Massachusetts LLC Registration

Massachusetts LLC registration is easy enough to do on your own: just appoint a registered agent, file your Certificate of Organization with the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth, and pay the state filing fee ($500).

But there’s more to starting a business than just registering your limited liability company.

With the right guidance, you can start a Massachusetts LLC in no time. Whether you want to do it yourself or have local experts guide you every step of the way, we’re here to support your entrepreneurial endeavors.


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I used this company to set up an LLC. It was easy and smooth sailing. The LLC filing was approved within a day. Customer service was friendly and prompt. The registered agent annual fee is one of the lowest I’ve seen anywhere. [. . .] I highly recommend this company for your registered agent needs.

Albert J., Yelp Review


How to Form an LLC in Massachusetts

Here are the key steps you’ll need to take to form an LLC in Massachusetts:

  1. Name Your LLC
  2. Choose a Registered Agent
  3. File Your Certificate of Organization
  4. Report Your Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI)
  5. Next Steps for Success

Name Your LLC

You will need to name your LLC in accordance with state statutes (Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 156C, § 3). Here are the key guidelines to keep in mind when naming your company.

  • The name must be unique
  • The name must contain the words “Limited Company,” “Limited Liability Company,” or an abbreviation such as L.L.C, L.C., LLC or LC.
  • It cannot be the same or deceptively similar to another company name in Massachusetts, unless you have written consent from the other company.
  • The name may contain the name of a member or manager.

How do I find out if an LLC name is taken in Massachusetts?

If you’re hoping to use a specific name for your business, you’ll want to check the Massachusetts Business Database.

How do I reserve an LLC name in MA?

If the name you have in mind is available, you may reserve the name for 60 days by filing an Application for Reservation of Name ($30 filing fee). You have the option to extend your reservation an additional 60 days by paying another $30 fee before the initial 60 day period expires. The form can only be submitted in person or by mail.

Choose a Registered Agent for Your Company

Every limited liability company in Massachusetts is required to appoint a registered agent. Your registered agent accepts legal mail on behalf of your company. Your registered agent can be you, another individual, or a company (like our registered agent service).

What is a registered agent?

A registered agent is someone who accepts legal mail and state notices on behalf of your company. Also referred to as a “resident agent” or “agent for service of process,” your registered agent accepts service of process from the state and forwards it to you. This can include subpoenas, summons, and other time-sensitive documents. This is a crucial responsibility because if you do not receive your documents in time and miss important deadlines, your business can face legal consequences, including revocation of your authority to do business in Massachusetts.

What are the requirements for register agents?

According to Massachusetts law (Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 156D, § 5.01), your registered agent must:

  • Have a physical street address within Massachusetts (PO boxes not allowed)
  • Be available to accept documents during regular business hours

You are required to include your registered agent’s name and street address when you file your Certificate of Organization.

Can I be my own registered agent in Massachusetts?

You can act as your own registered agent if you want. But there are a couple of reasons many business owners choose not to. For starters, you will have to be personally available to accept legal mail during business hours. If you, like many LLC owners, work unconventional hours, you might miss important communication.

More importantly, registered agent’s are required to list their name and address on the Certificate of Organization—a document that goes into the public record. If you’re working out of a residential address, you open yourself to junk mail and solicitors. And if you want to cultivate a professional image for your business, you might opt for hiring a company with a commercial business address instead.

File Your Massachusetts LLC Certificate of Organization

Once you’ve chosen a name and registered gent for your LLC, you’re ready to file your Certificate of Organization with the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth.

You can also get started right now with our free online tool guiding you through the process. Start now, save your progress, finish when you’re ready. Or, if you want us to do it all, hire us to handle everything to form your LLC today!

What do I include in the Certificate of Organization?

Here’s what you’ll need to include when filing your Certificate:

  • Federal EIN – An EIN is your Employer Identification Number, and you can get one from the IRS. If you don’t have one, you can leave this part blank.
  • LLC name – It must include a business identifier like “LLC.”
  • Office address – This is the physical address where business records are kept and maintained.
  • Business information – Indicate what your business will do, including if it offers a professional service.
  • When your business will dissolve – Only fill out this section if your business plans to operate for a set amount of time.
  • Managers – List managers if you have them (if not, leave this section blank). If any managers have a different business address, list that as well.
  • Authorized executor – List at least one person who can execute documents filed with the state. If the executor has a different office address, list that too.
  • Registered agent office address – This must be a physical address.
  • Registered agent consent – The registered agent signs here.
  • Signature – The person preparing the documents signs here.

How much does it cost to file a Certificate of Organization in Massachusetts?

The filing fee is $500. Note: There’s an additional $20 service fee if you file online or by fax.

How do I file my Certificate of Organization?

You can file directly with the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts through the Corporations Online Filing System or by accessing a PDF copy of the form and submitting by mail, fax, or in person to the following address:

 

How long does it take to register a company in Massachusetts?

If you file your Certificate online, the state will usually process your filing in less than two days. Paper submissions can take up to two weeks.

Report Your Beneficial Ownership Information to FinCEN

In accordance with the Corporate Transparency Act, most LLCs formed or registered to do business in the US must file a no-cost Beneficial Ownership Information report to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). LLCs formed after January 1, 2024 must file their report within 30 days of formation. (Update: For businesses established in 2024, FinCEN will accept BOI report filings up to 90 days after formation. Companies formed in 2025 and later will again have just the 30 days.) LLCs already in existence before 2024 have until January 1, 2025 to file their BOI report and do not need to provide company applicant information. The BOI report is not available to the public.

Business information required on the report includes the company’s full legal name, any trade or DBA names, current address, formation jurisdiction, and tax ID.

Beneficial owners and company applicants will need to include their full name, date of birth, residential address, and copy of an identifying document with a unique ID number (like a driver’s license or passport). FinCEN requires companies to list every beneficial owner and company applicant.

  • A beneficial owner is anyone with direct or indirect control of the company, including anyone with at least 25% ownership of the company as well as people in positions like CEOs, CFOs, or board members.
  • A company applicant is the person who filed to form or register the company, and if different, the person who directed the filing to be made.

If you decide to hire us for service, we can take care of your BOI Report Filing for just $9. It’s a simple process in which you answer a few questions and upload IDs to your secure online account. Our experienced filers handle the rest!

Recommended Steps for LLC Success

Your limited liability company is officially registered. Congratulations! So what’s next for your company? Our local experts have a few key pointers to help ensure your LLC is set up for instant success.

Build Your Brand & Drive Customer Traffic

Connect with your customers instantly with a domain name and website! If you’re a small business owner, you know the importance of driving customer traffic and pursuing leads for your business. You’ll want to look into choosing a unique domain name ASAP—in fact, as we note in our guide, it’s best to align your business name and domain name at the same time.

That’s why we automatically provide you a domain name when you hire us to form your company. It’s yours for free for a full year, and you also get 90 days free of the following essential web-based business tools:

  • Prebuilt website that you can customize for your brand and marketing strategy
  • SSL certificate for your website security
  • Email addresses linked to your domain name to keep your business communications professional
  • Local phone number and service to help set a boundary (easily accessible on your own device with our iOS or Android app, or on a computer with an internet connection)

All for no additional upfront cost. We never sell your data, and you have the option to cancel anytime. But keep in mind that your online business presence plays a crucial role in your business success, so having a domain name, website, and business email address are an important part of establishing our Massachusetts business presence.

Craft an Operating Agreement

An operating agreement is an internal document that outlines your LLC’s ownership and operating procedures. Some key topics covered include ownership percentages, management structure, membership transfers, voting protocols, and how to handle any disputes. It’s not a required document for registering your company, but it is a crucial document for setting the precedent for how your LLC is managed. Think of a thoughtfully-written operating agreement like a constitution for your company that all members agree upon. Plus, when it comes time to secure a business bank account, you’ll likely need an operating agreement.

If you are forming your own LLC, you’ll probably want to contact a lawyer to draft a strong operating agreement for your company. This won’t be cheap. If you hire us for service, though, we include a free attorney-drafted operating agreement for your company as part of our formation package.

Get an EIN

An EIN (employer identification number) is a unique number assigned to businesses for identifying your LLC on tax filings. Virtually all LLCs in Massachusetts will need an EIN.

Technically, if you’re a single-member LLC with no employees, you can give out your social security number instead. But in the interest of being pragmatic and safeguarding your personal information, it’s best to get an EIN for free from the IRS.

Open a Business Bank Account

Mixing your personal and business accounts is a surefire way to jeopardize the personal asset protection you get from an LLC. Opening a bank account for your business funds helps keep your personal and business assets separate. Think of it this way: if you are collecting business funds in your personal account, you’re immediately muddying the water when it’s time to file your taxes. Worse yet, if your business is sued, your personal asset protection is immediately at risk because your finances are all blended together.

When you open your business bank account, make sure to bring your personal ID, EIN, and copies of your operating agreement and formation documents.

Let Us Help You Start an LLC in Massachusetts

As we discussed above, you have the option to form a Massachusetts LLC on your own. But here are some things our LLC formation service does to make life easier for business owners. If you’re going to fork over $500 to start an LLC in Massachusetts, you want to make sure you’ve covered all your bases.

  • Local customer service expertise: Our customer service team works out of an office in Pittsfield. They’re locals who know Massachusetts business backward and forward. They’d love to assist you with any questions you have about your LLC.
  • Fast filing: When you’re ready to get going with your LLC, the last thing you want to do is sit around and wait. That’s why we prepare and file your Massachusetts Certificate of Organization in a single business day.
  • Online business presence: To make sure you start off on the right foot, we include in our LLC formation package a free year of your own business domain. We also give you your own website, SSL site security, email address matching your business domain, and local phone service free for 90 days. Get started building your company’s professional business presence at no additional upfront cost and with the option to cancel any time.
  • Locked-in pricing: Massachusetts is an expensive state for business owners, and those prices can always go up. But our LLC formation package pricing won’t. We guarantee the price you pay at sign-up is also the price you’ll pay every year after that.
  • Privacy safeguards: In Massachusetts, the address you list on your Certificate of Organization is considered public information. When you hire us, we list our business address instead of your personal address. That means your private information stays private.

When you hire local experts like us, you set up your business for success immediately. Our LLC formation package includes a year of local registered agent service, a free operating agreement, limited mail forwarding, and instant web-based Massachusetts business presence!

How Our Massachusetts LLC Service Works

Once you order our Massachusetts LLC formation package, our local agents will immediately start putting together the information to file your Certificate of Organization within a single business day. Here’s what comes after that.

  • Massachusetts authorizes your LLC.
  • We upload your LLC documents to your secure online account.
  • You get Massachusetts registered agent service for a full year.
  • When that year is up, we’ll send a renewal notice for your registered agent service, at the same low price—just $49 a year.

That’s all there is to it. When you hire us, you can skip the bureaucratic red tape and dive right into growing your business.

Questions About Forming a Massachusetts LLC

Can I reserve a name for my LLC in Massachusetts?

Yes. You can submit an Application of Reservation of Name for a $30 filing fee. It must be submitted in person or by mail, as online and fax filings aren’t available for this form. Once you’ve filed, the name is reserved for 60 days. For another $30, you can extend the reservation by an additional 60 days.

If I formed my business in a different state, do I still have to register in MA?

You have to register your business in Massachusetts if you do business here. To learn more, check out our Foreign LLC Registration page.

Do I need to file a Massachusetts Annual Report?

Yes, every LLC in Massachusetts must file a Annual Report. The report must be filed on or before the anniversary date of when the LLC first filed its Certificate of Organization. The fee is $500. There’s an additional $20 service fee to file online or by fax.

You can file online or you can fill out and print a PDF copy of the Annual report to submit by mail, fax, or in person.

How are LLCs in Massachusetts taxed?

By default, LLCs get taxed as pass-through entities, which means you must report your share of the business’s profits on your personal taxes. As an alternative, you can opt to file as a S-Corp or C-corp by submitting paperwork to the IRS. You’ll also have to pay federal self-employment taxes at 15.3% along with any applicable state taxes.

Can I register a trade name (DBA)?

Yes, many Massachusetts companies operate under a trade name (also called a DBA) because it allows for franchising and branding opportunities. If you’d like to register a trade name, select our Trade Name Service inside your account after signing up for our business formation service. We’ll register your company’s trade name for $125 plus filing fees.

How is a PLLC different from an LLC?

PLLCs file a different Certificate of Organization that has some additional requirements. In Massachusetts, LLCs that provide professional services (medicine or law, for instance) can form a Professional Limited Liability Company (PLLC). Some of the key requirements are a more detailed description of the professional services that your company will provide and details related to members’ and managers’ professional licenses.

Here’s a copy of the Professional LLC Certificate of Organization for you to review.

Do I need a Massachusetts business license?

Probably, though it depends on what kind of business you’re running. If you’re selling products or services, you’ll definitely need a state sales tax certificate. You will need a professional business license if your LLC provides services that require specialized training or education. Finally, your city or county may also require local licenses before you can operate your business legally.