Forming an LLC in Massachusetts, be it professional or standard, foreign or domestic, is a relatively simple procedure. You have many options for filing (online, tax, mail, in person) each with it’s own fee-structure ($520, $520, $500, $500 respectively). Although only standard domestic LLCs can be filed online, the process by which one can do so is incredibly brief and simple, as you will see. Otherwise, the state offers a series of ready-made forms for any type of LLC for filing through the mail or, for an expedited option, by fax.
Below you will find a brief overview of the LLC formation process which applies to both foreign and domestic LLCs; for a more in-depth look at the formation of a specific LLC please follow the appropriate link. Before moving forward with the registration tutorial we would like to remind LLC organizers that, in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, all LLCs must operated under a unique name in order to be considered legal. To ensure that your LLC name is available, and remains available, you should first perform a quick business entity search to check for a name’s availability. Once complete, it is advisable to file an official name reservation with the Commonwealth, which will reserve your desired name for a period of 60 days, to allow you time to incorporate properly. A name reservation will cost $30.
How to File
Step 1 – Filers must first decide which type of entity they wish to form. There are four options depending on your circumstances:
The filing processes for these LLC types are very similar, although only domestic standard LLCs may be filed online.
Step 2 – Now that you’ve determined which LLC type you will form you must decide which method to file by. As mentioned above, domestic standard LLCs can be filed online, by fax, or through the mail / in person, while all other LLC types can only be filed by fax or through the mail / in person.
Step 3 – For each method described above you will have to fill out the same form given your LLC type. Each form essentially requests basic information regarding the LLC such as the identity of the managers, members, resident agent, and the addresses of these individuals as well as the principle business address.
Step 4a – If you opt to file online or by fax you will pay your fees immediately online by credit card, electronic check, or through an existing online account (only possible if you’ve filed in Mass before), and the fee will be $520. Fax filers will receive an extra document, a fax voucher coversheet, to attach to their fax package. Once the package is complete it must be faxed to 617-624-3891.
Step 4b – If you opt to file by mail or in person you must simply bring your completed form along with a check for $500 made out to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to the following address:
1 Ashburton Place, Room 1717
Boston, MA 02108-1512
EIN – We recommend that as soon as your LLC is formed you immediately acquire an EIN, or employer identification number, from the IRS. This number will allow your LLC to operate legally before the eyes of the law. Every financial maneuver on the part of your LLC, no matter how small, is dependent on the acquisition of this number. To acquire an EIN you can use the Online registration or you may download the PDF Form SS-4 and submit it by mail or in person to the IRS.
Operating Agreement– Although the Commonwealth of Massachusetts does not require any single LLC to draft an operating agreement we highly recommend that all LLCs do, if not just to stay organized. The document, if created correctly, will lay out the financial and logistical structure of the LLC, delineating which members are entitled to and responsible for what. The document will also specify meeting times, bureaucratic management, and any and all other rules and regulations the members wish to abide by. For more information on operating agreements please follow the link to the left where you will find, in addition to said information, access to our free templates, available in both MS Word and PDF formats.
Renewal – All LLCs must file an annual report with the office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth in order to remain in good standing. Filings can be completed online (domestic standard LLCs only) by simply following the link to the left (you will need to have your LLC’s customer ID number and PIN on hand to complete the filing) or by fax or mail/in person using the following forms:
- Domestic Standard LLC $500 ($520 if submitted online or by fax)
- Domestic Professional LLC $500 ($520 if submitted online or by fax)
- Foreign Standard LLC $500 ($520 if submitted online or by fax)
- Foreign Professional LLC $500 ($520 if submitted online or by fax)
For instructions on fax filing please click here. All fax filers will need to pay their fees and generate their fax voucher coversheet, steps which can be completed on this page. If you wish to file by mail/in person deliver your forms to the following address:
1 Ashburton Place, Room 1717
Boston, MA 02108-1512
Finally, all checks must be made out to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.