Small businesses in Maryland can enjoy several incentives, such as Small Business Relief Tax Credit, Maryland Economic Adjustment Fund, Maryland Small Business Development Fund, Research and Development Tax Credit, and many more. So if you want to start an LLC in Maryland, conduct a little research to find ways you can save some money in the process of becoming your own boss.
After that, follow this step-by-step guide to starting an LLC in Maryland:
Pick a Business Name
The Maryland business name regulations require distinct, original names for new businesses. The regulations also require businesses choosing the LLC business structure to add LLC, L.L.C., Limited Liability Company, Limited Company, L.C., or LC in their names.
After brainstorming some name ideas, check their availability in the Maryland business name database. Register the one you like best among the available names. You can also register the business name when you submit documents for registering your business. However, registering the name early will ensure nobody else takes it while you complete the remaining paperwork for starting an LLC in Maryland.
Name a Resident Agent
A resident agent, also commonly known as a registered agent, is a person or entity responsible for documentation and correspondence between the LLC and the Maryland Secretary of State. You can name anyone, including yourself or a professional resident agent service, as long as they fulfill the following criteria:
Must be 18 years or older
Must be a Maryland resident
Must be authorized to conduct business in Maryland
The presence of the resident agent of your business will be required during office hours to conduct business as needed. Therefore, name someone responsible and punctual who ensures smooth management and correspondence for your business.
Submit Articles of Organization
Starting an LLC in Maryland requires submitting articles of organization to the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation. The articles of organization refer to a document containing the essential information about the business getting registered, such as the business name, address, purpose, and duration; resident agent’s name and address, business members’ names and addresses; and name, address, and signature of the person filing the form.
You can file the articles of organization to start an LLC in Marylandhere. You can also download the form, fill it out by hand, and submit it through the mail. The online process is faster, but the mail route costs lesser.
Obtain a Certificate of Establishment
Depending on your chosen method to file the articles of organization, it will take 5 days and 6 weeks for your application to be reviewed. If the application is approved, you will receive the certificate of establishment, which confirms the establishment of your LLC. Your resident agent must visit the Maryland Secretary of State's office to obtain it in person.
However, starting an LLC in Maryland does not end here. Read on to find the final touches of establishing a business.
Prepare an LLC Operating Agreement
An operating agreement contains the various procedures and outlines for running a business. Maryland, like other states, has a standard LLC operating agreement. However, business owners can create a new operating agreement to further protect themselves and their businesses. In the presence of a business’s operating agreement, lawsuits and claims are officially settled according to the LLC’s operating agreement. Hence, while Maryland doesn’t require an LLC operating agreement, you must prepare one as an internal governing document for your business.
The contents of an LLC operating agreement include but are not limited to the following:
Business structure and business governance framework
Roles and responsibilities of business members
Contribution by business members
Processes to eliminate or add a member
Business meetings rules
Business dissolution terms
Get an Employee Identification Number
An employee identification number (EIN), also called a Federal Employee Identification Number or Federal Tax Identification Number, is a nine-digit number provided to businesses by IRS. This number allows businesses to hire employees, open a bank account, and file and report taxes.
To obtain this number, simply head to IRS or Internal Revenue Service and register your business with them. This step does not cost any fee.
Register with the Comptroller of Maryland
Certain industries require registering with the Comptroller to start an LLC in Maryland. You can visit this link to find out if you need to complete this step.
Acquire Maryland Business License
Maryland requires businesses related to specific industries to obtain state licenses before offering their products or services to customers. Click here to find out if you need the state business license or permit.
With that, you will complete all the steps necessary to start an LLC in Maryland. However, the vital part of establishing your business online and reaching out to your audience remains. Therefore, you need to complete one last step to start your Maryland LLC:
Get a Website and Market Your Business
Getting a website is essential to mark your business’s presence online. However, getting a website alone doesn’t bring customers; you get customers through constant successful marketing.
To execute this step, you must acquire a hosting service, register a domain name, create a website layout, brainstorm website design, write copy, and include images. You will also need to set up social media profiles for your business, create business accounts on platforms like Yelp and Nextdoor, plan digital media campaigns, and run ads on local websites, newspapers, and magazines. You will also need to frequently manage and update your business’s digital media presence to stay relevant.
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