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Cost to Start an LLC in Maryland

Written by:

Coralee is a business writer with experience in administrative services, education, and software testing.

Edited by:

David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.

Cost to Start an LLC in Maryland

If you’re thinking of starting a limited liability company (LLC) in Maryland, you’ll want to know in advance how much it’s going to cost. LLC formation fees vary by state, so it’s wise to do a bit of research and prepare yourself, and your new business, for the necessary steps. 

LLC Costs in Maryland

Articles of Organization$100
Certified Copy – Articles of Organization$20
Certified Copy – Certificate of Status$20
Name Reservation$25
Resident Agent Service$50 – $300
Operating Agreement$0 – $2500
Annual Report$300
Franchise Tax2% of gross receipts
Business Licenses and Renewalsvaries – check with state and local government

Maryland Articles of Organization Cost

In Maryland, you form an LLC by filing Maryland articles of organization, which requires a $100 fee. It’s a simple process you can do online by logging in and using Maryland’s Business Express service provided by the Department of Assessments and Taxation.

If you need a certified copy of the Articles of Organization, there is a $20 fee. If you need a Certificate of Status, there is a $20 fee. If you’d like the state to hold your LLC name before you register, you can complete the form here for $25 to reserve it for 30 days. 

Completed paper forms and their accompanying fee should be sent to the address below.

Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation

301 W. Preston Street
Baltimore, MD 21201-2392

Maryland Resident Agent Cost

In Maryland, you are required to have a Maryland resident agent. A resident agent is a person or business authorized to accept and respond to legal, tax, and financial documents on behalf of your business.

In Maryland, you can be your own resident agent, or it can be another member of the LLC. An individual who is not a member or a professional agency can also serve as the resident agent for your LLC. 

Costs for a resident agent service range from $50 a year up to $300 or more. Several online firms, such as ZenBusiness and Northwest Registered Agent, provide quality services at reasonable rates.

Maryland Business Licenses and Permits Cost

Starting an LLC in Maryland requires obtaining the required licenses and permits from local, state, and federal governments. Fees for these vary, but most costs are minimal.

Federal regulations, licenses, and permits associated with starting your business include doing business as, health licenses and permits from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other intellectual properties, as well as industry-specific permits. 

You may also need state-level and local county or city-based licenses. The license requirements and how to obtain them vary, so check the websites of your state, city, and county governments to learn more. 

Business license fees depend on the type of business and the agency issuing the license or permit. On average, business licenses cost between $100 and $300+, plus renewal fees.

You could also check this SBA guide for your state’s requirements, but we recommend using MyCorporation’s Business License Compliance Package ($149 + state fees). They will research the exact forms you need for your business and state and provide them to ensure you’re fully compliant.

Maryland Operating Agreement Cost

In Maryland, your LLC is not required to have an operating agreement in place. But it’s highly recommended, as an effective operating agreement can help avoid disputes and lawsuits that could threaten the stability of your LLC. 

An LLC operating agreement is an important legal document that details who owns the business and provides essential information pertaining to member duties. An LLC operating agreement establishes the financial relationship between members and the basics of the working relationships between those members and the managers who oversee daily operations. 

The operating agreement is not filed with the state, but instead remains private. It’s advisable to hire an attorney to ensure your operating agreement is thorough and legally binding. 

Creating an operating agreement is free if you just draw it up yourself (here you can find free Maryland LLC Operating Agreement template). Alternatively, you can pay around $100 for guidance from an online business advisory.

This is an extremely important document, so it’s recommended that you use the services of a specialist or legal firm. If you choose to hire an attorney, the price will be around $500 for a single-member LLC and $2,500 for a multi-member LLC.  

Maryland LLC Formation Service Cost (Optional)

Forming an LLC in Maryland tends to involve a lot of red tape and paperwork, so for many entrepreneurs just starting out it’s a good idea to hire an experienced service provider. 

Some of the best services for forming an LLC in Maryland are ZenBusiness and Northwest Registered Agent. LLC Formation service will take care of all the key steps, keeping you updated while allowing you to focus on launching and growing your business.

The cost of professional services depends on your requirements and LLC formation plan. Most LLC service providers offer different plans/packages and there are many LLC services that offer free LLC formation.

Ongoing Maryland LLC Costs

Every state has a different fee structure and timelines for LLC documents and licenses. It’s important to stay up-to-date or your business could face significant penalties. The fees and timelines for Maryland are detailed below. 

Annual Fees

You’ll need to file a Maryland LLC annual report with your state to keep your LLC in good standing. The fee is $300, and you can file online by logging in and using Maryland’s Business Express service website.

Franchise Tax Reports

A franchise tax is not a tax on a franchise business. It is a fee that the state imposes on registered business entities for the right to operate. In Maryland, only businesses engaged in public services are required to pay an annual franchise tax of 2% of their gross receipts. 

To learn more about franchise taxes in Maryland and determine if the tax applies to your business, visit the Department of Assessments and Taxation’s franchise and utilities webpage

Business License Renewal Fees

Some business licenses and permits must be renewed periodically, which may have a small associated fee. In Maryland, renewal fees depend on both state and county requirements.

For example, businesses in Maryland with an aquaculture license must apply for a free renewal with the state every five years. In contrast, businesses located in Baltimore are required to annually renew liquor licenses for $50, while businesses located in Montgomery County must renew liquor licenses every year for $100.

It’s best to check with the state about renewal fees and deadlines so you can create calendar reminders to monitor when license expirations are coming up. This will ensure you have plenty of time to apply for renewal and run your business without any interruption.


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Cost to Start an LLC in Maryland