How to File Maryland LLC Articles of Organization
A lot goes into the conception and planning of a new business. It is the Articles of Organization that makes the LLC official. Being prepared before sitting down to complete the application will help you finish it efficiently.
First, have all of the required information handy. You will be asked for the following information:
- The name and address of the Maryland LLC
- The name, address, and signature of the resident agent
- The purpose of the LLC
Second, the cost of filing the Articles of Organization is $100 with an expedited option for an additional $50, so have a credit card or check ready to go.
Finally, processing time varies depending on which option you choose. If you’re in a hurry, consider the online option which will process within seven days. For even quicker service, expedited processing in person can be done while you wait. Standard processing, through the mail or in person, is four to six weeks.
When filing the Articles of Organization, use one of the three methods below.
In order to complete an online application, you may need to first set up an account on the Maryland Business Express, a part of the Maryland.gov website.
Hard Copy Filing
Applications and payments can be sent or delivered to the following address:
State Department of Assessments and Taxation, Charter Division
301 W. Preston Street; 8th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21201-2395
Want Help Filing Your Articles of Organization?
If you decide to use your time building your business rather than completing paperwork, but don’t want to spend the money on an attorney, an LLC formation service is a great compromise.
Lots of online incorporation services are out there but do vary in perks offered, processing times (theirs, not the state’s), and price.
In general, a service will collect and review your information, prepare the documents, and send them to the Maryland State Department of Assessments. They will contact you when the Articles of Organization have been filed.
One additional benefit offered by some services is a free year of resident agent service. Others offer order tracking or notifications of future legal requirements needed with the state.
After reviewing all the top LLC services available, we found IncFile and Northwest Registered Agent the best overall options. While neither of them have as high brand power as the industry giant, LegalZoom, both services have great customer support, prices and offer a free resident agent.
(Post Formation Checklist) After LLC Formation
After you have filed the formation documents with the state, it’s important not to overlook a few critical details.
On the federal level, most LLCs do not pay taxes directly to the government. Instead, they report income and losses on the owner’s personal 1040 tax returns. Schedule C is often used for reporting. Unless the LLC chooses to be taxed as a corporation, a single-member LLC is taxed as a Sole Proprietorship and a multi-member LLC is taxed as a Partnership.
Similarly, most LLCs will pay state tax on pass-through income via their personal income tax returns. The exception is if an election is made to tax the LLC as a corporation. Note that if the LLC has members who are not Maryland residents, they will need to file a Maryland income tax return on their earnings as well.
Unlike some states, Maryland does not require LLCs to pay a franchise or privilege tax.
If your LLC has employees, you will need to pay a withholding and unemployment tax. Businesses that sell merchandise will need to pay a sales or use tax. Registration for all of the above-mentioned taxes can be completed on the Maryland Combined Registration Online Application.
Finally, an LLC may need to file and pay a local tax to a city, municipality, or county.
In some cases, a business and/or professional license are needed before a business can begin operations.
To determine whether you need a business license contact your local Clerk of Court or call the State License Bureau, (410) 260-6240. Business licenses are obtained through the Clerk of the Circuit Court in the county where the business is located. The State License Bureau monitors the licenses.
A professional or occupational license is required by a number of occupations, all of which are listed online through the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. Requirements and fees vary according to the license.
After an LLC is formed, an annual report must be filed with the state of Maryland by April 15 each year. A 60-day extension is available, but the extension must be filed by April 15. If missing the deadline, the LLC does risk being assessed a fee between $30 and $500. It also risks dissolution by the state.
The filing fee is $300, payable to SDAT. Reports can be filed in one of the following three ways:
File the annual report through the Maryland Business Express.
Print and complete the hard copy. Next, send it, along with payment, to the following address:
Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation
PO Box 17052
Baltimore, MD 21297-1052
Access the annual report form above, and deliver to the following address:
State of Maryland – State Center
301 W. Preston Street, Room 801
Baltimore, MD 21201