How Much Does It Cost to Start an LLC in Massachusetts?

The cost to start an LLC (limited liability company) online in Massachusetts is $500. This fee is paid to the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth when filing the LLC’s Certificate of Organization.

We recommend Northwest ($29 + State Fees) to help form your LLC.

How Much Does an LLC Cost in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts LLC Online Filing Fee: $500

The main cost to start an LLC in Massachusetts is the $500 fee to file your LLC's Certificate of Organization online with the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth.

For a look at LLC costs in every state, read our other Cost to Start an LLC and How to Form an LLC guides.

Cost to Form a Foreign LLC in Massachusetts

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

The cost for registering a Massachusetts foreign LLC is $500. You can register a foreign LLC in Massachusetts by filing Foreign Limited Liability Company Application for Registration. This can also be done by mail.

Optional LLC Formation Costs

There are optional fees associated with LLC formation:

LLC Name Reservation

Reserve your name for up to 60 days prior to LLC formation by filing an Application of Reservation of Name and paying the $30 filing fee. The reservation can be extended for another 60 days for an additional $30.

Business Certificate

You apply for a business certificate, also called a DBA, in the city or cities where you do business. The filings fee varies depending on the location.

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Massachusetts Annual LLC Cost and Ongoing Compliance

Starting a limited liability company (LLC) in Massachusetts involves ongoing costs that are crucial to consider when planning your business budget. 

Understanding these expenses will help you estimate the total expenses of running an LLC in Massachusetts and make informed decisions. 

Here are the primary ongoing costs associated with maintaining an LLC in Massachusetts:

  • Annual Report: LLCs in Massachusetts are required to file an Annual Report with the Secretary of the Commonwealth. This report provides updated information about the LLC, its members, and its activities. The filing fee for the Annual Report is $500. It is important to note that the Annual Report fee is distinct from the initial filing fee for the Certificate of Organization.
  • Business Certificate Renewal: Since business certificates (DBAs) are filed at the city level, renewal fees may vary. For example, Boston requires LLCs to renew their business certificate every four years for $65.
  • Resident Agent Fee: Massachusetts law requires every LLC to appoint a resident agent, known in most states as a registered agent. Should you hire a registered agent service to fulfill this requirement, your yearly fees will vary. The average cost is $100–$200.

These ongoing costs should be carefully considered when planning the financial aspects of your Massachusetts LLC.

How to Register a Massachusetts LLC Yourself

Forming your own LLC in Massachusetts is a simple task that you can do independently. Just follow the seven steps outlined below.

Recommended: Using an LLC formation service like Northwest ($29 + State Fees) saves time and ensures compliance. Besides the low cost, we like their streamlined approach and excellent customer service.

Seven Basic Steps to Start an LLC in Massachusetts

Step 1: Name Your Massachusetts LLC
Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent
Step 3: File a Certificate of Organization
Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement
Step 5: Get an EIN
Step 6: File the Annual Report
Step 7: Keep Your Company Compliant

Step 1: Name Your Massachusetts LLC

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

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

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

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

We recommend that you check online to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don't plan to create a business website today, you may want to buy the URL in order to prevent others from acquiring it.

Find a Domain Now

Step 2: Choose a Resident Agent

All LLCs in Massachusetts must appoint a resident agent. A resident 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 Massachusetts resident agent must:

  • Be at least 18 years or older
  • Have a physical address in Massachusetts
  • Be available during normal business hours to accept service of process

In Massachusetts, your resident agent must consent to appointment by signing the Certificate of Organization or a separate form.

Recommended: Get a free year of registered agent services when you hire Northwest to form your LLC. $29 (plus state fees).

Get Started

Step 3: File the Certificate of Organization

The Massachusetts Certificate of Organization is a document that is filed with the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth to form an LLC. The fee for filing a Certificate of Organization is $500 online.

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

File a Massachusetts Certificate of Organization

OPTION 1: File Online With the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth

File Online

- OR -

OPTION 2: File the Certificate of Organization by Mail, by Fax, or in Person

Download Form

State Filing Cost: $500, payable to the Secretary of the Commonwealth

Filing Address:
Secretary of the Commonwealth
One Ashburton Place, Room 1717
Boston, MA 02108

Fax: (617) 624-3891

Note: Fax filing must include a cover sheet.

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement

An operating agreement isn't required for Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts 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:

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

Step 6: File the Annual Report

Massachusetts requires that LLCs file an annual report with the Corporations Division of the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

Filing can be done online, by mail, by fax, or in person. Fax filings must include a cover sheet. The fee for the annual report is $500 ($520 for hard copy filings), due every year by the LLC's anniversary date (i.e., the date you initially registered your LLC with the state).

Step 7: Keep Your Company Compliant

As a business entity, your Massachusetts LLC must adhere to federal, state, and local statutes. Specific licenses and permits will be required depending on your business activities.

  • Understand Massachusetts LLC Licensing: The Massachusetts Business License guide offers valuable insights into obtaining necessary licenses and permits for your LLC. Engaging a professional service to delve into your business's licensing needs can be a wise decision.
  • Manage Taxes for Your Massachusetts LLC: Staying current with tax commitments is essential for maintaining your LLC's standing. This includes sales tax, employer taxes (i.e., UI and withholding taxes), and individual income tax (both state-level and federal-level).
  • Employee Hiring in Massachusetts: Complying with legal requirements when hiring involves several steps, such as confirming their eligibility to work in the US, reporting new hires to the state, withholding employee taxes, and displaying labor law posters in your workspace.

These measures are integral for maintaining the regulatory compliance of your Massachusetts LLC.

Steps After LLC Formation

Read all the steps you’ll need to maintain your LLC’s personal liability protection, open a business bank account, get business insurance, and stay up to date with state reporting requirements.

Visit our After Forming an LLC guide to learn more.

Massachusetts LLC Cost FAQ

What is the financial commitment required to form an LLC in Massachusetts?

To create an LLC in Massachusetts, the principal expense is the $500 filing fee for the Certificate of Organization. This fee applies whether you file online, by mail, by fax, or in person with the Secretary of the Commonwealth's office. 

Remember that these are the foundational costs, and your business might require additional expenses such as obtaining relevant business licenses or permits.

How should I file the Certificate of Organization for my LLC in Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, the Certificate of Organization can be filed online, by mail, by fax, or in person. These documents, along with the $500 filing fee, should be sent to the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

Is it necessary to have a resident agent for my LLC in Massachusetts?

Yes, in Massachusetts, your LLC must have a resident agent, also known as a Registered Agent in other states. This person or entity agrees to accept legal documents on behalf of your LLC and must consent to this role by signing a specific consent form.

How do I go about changing my resident agent in Massachusetts?

If you decide to change your Resident Agent after the formation of your LLC in Massachusetts, your new Resident Agent needs to officially accept this responsibility. They do so by signing the change form, thereby confirming their willingness to act in this capacity.

What is a business certificate, and when is it required for an LLC in Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, a business certificate, also known as a DBA (doing business as) name, is used if your LLC operates under a different name than its legal name. If you intend to conduct business under your LLC's legal name, a business certificate is not necessary.

What is the annual report fee for an LLC in Massachusetts?

The fee to file an annual report in Massachusetts is $500. All LLCs in Massachusetts must file an annual report. 

This report keeps the state informed about your business's contact and ownership details.

Are there additional state compliance fees for LLCs in Massachusetts?

Based on the given data, aside from the cost associated with filing the annual report, Massachusetts does not impose specific state compliance fees for LLCs. However, it's always a good idea to check with the Secretary of the Commonwealth's office for the most accurate and current information.

How do I check if my desired LLC name is available in Massachusetts?

Before you file your Certificate of Organization, you should confirm that your desired LLC name is available. In Massachusetts, you can do this using the Business Entity Search and, for more certainty, the Name Reservation Search.

What is a Certificate of Good Standing for an LLC in Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, a Certificate of Good Standing is a document provided by the Secretary of the Commonwealth. It confirms that your LLC is legally registered and in compliance with all state requirements. This certificate can be valuable when you're looking to open business bank accounts, apply for business loans, or engage in other business transactions.

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