According to a report from 2018, Massachusetts is the best state for business in the US. The state's high ranking is attributed to its highly educated population and higher-than-average income compared to other US states. Moreover, as the home to the top universities in the country, Massachusetts provides businesses with higher chances of recruiting top talent and growing bigger than ever.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at the steps it takes to start an LLC in Massachusetts:
Pick a Name
Starting an LLC in Massachusetts begins with deciding on a business name. But you cannot decide on just any name you like. Instead, the name must comply with the commonwealth’s regulations for business names. These regulations require that a business name is distinct from other existing businesses so as not to confuse or deceive customers. Moreover, the rules also require that the words limited liability company or its alternatives be added to the business name.
Besides ensuring that your business name complies with state laws, it is also important that it is easy to pronounce and remember. An easy name increases the brand’s recall value. Almost all the top companies in every industry have very simple names. These names have played a large part in defining the brands’ identities and making them popular.
Get help from a business name generator if you have trouble coming up with names. Once you have found a few name ideas, you can check their availability,
Reserve the Name
After finding a name you like and ensuring its availability, you can reserve it by submitting the Application for Reservation of Name. Business names are reserved for 60 days, which is enough time for you to complete the remaining steps of starting an LLC in Massachusetts.
Reserving a name will ensure that nobody else can use the name you want for your business. Massachusetts allows extending the reservation period for another 60 days for an additional fee. If you extend the reservation period, get a logo designed for your business name. Hire a professional service for this additional step, so you don’t just set up a business but a brand identity that you like.
Appoint an Agent
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires LLC businesses to name an agent for their business. The appointed agent becomes responsible for carrying out the official documentation of the LLC.
The agent for a business can be a person or an entity, such as a firm providing professional services. However, they must be a resident of Massachusetts with a personal physical street address. The law of Massachusetts also requires that the person or entity must be registered to provide their services or have the authorization to conduct business in the state.
Get a Business License
Depending on the industry, you may require a business license to start an LLC in Massachusetts. If you don’t already have one or if you’re unsure you need one, check out the list for Massachusetts business licenses and permits here.
File Articles of Organization
The Articles of Organization refer to a document containing all the basic and important business information. This document or form can be filed online or downloaded, printed, filled by hand, and submitted through the mail.
The form inquires about the following information:
Duration of LLC (it can be indefinite or a specific duration with a dissolution date)
Names and addresses of business managers
Name, address, and signature of registered agent
Name, address, and signature of the person filing the form
The document is submitted to the Secretary of the Commonwealth Corporate Division. The fee for filing it through the mail is slightly lower than online filing. But filing it online results in the form getting processed for review within 24 hours. So if you’re not in a hurry, you can save a little money by sending the form through the mail. On the other hand, you can expedite the process of starting an LLC in Massachusetts for a small additional fee when filing the articles of organization.
Once the articles of organization are approved, you will receive a certificate confirming the establishment of your LLC. At this stage, your business has been legally established. However, some essential steps remain for you to execute before you start taking any clients.
These steps are as follows:
Draft an Operating Agreement
An operating agreement contains details and an outline for running a business. These can include articles of organization, business purpose, business structure, responsibilities of business members, contribution by business members, profit sharing, loss sharing, voting rights, ownership rights, liability clauses, or any other operations necessary for the smooth running of the business. If the business requires dissolution, the dissolution process and the division of assets can also be included in the operating agreement.
While you don’t need an operating agreement to start an LLC in Massachusetts, preparing one can be highly beneficial. The detailed contents of the operating agreement can help protect your position and your business during instances of unwarranted claims.
Obtain an Employee Identification Number
The employee identification number, or EIN, is a business social security number. No business can hire employees without an EIN. However, obtaining an EIN will benefit your business even if you don’t plan on hiring any employees. It makes the process of tax reporting and filing much easier.
Obtaining an EIN is free and easy. Register your business with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to get one.
Open a Business Bank Account
Once you have obtained the EIN, you can proceed with opening a bank account for your business. The bank account and EIN will allow you to register your business with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue for tax reporting and filing.
That’s it! After completing all the above steps, you can begin providing your business's products and services. But for that, you need to execute one final step to start an LLC in Massachusetts successfully.
Create a Website and Market Your Business
Websites help businesses appear legitimate and professional. Especially with audiences googling everything they need, websites are important to make a presence for your business in the digital space. But creating a website that holds your audiences’ attention and converts them into customers requires hard work. You will need to develop a website, build a layout, design a color palette, write copy, and add relevant images. If it sounds overwhelming, hire a professional service like Trady.com.
Trady.com is a website-building service for trades and home services companies. Besides making building websites easy, quick, and cheap, it also brings exclusive features such as online appointments and payments, client management, invoicing, and follow-ups. Moreover, Trady.com also provides end-to-end marketing services for companies. This includes social media marketing, digital marketing, and traditional marketing.
With Trady.com, you can lessen your responsibility of running the business and focus on providing exceptional services to your customers! Get started with its 14-day free trial to make the right decision.