Maryland Registered Agent (2023 LLC Guide)

Home » Maryland LLC » Maryland Registered Agent (2023 LLC Guide)

Deal alert! Our favorite company, Northwest, is forming LLCs for $39 (60% off!) See details.

What is a Maryland Registered Agent?

A Maryland Registered Agent is a person or company who agrees to accept legal mail and notices on behalf of your Maryland LLC.

Registered Agent

Legal mail (called Service of Process) is sent if your LLC is involved in a lawsuit. Additionally, the state may send notices and reminders to your LLC’s Registered Agent.

Special offer: If you hire Northwest to form your LLC ($39 + state fee), they’ll include their Registered Agent service free for the 1st year.

Maryland Registered Agents should be available during normal business hours (9am – 5pm), Monday through Friday.

And the Registered Agent for your LLC in Maryland must have a physical street address in Maryland. PO Box addresses aren’t allowed.

​​Note: Most states use the term “Registered Agent”, but Maryland uses the term “Resident Agent”. They both mean the same thing and we may use these terms interchangeably.

Maryland LLC - Registered Agent

Does Maryland require a Registered Agent?

Yes, Maryland requires all business entities to list a Registered Agent on their LLC formation paperwork. And they must keep a Registered Agent on file with the state for the life of the LLC.

Why do I need a Registered Agent in Maryland?

The purpose of a Registered Agent is to accept Service of Process in case your business gets sued. And the court needs proof that your LLC received the legal documents.

That’s why each business entity (like a Limited Liability Company or Corporation) must have a Registered Agent on file with the state.

Said another way, your LLC’s Registered Agent is a key component of how the court and legal systems work. By requiring all Maryland LLCs to keep a Registered Agent on file with the state, the delivery of court documents can be properly tracked.

Who can be my Registered Agent in Maryland?

You actually have 3 options for who can be your Maryland Registered Agent:

  • yourself
  • a friend or family member
  • a Maryland Registered Agent Service

You can save money by being the Registered Agent for your LLC, but there are some risks.

What are the risks?

The risks of being your own Maryland Registered Agent are:

  • missing an important notice from the state
  • administrative dissolution
  • missing Service of Process (and potential legal consequences)

These issues are more likely to occur if you:

  • move and forget to update your address with the state
  • travel or leave town for extended periods of time
  • don’t have a reliable address
  • don’t keep up with your mail

We’ll explain a few of these risks below.

Missing an important notice from the state

Your business needs to promptly receive all important notices sent by the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation (DAT) or any other state agency.

Notices sent by state agencies often have actions that your LLC must take by a certain deadline. And in some cases, there are penalties and fees if you miss those deadlines.

Administrative Dissolution

If you are the Registered Agent for your LLC, and you move without updating your Maryland Resident Agent address, the Maryland DAT can dissolve (shut down) your LLC.

To clarify, the state isn’t looking over your LLC every single day, so this potential administrative dissolution won’t automatically happen if you don’t update your Registered Agent information.

However, if the state finds out that your Registered Agent address isn’t up-to-date, and they can’t reach you, then they could shut down your LLC.

Default Judgment

If there is a lawsuit against your LLC, a process server will make multiple attempts to serve your LLC (deliver the court documents).

However, if they are unable to serve your LLC in person, Service of Process can be made another way (like through Certified Mail). This can mean the court notices and/or documents were “delivered” to you, even if you didn’t physically receive them.

Then the person suing your LLC can argue their case without you being there to defend your LLC. In these situations, the person suing your LLC usually wins and the court enters a default judgment against your business.

Contempt of Court

If there is a lawsuit that involves your LLC, the parties might serve your business with a subpoena. The subpoena may ask you to testify in a hearing, or to produce records.

If you don’t respond to the subpoena, you can be held in contempt of court. This can lead to fines, or the court can issue a bench warrant. This means the sheriff can come seize the records or force you to show up in court.

So should I be my own Registered Agent?

You certainly can. While there are risks of being your own Registered Agent, they don’t come up very often. And you can save money by being your own Maryland Registered Agent.

Having said that, hiring a Maryland Registered Agent Service can provide additional benefits, such as address privacy.

Registered Agent Information is Public Record in Maryland

While you (or a friend or family member) can be your LLC’s Registered Agent, you may not want to have a home address listed on public record.

The information you enter in your Articles of Organization (including the Registered Agent’s address) becomes public record with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation.

Not only is this information searchable by the public, but other websites download the state’s records and republish them on their own website. Then things begin to spread as other public record websites take that same information and list it on their websites too (and the process repeats itself).

Pretty soon your address is listed on many websites and people can easily find it by doing a Google search.

If you’d like to keep your address off public records, we have a strategy for this.

How to keep your address off public records:

Many business owners in Maryland start businesses from their homes. So you should be aware that the Registered Agent’s address on your LLC Articles of Organization gets listed on public records.

If you want to keep your address off public records, you can hire a professional Registered Agent Service that will allow you to use their address throughout your Articles of Organization.

Northwest Registered Agent offers this unique service at no additional cost.

There are many Maryland Registered Agents out there, but we have found Northwest to be the best Registered Agent Service available.

What’s the best Maryland Registered Agent option to choose?

Choosing the best Maryland Registered Agent option for your business depends on a few factors.

You:

You can be your own Registered Agent in Maryland if:

  • you are a resident of Maryland, and
  • you have a physical street address in Maryland.

You also should be comfortable with your address being listed on public records.

Why choose this option? This is a good option to choose if you want to save money (since you won’t need to hire a Maryland Registered Agent Service).

Friend or Family:

A friend or family member can be your Maryland Registered Agent if:

  • they are a resident of Maryland, and
  • they have a physical street address in Maryland

They also should be comfortable with their address being listed on public records.

Why choose this option? This is a good option to choose if you aren’t a resident of Maryland, but want to save money (since you won’t need to hire a Maryland Registered Agent Service).

Maryland Registered Agent Service:

A Maryland Registered Agent Service (aka Commercial Registered Agent) is a company that specializes in receiving mail and Service of Process for your LLC.

Maryland Registered Agent Services usually charge $100 to $300 per year. After they receive mail for your LLC, they’ll forward it to you or upload it to your online account.

Why choose this option? This is a good option to choose if you:

  • don’t live in Maryland
  • don’t have a friend or family member’s address to use
  • won’t be available during normal business hours to receive mail, or don’t want your address listed in the Articles of Organization

If you’d like to hire a Registered Agent Service, the company we recommend is Northwest Registered Agent.

Northwest Registered Agent review
The Northwest Registered Agent logo is a registered trademark of Northwest Registered Agent.

Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest Registered Agent is our personal recommendation (and the Registered Agent Service we use) for a few reasons:

  • they’ve been in business for over 20 years
  • their customer service agents are LLC experts, and
  • they let you use their address in your entire LLC filing (to keep yours off public record)

Special discounted pricing for LLC University readers

Northwest usually charges $100 + state fees to form an LLC. However, we’ve negotiated a discounted rate (60% off) for LLC University® readers.

Special offer: If you hire Northwest to form your LLC ($39 + state fee), they’ll include their Registered Agent service free for the 1st year.

(Check out our Northwest Registered Agent review to learn more)

Maryland Registered Agent FAQs

LLC CostIf you (or a friend or family member) will be your Registered Agent, there is no cost.

If you want to hire a Maryland Resident Agent company, it will cost between $100 and $300 per year.

Note: A Maryland Resident Agent company is also called a Maryland Resident Agent Service, a Registered Agent Service, or a Commercial Resident Agent. These all mean the same thing and we use them interchangeably.

A few states offer a list of Registered Agent companies. However, these lists aren’t very helpful because they only have contact information.

Instead, it’s often better to google “Registered Agent in Maryland”, read reviews, and make phone calls to check if their services are a good match for your LLC.

However, we know that this can still be a headache, so we’ve reviewed the top Resident Agent Services in Maryland for you.

Check out the FAQ below to find the best Resident Agent Service for your Maryland LLC!

We’ve reviewed the top Registered Agent Services in the industry and think the best Registered Agent Services in Maryland are:

To learn more about how these companies compare against each other, check out Best Registered Agent Services.

Note: If you want to save money, you can be the Maryland Resident Agent for your LLC.

Yes, the Sole Member of an LLC can be their own Registered Agent as long as they meet the state requirements listed above.

What do you think?

Can you take 10 seconds and rate this lesson?

Matt Horwitz
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.

6 comments on “Maryland Registered Agent”

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. How do I setup anonymity for my LLC and does Maryland allow it?
    i’m looking into real estate should I setup as sole propiertor or s? i have no property yet.

    Reply
    • Hey Jose, with the MD Articles of Organization, using a Commercial Registered Agent will shield your address. If you file yourself, you should also use a friend’s address in #7 (“Filing party’s return address”). If you need help filing, or prefer for someone else to file for you, just let us know. We can file for you, or recommend other services companies. Luckily the MD forms don’t reveal member info (unlike other states).

      Reply
  2. so where is your ” Vig ” coming from?
    just curious, Are you still in the keystone state?
    do love philly used to live for many yrs in Cheltenham,
    do miss the steak sammy w hot peppers on da grill….
    not to mention all the other great things bout del val.
    no smart phone here so don’t expect a quick turn around
    ian

    Reply
    • Hey Ian, what’s up. What do you mean by “vig”? No longer in the Keystone state man… too cold for me lol. I live in Florida now.

      Reply
  3. Trying to find res agent for business in Md

    Owner of lmultiple office buildings not listerd Prior RA is there

    How can I find out the correct person?

    Thanks

    Pat

    Reply
    • Hi Pat, if you’re not successful in finding the Registered Agent through the Secretary of State’s records, we recommend getting in touch with companies that offer service of process services. They will know more about how to serve an entity and finding the correct person if the state’s records don’t reflect reality. It’s not something we get too involved in. Hope that helps.

      Reply

Leave a comment or question

 Email me when I get a reply.

×