How Much Does an LLC Cost in Maryland

Written by: Mary Gerardine

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The minimum Maryland LLC cost is $100, which covers the processing fee for filing your LLC formation documents, known as the Articles of Organization.

Having said that, the total cost of forming a Maryland LLC will depend on several factors, including your personal preferences and business needs.

In our How Much Does an LLC Cost in Maryland article, we’ve broken down everything you need to know about the different costs associated with launching and maintaining an LLC.

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Maryland LLC Cost

In the table below, you can find a summary of the main requirements of forming a Maryland limited liability company (LLC) and their associated fees.

                                                         
RequirementFee
Articles of Organization$100
Registered Agent$0-$150+
LLC Name$0-$50
Operating Agreement$0+

Maryland LLC Filing Fee ($100)

In Maryland, all LLCs are required to submit their Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State in order to be registered with the state.

The cost for filing the Articles of Organization is $100, which is applicable to both domestic and foreign LLCs.

Having said that, if you choose to use an LLC formation service, the cost will be a little higher as it will include a small service fee in addition to California’s state filing fee.

The fees for an LLC formation service can range significantly, but can start from as low as $29, increasing if you decide to purchase any additional offerings.

Note: For more details on the formation process, you can check out our Maryland LLC Formation guide.

Maryland Resident Agent ($0-$150+)

As part of filing your Articles of Organization, you will be required to appoint a resident agent, which is commonly known as a registered agent outside of Maryland.

This is a person or entity that you must assign to receive tax, legal, and governmental correspondence on behalf of your Maryland LLC.

While you can act as your own resident agent at no extra cost, it’s often recommended to hire a professional service so you avoid any potential penalties or legal issues caused by non-compliance with state regulations.

The cost of professional resident agent services varies depending on the services offered, with prices in Maryland starting as low as $45 and potentially exceeding $150 per year.

Note: In accordance with Maryland law, your resident agent will need to have a physical address in the state — P.O. boxes are not accepted.

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Naming Your Maryland LLC ($0-$50)

When forming your Maryland LLC, you’ll be required to pick a suitable name that’s available to use.

There are two potential costs to be aware of when naming your LLC.

Reserving Name

If you have decided on a name for your Maryland LLC but are not yet ready to register your business, you will have the option of reserving it in order to prevent others from doing so.

To do this, you’ll need to submit the Corporate Name Reservation Application form, which is available on the Maryland Business Express website.

This application should be sent to the State Department of Assessments and Taxation and comes with a $25 fee.

If you’re in a hurry, keep in mind that an expedited service is available for an additional $20 fee.

Once submitted, your business name will be reserved for a period of 30 days.

Note: It’s important to first use the Maryland Business Express’ Business Name Search in order to check if your chosen name is available before attempting to reserve it.

When choosing a name for your LLC, it’s important to select one that corresponds to an available domain. This is because a matching domain ensures consistency between your LLC’s name and its online presence, which helps to strengthen its brand recognition and credibility.

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Doing Business As (DBA) Name

If you’re considering operating your business under a name that is different from its legal name, you’ll need to register a Doing Business As (DBA) name through the Maryland State Department of Assessments & Taxation.

To register your DBA name, you can either file online via the Maryland Business Express website or by mailing a completed Trade Name Application to the Charter Division at the Department of Assessments and Taxation.

The filing fee is $25; for those requiring expedited processing, an additional $50 is charged — bringing the total cost for expedited service to $75.

The registration will remain valid for a period of five years, and can be renewed at the initial fee of $25 during the final six months before expiration.

Note: Keep in mind that you cannot use business entity suffixes (e.g., LLC, Inc, etc) for your DBA unless they accurately reflect your business’s legal structure.

Maryland LLC Operating Agreement ($0+)

While not mandatory, it’s good practice for LLCs to have an operating agreement (or “company agreement” as it’s known in Maryland).

This document defines the roles and responsibilities of the members or managers in your LLC and will help prevent and solve any business disputes that may arise later on.

While you can opt to hire an online service or business attorney to draft this document for you (which typically costs at least a few hundred dollars), it’s actually quite straightforward to do it yourself at no extra cost.

It’s also important to note that this doesn’t actually need to be filed with the Maryland Secretary of State — it’s purely an internal document.

Additional Maryland LLC Formation Costs

On top of the more common fees outlined above, there are a number of additional formation costs that LLCs in Maryland may encounter depending on their circumstances.

We’ve summarized some of these additional costs below:

Expedited Maryland LLC Filing

Maryland offers expedited processing options for businesses that want to accelerate the review and approval process of their formation documents.

The State Department of Assessments & Taxation offers the following expedited services:

  • Rush Expedited Service: For an additional $325 fee, online submissions received during business hours before 2:30 pm are reviewed within three hours. Submissions after this time are reviewed on the next business day
  • Two-Hour Review: For documents submitted in hard copy directly to SDAT, a $425 fee can be paid for a review time of two hours

It should be noted that standard filings, if not expedited, are processed in the second calendar month after they’re received. For example, a filing made in March will be reviewed in May.

Certificate of Status

A Maryland Certificate of Status, also known as a Good Standing certificate, is a document often required to open a business bank account, or by lenders in order to check that your LLC is properly registered and legally authorized to conduct business with the state.

You can request a certificate of status from the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation either online through the Maryland Business Express website or via mail by making a request to the SDAT Corporate Charter Division.

This comes with a processing fee of $20, with the option to expedite your filing for an additional $20.

Certified Copies of Business Documents

You may need certified copies of your business documents if you’re dealing with financial institutions, regulatory bodies, or are involved in legal proceedings.

You can request certified copies of your business documents from the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation at a fixed cost of $20, plus $1 per page.

If you choose expedited processing, you’ll need to pay an extra $20 on top of the standard fees.

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Cost to Maintain an LLC in Maryland

In addition to the cost of forming an LLC in Maryland, there are also several ongoing costs you’ll be responsible for paying each year.

We’ve outlined these recurring costs associated with maintaining a Maryland LLC below.

Annual Report Fee

You will be required to file an Annual Report for your LLC with the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation in order to maintain your company’s good standing with the state. This will cost you $300 per year.

The report must be submitted through the Maryland Business Express website, no later than April 15 each year.

Keep in mind that failure to meet this deadline could result in forfeiture of your entity’s right to conduct business in the state of Maryland.

Registered Agent Maintenance

If you decide to take advantage of a professional registered agent in order to handle your legal documents, you’ll be required to pay an annual fee in return for their services. This fee commonly ranges between $35 and $300 depending on the provider and features you select.

While you’re not required to use a professional registered agent service, it’s highly recommended.

Taxes

In addition to the federal taxes your LLC is required to pay regardless of the state it’s based in, there are a variety of state-specific taxes in Maryland you need to be aware of, including:

  • Sales tax
  • Employment taxes
  • Business privilege taxes
  • Property taxes

Additionally, there are various local taxes your LLC may need to pay depending on the municipality or county it’s based in, such as:

  • Sales and use taxes
  • Property tax

Maryland vs Other States

Compared to other states, Maryland offers relatively modest initial filing fees for LLC formation but imposes relatively high annual fees on businesses.

Having said that, this potential drawback is partly offset by the state’s absence of franchise taxes, which can result in overall cost savings for businesses operating within Maryland.

Having said that, it’s important to understand that the best state to form your LLC will generally be the one in which you plan to primarily operate your business from.

This is because this makes it far easier to stay legally compliant on a number of levels, including taxation, licensing, and filing requirements, as you’ll only need to deal with one state’s set of rules.

LLC Cost in Maryland FAQ

How much does it cost to get an LLC in Maryland?

The minimum cost to form a new LLC or to register a Maryland foreign LLC is $100, which covers the Articles of Organization filing fee.  Additional expenses, such as hiring a registered agent or expedited processing, may increase this base cost depending on your specific needs.

Is it worth getting an LLC in Maryland?

Yes, many entrepreneurs find substantial value in establishing an LLC in Maryland. This is because Maryland law fosters a supportive business environment that directly benefits LLC members. For more information on LLC costs, have a look at our How Much Does it Cost to Start an LLC article.

Can I get a free LLC in Maryland?

No, forming an LLC for free in Maryland isn’t possible due to the mandatory state filing fee. Having said that, you can reduce some costs for Maryland LLCs by acting as your own registered agent and creating your own operating agreement. Also, you might need to budget for potential costs associated with obtaining the necessary business licenses for your LLC.

How do I start an LLC in Maryland by myself?

To start an LLC in Maryland on your own, you will have to file the Articles of Organization with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation, and pay the $100 filing fee. For more information on the general process, you can have a look at our How to Start an LLC in Maryland guide.

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