LLCs must appoint a Maryland registered agent — known as a resident agent — to accept service of process.
You can be your own resident agent, but most small business owners use a professional service instead. Services are affordable and can go a long way in:
- Reducing risk
- Creating privacy and increasing day-to-day flexibility
- Ensuring documents are stored safely online
We’ll help you make the right decision for your Maryland business.
Recommended: Northwest Registered Agent offers free registered agent services with LLC formation ($29 plus state fees).
Choosing a Registered Agent in Maryland
A Maryland registered agent serves as your business’s point of contact with the state, and is also responsible for receiving service of process in the event that a lawsuit is filed against your business.
In Maryland, you will be legally required to elect a resident agent in order to form an LLC or corporation. This can be a registered agent service or an individual, so long as they:
- Are at least 18 years old.
- Have a physical address in Maryland.
- Are always available during regular business hours at their registered office address.
Maryland Registered Agent Services
- Convenience: Hiring a third-party service will mean that you will not have to be physically present at your office’s address during normal business hours.
- Privacy: Since your registered agent’s address and name will become publicly available as soon as your business is formed, you may want to hire a third-party service in order to protect your privacy.
- Legal compliance: Most third-party services come with additional features that will help your business stay compliant (e.g., annual report reminders, etc.).
Let’s Find the Right Registered Agent for Your Business
We’ve tested and reviewed the most popular registered agent services.
Can You Be Your Own Registered Agent?
Yes, you can, although this is (generally speaking) unlikely to be the best option for you.
This is because acting as your own agent can be relatively time-consuming and will not save you a significant amount of money (i.e., between $90 and $300 per year).
You will also not be able to protect your personal information (e.g., name, address, etc.) if you are acting as your business’s resident agent, as these will be included in your Articles of Organization.
If you are planning to form a new LLC, it will make sense to hire an LLC formation service that comes with a free year of registered agent services. These can charge as little as $29 per formation and will ensure that your filings do not get rejected by the Department of Assessments & Taxation.
If you are forming an LLC but prefer to file the paperwork yourself and act as your own registered agent, take a look at our How to Start an LLC in Maryland guide.
Best Maryland Registered Agent Service
If you're in Maryland and either looking to form a new LLC or switch your existing registered agent, it's crucial to consider factors like cost, range of services, reputation, and customer support.
Many people seek registered agents offering features like mail forwarding, document scanning, and compliance monitoring.
Northwest Special Offer
If you haven't formed your LLC yet, consider Northwest's LLC formation package for $29 plus state fees, which includes a free first year of registered agent service.
- Premium customer service
- Streamlined ordering
- Robust privacy features
To help you make an informed choice, we've compiled a table comparing the top 5 Maryland registered agent services below.
Top 5 Maryland Registered Agent Services
BEST REGISTERED AGENT SERVICE
TRUSTED AND WELL-KNOWN COMPANY
Whether you're starting a new business or considering a change, it's crucial to weigh factors like pricing, services, reputation, and customer support when choosing a registered agent in Maryland. Compare quotes and read online reviews to find the best fit for your needs.
Benefits of Using a Registered Agent Service
Many businesses choose to use a Maryland resident agent service when they form an LLC. This is because it can offer a number of benefits, including:
- Legal compliance: A registered agent service will ensure that you don’t miss an important legal document or notification (e.g., service of process, etc.) as a result of not being in your office (or as a result of a human error).
- Improved privacy: If you act as your own agent, your name and address will become public record on the Maryland Business Entity Search. Using a registered agent service will help keep your information private.
- Discretion: When it comes to legal disputes, you will want to avoid receiving lawsuit-related documents in front of your clients and/or some employees.
- Better storage: Your service will generally scan all documents received and upload them online in PDF form. This means that you will always be able to access them online, and won’t have to worry about losing an important document.
A registered agent service can also be beneficial if you plan to expand into other states as a foreign LLC. This is because, otherwise, you would need to find an individual or business entity that is a resident — or is allowed to transact business — in each state that you want to register in.
How Do I Elect A Registered Agent In Maryland?
This is the formation document that you will need to file with the Maryland Department of Assessments & Taxation in order to register your LLC.
Note: Your resident agent will need to provide written consent in order to be accepted; this is done by signing your LLC’s Articles of Organization.
Electing a Registered Agent Online
You can form your LLC online by creating an account through Maryland Business Express ($100 filing fee required). You may upload your own documents or use their tool to guide you through the process. If you choose to use their form, it will prompt you to appoint a registered agent after the business name and information sections.
Electing a Registered Agent by Mail or in Person
To form your LLC by mail, download the Articles of Organization, fill out the required fields and submit a physical copy with the Department of Assessments and Taxation. Your resident agent’s name and address will be requested in Section 4.
How to Change Your Registered Agent in Maryland
If you want to appoint a new resident agent, you will need to file a Resolution to Change Principal Office or Resident Agent form with the Maryland Department of Assessments & Taxation alongside a $25 filing fee.
Mail or In Person:
State Department of Assessments and Taxation, Charter Division
301 W. Preston Street; 8th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21201‐2395
Consent to Appointment
Your new registered agent also will need to consent to their appointment. They can do this by signing the change resolution form.
Check out our full guide on how to change registered agents in Maryland.
Registered Agent FAQ
Can I be my own registered agent in Maryland?
Yes, you can, so long as you are at least 18 years old, have a physical address in Maryland, and will always be available for contact during normal business hours at your Maryland registered office address.
Having said that, this is generally not recommended due to the fact that it’s a relatively time-inefficient and inflexible approach.
See our Maryland Registered Agent article for more information.
How do I find a registered agent in Maryland?
You can find a resident agent in Maryland via our Best Registered Agent Service in Maryland review.
If you want to be your own agent instead, you will simply need to fill out your own details when completing your LLC’s Articles of Organization.
How do I hire a resident agent in Maryland?
You can hire a resident agent by purchasing a third-party registered agent service.
There are several great resident agent services to choose from, most of which come with additional features (e.g., annual report reminders, etc.).
See our What is a Registered Agent Service article for more information.
Does MD require a registered agent for LLC?
Yes. You will be required to elect a resident agent in order to form your LLC. This needs to be done when you are completing your Articles of Organization.
MD resident agents can be individuals or third-party services.
How much does it cost to change Maryland registered agents?
This will depend on who your resident agent is. If it is a third-party service, you should expect to pay anywhere between $90 and $300 per year.
On the other hand, you can be your own registered agent free of charge.
See our How Much Does a Registered Agent Cost article for more information.