In this lesson, we will walk you through filing your Articles of Organization with the Maryland Secretary of State. This is the document that officially forms your Maryland LLC.
(Maryland Secretary of State, Department of Assessments and Taxation Building)
Please watch the video instructions below:
The following information is provided for educational purposes only and in no way constitutes legal, tax, or financial advice. For legal, tax, or financial advice specific to your business needs, we encourage you to consult with a licensed attorney and/or CPA in your State. The following information is copyright protected. No part of this lesson may be redistributed, copied, modified or adapted without prior written consent of the author. A Limited Liability Company is a hybrid between a Corporation and a Partnership. An LLC protect your assets in the event of a lawsuit. In order to form your LLC, you must file LLC Formation Documents and pay the State filing fee. Once your documents are approved and sent back to you, your LLC is now in existence and authorized to do business in the State. Before completing your LLC Formation Documents, you need to have 2 things completed. First, make sure you have watched the 1st lesson on researching your LLC’s name. Your desired LLC name must be available for use before you proceed. Second, make sure your have watched the Lesson on Registered Agent and that you’ve made your selection. Now, let’s discuss your LLC Formation Documents. The name of the LLC Formation Documents for the State of Maryland is called the Articles of Organization. This document is not complicated and contains basic information, including your LLC name, the purpose of your LLC, and your LLC’s Registered Agent information. We will walk you through the details of the Articles of Organization in just a couple minutes and we will make sure you get it filled out correctly. In the Downloads section below this video, you will find 2 versions of the Articles of Organization. The 1st version will be used if you or someone you know will be your LLC’s Registered Agent. The 2nd version will be used if you are going to hire Northwest Registered Agent. The form is pre-populated with their address and signature. If you’re going to use a different Commercial Registered Agent, please download the 1st version of the Articles of Organization, enter their address, and then have them sign that document. Once your Articles of Organization are complete, you will need to mail them to the State along with the filing fee. The filing fee amount includes a small additional charge in order for you to receive a copy of your Articles of Organization once they are approved. Having a copy of your approved Articles of Organization is a requirement when opening a business bank account. Listed below this video, you will find the filing fee amount, the accepted forms of payment and the address where to mail your Articles of Organization. Once you mail your Articles of Organization along with the filing fee, the State will review and process your documents. If there are any issues with your filing, the State will notify you of those issues and then tell you what corrections need to be made. You will have 60 days to make these corrections and return your Articles of Organization to the State for further processing. If you do not return your documents within 60 days, the State will abandon your filing and keep your filing fee. If there are no issues with your filing however, your LLC will be approved 6-8 weeks. When your LLC is approved, you will receive back a confirmation letter and a copy of your Articles of Organization. This confirms your LLC is now a legally formed business in the State of Maryland. Please keep a copy of these documents with your business records as you’ll need them to open your LLC’s bank account. Do not order your EIN (also known as your Federal Tax ID Number) or start to use your LLC for any business purposes until you’ve received your approved Articles of Organization. If you need your LLC approved sooner than 6-8 weeks, the State offers an Expedited Filing option. Expedited Filings are approved in 7-10 days. In order for the State to expedite your filing, you need to pay an extra fee. Everything else is the same with an Expedited Filing. Again, you just pay extra to have your documents approved quicker. Below this video, you will find the filing fee amount (including the optional expedited fee), the accepted forms of payment and the address where to mail your documents. Once your LLC is formed however, paperwork with the State is not over. As part of the ongoing requirements for your LLC, Maryland requires that you file an Annual Report and pay a yearly fee. Also, you’ll be required to file State taxes every year. We will discuss these items in a later Lesson. We are now ready to do a complete walk-through of filing your Articles of Organization. Again, you can download this document below the video. Let’s get started. Here we are inside the Articles of Organization. This is a 3-page PDF document. Page 1 is the actual Articles of Organization. and page 2 and page 3 are the instructions. Feel free to read through the instructions if you’d like, but we’ve already covered this information in the video. This form can be filled out on the computer, or it can be printed and then filled out by hand. If you fill it out by hand, please use blue or black ink. Also, make sure to print the documents on white paper that is letter-sized (that’s your standard 8-and-a-half-by-11 inches). Please note that I have a professional version of Adobe Acrobat with a good amount of functionality. You most likely have the free version of Adobe Reader. However, you should still be able to type inside this document as you’re about to see me do. But if you have any issues with typing inside the document on the computer, simply print this out and then fill it out by hand. All right, let’s get started. I’m going to use some dummy information as an example as I fill out this document. In the 1st section, we’re going to list the name of the Limited Liability Company. I’m going to go ahead and type in my sample company: “ABC Widgets, LLC”. Make sure you include the designator “LLC” or “L.L.C.”. Let me go ahead and zoom this document a little bit (it might be a little bit easier to see now). Also, you’ll see I’m using a comma here. The comma is optional, so you can include 1 if you’d like, or you can leave it out if you prefer. Under Section 2 (“The purpose for which the Limited Liability Company is filed is as follows”), here you’re going to write a brief description of the purpose of your LLC. For this example. I’m going to type “Manufacturing consumer goods”. Now don’t worry, the State’s not going to hold you to this. This is more just used for statistical purposes. Let’s say your LLC was used for real estate investing. You can just list that, or let’s say you had a yoga studio, you could just put that. A few words of description is all that’s needed there for No. 2, so I’m going to leave that. No. 3 (“the address of the Limited Liability Company in Maryland is”), I’m going to go ahead and list the sample address here. Next in Section 4 (“the resident agent of the Limited Liability Company in Maryland is”), in this case, let’s say this LLC is a Single-Member LLC with 1 person (“John Doe”). Let’s call him myself, and I’m going to be the Registered Agent (or in this State, the Resident Agent) for the Limited Liability Company. I’m going to go ahead and list my name here. Next (“whose address is”), I’m going to list my address. Now this happens to be the same address that’s listed at No. 3, but they do not have to be the same. I’m going to copy everything up here and paste it down there. Now, let’s take a look at this document in another version to see what it would look like if you used Northwest Registered Agent as your LLC’s Resident Agent. Here’s the other version of the PDF. If you happen to be using this version, at the top it says “At least one signature has problems”, you can ignore that. However, if we go down to Section 4, you can see the Resident Agent here. We have “Northwest Registered Agent Services, Inc.”. We have their address, and they’ve also signed Section 6. Not that much of a difference, just a company listed here, their address and their signature. Let’s go back to our example document. Next, in Section 5, you’re going to have the members of the LLC sign. In this case, after I print this out I would simply just sign here, or if it was myself and another member, I would sign there and they would sign on Line 2. No. 6 is going to be the signature of the Resident Agent. In this case, I am the Resident Agent for this LLC, so I would just sign here, but if it was a friend or family member or somebody else you knew with an address in the State, then they would need to sign this document before you submit. Next in Section 7, you’re, going to tell the State where you’d like these documents returned to. In this case, I’d like them sent back to me at my address, so it happens to be the same address that I listed above. I’m going to list my name, and then I’m going to enter my address. And that’s it, pretty straightforward. Once you have the document completed, you’re going to print it out, have the member or members of the LLC sign in Section 5, have the Resident Agent sign in Section 6. You’re going to include this with your filing fee, and then mail that to the State at the address listed below this video. Let’s do a quick run-through just for review. In Section 1, you’re going to list the name of your LLC, including the designator “LLC” or “L.L.C.”. In No. 2, you’re going to list a short and brief description for the purpose of your LLC. No. 3, you’re going to include the address for the Limited Liability Company. This could be a business address, or it could be your home address. No. 4, you’re going to list the name of the individual or the company that is a Resident Agent for your LLC, as well as their street address in Maryland. If you’re using Northwest Registered Agent for your LLC’s Resident Agent, you’re going to use a different form and this one, it’s in the Download section below this video and pre-populated with their address and signature. Next, in Section 5, once the document is printed out, you’re going to have the members sign. Then in Section 6, you’re going to have the Resident Agent sign here, and in Section 7, you’re going to list your name and the address where you’d like the documents returned to once they’re approved. An important thing to make note of here, is that this document does not need to be notarized, but you do need to have original signatures before you send it to the State (meaning, don’t make a copy of this document and then send that to the State). There needs to be original signatures for both Section 5 and Section 6, and that concludes this Lesson.
Expedited LLC Filing: $155 (7-10 days approval time)
Note: The “LLC filing fee” (the fee to create a Maryland LLC) is the same thing as the “Articles of Organization fee”. The Articles of Organization is the document, that once approved by the Department of Assessments and Taxation, creates your Maryland LLC.
Accepted Forms of Payment
Check or Money Order
Make Payable To
Make your check or money order payable to “State Department of Assessments and Taxation”.
Mail your Articles of Organization with your check or money order (made payable to the “State Department of Assessments and Taxation”) to:
State Department of Assessments and Taxation Charter Division 301 W. Preston Street, 8th Floor Baltimore, MD 21201-2395
For Regular Filings, your LLC will be approved in 6-8 weeks.
For Expedited Filings, your LLC will be approved in 7-10 days.
What Does Approval Look Like
The State will mail you a Confirmation Letter and a copy of your Articles of Organization.
State Contact Info
State Department of Assessments and Taxation Corporate Charter Division Phone: 410-767-1340 (rapidly press 1, 1, 1 to speak with a representative) Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm Email: [email protected]
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