How to Find the Best Registered Agent in Maryland
What is a Maryland registered agent?
A resident agent is often referred to as a registered or statutory agent in other states. A resident agent is the point of contact between you and the state of Maryland. Maryland Statute §2–108 clearly states that all businesses formed in the state must appoint and maintain a resident agent.
As the resident agent’s primary role is to accept legal notices and other important documents for a business, including:
- Articles of Organization – the formation documents for an LLC in Maryland
- Articles of Incorporation – corporations file the document upon formation
- Annual report fee– submit to the Maryland Secretary of State before April 15 each year
- Certificate of Status – proof of good standing
- Maryland business tax notices
An agent is a physical presence in Maryland
The Maryland Department of Assessment and Taxation mandates that a resident agent be available Monday through Friday during regular business hours to accept legal notices and other official correspondence.
You can use the resident agent’s address as the business address and list it in the Maryland business entity search.
A resident agent is an essential contact person
As a point of contact, a resident agent accepts time-sensitive documents from the state of Maryland and law firms.
A business in Maryland has ten days to respond to a subpoena.
If you fail to appear, you risk default judgments and, on rare occasions, contempt of court charges.
Your agent is a due date calendar
The Maryland Secretary of State expects the annual report by April 15 each year.
The company’s report fee must be paid on time to remain in good standing with Maryland and maintain liability protection.
By appointing an outside registered agent service, you ensure that someone will notify you as due dates are near and help you file the proper paperwork and pay the correct fees on time.
Cost of a resident agent in Maryland
You can appoint yourself as your own resident as long as you are 18 years old and have a physical street address in Maryland for free.
You can appoint a friend, spouse, or company employee if they meet the state resident agent requirements.
Appointing an outside resident agent service will cost between $50 and $500.
When to appoint a registered agent
In Maryland, you submit formation documents to the Department of Assessment and Taxation. You will list the appointed resident agent when you file the papers.
Limited liability companies (LLCs) produce resident agent contact information when filing the Articles of Organization.
Corporations provide the agent name and address on the Maryland Articles of Incorporation.
According to Maryland state law, all businesses of all structures must appoint and maintain a resident agent.
Other business structures include:
- Sole proprietorships
How does a Maryland LLC appoint a resident agent?
File the Articles of Organization
You will complete the Maryland Articles of Organization form and submit it to the Maryland Department of Assessment and Taxation.
Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation
301 W. Preston St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
You can file the Articles of Organization online using the Maryland Business Express.
Appoint your resident agent
Section 4 of the Maryland Articles of Organization form asks you to provide certain resident agent information:
- registered agent address
- registered agent name
- resident agent signature
Pay your Maryland filing fees
Filing your LLC Articles of Organization in Maryland costs $100.
The Maryland Department of Assessment and Taxation offers expedited LLC filing for an additional fee.
The cost to file Articles of Organization in Maryland is $100.
How to change your resident agent in Maryland
Anytime you change resident agents, or there is an address change, you must send an official notification to the Maryland Department of Assessment and Taxation, who will then notify the Secretary of State.
Submit the resolution to change principal office online
To switch resident agents, you will submit the change principal office or resident agent using the Maryland Business Express website.
If you file online, the resolution is considered expedited and will take seven to ten days to process.
Submit the resolution to change principal office by mail or in person
You can complete the Maryland resolution to change the principal office or resident agent form and submit it to the Department of Assessment and Taxation by mail or in person.
The new resident agent must sign the form as consent to the appointment.
It takes the state of Maryland four to six weeks to process a resident agent switch.
You can pay extra for expedited business filing services.
The cost to switch agents in Maryland is $100.
How to resign as a resident agent in Maryland
You will submit the statement of the resignation of the resident agent to the Maryland Department of Assessment and Taxation by mail or in person only.
You will also send a copy of the statement to the company from which you withdraw your consent.
The resolution to change the resident agent form will ask for specific information.
- business entity name
- resident agent name
- resident agent address
- statement of resignation
The cost to resign as a resident agent in Maryland is $25, payable to the Maryland Department of Assessment and Taxation, Charter Division.
The change in resident agent will go into effect on the date you filed it.
Benefits of appointing a resident agent in Maryland
You stay in compliance
The annual report fee is due by April 15 to the Maryland Secretary of State every year.
You risk losing good standing and asset protection if you fail to pay the tax on time.
An appointed outside resident agent will notify you as due dates are near, so you don’t lose liability protection.
Your personal address stays out of Maryland public record
You may work from a home address or a private office if you’re a small business owner.
Using your personal address as the business address means that it will be searchable using the Maryland Business Entity Search.
Anyone can search the state ran database using the name of a business or the ID number.
Your appointed resident agent has a physical address that you can use for public records rather than your personal address.
You maintain complete discretion
A process server can arrive at your office, announced, and before you know that, a law firm is attempting to contact you.
The resident agent you appoint will accept legal documents on your behalf out of the view of clients so that you maintain a good reputation.
You get a flexible schedule
According to Maryland Code, Title 2 § 2-10, a resident agent must be available during normal business hours, Monday through Friday.
If you appoint yourself, you are responsible for that availability.
When you appoint an outside resident, you can keep a flexible schedule and leave the office when necessary.
You always have access to the Certificate of Status
Banks and lenders will require that you show proof of good standing in Maryland when you open new business bank accounts.
In Maryland, the Certificate of Status shows that you’re in good standing.
The registered agent service you appoint will give you constant access to the Certificate of Good Standing and other formation documents so you can do business at your convenience.
LLC formation is fast and simple
Expanding into different states requires appointing a resident agent when you begin business formation.
If you’ve appointed a professional registered agent service already, you can begin the process smoothly, and it remains straightforward.
Can I use a virtual address for my LLC in Maryland?
You can use a virtual address or PO box for the purposes of mail-forwarding. But you must have a physical street address for your principal office to register your Maryland LLC.
Can a business owner be a resident agent in Maryland?
An LLC can’t act as its own resident in Maryland. However, business owners can appoint themselves as their own registered agent.
How do I hire a resident agent in Maryland?
You can appoint yourself or hire an outside resident agent in Maryland. You will use the documents you submit upon the company’s formation to hire a resident agent.
What happens if my Maryland resident agent resigns?
If you fail to appoint a new registered agent within 30 days, you risk involuntary dissolution. You must file the statement of change of resident agent or resident agent’s address form.
Can I use a Maryland resident office address for everything on my business filing?
Resident agent services in Maryland are the point of contact between you and the state. You will want to use another address for mailing, billing, and shipping purposes. Most services charge an additional fee for any mail-forwarding.
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