A Maryland limited liability company, or LLC, combines the limited liability protections of a corporation with the pass-through taxation and relaxed reporting requirements of a partnership. If you're looking to start a small business in Maryland, an LLC may be your best option. Maryland regulates the formation and administration of business associations conducting business in Maryland. Creating a Maryland LLC requires filing a form, called an Articles of Organization, with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation.
Create a name for your Maryland LLC. Maryland law requires that the name of your new LLC to contain the phrase “Limited Liability Company,” or the abbreviations “L.L.C.,” “LLC,” “L.C.” or “LC.” The name must also not be identical to or “misleadingly similar” to the name of any other business entity registered with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation. Check the website of the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation, which maintains an online database of all business associations registered in Maryland (see Resources).
Choose a resident agent for your Maryland LLC. A resident agent is an individual or business that will receive service of process if your Maryland LLC is sued or subpoenaed. In most states, a resident agent is referred to as a "registered agent." A Maryland citizen over the age of 18, a Maryland LLC or a Maryland corporation may serve as the resident agent. You or another LLC owner or manager may serve in this capacity of he is a Maryland resident. However, since an Articles of Organization is a public record, the resident agent's name and home address will be publicly associated with your Maryland LLC. If there is no Maryland resident willing to serve as the resident agent of your Maryland LLC, you may hire a resident agent service to serve in this capacity.
Download the Articles of Organization form from the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation website (see Resources). The Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation will only accept an Articles of Organization drafted on their form.
Fill out the Articles of Organization form. The form must be typed or printed. Provide the name, purpose and physical address of your Maryland LLC. Provide the name and address of the designated resident agent of your LLC, as well as the return address for any correspondence about the filing of the Articles of Organization. Both the person filing the Articles of Organization and the registered agent must sign the Articles of Organization. Any additional provisions to the Articles of Organization must be typed and stapled to the Articles of Organization form.
File your completed Articles of Organization form with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation. The Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation will only accept filing by mail. As of 2010, the fee for filing is $100, and the processing time is about seven to eight weeks. For an additional $50, the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation will process your Articles of Organization in about a week. Payment may be made by credit card or check made payable to the State Department of Assessments and Taxation.