Incorporating in Maryland, similar to the formation of other entity types, is a more-or-less breezy process facilitated in great part by Maryland’s entity portal Business Express. Through the portal you will be able to incorporate under 4 different structures, 3 domestic and 1 foreign, using either your own documentation or the documents the portal renders for you. The cost of filing ranges from $150 to $220 based on your desired corporation type. All filings must be completed in accordance with Title 1 of Maryland’s legal code which corresponds to Corporations. Each corporate type has a corresponding subheading within our site, available below, however for a general overview on incorporating you can scroll down to access our corporation overview.
How to File
Step 1- Before you embark on the filing process it is absolutely necessary to decide upon a name to incorporate under and, furthermore, to ensure that this name is both legally unique and currently available in Maryland. There is no official process in place by which an individual can check the availability of a name, nor is there any process by which one could reserve a given name for any amount of time, however you are free to cross-reference the business entity database search by simply entering your desired name into the provided field and checking if the name is already in use.
Step 2- Once your name’s uniqueness and availability has been ensured (we will assume it has for the remainder of the tutorial), you will need to create an online account with Maryland’s Business Express entity portal through which you will file for incorporation. Account creation is mandatory, and yet still quite simple, but if you are having difficulties please feel free to utilize our tutorial for account creation, located here.
Step 3- You now have everything lined up to begin the incorporation process setback-free. From the main page of the Business Express portal you will be able to initiate a filing procedure for any of the following types of corporations, fees listed. As mentioned above, each of these corporate structures (excepting the foreign corporation) can be completed by utilizing either your own documents or those rendered by Business Express.
Foreign – $150
Foreign Corporation applications must include a certificate of good standing from the state in which the corporation was first formed.
Step 4- As indicated above, each corporate type has an associated fee, heftier than one finds in most states, which is payable by credit card or electronic check via the Business Express portal once the filing has been completed.
EIN – No corporation would be able to function without an EIN, or an Employer Identification Number, a number assigned by the IRS to recognize the entity for tax reporting purposes. All financial maneuvers are impossible to complete without a proper EIN. To acquire an EIN you can use the Online registration built into the IRS website or, if you prefer to do things the old fashioned way, you may download the PDF Form SS-4 and submit it via mail.
Corporate Bylaws – According to the Maryland statute MD Corp & Assn Code § 2-109 (2013) all new corporations must adopt corporate bylaws in order to be considered legal and financially eligible. We also like to point out that, regardless of their mandatory nature, bylaws can be very useful to a corporation as they are frequently the only document detailing the financial structure of the corporation, the distribution of assets, the logistical makeup and the like, and are thus helpful for avoiding legal disputes down the line. If you would like more information on drafting corporate bylaws and/or are interested in utilizing our free templates, available in PDF and MS Word formatting, please follow the link to the left.
Renewal– Corporations in Maryland, like those in other states, are required to file annual reports in order to remain in good standing in the eyes of the government. Unlike in most states, however, in Maryland this process has been folded into the overall state tax filing process, and thus it is necessarily completed each year when a business files its state tax forms. For more information on Maryland’s specific renewal process you can either select the link to the left or, if you desire a more in-depth analysis embedded into a business check-list, the link here.