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Every business in the state of Maryland needs a registered agent. A registered agent serves as your company’s point of contact and will receive official documents addressed to your company.

Selecting a registered agent is part of setting up an LLC in Maryland, but for entrepreneurs who are new to the business world, this entire process can be a bit overwhelming.

For starters, an entrepreneur needs to establish a business in the state by submitting LLC formation paperwork, and part of that paperwork requires you to list a registered agent. To help business owners understand how a registered agent plays a role in their newly-formed company, we’ve created a list of frequently asked questions about this topic.

What is a Maryland registered agent?

A Maryland registered agent is a person or company that accepts official documents on behalf of a company. Think of a registered agent as your company’s point of contact. This person will receive important notices about the company that may be delivered by mail or delivered in person.

Read more:  What is a registered agent?

How does an owner select a registered agent in Maryland?

To select a registered agent in the State of Maryland, the owner simply provides the registered agent’s name and address on the Articles of Organization documents. These documents are filed with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation.

Who can be a registered agent in Maryland? 

You can select a person or company, including yourself, to be the company’s registered agent. The State of Maryland says a registered agent can be any citizen over the age of 18 who has a physical street address or a company in the state that has a street address. No P.O. boxes are allowed.

Ideally, the person or company is available between 9-5 on weekdays to accept documents as needed.

Can I be my own registered agent in Maryland?

Yes. The owner can be his or her own registered agent. For most entrepreneurs who are just starting out, this is the most common choice. However, an owner can nominate other people to fill this role too. The owner can even pay for a registered agent service to fill this role.

Why would a company choose to work with a registered agent service? 

A registered agent service can accept documents, notify the owner, and even help with official documents like annual reports. Here’s a look at why some business owners opt for a registered agent service as opposed to doing it themselves:

  • Availability. A registered agent should be available during regular business hours. However, some owners travel or are consistently in offsite meetings. When availability is an issue, an owner relies on a registered agent service.
  • Peace of mind. An LLC owner knows that important documents aren’t missed if a service is in place. He or she knows that tax notices, for example, aren’t sitting in a pile on someone’s desk being ignored. A service receives the documents and notifies the owner immediately.
  • Privacy. Some of the documents that a registered agent receives are sensitive. For example, service of process documents is issued in the event of a lawsuit. Rather than be served these papers in a public setting, some entrepreneurs prefer those documents to be served to an offsite company like a registered agent service.

Read more:  Best Registered Agent Services

How much does a registered agent service cost in Maryland?

The cost of a registered agent depends on the level of service an owner wants. A service that simply forwards mail or alerts an owner to the receipt of new documents can cost about $50 a year.

For registered agent services with a higher level of involvement, the costs increase. There are services that offer online portals, help with annual reports and compliance issues, and provide 24/7 customer support. These services cost upwards of $150-200 per year.

List of Maryland registered agent services 

Interested in getting a registered agent service? There are many services to choose from in Maryland. To get an idea of what’s available and at what cost, here’s a look at three different services that are available to Maryland LLCs:

  • Northwest Registered Agent is one of the most recognized names in the registered agent business. The company has decades of experience and local offices scattered across the U.S. to serve small businesses like yours. The cost for a registered agent service is comparable to others. Business owners can also take advantage of additional services like report filing.
  • ZenBusiness is fairly new to the market, but it’s grown a strong following. Business owners love the affordable rates for a registered agent service, which are as low as $99 per year. The company also offers worry-free compliance to help business owners file the necessary reports on time.
  • Harbor Compliance is a great fit for organizations that register in multiple states and for those who don’t want to pay excessive service fees. With their network and electronic document delivery, they help ensure your business never misses a legal notification.

Maryland registered agent FAQs

Do I really need a registered agent in Maryland?

Yes. The state of Maryland requires all LLCs to list a registered agent on its formation paperwork. Expect to list a registered agent’s name and address on the Articles of Organization.

Can a company change its registered agent?

In the State of Maryland, a registered agent can be altered by submitting a Change of Registered Agent form with the Maryland Secretary of State. There is a $25 fee to file this document with the state.

What’s a statutory agent?

The term statutory agent and registered agent are used interchangeably. In Maryland, however, the most common term used is registered agent.

What’s a commercial registered agent?

An owner might be asked at some point whether they use a commercial or a non-commercial registered agent. A commercial registered agent is a service that’s paid to fill this role. A non-commercial agent is a person, like an owner or an employee, who fills this role but isn’t paid to do so.