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Start Your Maryland LLC for Free in 2024


Table of Contents

Starting your own business is an exciting venture, and creating a Maryland LLC (Limited Liability Company) is a great way to protect your assets while running your business. This straightforward guide will walk you through starting your Maryland LLC for free in 2024.

Step 1: Picking the Name for Your Maryland LLC

First things first, your LLC needs a name. When it comes to naming your LLC, there are some rules to follow:
  • Your LLC’s name must include “Limited Liability Company” or abbreviations like “LLC.”
  • It must be distinguishable from existing Maryland businesses.
  • Avoid using prohibited words like “bank” or “university.”
  • Check the availability of your desired name on the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) website. Consider getting a website name that matches your business name; you can find good deals for your domain names on Namecheap.

Step 2: Appointing a Registered Agent in Maryland

Your LLC needs a Registered Agent in Maryland. This person or company will handle all your essential paperwork. They must have a Maryland address and be available during business hours. Remember that while someone in your LLC can be the Registered Agent, their address will be public. Alternatively, you can use a legal service specializing in this area, services to Complete the Formation Process. You can bypass these six steps using a third-party service such as Northwest Registered Agent. Or Bizee.

Step 3: Filling Out Your Maryland LLC Articles of Organization

Depending on whether your LLC is born in Maryland or coming from another state, you’ll need to use different forms. If your LLC is born in Maryland, fill out the “Articles of Organization” form. If your LLC is from another state but wants to do business in Maryland, use the “Application for Registration” or “Certificate of Authority” form. How Much It Costs As of 2024, the filing fee for the “Articles of Organization” (for in-state LLCs) is $100. The cost for out-of-state LLCs varies, so you’ll want to check the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) website for the current rates. How to Submit Your Form
  • Online: The easiest way is to file your Articles of Organization or Certificate of Authority online through the Maryland Business Express website (
  • Mail: If you prefer old-school mail, send your documents to this address: Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation, Charter Division P.O. Box 17052, Baltimore, MD 21297-1052
In Person: If you’d like to visit, you can drop your papers off at the SDAT’s office at 301 W. Preston Street, Room 801, Baltimore, MD 21201.

Step 4: Getting Your EIN from the IRS

Your business needs a number called an EIN from the IRS. It’s like an I.D. number for your business. This number will help you as an identification number when getting bank accounts and credit accounts, filing taxes, and hiring employees. It’s free, and you can get it from the IRS website at

Step 5: Making an Operating Agreement for Your Business

Let’s discuss setting up some ground rules for your business. This is where an Operating Agreement comes in. Think of it as a handbook that explains how your business runs. It’s important because it helps everyone understand their role and what’s expected in your LLC. Here’s what an Operating Agreement usually includes:
  • Ownership: This part talks about who owns what percentage of the business. 
  • Member’s Rights and Responsibilities: Here, you’ll write down what each person in the LLC can and cannot do and what they’re responsible for. It’s like a job description for each member.
  • Joining & Leaving: This section covers how new people can enter your business and what happens if someone decides to leave. It’s good to have this figured out so there are no surprises later.
  • Dissolution: This might sound a bit gloomy, but it’s practical. It’s about how to close down the LLC if you ever need to. It includes the steps to take and how to handle everything when wrapping up the business.
  • Creating an Operating Agreement is a smart move. It keeps things clear and organized so everyone knows what to expect, and it can save you a lot of headaches down the road! 

Step 6: Obtain Additional Permits & Licensing

Business License: Depending on your city or county, you might need a business license. It’s like a permission slip to do business there. Costs can vary, so contact your local government to determine how much it’ll set you back. Trader’s License: You might need a trader’s license if you sell stuff at a shop or market. The cost can differ, so check with your local authorities for the details. Professional License: Some jobs, like doctors or lawyers, need special professional licenses. Costs and requirements can vary, so it’s best to talk to your professional board or licensing authority. Federal Licenses & Permits: Depending on your business, you might need federal permits from the U.S. government. The requirements and fees vary a lot, so check the U.S. Small Business Administration’s website or consult with experts in your industry.

Maryland LLC Tax Filing Requirements

Tax stuff can be confusing, but don’t worry; we’ve got you covered with a more straightforward explanation: Maryland Seller’s Permit: If you’re selling things you can touch (like gadgets or clothes), you might need a Maryland Seller’s Permit. The cost depends on what you’re selling and where you’re selling it. Check with the Maryland Comptroller’s office to find out the exact cost. They’ll have all the details you need. Maryland Employer Taxes: If you have employees in your LLC, you’ll need to take some state income tax out of their paychecks and pay unemployment insurance taxes. The amount you withhold for state income tax depends on how much your employees earn. To get the latest rates and info, visit the Maryland Comptroller’s website or ask your tax expert. State Income Tax: Maryland’s state income tax isn’t one-size-fits-all. It ranges from 2.25% to 5.75% in 2024, depending on how much money you make. The more you earn, the higher the percentage. Check out the Maryland Comptroller’s website to know your exact rate and see if you owe anything.  

Reporting Annual Income to IRS: 

Depending on your LLC setup, If you’ve got more than one person running the business, you’ll most likely use the “Form 1065 Partnership Return” to tell the IRS about your income, expenses, and tax. You’ll use “Form 1040 Schedule C” to report your business money on your tax return if it’s just you.   How to File: You have options. You can hop online and do it there or stick with the traditional way and mail it in whatever floats your boat. Cost: It will cost you $300 annually to play and keep your LLC strong. Deadline: Mark April 15th on your calendar. That’s the day your annual report needs to be. Don’t let it slip your mind! If you miss the deadline, Maryland will charge you a late fee. It’s 0.001% of your total property tax or the base penalty, whichever is higher. The interest will continue to accrue 2% each month you’re late. So, don’t let that happen!  

New 2024 Reporting Requirements (BOI)

  • Effective from January 1, 2024
Big news! Starting January 1, 2024, there are new reporting requirements for both domestic and foreign reporting companies. This includes LLCs, corporations, and other entities. Here’s what you need to know:
  • First Report Deadlines:
    • Existing Entities: If your LLC was already around before 2024, you’ve got until January 1, 2025, to submit your first report.
    • New Entities: If you’re forming your LLC in 2024, you must file your report within 90 days of your company’s creation.
  • Who Needs to Report:
    • Domestic Reporting Companies: This includes LLCs and similar entities within the U.S.
    • Foreign Reporting Companies: Entities registered foreign entities must also adhere to these new rules.
Exceptions to Reporting:
  • For specific exceptions, you’ll want to refer to the Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Regulations at 31 CFR § 1010.380(c)(2) and the Small Entity Compliance Guide.
What Must Be Reported What you need to report is all about transparency. The exact details can be found in the compliance guide, but it generally involves information about your LLC’s ownership and control. When Must Reporting File Reports Timing is key! Remember, if you’re an existing entity, your deadline is January 1, 2025. For new LLCs formed in 2024, it’s within 90 days of creation. Filing Reports & Noncompliance Penalties Starting January 1, 2024, all BOI reports must be filed electronically. Here are some critical points:
  • Filing Before the Date: You must file on January 1, 2024.
  • Accuracy: Filer certification of accuracy is mandatory – you need to double-check that everything you report is correct and accurate.
Penalties for Noncompliance:
  • False Information: Providing false information or failing to report accurately is a big no-no.
  • Penalties: If you slip up here, you could face a fine of up to $10,000 or even imprisonment for up to 2 years.
  • FinCEN’s Approach: The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) focuses on education and outreach to ensure compliance. They’re not trying to trip you up; they want to help you get it right.
  • Safe Harbor Rule: Did you make a mistake? If you discover inaccuracies in your initial report, you have a 90-day grace period to submit a corrected report.
If you need more information or specific guidance, please visit the FinCEN website for all the details.  

What to Do After You’ve Started an LLC 

Open a Separate Business Bank Account: Keeping your personal and business money apart is super important. Mixing them up can cause significant problems, like losing the protection of having an LLC. This mix-up is sometimes called “piercing the corporate veil,” it can put your stuff, like your car or house, at risk if your business runs into trouble. To open a business bank account, you’ll need:
  • Your LLC’s Articles of Organization.
  • Your Operating Agreement.
  • Your Employer Identification Number (EIN).
When picking a bank for your business, consider the fees, minimum deposits, and benefits (like earning interest) they offer. Look for features that help your business, like using a debit card to pay for things. Get a Business Credit Card A business credit card is an excellent tool for handling business purchases and can help build your company’s credit history. Just like with personal credit, a good business credit score can make it easier to get loans and may qualify you for better terms. Visit our website to see our favorite business cards review.  Check out our blog: Novo Review: The Best Business Banking Account in 2024. Set Up Your Finances Right: Use good habits to track your money. This means not mixing your personal cash with your business’s. Good record-keeping makes tax time less stressful and helps avoid problems with the rules. You should use a program like QuickBooks to track your money, inventory, payroll, and sales. Talking to professionals like accountants or business lawyers is also intelligent, especially when understanding tax rules. Find experts who know a lot about the area where your business is. Create a Professional Website: Having a website makes your business look legit. WordPress is an excellent tool for building your site. For hosting your website, you can check out SiteGround or Hostinger. They’re both excellent options for getting your site up and running. Announce Your Business with a Press Release: A press release is a fantastic way to promote your new business and attract customers. And that’s it! You’re now ready to start your LLC in Maryland. Remember, if you ever feel stuck, services like Northwest Registered Agent or Bizee are just a click away and always ready to help with legal work! This will save you a ton of time as an entrepreneur so that you can focus on other things that will move the needle forward in your business.

Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest Registered Agent Pricing: What to Expect

Northwest Registered Agent keeps pricing simple. They have a clear, straightforward fee structure, which is a big plus. No hidden fees or surprises – that’s the kind of honesty we all appreciate, right? Why is Their Pricing Affordable?
  • Transparent Costs: They tell you exactly what you’re paying for so you can make informed decisions.
  • Competitive Rates: Their prices align with what you’d expect for top-notch services, ensuring you get good value for your money.
  • One-Stop Shop: Since they offer a whole suite of services, you can bundle things together, potentially saving time and money.
  • Location: They’re headquartered in Spokane, Washington, but don’t worry – they have offices in all 50 states. So, wherever you are in the U.S., they’ve got local expertise ready for you.
  • Experience Counts: These folks have been in the game for over 20 years. That’s a lot of experience under their belt, helping businesses like yours start and grow.
Core Services
  • LLC Formation: Dreaming of starting your own LLC? They can help make that happen.
  • Registered Agent Service: The main event – they’ll be your reliable point of contact for all those important legal documents.
  • Address Privacy: Keep your personal address off the public records. It’s all about your privacy.
  • Lifetime Customer Support: Got questions? They’re there for you, not just today, but for the life of your business.
  • Annual Report Reminders: Never miss a deadline with their handy reminders.
  • Online Document Dashboard: All your important documents are organized in one easy-to-access place.
Additional Services (Because There’s Always More)
  • EIN Number: They can help you get your business’s unique tax ID.
  • Annual Report Service: Let them handle your annual reporting needs.
  • Operating Agreements: Need help with the rules for running your LLC? They’ve got you covered.
  • Virtual Office Service: Get a professional business address without the office.
  • S-Corp Election: Thinking about S-Corp status? They can help with that.
  • Mail Forwarding Service: Keep your mail organized and forward it where needed..
  • Foreign Qualification: Expanding your business to new states? They can assist.
  • Legal Forms: Access a variety of legal forms easily.
  • Legal Services (in Indiana): If you’re in Indiana, they’ve got specific legal services just for you.
  • Incorporation Services: More than just LLCs, they can help incorporate your business, too.
So, if you’re looking to create an LLC, Northwest Registered Agent will ensure everything runs smoothly, keeping you focused on what you love – growing your business. 

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