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Last updated September 1, 2021

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Maryland LLC
Articles of Organization

Quick Start Guide
This Quick Start Guide is a brief overview of how to form an LLC in Maryland.

Detailed Lessons:

1. Name Search
2. Registered Agent
3. Filing Forms ← you are here

 

Maryland LLC Costs:
Maryland state fee: $100 (by mail) or $150 (online)
Annual report: $300

Need to save time?
Hire a professional to form your LLC in Maryland:
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

★ Check out Northwest vs LegalZoom

How to complete the Maryland LLC Articles of Organization

In this lesson, we will walk you through filing your Articles of Organization with the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT). This is the document that officially forms your Maryland LLC.

Maryland LLC Secretary of State Department of Assessments and Taxation
(Maryland Secretary of State, Department of Assessments and Taxation Building)

Maryland LLC cost

The cost to form an LLC in Maryland is $100 by mail, or $150 online.

Maryland LLC approval time

By mail ($100): If you form your LLC by mail, it will be approved in 6-8 weeks. If you want it faster, you can pay $50 extra and your LLC will be approved in about 2 weeks.

Online ($150): If you form your LLC online, it will be approved in 7 business days.

We recommend the online filing if you need your LLC approved faster. If you don’t mind the wait and would like to save $50, you can file by mail.

Note: Filing times may take longer due to the current global situation and government delays. For the most up-to-date LLC processing times, check how long does it take to get an LLC in Maryland.

Go to the instructions:

Need to save time? Hire a professional to form your LLC in Maryland:
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

(check out Northwest vs LegalZoom)

Step-by-step instructions for filing your Maryland LLC online

Create a new account on Maryland Business Express

First, you will need to create an online account with the Maryland SDAT:

  • Visit Maryland Business Express: Registrations and Filings.
  • Enter your name, phone number, and email. You don’t have to enter your address if you don’t want to.
  • Set a username and password.
  • From the dropdown list for “Type of User”, select “Business Owner/Representative”.

Start a New Filing

From your account dashboard, select “Start a New Filing”. Then click “New Business Filings”, and then select “Register a Business”.

From the list of business types under “Register a New Business”, click “Maryland Limited Liability Company”.

How would you like to file?

Click “I will use the online forms”. Then save & continue.

Name Search

Enter your LLC name exactly as you want it, and select the suffix (aka “ending”) you want to use from the drop down list.

Maryland allows you to use these suffixes:

  • LC
  • L.C.
  • LLC (most common)
  • L.L.C.
  • Limited Liability Company

Note: The suffix at the end of the LLC name is also called a “designator”.

Click “Search Names”. If your name is available to use, you’ll be taken to the next page. If your name is not available, the system will tell you. If that happens, you’ll need to come up with a variation or a new LLC name altogether.

Business Information – Principal Office location in Maryland

Enter your Maryland LLC’s Principal Office address.

What is a Principal Office Address?
It’s where the primary business activities take place and/or where your LLC records are kept.

This address must be a street address located in Maryland. It can’t be a PO Box.

Your Maryland LLC’s Principal Office address can be:

  • a home address
  • an office address
  • a virtual office address or mailbox rental
  • the address of your Maryland Registered Agent (if your Registered Agent allows it)

Note: If you hire Northwest Registered Agent, you can use their address for your LLC’s Principal Office address.

Have a different mailing address? Check the box at the bottom and then enter your mailing address.

Contact Information

Enter your email address and phone number. This information is only used by the state if they have any questions about your filing.

You can enter your personal email here.

Business License

Don’t panic if you’re not sure whether you need a business license yet. You don’t need to make a decision or do anything right now.

However, you can call the Circuit Court in the county where your LLC is located, and ask what type of business license your LLC needs (if any). Licensing is typically determined by where your LLC is located and what kind of business it is.

Or, if you don’t want to make phone calls and determine the licensing requirements, we recommend using IncFile.

In summary: Most people click “Uncertain” and take care of this later.

Resident Agent (aka Registered Agent)

Note: Some states call the Registered Agent a Resident Agent or Statutory Agent. These all mean the same thing, so we always call it a Registered Agent to keep it simple. For more information, please see what is a Registered Agent called in each state.

If you or someone you know will be the Registered Agent:

Select “An Individual” from the drop down. And then enter that person’s name and contact information below.

If you hired Northwest Registered Agent:

  • Select “a Maryland Corporation” from the drop down
  • Corporation/LLC Name: Northwest Registered Agent Service Inc.
  • Title: Select “Officer”
  • First Name: Tom
  • Last Name: Glover
  • Phone: 509-768-2249
  • Email: compliance@northwestregisteredagent.com
  • Address: Enter their address as listed in your Northwest online dashboard

Note: If you’ve hired a different Commercial Registered Agent, you’ll need to contact them and ask how to complete this section.

Click “Add Contact to My Contacts”. Then click “Save and Continue” to proceed.

Contact Information

This field has a confusing name, but it’s just showing where your LLC approval documents will be sent. Under “The Maryland Business Express Account Holder is…” the system lists the email address for the account holder. If you want to receive the LLC approval documents at that email address, just scroll to the bottom and click “Continue”.

If you’d like an additional person to receive a copy of those documents, enter their contact information here also.

Summary

Review your filing for accuracy and check for any typos.

If all looks good, click “Proceed to Certification”. If you need to make any changes, click the “Edit” buttons.

Certification

Authorized Person (aka Organizer):
The LLC Organizer is the person who signs and submits your filing to the state.

Most people filing their own LLC are also the Organizer. If this is the case, just enter your name in the first box. For more information, please see LLC Organizer vs Member.

Resident Agent:
Check the box agreeing to the terms.

Filing Party:
Enter your contact information.

Certified Copy (costs $41):
Certified Copies are not required and they are rarely used. Honestly, it’s a way for the state to make more money. Most people don’t need one and don’t check this box.

Click “Certify and Proceed” to continue.

Other Filing Options (or Proceed to Payment)

If you want to register a Trade Name for your LLC, click “Register a Trade Name”. This costs $75 to file online ($25 filing fee plus a forced $50 expedited fee). In Maryland, all online filings have a forced $50 expedited fee.

Otherwise, click “Proceed to Payment” to file your Articles of Organization.

Note: Ignore the “Register Tax Accounts” button. It’s not urgent, and you can’t do it now anyway.

Pay for your LLC:
You can pay with a credit card or debit card. Enter your payment information, click “Submit”, and finalize your payment to the state.

Congratulations! Your LLC Articles of Organization have been submitted to the state. Now you just need to wait for approval.

Maryland LLC Approval Time (online filings)

If you form your LLC by mail, it will be approved in 7 business days. Your approval will be emailed to you.

What do I get back?

The State will email you a Confirmation Letter and copy of your Articles of Organization (stamped and approved).

How to file a Maryland LLC by Mail

Download Articles of Organization

Download the Articles of Organization form:
Articles of Organization (PDF)

Note: If you hired a Commercial Registered Agent, you’ll need to call or email them and ask for their signed Maryland Articles of Organization, since the state requires that they also sign the form.

Mail filing video instructions:

Maryland LLC - Formation Documents

Important: The video says the form can be handwritten. This is no longer the case. The state no longer accepts handwritten Articles of Organization. If filing by mail, the Articles of Organization must be typed.

Video Transcript:

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.
Need to save time? Hire a professional to form your LLC in Maryland:
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

(check out Northwest vs LegalZoom)

Accepted Forms of Payment

You can pay the filing fee with a check or money order when you file by mail. Make your check or money order payable to “State Department of Assessments and Taxation”.

Maryland LLC Mail Filing Instructions

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

Maryland LLC Approval Time (mail filings)

If you form your LLC by mail, it will be approved in 4-6 weeks (this accounts for mail time). Your approval will be mailed to you.

Maryland offers expedited processing (within 7 business days) for mail filings only. The expedited filing fee is $50 extra, or $150 total. Including mail time, this means you will get your LLC in about 3 weeks.

What do I get back?

The State will mail you a Confirmation Letter and a copy of your Articles of Organization.

State Contact Info

If you have any questions, you can contact the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation at 410-767-1350.

Their hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm, Eastern Time.

Next Step: LLC Operating Agreement

Once your LLC is approved you can proceed to the next Lesson: Maryland LLC Operating Agreement.

Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator, LLC University®
Matt Horwitz has been the leading expert on LLC education for the past decade. He founded LLC University in 2010 after realizing people needed simple and actionable instructions to start an LLC that other companies weren't offering. He's cited by Entrepreneur Magazine, Yahoo Finance, and the US Chamber of Commerce, and was featured by CNBC and InventRight.
 
Matt holds a Bachelor's Degree in business from Drexel University with a concentration in business law. He performs extensive research and analysis to convert state laws into simple instructions anyone can follow to form their LLC - all for free! Read more about Matt Horwitz and LLC University.

4 comments on “Maryland Filing Forms”

Disclaimer: Nothing on this page shall be interpreted as legal or tax advice. Rules and regulations vary by location. They also change over time and are specific to your situation. Furthermore, this comment section is provided so people can share their thoughts and experience. Please consult a licensed professional if you have legal or tax questions.

  1. The explanation of all of the information was excellent and very easy to follow.

    Thank you so much!

    Cathy

  2. When a Maryland Multi-Member LLC wants to convert to a Maryland Corporation then Articles of Conversion need to be filed, since the desire is to no longer be an LLC, but rather a Maryland Corporation. Can this be done just with the Article of Conversion, or does a new FID need to be obtained. The desire is not just to be an LLC who is taxed as an S-Corp, but to be an S-Corp

    • Hi Patty, there is no such thing as converting the legal entity into an S-Corp. An S-Corporation is a tax election that “sits on top” of either an LLC or a Corporation. If you want to convert the LLC into a Corporation, we are not sure about the EIN as entity conversion isn’t something we regularly deal with. Thank you for your understanding.

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