some of the fees will only need to be paid once, while others may be ongoing charges.

Permits and licenses vary based on:

1

The type of business you run (e.g., attorneys must pass the state bar exam)

2

The industry your corporation operates in (e.g., restaurants will need health permits)

3

The location of your corporation (state, county or city) (e.g., a license to conduct business in the city of Baltimore)

Operating your corporation without the required State of Maryland business license can leave you vulnerable to risks, such as fines from local, state and federal governments.

You can research these permits and licenses yourself, or use Bizee’s Business License Research Package, which includes:

  • A complete report on all the licenses, permits and tax registrations your corporation will need
  • The applications you'll need to file with the local, state and federal licensing authorities

Corporate Bylaws

You are required to have Maryland corporation bylaws if you form a corporation in the state. You won't need to file them with the Maryland Secretary of State, but make sure you have them with your documents and by all means, continue to follow them.

This document outlines rules for carrying out tasks related to managing your corporation including, but not limited to:

  • The number of directors the corporation has
  • How they'll be elected, their qualifications and the lengths of their terms
  • When, where and how your board of directors can call and conduct meetings
  • Voting requirements

The bylaws must then be adopted (and amended, if necessary) by the board of directors and shareholders.

Drafting a set of bylaws can be extremely helpful in making sure you’re organized and can help protect your business from any future changes and events that may affect your business.

Other MD Corporation Filing Requirements and Fees

The State of Maryland requires you to complete a few more tasks before you can begin conducting business.

Appoint a Director

Some states require corporations to appoint a full board of directors. MD corporation law requires all corporations to have at least one director.

Appoint Officers

In Maryland, the board of directors must elect at least one president, secretary and treasurer. One person may hold more than one office in a corporation but may not serve concurrently as both president and vice president of the same corporation.

Issue Stock to Shareholders

To raise business capital and keep it separate from company owners' money, every Maryland corporation must sell stock to its shareholders. The Articles of Incorporation must authorize the sale of at least one class of share, and the corporation cannot sell more shares than are authorized.

Hold Annual General Meetings

This is one area where Maryland differs from other states. You are required to hold annual meetings, and it's generally a good idea to do so. But should you fail to do so, Maryland Code Title 2, Subtitle 5, § 2-501 states, "The failure to hold an annual meeting does not invalidate the corporation’s existence or affect any otherwise valid corporate act."

Get a Trade Name or DBA

If you want to register a Maryland DBA (trade name), you must complete the filing process online via the Business Express portal with the Secretary of State and pay a filing fee of $25 along with a service fee of either $3 or 3% depending on which payment process you choose.

Bizee can file your trade name or DBA forms on your behalf

Change the Registered Agent

If your corporation is based in Maryland, then you must have a Registered Agent in the state. You'll need to appoint one when you first file your Articles of Incorporation. You can also change to a new Registered Agent later by updating the information via the online business portal and paying a fee of $25 along with a service fee of $3 or 3% depending on which payment process you choose.

Let Bizee serve as your Registered Agent.

It’s free for the first year if you form your MD corporation with us and $119 a year after.

Reserving a Name for Your Corporation

If you're not quite ready to start your business, you can reserve a name for 30 days with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation by filing a form and paying a fee of $20. First, conduct a MD corporation search and learn the state's business naming rules to ensure you choose a name that meets legal requirements.

Amending Facts About Your Corporation

When you incorporate, the Maryland business forms you fill out include certain facts about your business at that time. Through the years, some or all of this information may change. If it does, you'll need to file Articles of Amendment online via business portal with the Secretary of State along with a filing fee of $100. You'll also need to pay $3 in payment service fees. You can do this yourself or Bizee can do it for you.

You'll need to file Articles of Amendment when you:

  • Change the company's name
  • Add, remove or change a director
  • Change the Registered Agent
  • Change the number of shares your corporation is authorized to issue
  • Change any other facet of your business that was listed on the original Certificate of Incorporation

Get a Certificate of Good Standing

Some organizations may request that you prove your corporation's compliance with laws and tax requirements. In most states, this proof is provided with a Certificate of Good Standing. In this state, it's an MD Certificate of Status.

If you need to prove you have met your commitments, you’ll need to request an MD Certificate of Status from the Secretary of State. You can do this by placing an order online via the Maryland Business Portal paying a fee of $20. A service fee of $3 or 3% is also due at this time.

Bizee can obtain an MD Certificate of Status on your behalf

The information listed above details many of the fees a standard corporation will be required to pay in Maryland. In some circumstances, there may be other one-off, periodic or ad hoc fees not listed above.

Of course, your corporation will also probably need to pay federal, state, self-employment (if it's an S Corp) and other taxes. You'll find more information on the Maryland taxes page.

FAQs About MD Corporation Filing Requirements and Fees

What Happens to the State Fees I'm Charged When I Incorporate?

We charge you this fee at cost and then pay it to the MD Secretary of State on your behalf when forming your business.

How Do I Get a Business License in Maryland?

It depends on various factors, including:

  • Governing organizations in your industry
  • Federal, state and local regulations
  • Where you're located
  • The type of business you run

Many new businesses need a business license, and you may be required to obtain additional licenses and permits. Our Business License Research Package can take the guesswork out of it for you and help you learn what your corporation needs to be compliant.

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