The Maryland Articles of Organization is one of the most important documents you’ll ever file. This article explains how to do it properly.
Filing the Maryland Articles of Organization is Easy!
Fill out the Maryland Articles of Organization online or download them from MDOT. You can use the MDOT Forms Finder tool to find forms and instructions. There are many ways to fill out the articles of organization, such as filling out online, faxing, mailing, or downloading the forms.
Step 1: Get Your Articles of Organization Forms
Choose between two methods of filing articles of incorporation online. If you want to incorporate a business in Maryland, you must apply with the Maryland Secretary of State. You’ll find the form here.
The process takes about 10 minutes to complete. After submitting the form, you’ll receive a confirmation email within 24 hours informing you of your documents’ approval. Once approved, you’ll receive another email with instructions regarding how to pay the $75 fee.
If you don’t want to use the Maryland Business Express website to file your articles of organization, you can download the form directly from the Maryland Secretary of State’s website. This method requires less work, but it does require some technical expertise. To do it, follow these steps:
1. Go to www.marylandbusinessexpress.com/corporation.html.
2. Click “Download Form.”
3. Print out the form.
4. Fill out the form and mail it to the address listed on the form.
Step 2: Fill Out the Articles of Organization
In order to form a Limited Liability Company (LLC), you must complete the following steps:
1. File Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State’s Office.
2. Register Agent(s).
3. Choose Registered Office Address.
4. Pay filing fees.
5. Prepare Operating Agreement.
6. Obtain Business License.
Entity Name and Address
Having a creative and smart business name is important but not as important as having a legal name, according to the Maryland Secretary of State. A creative name is great, but it doesn’t matter how clever you are if you don’t have a legal name. You can register a business under a creative name, but if you want to do business legally and file taxes, you’ll need a legal name.
Maryland law requires that every registered business name contain both the owner’s full legal name and his/her street address. If you’re opening a restaurant called “The Red Rooster,” you’ll need to use the following format:
Red Rooster Restaurant Incorporated
1234 Main Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
If you’re opening a bar called “Cheers,” you’d use something similar:
Cheers, Bar & Grill
Find a Domain Now
A registered agent is an individual that represents your company before the government. This person must be licensed to do so by the state where you reside. You are responsible for maintaining up-to-date information about your registered agent. If your registered agent changes contact information, it is important to update your records immediately. Failure to maintain accurate information could lead to problems with your domain name registration.
If you don’t know what a registered agent is, check out our article here.
The IRS requires certain businesses to include a brief statement about why it exists in their Articles of Organization. This statement must describe how the organization provides benefits to society.
For example, a nonprofit organization might state that it helps people find jobs, provide health care, educate children, etc. A for-profit corporation might say that it makes money for shareholders.
A business owner must complete Form 8832, “Statement About Purpose,” with his or her federal tax return each year. If you don’t file a return, you’ll still need to fill out Form 8832. You can do this online or download a paper copy of Form 8832.
If you’re self-employed, you’ll need to attach a copy of Form 1040 Schedule SE, “Self-Employment Tax.” Your employer won’t send you a copy of this form; you’ll need to request one from the IRS.
You’ll need to attach a separate schedule showing what you earned during the previous year. For example, if you’re a freelance writer, you’d list your income from writing assignments. If you run a bed-and-breakfast, you’d show the amount of revenue generated by guests staying there.
Step 3: File the Articles of Organization
The next step is filing articles of organization with the Maryland Secretary of State. This document must be filed within 30 days of formation. You will want to file it electronically because you will receive a confirmation email once the process is complete. If you do not receive this email, please check your spam folder.
If you are unsure about how to fill out the form, you can find instructions here.
Steps After Your Maryland LLC Is Officially Formed
An LLC is formed by filing articles of organization. This process involves filling out forms and paying fees. Once filed, you are officially incorporated under state law.
Establishing an operating agreement is important to protect yourself against lawsuits. A written document outlines how the members will conduct themselves during the formation period. Without one, there is nothing stopping someone from suing you for damages.
There is no requirement to register your LLC in Maryland. However, you do need to file an Annual Report with the Secretary of State within 10 days of completing the initial registration. If you decide to incorporate outside of Maryland, you’ll need to follow different rules.
If you plan to start a business that requires licenses, such as selling alcohol or providing healthcare, you will need to apply for those licenses prior to incorporating. Depending on what type of business you’re starting, you may need to obtain permits and pay fees.
You must comply with additional tax, reporting, and licensing requirements depending on your LLC’s type of business and location, and whether you choose to incorporate outside of Maryland.
The next step is to open a bank account and deposit funds into it. This is where you keep your money while your business is being set up.
Create your LLC Corporation with just 3 easy steps
Create an Operating Agreement
An Operating Agreement is a legal document that defines how members of an Limited Liability Company (LLC) work together. If there are disputes among the members, it protects each member’s interest. In addition, an Operating Agreement helps protect the LLC against lawsuits filed by third parties.
You don’t have to register your LLC unless you want to form one. However, if you do decide to register your LLC, you must file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. This is the same filing requirement as for corporations.
Get an EIN
An EIN (Employer Identification Number) is like a social security number for your LLC. If you run a business, you’ll want one. Here are three reasons why.
1. Avoid Taxes
You don’t pay federal income tax unless you make $200,000 or more ($250,000 or more if married). But if you’re self-employed, you owe Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes on every dollar you earn above those amounts. And if you do business as an S Corp., you owe capital gains taxes on your profits. To avoid paying taxes, it helps to know what type of entity you’re running. In addition, some states require you to file state returns, such as sales tax. So having an EIN makes sense.
2. Protect Your Personal Information
If someone gets hold of your personal information—like your SSN, birth date, address, etc.—it could open up a lot of doors for identity theft. Having an EIN protects your privacy because companies can’t use your SSN to find out anything about you without your permission.
3. Make Life Easier
Getting an EIN doesn’t just help you avoid taxes; it can actually save you money. When you register your company name and operating hours, you’ll receive a 1099 form from the IRS. This document lists your total taxable income for the year. Getting an EIN allows you to fill out one return rather than several, saving you time and effort.
Open a Business Bank Account
It might seem like a no-brainer if your business needs a bank account. After all, banks are required to provide financial services to businesses. But while most banks offer basic banking products such as checking and savings accounts, some small businesses still struggle to find a bank willing to accept them as customers. If you’re considering opening a business bank account, here are three things to consider.
1. Choose a bank based on what you want to do with your business
Many banks offer different types of accounts for different purposes. For example, a commercial credit card might make sense for a retailer looking to build up sales. A merchant cash advance might help a restaurant owner pay for inventory purchases. And a business loan might be best suited for a manufacturer looking to expand production capacity. Before choosing a bank, think about what you’d use your account for.
2. Consider whether you’ll need checking or a savings account
Most banks offer both a checking and a savings account. Some allow you to choose either option. Others require you to pick one or the other. If you’re starting with a single business account, you probably won’t need a separate savings account. However, if you anticipate growing your business over time, you might benefit from having a dedicated savings account. You can set aside money for specific projects, such as paying off debt, retirement savings, or buying equipment.
3. Check your state laws
Some states regulate how much interest a bank can charge on a business account. Sometimes, a bank cannot charge more than 12% per annum. Other states limit the number of fees a bank can impose. To avoid surprises, check with your local government to see if there are any restrictions on the rates banks can charge for business accounts.
Get Licenses and Permits
Federal licenses and permits are required for most types of businesses. States issue licenses and permits based on where the business operates. Counties issue licenses and permits for businesses operating within their borders.
State of Maryland Quick Links
The state of Maryland offers several helpful resources for businesses looking to start up or expand operations in the area. These include tax incentives, economic development programs, workforce training, education opportunities, and more.
Maryland Business Resources
A registered agent is required for many types of companies in Maryland. If you plan to do business in Maryland, you must know what type of entity you want to form. You can choose among three basic forms of entities: sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations. Each type of entity has advantages and disadvantages. Once you decide on the type of entity you want, you must find out how to set up the company. This guide provides information about registering a company name, finding a registered agent, filing an annual report, and paying fees.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Maryland Certificate of status?
A certificate of status is issued by the Secretary of State’s office when a corporation files its articles of incorporation. The document certifies that the corporation was formed under Maryland law and lists all of the corporate officers appointed at the formation time.
How long does it take to get a Maryland Certificate of Status?
After filing the Articles of Incorporation, it typically takes two weeks to receive a certificate of status.
Can an LLC be a nonprofit in Maryland?
Yes. An LLC may qualify as a 501(c)(3) organization. A non-profit organization must file Form 990 with the IRS every year.
James Rourke is a business and legal writer. He has written extensively on subjects such as contract law, company law, and intellectual property. His work has been featured in publications such as The Times, The Guardian, and Forbes. When he’s not writing, James enjoys spending time with his family and playing golf.