Maryland LLC Cost
The main cost of starting a Maryland LLC is the fee to file the Maryland Articles of Organization, which is $100 by mail or in person or $155 for expedited online filing. Maryland LLCs also need to pay a hefty $300 annual report fee every year. In addition, you might need to pay for professional and local licenses, business insurance, and other common business expenses. We’ll go through the most common costs associated with starting an LLC in Maryland.
What You’ll Find In This Article:
Maryland LLC Formation Filing Fee: $100
To officially bring your Maryland LLC into existence, you need to file the Maryland LLC Articles of Organization with the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT), which costs $100 by mail or in person, or $155 total for expedited online filing ($50 for expedited filing + 3% credit card fee).
If you don’t want to shell out the extra money for expedited filing, be aware that non-expedited filing in Maryland takes an average of two months. Expedited filings take around 6-10 days for the state to process after they’re received. If you’re in a really big hurry, you can pay an extra $425 for rush filing. Rush filings received before 2:30 pm on a business day will be processed within 3 hours. (If received after 2:30, the filing will be processed by the end of the next business day.)
Maryland Annual Report Fee: $300
Maryland LLCs need to file an annual report each year, which costs $300. The annual report is due April 15th and can be filed online, by mail, or in person. If your business owns, leases, or uses personal property in the state or has a trader’s license, you will need to submit a Personal Property Tax Return with your annual report and pay the applicable personal property tax. Your Business Personal Property Taxes will be determined by the value of your business property and the county where you do business.
Find out how to file your Maryland Annual Report.
Maryland Registered Agent Fee
According to MD Code § 2-108, all corporations and LLCs in Maryland are required to have a resident agent (aka registered agent). Your registered agent’s job is to accept important legal mail on behalf of your business and forward it to you without delay.
Your Maryland registered agent needs to have a physical office in the state where they can be found during standard business hours year-round. This means that if you don’t want to be stuck in your office 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year, it’s probably not a good idea to be your own registered agent. Many business owners instead hire a professional registered agent service. Northwest’s registered agent service costs $125/year, and we never raise our fee.
Maryland Business Licenses
Maryland doesn’t have a state business license. However, all Maryland businesses that sell taxable goods and services need to register for a Maryland sales and use tax license. There is no fee to register for this license. Most businesses will need additional licenses and permits, such as professional certification, zoning permits, or local business licenses. We’ll explain how these licenses work.
Maryland Professional Licensing Fees
Many businesses require some form of professional license before they can operate legally. Fees for professional licenses vary by occupation. For example, a Maryland architecture firm needs to pay $100 for an Architects Firm Permit from the Department of Labor, and the architects at the firm each need an individual architect’s license, which costs $76-$126. For information on your industry, check out Maryland’s Professional Licensing Resources.
Local Business License Fees in Maryland
You should also contact your local Clerk of the Circuit Court to see if your business needs any local licenses. The most common local license in Maryland is a trader’s license, which is required for any business that buys and re-sells goods. Your trader’s license fee is based on the wholesale value of your retail inventory and ranges from $15 to $800 (up to $2,125 in Baltimore City).
Certain businesses—like auctioneers, cigarette vendors, and construction firms, among others—will need an additional local license.
Optional LLC Fees in Maryland
We’ve covered the unavoidable expenses, but here are some other costs that might come up for your business:
Reserving a business name in Maryland costs $25 ($47 for expedited online filing). You can reserve your business name for 30 days prior to forming your LLC by submitting a Corporate Name Reservation Application to SDAT online, by mail, or in person. While not required, reserving your business name guarantees that your preferred name will be available when you file your Articles of Organization.
Maryland Trade Name
Registering a trade name (also called a DBA) in Maryland costs $25 ($78 for expedited online filing). You will need to register a trade name if you want to call your LLC something other than the name written on your Articles of Organization. For example, if you want to call your business “Bob’s Auto Shop” instead of “Bob Greenburg’s Automotive Repair, LLC.”
Find out how to get a DBA in Maryland.
Certified Copies of Business Documents
Ordering a certified copy of a business document in Maryland costs $20 + $1 per page ($42 for expedited online processing). You might need a certified copy of your Articles of Organization when opening a bank account, taking out a business loan, or registering to do business in a different state, among other reasons. Some businesses keep a certified copy of their Articles of Organization on hand, just in case.
Find out how to get a certified copy of the Maryland Articles of Organization.
Maryland Certificate of Status
Getting a Maryland Certificate of Status costs $20 ($42 for expedited online filing). A Certificate of Status (also called a Certificate of Good Standing or Certificate of Existence) is a document issued by SDAT that proves that a business is active and in compliance with the state. You will most likely need a Certificate of Status if you want to register your business in another state.
Here’s how to get a Maryland Certificate of Status.
Business Insurance Premiums
If you have employees, workers’ compensation insurance is a legal requirement for your business. You can purchase this insurance through the Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company—Maryland’s guaranteed insurer—or through another insurance company. The price will depend on how many employees you have and how risky their work is considered to be. The average workers’ comp rates in Maryland are $0.24 per $100 of payroll for the lowest risk employees and $13.89 per $100 of payroll for the highest risk employees.
Most other forms of business insurance are optional, but buying insurance can protect you in case of lawsuits, natural disasters, property damage, theft, and other risks that could befall your business. Some of the most common types of business insurance are liability insurance, commercial property insurance, and home-based business insurance.
Learn more about LLC Business Insurance.
How much does it cost to register a foreign LLC in Maryland?
Registering a foreign LLC in Maryland costs $100 ($155 for expedited online filing). You’ll need to register with SDAT as a foreign LLC if your business wasn’t formed in Maryland but wants to do business there. Keep in mind that foreign LLCs in Maryland also need to file the Maryland Annual Report ($300) and obtain a sales and use tax license, plus any additional licenses your business needs.