Massachusetts LLC Costs
An LLC, or limited liability company, is a business structure that provides business owners with liability protection, special tax benefits, business incentives, and a flexible management structure. Small businesses and entrepreneurs often believe that LLC formation is complex and costly. However, it is both affordable and straightforward, saving money in the long run.
Recommended LLC Services
Costs to start an LLC in Massachusetts
LLC Articles of Organization ($500)
- You must file your Articles of Organization with the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth.
- The LLC cost to file Massachusetts Articles of Organization is $500.
- Massachusetts does not have any expedited LLC services.
Massachusetts annual report fee ($500)
- You must file a Massachusetts annual report with the Secretary of Commonwealth.
- You can file the LLC’s annual report online using the Secretary of the Commonwealth, Corporations Division filing system.
- Or, you can complete the Limited Liability Company Annual Report form and submit it by mail, fax, or in person.
- The annual fee in Massachusetts is $500.
- The annual report fee is due yearly on the anniversary of LLC formation.
Massachusetts registered agent fee (varies between $50 to $300)
- You must appoint a registered agent when forming an LLC in Massachusetts.
- It lets the Massachusetts Secretary of State know someone is available during business hours to accept subpoenas, tax notices, and other essential correspondence.
- As long as they meet Massachusetts state requirements, you can appoint anyone as a registered agent, including yourself.
- The cost of hiring a registered agent will vary depending on the service, the needs of the LLC, and state filing fees.
Fees to form a foreign LLC in Massachusetts ($500)
- If you have an existing LLC and wish to expand, you will need to register your LLC as a foreign LLC in Massachusetts.
- You can register as a foreign LLC online using the Secretary of the Commonwealth, Corporations Division filing system.
- Or, you can complete the Foreign Limited Liability Company Application for Registration form and submit it by mail.
- The LLC filing fee to register a Massachusetts foreign LLC is $500.
LLC name reservation fee ($30)
- The Commonwealth of Massachusetts does not require you to reserve an LLC before formation as long as it is available.
- However, when you reserve a company name, you ensure that no one else can register the same name.
- A Massachusetts LLC name must be unique.
- You can reserve an LLC name in Massachusetts for up to 60 days before formation. The state allows you to extend that by 60 days for $30.
- You can reserve your LLC name online using the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts website.
- Or, you can complete the Application of Reservation of Name and submit it by mail.
- The cost to reserve a company name in Massachusetts is $30.
DBA filing fees in Massachusetts (cost varies)
- The acronym DBA is a business term that stands for ‘doing business as.’A DBA, or assumed name, is a registered name a business or person uses to operate that is not the company’s legal name.
- The Secretary of Commonwealth does not require an LLC to register a DBA.
- However, when you register a DBA, you are ensuring no one else can use the same business name.
- In Massachusetts, you must register a DBA with the city government where your business is located. For example, if your LLC is in Boston, you would register your DBA name with the City of Boston.
- The cost of a DBA varies depending on where your business is located. A DBA name in Boston is $65 and an additional $35 for non-residents.
Cost of certified document copies ($7)
- You will order certified LLC documents using the Secretary of Commonwealth website.
- The cost to order Massachusetts LLC documents is $7 and $2 for every page.
Certificate of Good Standing ($25)
- Banks and money lenders will request a Certificate of Good Standing before allowing you to open a business bank account.
- You can order the Certificate of Good Standing using MassTaxConnect.
- Or, you can complete the Request for a Certificate of Good Standing and submit it by fax or mail.
- The filing cost for a Certificate of Good Standing in Massachusetts is $25.
Steps to start an LLC in Massachusetts
Choose a business name
When deciding on a Massachusetts LLC name, you will need to consider a few things.
- In Massachusetts, your LLC name must be unique.
- LLC names must meet all Massachussets LLC naming guidelines.
- When deciding on an LLC name, checking for a web domain keeps branding simple.
You will use the Secretary of Commonwealth of Massachusetts business entity database to conduct a name search.
LLC name reservation fee
You do not have to reserve an LLC name in Massachusetts prior to formation. You can reserve an LLC name for up to 60 days for $30.
You can reserve the LLC name online using the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts website or complete the Application of Reservation of Name and submit it by mail.
The cost to reserve a company name in Massachusetts is $30. An LLC name is good for up to 60 days before formation. Massechusetts does not require you to reserve an LLC name.
Appoint a Massachusetts registered agent
When forming an LLC in Massachusetts, you must appoint a registered agent.
The price for a Massachusetts registered agent or service varies between $50 and $100 a year. The cost depends on the state and your LLC needs.
A registered agent in Massachusetts is an individual or business entity that receives tax forms, legal documents, subpoenas, civil notices, service of process, and other official government correspondence on behalf of a sole proprietorship, corporation, or LLC.
The registered agent you choose must be a Massachusetts resident or a registered agent service authorized to conduct business in the state.
- Starter Plan – $39 a year plus State Fees
- Pro Plan – $149 a year plus State Fees
- Premium Plan – $249 a year plus State Fees
ZenBusiness offers a stand-alone registered agent service. The price is $99 per year.
- Total Out The Door Massachusetts LLC Formation Service Package – $89 month and includes:
- Massachusetts State Fee
- Filing Service Fee
- Registered Agent
- Tax ID
- Annual Plan – $225 plus State Fees a year
- Economy – $79 plus $153 Massachusetts filing fees
- Standard – $329 plus $153 state filing fees
- Express Gold – $349 plus $255 state filing fees
File Massachusetts Articles of Organization
You must file your Massachusetts Articles of Organization with the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
You can file your Articles of Organization using the Secretary of the Commonwealth, Corporations Division website.
Or you can complete the Limited Liability Company Certificate of Organization form and submit it by mail, fax, or in person.
The LLC cost to file Massachusetts Articles of Organization is $500.
Massachusetts does not offer any expedited LLC services.
William Francis Galvin
Secretary of the Commonwealth
One Ashburton Place, Room 1717
Boston, MA 02108
Fax: (617) 624-3891
The Articles of Organization form will ask for specific information about an LLC.
- LLC name and address
- The general purpose of LLC formation
- Registered agent info
The fee in Massachusetts for filing your LLC Articles of Organization is $500.
Get a Massachusetts LLC EIN
An Employer Identification Number, or EIN, can also be referred to as a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or Federal Tax ID Number (FTIN).
The 9-digit EIN works as a Social Security Number for companies for income tax purposes. The Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, assigns EINS for no charge.
If you are converting a sole proprietorship into an LLC, you must file for an EIN in Massachusetts.
Applying for an EIN is a simple process online through the IRS website.
Business banking for a Massachusetts LLC
You will want to open a business bank account that is separate from your personal banking accounts. It is to protect your assets and credit scores.
Banks and lenders will require you to present a copy of your Articles of Organization, the operating agreement, and your EIN.
Business banking accounts are generally free, and do not have additional charges or fees.
Business attorney fees in Massachusetts
Business attorneys come in handy when forming an LLC. They help keep the process simple, and a lawyer can handle any business-related issues during formation.
For first-time clients, most business attorneys will offer a free consultation.
Professional services such as LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer offer LLC formation packages that include comprehensive legal services.
On average, a business lawyer in Massachusetts will cost $300 per hour.
LLC taxes in Massachusetts
- In Massachusetts, your LLC is considered a pass-through entity. You will file your personal tax returns rather than the LLC’s state tax returns.
- If you sell physical products, you must register for a seller’s permit with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue.
- The Massachusetts state tax rate is 6.25%. There is no local and county max tax rate.
- The Massachusetts Corporation Excise Tax has an annual franchise tax component as well as net income.
- If you hire employees in Massachusetts, you must register for Unemployment Insurance Tax through the Division of Unemployment Assistance.
- You will also need to enroll in Employee Withholding Tax through the MassTax Connect website.
- Federal and state taxes, especially the Massachusetts Corporation Excise Tax, can get complicated. Tax accountants are helpful if you want to avoid penalties, late fees, and possible dissolution.
Business licenses and permits in Massachusetts
Your required business licenses and permits will differ depending on where your company is located and your business type.
You will use the Mass.gov website to search for the business licenses you need for your LLC.
A business licence in Massachusetts averages between $25 to $50. The total cost of permits and licences will depend on where your LLC is, and the type of LLC.
All city and county officials will have varied processes and procedures. You will want to contact the government agency for questions about the price, rules, and office hours.
Various LLC documents and forms in Massachusetts may require a notarization from a notary public.
Most government agencies have a notary public on staff if you cannot find one.
The average cost for notarization in Massachusetts is $10.
Massachusetts has to limit on what a notary public can charge for a notarial act.
Employer obligations in Massachusetts
- If you hire employees in Massachusetts, you have specific obligations.
- You must verify with the federal government that your employees are eligible to work in the US by using Form I-9 from the USCIS Website.
- In Massachusetts, you are required to enroll in workers’ compensation insurance.
- You will use the Mass.gov website to report all new hires.
- You can find a complete list of Massachusetts employer obligations.
Benefits of a Massachusetts LLC
- When you form an LLC in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, you are simplifying business banking. Financial institutions will require you to open a business bank account that is separate from your personal ones.
- LLCs have different compliance requirements than corporations. Incorporations answer to shareholders and stock owners when making business decisions.
- Massachusetts LLCs are pass-through entities. The earnings of an LLC are only taxed through the member’s personal tax returns.
- You help avoid being double-taxed when you form an LLC. C-corporations are often double-taxed, while LLCs are not.
- Massachusetts has incentives that are available to LLCs. The EDIPC program and Economic Opportunity Area Credit (EOAC) are both available for LLCs.
How long does it take to register an LLC in Massachusetts?
It will take Massachusetts 1 to 2 business days to process an LLC formation online. If you file online, it can take upwards of 2 weeks, including the time it takes to receive and return the paperwork.
Massachusetts does not currently offer expedited services.
How do I dissolve my Massachusetts LLC?
Are there publishing requirements for Massachusetts LLCs?
Unlike Arizona and New York, an LLC has no publishing requirements other than the annual report fee.
Do I need a business operating agreement for my LLC in Massachusetts?
In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, you do not have to submit an operating agreement to the state.
However, an operating agreement on file helps to avoid future misunderstandings within the organization. An operating agreement can be written or oral as long as it is in the company’s files.
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