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Cost to Form an LLC in Maryland: A Comprehensive Handbook

Cost to Form an LLC in Maryland
(Last Updated On: November 29, 2023)

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Embarking on the journey to establish your own Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Maryland unveils a path strewn not only with paperwork but also financial considerations. However, the prospect of forming an LLC doesn’t need to be as financially daunting as it might appear at first glance. 

In fact, armed with the right insights and resources, such as the assistance offered by reputable LLC service providers like ZenBusiness, you can navigate the intricacies of the process while optimizing cost-efficiency. 

This article delves into the various expenses associated with forming an LLC in Maryland and sheds light on strategies to make the endeavor more economically viable.

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What Is the Cost of Forming an LLC in Maryland?

Initiating an LLC in Maryland primarily incurs a cost of $100, which covers the fee for submitting your LLC’s Articles of Organization through the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation’s online platform.

Here’s the LLC Cost Guide for all US States:

Maryland Foreign LLC Formation Costs

If you possess an existing LLC that’s formally registered in a different state and you intend to extend your business activities to Maryland, it’s imperative to initiate the registration of your LLC as a foreign entity in Maryland.

The associated fee for the registration of a foreign LLC in Maryland stands at $100. The registration process can be undertaken through the submission of a Foreign Limited Liability Company Registration form via online submission, traditional mail, or in-person submission.

Annual LLC Costs in Maryland

When contemplating the establishment of a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Maryland, it’s vital to comprehend the continuing expenditures linked to LLC maintenance. By accounting for these costs, you can gauge the complete outlay associated with operating an LLC in the state. 

The primary ongoing costs for a Maryland LLC encompass the Resident Agent Fee, with registered agent services amounting to approximately $100 – $300 annually, and the Annual Report Fee of $300, obligatory for filing with the Department of Assessments and Taxation each year. 

Taking these ongoing expenses into consideration is essential for effective budgeting and prudent decision-making, ensuring the enduring financial soundness of your Maryland-based LLC.

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How Much Does It Cost to Start an LLC in Maryland With the Best LLC Service? 

ZenBusiness LLC Formation Cost

The initial cost for filing an LLC in Maryland amounts to $100, with the potential for additional expenses. Regarding processing duration, the standard timeline is set at 2 – 3 weeks. Alternatively, there’s an option to accelerate processing to 9 – 11 days for an additional fee of $50 or expedite it further to 6 – 7 days for $100.

ZenBusiness presents a selection of three pricing tiers for their business formation services: Starter, Pro, and Premium.

  • Starter plan: The, priced at $0 in addition to state fees, is tailored to meet fundamental business formation requirements.
  • Pro plan: For more extensive features like expedited filing and registered agent service, this is available at a cost of $199 plus state fees.
  • Premium plan: This represents the most all-encompassing package, encompassing all aspects of the Pro plan while also offering unlimited Worry-Free Compliance, a service designed to assist businesses in adhering to both state and federal regulations. This top-tier plan is priced at $349 plus state fees.

Moreover, with the purchase of any of these plans, ZenBusiness provides a complementary year of Worry-Free Compliance service.

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Additional Costs When Starting an LLC in Maryland

Maryland LLC Name Costs

The cost for a business name in Maryland is $0. Naming your LLC is free, and your chosen name is approved when your Articles of Organization filing gets state approval. Contrary to some online information, LLC Name Reservations are not obligatory in most states, including Maryland. Typically, forming an LLC does not necessitate a Name Reservation.

If desired, you can reserve your name for 30 days before forming your LLC. This involves submitting a Corporate Name Reservation Application and paying a $25 filing fee.

Maryland Registered Agent Costs

Maryland registered agent Fee can either be $0 or $125 per year. According to Maryland law, it’s mandatory to select a registered agent, also known as a Resident Agent, during the process of forming an LLC. However, no extra fee for Maryland LLC filing is required if you designate a registered agent during the LLC formation.

A Maryland registered agent, whether an individual or a company, is responsible for receiving legal documents and state notifications on behalf of your LLC. The Resident Agent must possess a physical address within the state and should generally be accessible during regular business hours.

Opting to serve as your own registered agent or having someone you know to fulfill the role as your LLC’s Resident Agent does not involve any additional expense.

Alternatively, you have the choice to enlist the services of a registered agent service, which typically comes at a cost ranging from $100 to $300 annually. These Resident Agent service providers often offer additional beneficial business services and can also safeguard your privacy.

Enlisting a registered agent service is advisable in the following scenarios:

  • You lack an address within the state (Maryland law mandates that registered agents possess a physical address in the state).
  • You wish to prevent your address from appearing in the public records (depending on the chosen company, it might be possible to use their address to maintain your privacy).

Maryland Operating Agreement Costs

An LLC Operating Agreement Fee isn’t applicable ($0). 

An Operating Agreement for a Maryland LLC functions as a documented agreement among its members. This document encompasses comprehensive particulars regarding ownership, management protocols of the LLC, and the methodology for sharing profits.

For both single-member and multi-member LLCs, creating an Operating Agreement is advisable. This document should be retained alongside business documentation and furnished to every member.

Commonly, online platforms typically impose fees ranging from $50 to $200 for the preparation of LLC Operating Agreements.

Maryland EIN Cost

An EIN Number is alternatively referred to as an Employer Identification Number (EIN) or a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN). This identifier is essential for income tax filing, establishing an LLC bank account, and, if applicable, recruiting employees.

Despite several websites imposing service charges for acquiring an EIN for your LLC, it’s possible to obtain one without cost. You can secure an EIN from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) free of charge, and the online application process takes just a few minutes to complete.

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Maryland LLC Taxes

The annual expenses related to Maryland LLC taxes can differ significantly due to the various types of taxes that owners are required to cover. Some of the taxes paid by LLC owners comprise:

Federal Income Taxes

When it comes to your LLC and federal income taxes, the IRS provides various treatment options. 

For Single-Member LLCs, the IRS designates them as Disregarded Entities, eliminating the need for the LLC to file a separate federal income tax return. Instead, the LLC owner files the return and handles tax payments. The tax approach for the LLC is determined by its ownership. If owned by an individual, it’s taxed like a Sole Proprietorship; if owned by a company, it’s treated as a branch of the parent company. 

For Multi-Member LLCs, taxation mirrors that of a Partnership. The LLC files a Partnership Return (Form 1065), and owners receive Schedule K-1, with individual tax payments made based on this income.

Husband and Wife LLC Taxes

In certain states, such as community property states like Texas, a husband and wife LLC might choose to file taxes as a Single-Member LLC or Qualified Joint Venture rather than a Multi-Member LLC. However, this option isn’t available in non-community property states like Maryland.

Electing Corporate Taxation

Beyond default tax statuses, an LLC can opt for corporate taxation. This choice involves two types: S-Corporation and C-Corporation. 

Filing Form 2553 allows an LLC to be taxed as an S-Corporation, which can be advantageous for businesses with established profits, reducing self-employment taxes. Alternatively, Form 8832 enables an LLC to be taxed as a C-Corporation, potentially benefiting larger employers’ healthcare fringe benefits. However, seeking advice from an accountant before making this election is wise.

Maryland State Income Tax for LLCs

For Single-Member LLCs in Maryland, the LLC itself usually avoids a state-level return, while the owner includes LLC profits or losses in their personal state-level return. Multi-member LLCs might need to file a state-level Partnership return, with owners incorporating LLC earnings into their personal state returns. 

Specialized Maryland business taxes apply in certain sectors, making accountant assistance important for accurate state income tax filing.

Local Income Tax for Maryland LLCs

Local municipalities may require income tax filings from both the LLC and its members. Notably, the Business Personal Property Tax targets an LLC’s personal property and is submitted to the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT). 

Professional help is advisable for local income tax preparation, and contacting local authorities for precise requirements is essential.

Maryland Sales Tax

Selling products to Maryland consumers could mandate sales tax collection and a Seller’s Permit from the Comptroller of Maryland. This permit authorizes sales tax collection in the state, sometimes referred to as a resale, wholesale, or sales tax permit. Registering for business tax with the Comptroller of Maryland online is recommended, and relevant resources provide comprehensive guidance.

Maryland LLC Payroll Taxes

Employing staff in a Maryland LLC involves payroll taxes encompassing federal and state income tax withholding, Social Security tax, Medicare tax, Federal Unemployment Taxes (FUTA), State Unemployment Taxes (SUTA), and local/county deductions. 

Administering these taxes and filings correctly is crucial to avoid penalties. While it’s possible to handle payroll taxes independently, their complexity often prompts the hiring of payroll experts or accountants for accurate compliance.

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Maryland LLC Cost FAQs

How Much Does It Cost to Open an LLC in Maryland?

The initiation of a Maryland Limited Liability Company involves a $100 commencement fee for filing the LLC Articles of Organization, which is a singular expense. Depending on the industry and geographic location of the LLC, the requirement for a business license in Maryland might arise, accompanied by varying costs for local business permits.

How Much Does an LLC in Maryland Cost Per Year?

Maryland LLCs are obliged to remit a yearly sum of $300 as the Maryland Annual Report fee, which is directed toward the SDAT. This represents the sole obligatory state-associated annual expenditure for a Maryland LLC, essential to ensure its active status. 

If you’ve enlisted the services of a registered agent, an annual subscription fee of approximately $125 is typically expected. Moreover, certain LLCs might necessitate a business license contingent upon their sector and geographical placement. 

To ascertain the potential presence of annual renewal fees for the business permit, you’ll need to liaise with your local municipality.

Should I Hire an LLC Formation Service?

Utilizing the services of a Maryland LLC formation company isn’t obligatory for the establishment of your Maryland LLC; you retain the option to personally undertake the formation process. Nevertheless, should you opt to streamline the procedure and guarantee precise filing, we suggest considering the engagement of a ZenBusiness

This choice is supported by their commendable customer support and the added advantage of receiving complimentary registered agent services for the initial year. Additionally, they extend supplementary provisions such as an Operating Agreement and the facilitation of Annual Report submission.

Conclusion

To sum up, establishing an LLC in Maryland necessitates a comprehensive assessment of associated expenses. While Maryland provides a conducive business environment and potential benefits, the costs linked to LLC formation encompass filing fees, registered agent charges, and potential legal or advisory expenses. Additionally, streamlined LLC services like ZenBusiness present diverse plans to streamline the entire process. 

Entrepreneurs must diligently balance these costs against the state’s favorable legal structure and established business standing, enabling them to ascertain whether initiating an LLC in Maryland harmonizes with their broader business objectives and financial capacities.

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About the author

Dr. Alexander Sterling, Esq, a distinguished legal scholar with a business law degree and a Doctor of Juridical Science, is a leading expert in business registration and diverse business departments. Renowned for his academic excellence and practical insights, Dr. Sterling guides businesses through legal complexities, offering invaluable expertise in compliance, corporate governance, and registration processes.

As an accomplished author, his forthcoming book is anticipated to be a comprehensive guide for navigating the dynamic intersection of law and business, providing clarity and practical wisdom for entrepreneurs and legal professionals alike. With a commitment to legal excellence, Dr. Alexander Sterling, Esq, is a trusted authority dedicated to empowering businesses within the ever-evolving legal landscape.