The actual steps you take to form a Maryland limited liability company are pretty simple. We’ve got a free, downloadable “do it yourself” kit you can use. In other words, the price you pay to purchase equals “zero.” That kit provides more information about LLCs and includes a couple of free LLC operating agreements. (We used to sell the kit but since the Covid-19 pandemic have simply given the kit away.)
If you’ve already done your due diligence on preparing for life as an LLC and don’t need any of that additional information but would like some help with filing the necessary forms, continue reading:
(These instructions are up-to-date as of July 27, 2020.).
1. Check if the LLC name you want is available
As a first step, you may want to check if the LLC name you want to use is even available. Here’s an easy and free way to do this: You can search for a similarly named LLC using the Maryland online database at:
Alternatively, you can contact the State Department of Assessments and Taxation, Corporate Name Availability Search division at (410) 767-1340 or write them at:
State Department of Assessments and Taxation
Corporate Name Availability Search
301 West Preston Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
2. Download the LLC application form from the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation’s web site, then print this form
The URL, or web page address, for this form is as shown below.
Maryland also has an e-filing option which is the same price (paid via credit card). It is straightforward and efficient. It may also result in a faster turnaround time than the mailed-in version.
Both forms of filing ask for the same information and follow roughly the same format. For purposes of simplicity, these instructions are for the first version (download and print) but can be used for either version.
3. Identify the name you want to use for your new LLC
Enter your business or investment name onto the lines provided. (I used the example name, “Acme Explosives LLC.”) Note that the name goes onto the first page the form in two places and onto the second page of the form in one place. The name must include “Limited Liability Company” or one of the standard abbreviations, “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” “LC,” or “L.C.” For example, all of the following names should be acceptable:
- Acme Explosives Limited Liability Company
- Acme Explosives LLC
- Acme Explosives L.L.C.
- Acme Explosives LC
- Acme Explosives L.C.
4. Indicate the purpose of the LLC
In Section 2, you will need to write the purpose of the company. In the example of Acme Explosives LLC, the purpose is wholesaling to mining companies.
5. Provide the LLC address
The State of Maryland wants to know the address of the new LLC. Place the address in section 3.
6. Identify yourself as the LLC resident agent
You need to provide your name and address as the LLC resident agent. A PO box is not acceptable.
7. Sign the Articles of Organization
All authorized people need to sign in section 5, and the resident agent needs to sign in section 6. For example, if John C Smith is both, he would therefore sign in both sections. Section 7 wants the address of the filing party. Since John C Smith did the filing, his address is placed in section 7.
8. Submit the application
After you complete the Articles of Organization, mail the document and a check for $100 to:
State Department of Assessments and Taxation, Charter Division
301 W. Preston Street; 8th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21201-2395
You can also deliver your articles of organization in person.
Processing lead times vary, but in general, it takes four to six weeks to get your LLC certificate back from the Secretary of State’s office. Note that you can pay extra money to have your articles of organization filed in an expedited manner. Currently, the fee in Maryland for expediting your processing is $50. This means your papers will be processed in about seven business days. Remember, online filed documents are considered expedited and will be processed within 7 business days.