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 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:
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.
- Helpful tips: Review Maryland LLC Name Search for help with LLC names.
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:
- LLC (most common)
- 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.
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.
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)
- Prior lesson: We recommend reading Maryland Registered Agent before you complete this section.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
Check the box agreeing to the terms.
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)
- Related article: Do I need a Trade Name for my LLC?
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
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:
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.
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
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.
Maryland LLC Act: Section 4A-204
Maryland SDAT: Processing Times
Maryland SDAT: Registration and Filing
Maryland SDAT: Forms and Applications
Maryland SDAT: Business Express Homepage
Maryland SDAT: Business Planning Resources
Maryland SDAT: Business Express Filing FAQs
Maryland SDAT: Business Express Fee Schedule