Cost to Form an LLC in Massachusetts

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

Use our free Form an LLC in Massachusetts guide to do it yourself.

Or simply use a professional service:

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 Massachusetts?

Massachusetts LLC Online Filing Fee: $500

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

Massachusetts Annual Report Fee: $500

Massachusetts requires LLCs to file an annual report with the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

You can submit this form through the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth website or by mail. It is due each year by the date on which the LLC was formed.

Registered Agent Fee

In Massachusetts you can be your own registered agent, but using a registered agent service helps keep your company in compliance and reminds you of important filing deadlines and avoid late fees.

Registered agent fees start at $39 for the first year. We recommend using:

OR:

Read our guide to learn more about Massachusetts Registered Agents. You can also read our full guide on the best registered agent services.

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.

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 Massachusetts. 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 Massachusetts business license.

Other LLC Filing 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.

“Doing Business As” (DBA) Name:
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.

Certified Document Copies:
Obtain certified copies of your Massachusetts business documents by ordering through the Secretary of the Commonwealth and paying $7 plus $2 for each page.

Certificate of Good Standing:
You can obtain a Massachusetts certificate of good standing by ordering through the Secretary of the Commonwealth and paying the $25 fee. A certificate of good standing is often required by banks and lending institutions.

How to Register a Massachusetts 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 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 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

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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.

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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

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:

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

Massachusetts LLC Cost FAQ

Do you have to pay for a Massachusetts LLC every year?

Yes, Massachusetts LLCs must pay a $500 annual report fee every year. Visit our Massachusetts LLC annual report guide for more information.

Is an LLC really necessary?

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?

You can save money on getting an LLC by completing the formation process yourself, making your own operating agreement, being your own Agent for Service of Process, and getting your own EIN.

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

Can I pay myself a salary from my LLC?

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 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.

What’s better: sole proprietorship or LLC?

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.

More Massachusetts Small Business Resources

Article Sources

Massachusetts Department of Revenue:
https://www.mass.gov/orgs/massachusetts-department-of-revenue


IRS - Employer ID Numbers:

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/employer-id-numbers


Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth - Corporations Division:

https://www.sec.state.ma.us/cor/coridx.htm


SBA - Apply for licenses and permits:

https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/launch-your-business/apply-licenses-and-permits


Chamber of Commerce - Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce List:

http://www.officialusa.com/stateguides/chambers/Massachusetts.html