How to Start an LLC in Maryland

by Christopher Carter; Updated September 26, 2017
Smiling businesspeople

Owners of a Maryland limited liability company (LLC) appear as members of the business. Forming an LLC in Maryland creates a separate legal entity from the members of the business. LLCs in Maryland can sue or be sued, enter into contracts, and accumulate debts and liabilities in the company name. The state of Maryland allows members of an LLC to pass their share of business profits or losses to their individual or joint tax return.

Step 1

Create a business name for the Maryland LLC. A Maryland LLC must have a different business name from that of any other business registered in the state of Maryland. Furthermore, a Maryland LLC business name must be distinguishable from any business name held on reserve in the state of Maryland. According to the Nolo website, a Maryland LLC must have the words "Limited Liability Company" or the appropriate abbreviation, in the business name. Conduct a name availability search on the Maryland State Department of Assessment and Taxation website.

Step 2

File articles of organization with the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation. The Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation website has fill-in the blank articles of incorporation that may be printed out. Maryland state law requires articles of organization to include the name and address of the LLC, as well as the purpose for its creation. In addition, Maryland articles of organization must include the name and address of a registered agent. The registered agent can be either a person, 18 or over, or a business. A Maryland registered agent must agree to accept legal documents on behalf of a Maryland LLC, and have a physical address in the state of Maryland. Completed articles of organization may be faxed or mailed to the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation. As of 2010, it costs $100 to form an LLC in the state of Maryland.

Step 3

Create a written operating agreement for the Maryland LLC. Maryland state law doesn't require an LLC to file an operating agreement, but creating a written operating agreement will help prevent potential discrepancies. An operating agreement outlines the rules and regulations that will govern the Maryland LLC. A Maryland operating agreement may contain information such as the voting rights of LLC members, ownership interests and the manner in which profits and losses are distributed between members of the Maryland LLC.

Step 4

Request an employer identification number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS will provide a Maryland LLC with an EIN free of charge over the phone, via fax, mail or online. Applying for an EIN online or by phone will result in a Maryland LLC receiving an EIN for immediate use. Faxing Form SS-4 will require a Maryland LLC to wait 4 days to receive an EIN. Maryland LLCs that elect to mail Form SS-4 may wait up to 4 weeks to receive an EIN.

Step 5

Obtain licenses and permits to operate the Maryland LLC. All Maryland LLCs will require a business license to operate. Other permits and licenses required to operate a Maryland LLC will depend on the nature of the business. A Maryland LLC that offers bookkeeping services to businesses may only need to obtain a business license. However, a Maryland LLC involved in retail electronic sales will need a zoning permit, business license and a sales and use tax permit. Contact the city or county clerk's office in the Maryland county where the LLC operates. This will insure that the Maryland LLC stays in compliance with all legal licensing requirements.

About the Author

Christopher Carter loves writing business, health and sports articles. He enjoys finding ways to communicate important information in a meaningful way to others. Carter earned his Bachelor of Science in accounting from Eastern Illinois University.

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