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How to Start
an LLC in Maryland

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Learn how to form an LLC in Maryland yourself

Read our DIY guide to forming an LLC in Maryland, with information on Registered Agents, naming rules, business licenses and more.

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Why Create a Maryland LLC?

The state offers several business incentives, such as programs for women- and minority-owned businesses. In addition, numerous tax credits are available, including some aimed at specific verticals. Business owners can take advantage of these many programs to start and sustain their companies.


For many entrepreneurs, the fastest and easiest way to start a business is by creating a Maryland limited liability company (LLC), a business entity ideal for startups and small- to medium-sized businesses. You get the advantages and protections of a larger corporation with much simpler rules and regulations.


Benefits of starting a Maryland LLC:

  • Separating and limiting your personal liability from your business liability and debts

  • Quick and simple filing, management, compliance, regulation and administration

  • Easy tax filing and potential advantages for tax treatment

  • No franchise tax

  • Low cost to file ($100)

Learn more about the advantages of an LLC business structure.


In this guide, you’ll find information on naming your LLC, getting a Registered Agent, the fees you’ll need to pay, Maryland business taxes and much more. We also cover the various ways you’ll interact with the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (also known as Maryland SDAT), filing your LLC and your registration needs.

How to Form a Maryland LLC Yourself in 6 Steps

Start an LLC

Step 1: Complete a Maryland LLC Search and Choose a Unique Business Name


You'll need a distinctive and original name for your LLC that’s not used by any other business in the state. If you’re having trouble coming up with a name, try Bizee’s Business Name Generator to brainstorm ideas. There are also a few naming rules you’ll need to follow, which you can read about in detail on the Maryland Business Names page.


One Maryland rule, for example, is that certain restricted words require additional paperwork if you want to use them in your business name. This includes names associated with both institutions and certain qualified professions, such as insurance, surety, underwriters, banks, bankers, banking or any licensed professional services.


Once you’ve chosen a name, you’ll need to make sure it’s available in Maryland. To find out whether another company is using your chosen business name, use our tool to do a Business Name Search. You can also carry out a name search via the Maryland Business Express online portal.

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Business Name Search Tool

Step 2: Provide an Official Business Address for your LLC


Whether it’s an office building, a home (if you run your business from a residence) or any other physical location, every LLC in Maryland must have a street address. It can be located outside the state, but it cannot be a P.O. Box.

Step 3: Assign a Registered Agent


Someone who receives official legal and tax correspondence and has responsibility for filing reports with the Maryland SDAT is called a Registered Agent. In Maryland, this is usually called a Resident Agent. We use these terms interchangeably. Every Maryland LLC is required to have a Resident Agent.


This official position can be filled by you, another manager in the business or a Resident Agent service. If your Maryland Registered Agent is a person, they must reside and have a physical address in Maryland, and they must be present during business hours to receive documents on behalf of your company. In Maryland, you are required to designate your Resident Agent when you file your Articles of Organization.


All of Bizee’s packages include Registered Agent service that is free for the first year and just $119 per year afterward. We also have a dashboard where you can log in and easily view any document your Registered Agent has received on your behalf.

Step 4: File Your Articles of Organization with the Maryland SDAT


Once you've gathered all the information for your Maryland LLC, you’ll need to file your Articles of Organization with the Maryland DAT via their portal, Maryland Business Express. This officially creates your LLC.

Here’s what is typically included:

  • Your business name and address
  • Details of your Registered Agent
  • Purpose of your business
  • Duration (can be perpetual or limited)
  • Provisions for the regulation of the internal affairs of the company
  • Names and addresses of managers or members of the LLC at the time of filing
  • Name of the organizer
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You can file your Articles of Organization via the online system provided by the Maryland SDAT, mail in a form to the Maryland SDAT or have Bizee do it on your behalf. The Maryland LLC filing fee is $100. Maryland also requires that you file a certified copy of your Articles of Organization with the state.

File by Mail

Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation 301 W. Preston Street Baltimore, MD 21201

You only need to file your Articles of Organization once, but every year after, you need to file an annual report. This is also something Bizee can remind you to do or do for you if you let us handle the paperwork.

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What are the Fees and Requirements to Form an LLC in Maryland?

State Fee

$197*

State Filling Time

5 Weeks

Expedited Filing Time

10 Business Days

*includes online and expedited filing fees, as well as the costs for a certified copy of your Articles of Organization and expedited processing of that certified copy; all fees required by the state of Maryland

Annual Report

Frequency

Annually

Due Date

April 15th

Filing Fee

$300

Step 5: Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service


You'll need an EIN (Employer Identification Number) to identify your business to the IRS. You use this number when filing and paying taxes or when submitting payroll information and payments for your employees. An EIN is also required to open a business bank account. You can obtain one directly from the IRS, or Bizee can get one for you as part of the Maryland LLC formation process.

Step 6: Create an Operating Agreement


A sort of "instruction manual" that explains how you'll run your business, an LLC Operating Agreement outlines how the business is divided among members, how decisions will be made and what will happen should a member leave the company.


Some states require companies to create this document. You're not legally required to have a Maryland Operating Agreement, but it’s a good idea to have one to protect your business from any future changes and events.

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Operating Agreement

Other Maryland LLC Types


Foreign LLC


If your business is already operating in another state and expanding to Maryland—or vice versa—you’ll need to form a Foreign LLC.


Learn more about Maryland Foreign LLC registration.



Professional LLC


Some states allow certain occupations to form Professional Limited Liability Companies (PLLCs). These types of businesses typically have specialized requirements and licensing. A standard LLC may be formed to provide professional services, such as the practice of medicine or dentistry, if all the members are licensed.


The state doesn’t use the term "Maryland PLLC," but they do allow licensed professionals to form an LLC to provide professional services.


Learn more about PLLC vs. LLC and which is right for your business.

Helpful Resources from the State of Maryland

More Information in This Guide

01

How to Name Your Maryland LLC

How to search the Maryland SDAT business registry to find the right name. Includes information on naming rules, trade names, reserving a Maryland LLC name and more.

02

Maryland Registered Agents

How to appoint, change and search for Resident Agents. Also includes the rules they’re required to follow.

03

Maryland Fees and Requirements

How to understand the various fees you’ll need to pay and the requirements you must meet for both state and federal rules. Includes details of Employer Identification Numbers (EINs), state and federal business licenses, annual reports and more.

04

Maryland Business Taxes

How to understand the various taxes you'll need to pay to the state and federal governments. Includes details of state taxes, such as sales and income taxes, and federal taxes, such as income and self-employment taxes.

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