Step 1. Name your LLC
This is the first and most important step in starting your LLC. Do some research to make sure the name you choose is suited to your business venture and is easily searchable for potential clients.
- Follow the naming guidelines: Your entity name must contain the words Limited Liability Company or the abbreviation L.L.C. or LLC. Restricted words require additional paperwork (e.g. Banc, Bank, Banque, etc) and/or licensed individuals (e.g. Doctor, Engineer, etc). to be part of the LLC. Prohibited words are those that would confuse the name of your LLC with a federal or state agency e.g. FBI, Secret Service, Treasury etc.
- Is the name available? Make sure the name isn't already taken by doing a name search on the Maryland website.
- Is the URL available? Check to see if the name of your LLC is available so that you can reserve your domain name. Even if you don't plan to make a website today, you may want to buy the domain name in order to prevent others from acquiring it.
An email address is also something to consider when choosing a name. Get a professional email (@yourcompany.com) with Google apps. Also get access to the top business tools, cloud storage, and business-grade security. - Try it for free
Step 2. Choose a Registered Agent
Nominating a Registered Agent is required for your LLC in Maryland
What is a Registered Agent? A registered agent is a person or business nominated by your company to officially receive and send papers on your behalf including annual state filings.
Who can be a Registered Agent? The registered agent must be a resident of Maryland or a corporation authorized to transact business in Maryland. You may elect an individual within the company including yourself.
Click here to find out why you may want to use a registered agent service.
Recommended: This registered agent service provides a great package.
Step 3. File the Articles of Organization
How to register your LLC with the State of Maryland
File the Articles of Organization for a Domestic LLC.
Download the PDF:
Articles of Organization - Domestic Maryland LLC
Fee: $100. Additional payment is required for optional items such a Certified Copy of the document (20.00 + $1.00/page), or a Certificate of Status at time of filing ($20.00).
Follow the instructions on the PDF.
Important: If you're expanding your existing LLC to Maryland you are forming a Foreign LLC. Learn how.
Step 4. Create an Operating Agreement
What is an Operating Agreement? An operating agreement is a legal document outlining the ownership and operating procedures of your LLC. This agreement allows you to form financial/working relationships with co-owners into an established system suitable to your business. It is not required to form an LLC in Maryland, but is good practice to have one.
Recommended: We provide a free operating agreement however we recommend getting one professional drafted by a lawyer, especially if you are starting a multi-member LLC.