How to Start an LLC in Massachusetts
To start an LLC in Massachusetts, you must file a Certificate of Organization with the Massachusetts Corporations Division, pay a $500 filing fee, and get an EIN from the IRS. The complete steps to forming a Massachusetts LLC are as follows:
- File a Massachusetts LLC Certificate of Organization
- Pay the Corporations Division of the Secretary of the Commonwealth $500
- Print your approved Certificate of Organization
- Get a Federal EIN tax ID for the LLC
- Create a Massachusetts LLC Operating Agreement
- Take these documents to the bank and get a Massachusetts LLC bank account
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Massachusetts LLC Certificate of Organization free download. When you're done filling out the form, submit it to your state.
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2 Day Massachusetts LLC For $745 Total
How to File a Massachusetts LLC Certificate of OrganizationTo form a Massachusetts LLC, you file the LLC Certificate of Organization in the following steps:
What is the Cost of a Massachusetts LLC?
The Massachusetts Corporations Division charges a $500 filing fee for Massachusetts LLCs. If you file online, there’s an additional $20 processing fee.
When you hire Northwest, your total, out-the-door cost is $745, including the above fees.
How much does an LLC in Massachusetts cost each year?
There is a $500 a year filing fee for the Massachusetts LLC Annual Report.
What are the Massachusetts LLC taxes?
The Massachusetts personal net income tax rate is a flat 5.1%. State sales tax is also a flat rate of 6.25%—cities and counties don’t add on local sales taxes of their own, so the rate is the same across the state.
In addition to more common taxes, Massachusetts also has a unique corporate excise tax—so if your LLC opts to be taxed as either an S or C corporation, note that the minimum corporate excise tax is fairly hefty: $456.
Is a Massachusetts LLC Resident Agent Required?
Absolutely—the Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires LLCs to have and maintain a Massachusetts resident agent (also known as a registered agent). You could do it yourself—publicly list your own address on your Certificate of Organization and make yourself available during business hours. Or, you can hire a service like ours. When you hire Northwest, we list our address and deal with all the junk mail and solicitors. We’re ready and waiting in the office Monday through Friday, so you don’t have to be. And with a consistent address on your Certificate of Organization, you don’t have to worry about checking or updating multiple addresses as your business grows.
Massachusetts LLC Versus Massachusetts Corporation:
The fees for starting and maintaining a Massachusetts LLC are higher than the fees for a corporation. To form a corporation, you’ll pay a minimum of $265 compared to $500 for an LLC. Annual report fees are also higher for LLCs. Corporations pay a minimum of $109 while LLCs pay at least $500 a year to file their reports.
While fees are higher, that doesn’t necessarily mean LLCs are more expensive overall. For example, if LLCs keep their default tax status as partnerships or disregarded entities, they don’t have to pay the sizable corporate excise tax (a minimum of $456 a year). Taking the corporate excise tax into account, the costs of maintaining a typical LLC and a corporation are much closer.
Costs aside, LLCs are common choices for small businesses and new business owners because they tend to be simpler to operate. Leaning towards a corporation? Here’s information on Massachusetts incorporation.
Do I Need a Tax ID Number (EIN) for a Massachusetts LLC?
You’re required to get an EIN for your Massachusetts LLC if you have employees or file certain federal excise taxes. Banks will typically request your EIN when you go to open a business bank account. Vendors will want your EIN when you go to establish credit. You could offer up your personal social security number instead, but that’s always a risk. Basically, even if it’s not specifically required, getting an EIN will make running your business a lot smoother. Plus, EINs are free from the IRS. Don’t want to go through the hassle of filling out more paperwork? Add on EIN service when you hire Northwest, and we’ll apply on your behalf.
Does a Massachusetts LLC Need a Business License?
Massachusetts doesn’t have a general, state-level business license, but cities and counties typically have their own licensing requirements. Boston, for example, requires all businesses to get a Business Certificate ($65 for residents) that must be renewed every 4 years.
What is a Massachusetts LLC Annual Report?
The Massachusetts LLC Annual Report is a mandatory yearly report with a huge price tag—$500 ($520 online). The report itself isn’t especially complicated—it updates the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on your LLC’s contact and ownership information. If your filing is late, however, add on another $25 in late fees. When you sign up with Northwest, we’ll help you remember to file your reports by sending you reminder notifications. You can even hire us to file your reports for you each year.
Massachusetts LLC Certificate of Organization Requirements:
Your name must include “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Company” or an abbreviation. Most businesses keep it short and sweet with “LLC.”
This must be a street address in Massachusetts. Want to keep things simple (and avoid having to update multiple addresses as your business grows and changes)? When you hire Northwest, you can list our address here.
General Character of Business
What specifically does your business do? Art restoration? Janitorial services? You only need to include a few words, but you must be specific (even though the form uses the word “general”).
Latest Date of Dissolution
Want to put an end date on your business? If so, you can include that date in your Certificate. If not (and most businesses don’t), you can skip this section.
You can list an individual person or a service like ours. Northwest has been providing expert resident agent service in Massachusetts for years.
Resident Agent Address
Again, this must be a street address in Massachusetts. When you hire Northwest, our address goes here.
LLCs can be managed either by managers or members. If your LLC is managed by managers, you’ll list the name and business address of each manager. If your LLC is managed by its members, you’ll list the name and business address of at least one member.
Person Authorized for Property
What the Commonwealth really wants to know is who in your LLC is authorized to sign any documents relating to real property. In other words, if your company buys a building, who’s allowed to sign off on it? Don’t plan on buying or selling any real estate? You can skip this section.
Massachusetts LLC Authorized Signatory
This is just a fancy name for the person signing and submitting your Certificate of Organization. Your authorized signatory doesn’t have to be anyone in the LLC. Hire Northwest, and we’ll be your signatory.