Filing a Foreign Corporation or LLC in Maryland

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Related: Get a Maryland Registered Agent

If your company was not incorporated in Maryland, but you wish to do business there, you need to register as a foreign entity with the state.

Known as Foreign Qualification, this process allows a company incorporated in Delaware or any other state to legally transact business in Maryland.

Please note: information on this page is accurate to the best of our knowledge. However, requirements and costs can be changed by states at any time and Harvard Business Services cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information.

How to Get a Certificate of Authority in Maryland:

The Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation requires different forms and fees depending on what type of entity you are operating.

Requirements for LLCs:

  • File a LLC "Foreign Limited Liability Company Registration" 
  • Fee: $100
  • Proof of existence or Certificate of Good Standing is required dated within 60 days of application. 

Requirements for Corporations:

  • File a Corporation "Foreign Corporation Qualification" 
  • Fee: $100
  • Proof of existence or Certificate of Good Standing is required dated within 60 days of application. 

You must also appoint and list a Maryland Registered Agent. The Registered Agent must be maintained at all times. Harvard Business Services can provide this service at a cost of just $99/year.

Harvard Business Services can assist with your application so you don’t have to deal with the Maryland Department of Assessment and Taxation directly. We do charge our own fee for this service, in addition to state fees. The exact fee can vary based upon whether your company is already filed and whether you need us to obtain additional documents to meet the state’s requirements. Please contact us for an exact quote.

How Do I Know if I Need a Maryland Certificate of Authority?

The most common reasons to apply for Certificate of Authority if you plan to:

  • Open an office or physical location within the state
  • Hire employees who reside in the state
  • Before beginning a contract or job

Keep in mind that even if the State of Maryland does not require a Certificate of Authority for a specific activity, a bank, vendor or another party can still require one in order to establish a relationship.

Maryland Annual Requirements

Once you have Foreign Qualification in Maryland, the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation requires all LLCs, Corporations (for-profit and non-profit), and LPs to submit an annual report. These reports must be filed by April 15th or late fees will be charged. The report can be filed online or mailed in.   

The fee for LLCs, Corporations, an LPs to file an annual report is $300. This fee may increase based on your Maryland Business Personal Property Tax.

There is no fee for Nonprofit corporations to file their annual report, however nonprofit entities are still subjected to Maryland Business Personal Property tax. 

Please note that this annual requirement is independent from requirements you may have in Delaware or other states.

Since 1981, Harvard Business Services, Inc. has helped form 289,153 Delaware corporations and LLCs for people all over the world.

Registered Agent Service

Harvard Business Services, Inc. guarantees your annual Delaware Registered Agent Fee will remain fixed at $50 per company, per year, for the life of your company.