Cost to Form an LLC in Maryland

The cost to start a Maryland limited liability company (LLC) is $100. This fee is paid to the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation when filing the LLC’s Articles of Organization.

There are two options for forming your LLC:

Have a professional service form an LLC for you:

TWO SUCH RELIABLE SERVICES:

four point six out of five ZenBusiness ($39 + State Fees)

Three out of Five Stars LegalZoom ($149 + State Fees)


How Much Does an LLC Cost in Maryland?

The main cost of forming an LLC is the $100 fee to file your LLC's Articles of Organization online with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation.

Some businesses may need business licenses and/or permits to operate.

Maryland LLC Filing Fee: $100

To form an LLC in Maryland, you'll need to file the Articles of Organization online with the Department of Assessments and Taxation. The Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation charges a $100 fee to process and record this document online, by mail, or in person.

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You can form an LLC in Maryland yourself with our free How to Start an LLC in Maryland guide and pay only the $100 fee.

Or, visit our Best LLC Services review to learn more about the cost of using an LLC formation service.

Cost to Form a Foreign LLC in Maryland

If you already have an LLC that is registered in another state and you’d like to expand your business into Maryland, you’ll need to register your LLC as a foreign LLC in Maryland.

The cost for registering a Maryland foreign LLC is $100. You can register a foreign LLC in Maryland by filing a Foreign Limited Liability Company Registration form online, by mail, or in person.

Other LLC Filing Costs

There are optional fees associated with LLC formation:

  • LLC Name Reservation: Reserve your name for up to 30 days prior to LLC formation by filing a Corporate Name Reservation Application and paying the $25 filing fee.

  • LLC Name Re-Reservation: File a Corporate Name Reservation Application for Re-Reservation and pay the $25 filing fee to reserve your name for an additional 30 days.

  • Doing Business As (DBA) Name: File a Trade Name Application online and pay the $25 filing fee to create a name other than your legal LLC business name. This can also be done by mail or in person.

  • Certified Documents: Obtain certified documents of your Maryland business documents by ordering through the Department of Assessments and Taxation and paying $20 + $1 per page.

  • Certificate of Status: Also known as a Maryland certificate of good standing, you can obtain this document by ordering through the Department of Assessments and Taxation and paying the $20 fee. A certificate of status is often required by banks and lending institutions.

Business Permits and Licenses

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

Learn more about state and local licensing with our guide to getting a Maryland business license.

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Recommended: Have a professional service research business licenses for you.

Ongoing LLC Maintenance Costs

Some businesses will be required to pay ongoing maintenance costs and taxes, such as the Maryland annual report fee.

Maryland Annual Report Fee: $300

Maryland requires LLCs to file an annual report and franchise tax with the Secretary of State.

You can submit this form online through the Maryland Business Express website. It is due on April 15. Maryland charges a penalty of 1/10 of 1% of the county assessment, plus 2% interest every 30 days that the return is late.

How to Register a Maryland LLC Yourself

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

Recommended: If you already have a business that is running as a sole proprietorship, visit our How to Change from a Sole Proprietorship to LLC page.

Five Basic Steps to Start an LLC in Maryland

Step 1: Name Your Maryland LLC
Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent
Step 3: File the Articles of Organization
Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement
Step 5: Get an EIN

Step 1: Name Your Maryland LLC

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

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

Recommended: Visit our Start an LLC in Maryland guide for detailed naming rules and instructions for registering a business name in Maryland.

Not sure what to name your business? Check out our How to Name a Business guide and free LLC Name Generator.

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After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free

Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent

All LLCs in Maryland must appoint a registered agent. A registered agent primarily acts as your LLC’s main point of contact with the state. But most importantly, they are responsible for accepting service of process in the event your business is sued.

Your Maryland registered agent must be:

  • At least 18 years or older
  • Have a physical address in Maryland
  • Available during normal business hours to accept service of process

In Maryland, your registered agent must sign the Articles of Organization if filing a paper copy of the form.

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Recommended: Get a free year of registered agent services when you hire ZenBusiness to form your LLC. $39 (plus state fees).

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Step 3: File the Articles of Organization

The Maryland Articles of Organization is a document that is filed with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation to form an LLC. The fee for filing the Articles of Organization is $100 online.

For detailed instructions for completing the Articles of Organization, visit our How to File the Maryland Articles of Organization guide.

File the Maryland Articles of Organization

OPTION 1: File Online With Maryland Business Express

File Online

- OR -

OPTION 2: File the Articles of Organization by Mail or in Person

Download Form


State Filing Cost: $100, payable to the Department of Assessments and Taxation

Filing Address:
Department of Assessments and Taxation
301 W. Preston St.
Baltimore, MD 21201

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement

An operating agreement isn't required for Maryland LLCs, but it's a good practice to have one.

What is an operating agreement? An operating agreement is a legal document outlining the ownership and operating procedures of an LLC.

Why are operating agreements important? A comprehensive operating agreement ensures that all business owners are on the same page and reduces the risk of future conflict.

For more information on operating agreements, read our Maryland LLC operating agreement guide.

Step 5: Get an EIN

What is an EIN? An EIN or Employer Identification Number is a nine-digit number issued by the Internal Revenue System (IRS) to identify a business for tax reporting purposes. An EIN is essentially a Social Security number (SSN) for your company.

Why do I need an EIN? An EIN number is required for the following:

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Free EIN: You can get an EIN from the IRS website (free of charge) after forming your business.

Hiring an LLC Formation Service

LLC formation services make the process of setting up your business easier, but they aren't required. Below, we cover what you can typically expect to pay to an LLC formed for you.

Basic LLC Formation Service Package: $39-$79

Online services like ZenBusiness and LegalZoom will take care of the LLC filing process on your behalf for a fraction of the cost of a business attorney.

In addition to filing your Articles of Organization, LLC formation providers offer other services. LLC formation services will also:

Operating Agreement: $40-$99

Purchasing a custom operating agreement from an online formation service is an easy way to ensure you’ll have a thorough and legally-binding document governing your new LLC.

EIN Registration: $60-$70

After forming your LLC, you’ll need to get an EIN. If you’d prefer not to apply for your EIN directly through the IRS, you can delegate this task to your formation provider for an extra fee.

Registered Agent Service: $0-$125 per year

You'll need to designate a registered agent for your Maryland LLC when you complete the Articles of Organization with the Department of Assessments and Taxation.

A registered agent is an individual or business entity responsible for receiving and processing legal documents and service of process on behalf of your business.

While Maryland doesn't prohibit business owners from acting as their own registered agents, many people choose to appoint a professional for the sake of privacy, convenience, and discretion.

Learn more about hiring a registered agent service in our Should I Hire a Registered Agent Service guide.

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Recommended: Get a free year of registered agent services when you hire ZenBusiness to form your LLC. $39 (plus state fees).

ZenBusiness

Business License Research Service: $99

If your LLC requires several federal, state, and local permits or licenses in order to operate legally, you might want to consider hiring a professional business license research service.

If you’re looking to maximize your time in the early phases of your business, we recommend checking out Incfile's $99 business license research package.

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Set up an LLC in Maryland Yourself in Five Basic Steps

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Maryland LLC Cost FAQ

Do you have to pay for a Maryland LLC every year? An orange arrow pointing down

Yes, you have to pay a $300 annual report fee each year for a Maryland LLC. Visit our Maryland Annual Report guide for more information.

Is an LLC really necessary?An orange arrow pointing down

An LLC provides limited liability protection. This means an LLC protects your personal assets in the event of a business loss, such as a lawsuit or unpaid debt.

We recommend any small business that carries even the smallest amount of risk or liability to form an LLC. Learn more in our Should I Start an LLC guide.

What is the cheapest way to get an LLC?An orange arrow pointing down

You can save money on getting an LLC by completing the formation process yourself, making your own operating agreement, being your own registered agent, and getting your own EIN.

Check out our How to Save Money Forming Your LLC guide to learn more.

Is creating a Maryland LLC free?An orange arrow pointing down

No, creating a Maryland LLC is not free. There is a $100 registration fee to create a Maryland LLC.

Can I pay myself a salary from my LLC?An orange arrow pointing down

You can pay yourself a salary from your LLC, but it would be called a draw or distribution if your LLC is taxed in the default way by the IRS.

Visit our How to Pay Yourself from an LLC guide to learn more.

Is an S corp better than an LLC?An orange arrow pointing down

An S corporation (S corp) is an IRS tax status, not a type of business entity. An LLC can be taxed in the default way or as an S corp. For some businesses, being taxed as an S corp can make lots of sense.

Check out our LLC vs. S corp guide to find out if S corp status is right for your business.

Is LegalZoom worth it for an LLC?An orange arrow pointing down

LegalZoom creates more LLCs than any other provider. However, they also have mediocre reviews and charge more than any other service provider. We think there are better LLC formation services out there.

Check out our Best LLC Services review to learn more.

What’s better sole proprietorship or LLC?An orange arrow pointing down

A sole proprietorship is only good for businesses that carry very low risk of liability because sole proprietorships don’t offer any liability protection.

Learn more in our sole proprietorship vs. LLC guide.

What all can you do with an LLC?An orange arrow pointing down

There are many advantages to starting an LLC. Visit our guide to learn more about the benefits of an LLC.

Does having an LLC help with taxes?An orange arrow pointing down

An LLC can help with taxes if your business needs more options. An LLC can be taxed via pass-through taxation, as an S corp, or as a C corporation (C corp).

Visit our Choosing a Business Structure guide to learn what type of business structure would offer the most tax benefits to your unique business.

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