Filing the Certificate of Organization Is Simple!
Step 1: Get Your Certificate of Organization Forms
You can download and mail in your Massachusetts Certificate of Organization, OR you can file online. For this first step, choose your preferred method below.
Option 1: Create an account on the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth website. Then, select “Certificate of Organization” under the Domestic LLC section.
- OR -
Option 2: Access the Certificate of Organization PDF from the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth website. This form will need to be mailed to the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
Step 2: Fill Out the Certificate of Organization
In this step, we will help you complete the Massachusetts Certificate of Organization form.
You will need to know the following information to complete the form:
- Entity Name and Address
- Registered Agent Name and Registered Office Address
- Manager Information
- Business Purpose
Entity Name and Address
Having a creative and smart business name is important but not as important as having a legally correct name.
When you choose a name for your business, you have to make sure the name:
- meets Massachusetts naming guidelines.
- is not already in use by another business in Massachusetts.
Follow the Massachusetts Naming Guidelines:
- Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company,” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
- Your name cannot include words that could confuse your LLC with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
- Restricted words (e.g., Bank, Attorney, University) may require additional paperwork and a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of your LLC.
- For a complete list of naming rules in Massachusetts, you can read the Secretary of the Commonwealth's guidelines.
Check Name Availability:
Is your name available in Massachusetts? Make sure the name you want isn't already taken by searching the business name database and reserved name database on the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth website.
To learn more about naming your business, including best practices and creative branding, visit our How to Name a Business in Massachusetts guide.
Not sure what to name your business? Check out our Business Name Generator.
Register Your Domain Name:
We recommend checking to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don't plan to make a business website today, you may want to buy the URL to prevent others from acquiring it.
Registered Agent and Registered Office
A registered agent accepts and sends legal documents on your LLC’s behalf. When you register your Massachusetts LLC, you are required to list your registered agent and your registered office.
Your registered agent can be anyone 18 years or older that lives in Massachusetts. Your registered agent must always be available at the registered office during regular business hours.
To learn more about choosing a Massachusetts registered agent, read our How to Choose a Massachusetts Registered Agent guide.
To learn more about what a registered agent does and how to choose one, read our What is a Registered Agent guide.
You must state whether or not your LLC will have managers. If you do have managers, you must list each initial manager and their information. If your LLC will be managed by its members, leave this section blank.
To learn everything you need to know about choosing your management structure, read our Management by Members or Managers guide.
Massachusetts asks you to describe “the general character” of your business.
Keep in mind that a business purpose that involves licensing, tax-exemption, or tax-deductible status requires specific language from the IRS or a professional license.
Step 3: File the Certificate of Organization
To register your LLC, you will need to file the Certificate of Organization with the Secretary of the Commonwealth. This can be done online or by mail.
Option 1: Create an account or log in to the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth website. Then, select “Certificate of Organization” under the Domestic LLC section and fill in the required fields.
- OR -
Option 2: Access the Certificate of Organization PDF from the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth website.
State Filing Cost: $500
Secretary of the Commonwealth
One Ashburton Place, Room 1717
Boston, MA 02108
Create an Operating Agreement
A Massachusetts LLC Operating Agreement is a legal document that outlines the ownership structure and member roles of your LLC.
In Massachusetts, you aren’t required to have an Operating Agreement to officially form an LLC, but it's still a good idea to have one. You can start your operating agreement before, during, or after you file your Certificate of Organization.
Your operating agreement will be kept in your LLC’s private business records; you do not file it with the state.
Use our free Operating Agreement Tool to draft a customized operating agreement for your LLC.
Get an EIN
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is like a social security number for your LLC. You will need an EIN if you want to hire employees or open business bank accounts.
You can get your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our What is an EIN article.
Open a Business Bank Account
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential to protect your business' corporate veil. When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your LLC is sued.
For reviews on some of our most trusted business banks, visit our Best Banks for Small Business review.
Get Licenses and Permits
When you are registering an LLC, you need to determine if your business needs any licenses or permits in order to remain compliant. On the federal level, there are a handful of business activities that require licenses and/or permits.
Find out how to obtain necessary licenses and permits for your business or have a professional service do it for you:
- Federal: Use the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) guide to federal business licenses and permits.
- State: Apply for or learn more about licenses, permits, and registration with Massachusetts' Business Licenses & Permits website.
- Local: Contact your local county clerk and ask about local licenses and permits.
Brand Your Business
The strongest and most memorable businesses are built on a solid brand. When developing your brand, think about what your business stands for. Customers and clients are looking for companies that have a compelling brand, as much as they are shopping for high-quality products and services.
Creating a logo for your business is vital for increasing brand awareness. You can design your own unique logo using our Free Logo Generator. Our free tool can help you design your own unique logo for your new business idea.