If you own a business in Maryland and have decided to incorporate that business, you have given yourself an extra layer of legal protection. By incorporating your business, you will no longer be vulnerable to personal lawsuits brought on by your customers, clients or even vendors. That is because a corporation offers limited liability to its owners. As a result, only the corporation itself can be held liable for the corporation’s debts.
Department of Assessments and Taxation
Begin by navigating to the Maryland Department of Assessments & Taxation website. When you get to the website look at the menu bar and click on “Forms & Applications.” This takes you to a list of business forms. Under the heading “Create or Start a Business in Maryland,” find the link to “Articles of Incorporation for Close Corporation.” Click on that link.
You will find numbered paragraphs on the articles of incorporation. In the first paragraph, enter your name and address. Enter the name of your corporation in the second paragraph. Remember to include “Incorporated,” “Corporation,” “Limited,” or an abbreviation of one of those words at the end of the name. In the third paragraph, state the reason you are forming the corporation.
Names and Addresses
Next, you must fill in important names and addresses. In paragraph four, give the address of your business’s principal office in Maryland. This cannot be a P.O. Box. In the fifth paragraph, include the name of the business’s resident agent as well as the resident agent’s Maryland address, which cannot be a P.O. Box. Fill in the number of shares of stock the corporation will have the authority to issue and the par value of that stock. Because you are likely creating a close corporation, you will not be required to have a board of directors. You will have to name one director in the seventh paragraph.
Signatures and Payment
All of the incorporators of the business must sign the articles of incorporation in the eighth paragraph, and the resident agent must sign in the ninth paragraph. At the end of the form, include the filing party’s return address. This way you will receive notice when your corporation has been formed. As of 2015, you must include a filing fee of $100 for the articles of incorporation and a filing fee of $20 for organization and capitalization. Submit the forms by mail or fax. If you mail the forms, send them along with a check to: State Department of Assessments and Taxation Charter Division, 301 W. Preston Street, 8th Floor, Baltimore, MD, 21201-2395. If you fax the forms, fax them along with a $50 expedited fee to (410) 333-7097. You will need to include your Visa or MasterCard payment information with the fax.