What is a Registered Agent?
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Your Maryland Registered Agent provides various services, including the acceptance of formal documents and correspondence from the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (MD SDAT).
Your LLC must have a Resident Agent at all times. You can appoint one when you first start your business. You can also replace your existing Maryland Resident Agent at a later date, provided there is a smooth transition between the old and new agents.
Maryland Registered Agent Requirements
- Every domestic and foreign corporation must, at all times, maintain a Registered Agent with a registered office within the State of Maryland.
- The Resident Agent must be either an adult citizen of Maryland, a Maryland corporation, or a Maryland LLC. An LLC cannot act as its own Resident Agent.
- The registered office must have a street address within the State of Maryland. A P.O. Box alone is not acceptable.
- If the Registered Agent is a person, they must reside in Maryland.
- If the Registered Agent is a business, they must be able to conduct business in Maryland.
- The Registered Agent must be available in person during normal business hours to sign for any correspondence.
Note that the address for your Maryland agent does not need to be the same as your Maryland LLC business address. In fact, it shouldn't be because while a company is permitted to act as a Registered Agent, Maryland does not allow an LLC to act as its own Resident Agent.
What a Maryland Registered Agent Does
A Registered Agent’s main function is to accept official documentation and correspondence.
- Communication from the MD SDAT
- Service of process notices (e.g., if your LLC is sued or required to appear in court)
- Official state and federal government correspondence and notifications
- Tax forms and requests to complete permits, company filings and reports
Having a Registered Agent also allows you to prove to the state that your business exists.
Bizee Provides Free Maryland Registered Agent Service for the First Year
Bizee provides complete Maryland Resident Agent service for any LLC that’s formed in the state. Even better, if you start your business through Bizee, your Registered Agent is completely free for the first year and only $119 a year after that.
Bizee is authorized to conduct business in Maryland and can legally act as your Resident Agent. Here’s what our Registered Agent service provides for your LLC.
An always-available Maryland Registered Agent who can receive correspondence, documents and legal proceedings on your LLC’s behalf
A digital dashboard where you can access, store and retrieve any information we’ve received for your business
Email notification whenever we receive documents for your business
Automatic forwarding of all legal correspondence, documentation and information directly to you
Appointing a Registered Agent for Your LLC
When you first form your LLC, you must appoint a Registered Agent. You can change it at any point after that. Here’s how to go about it.
Assign a Registered Agent When You Form Your LLC
Your business must have a Registered Agent as soon as it’s formed. You can do this in one of two ways:
File Articles of Organization With the MD SDAT
You'll need to include your Registered Agent's details in your Articles of Organization. This is the form you file with the MD SDAT to formally create your business.
Form Your LLC Through Bizee and Get a Free Registered Agent
When you start your business through us, you’ll get a free year of our Registered Agent Service and we’ll use the information you provide to complete and file your Articles of Organization for you.
Assign a Different Registered Agent After Formation
You can also change your Maryland Resident Agent after you’ve formed your LLC. There are a couple of ways to achieve this.
Choose a New Resident Agent Service and File a Form with the MD SDAT
Once you’ve chosen a new Registered Agent, you can complete the Resolution to Change Principal Office or Resident Agent form available via the MD Business Express portal. Once you’ve filled it out, send it to the MD SDAT with a fee payment of $25 so they can update your records.
Sign Up for Bizee’s Resident Agent Service and We’ll File the Change on Your Behalf
When you use our Registered Agent service, we take care of all the form filling and filing for you. We’ll collect important information about your business, complete the form on your behalf and send it to the MD SDAT. We’ll let you know once we officially become your Resident Agent.
Maryland Registered Agent Search
In some situations, you might want to know the name of the Resident Agent that represents another LLC in Maryland. You can search the MD SDAT business database to find this information.
If the Resident Agent isn’t available there, you can request it from the MD SDAT.
What Happens If You Don’t Have a Registered Agent?
If you choose not to assign or provide details of a Registered Agent to the MD SDAT, there may be several possible ramifications, including:
Getting served or sued and not finding out about it. If your LLC is sued and you don’t know about it, you could lose to a default judgment in your absence.
Falling out of good standing with the MD SDAT. If you don’t respond to certain correspondence (like the request for your annual report), the state may revoke your right to do business.
Losing your status as an LLC in Maryland. A Registered Agent “proves” to the state that your business exists. Without it, you could lose your business entity protections and your LLC may be dissolved.
Acting as Your Own Registered Agent
If you have an address in Maryland, you can be the Registered Agent for your LLC. We don’t recommend this approach as there can be some drawbacks:
- The Resident Agent must have a physical street address in Maryland. If you’re forming an LLC outside the state, you'll need to use an in-state Resident Agent.
- Someone must always be available during business hours at the Maryland address to sign for important documents.
- The Resident Agent’s name and address are part of the public record and available through the MD SDAT website. If you prefer your name and address aren’t published, you should choose a Registered Agent service.
- If you change your Maryland business address or move out of state, you need to file additional documentation with the MD SDAT for the new address. This wouldn't be the case if you use a Registered Agent service, making a move or address change much simpler.
Important: While it's possible for you to act as your own Resident Agent, your LLC cannot be its own Resident Agent in Maryland.
Other Useful Resources
FAQs About Maryland Registered Agents
Do I Need to Appoint a Maryland Registered Agent?
Yes. Most business entities in MD — including LLCs — are required to have a Resident Agent. This is mandated by the Maryland Secretary of State. You'll find more details above.
When Can I Assign a Maryland Registered Agent Service?
You must assign a Registered Agent when you create your Maryland business with the MD SDAT. You can change your agent afterward by filing the correct form. If you form your business through Bizee, we'll file all the necessary forms on your behalf. You'll find more information above.
Can I Be My Own Registered Agent in Maryland?
Yes, but we don’t recommend it for the reasons listed above.
Does the Resident Agent for my Maryland-Based LLC Need to Have an Address in Maryland?
Yes. And if you use a company as your Registered Agent, that company must be legally able to conduct business in your state. You'll find more information above.