Massachusetts Foreign LLC – Qualification and Registration


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If you already have an LLC in another state and want a Massachusetts LLC, then starting an LLC would be somewhat different. You must register as a foreign LLC. We have here a guide on how you can qualify and register for a foreign LLC in Massachusetts

Forming a Massachusetts Foreign LLC

A foreign LLC does not need to be a company from another country but a business formed under the laws of another state. To start a foreign LLC in Massachusetts, you need to register it with the Massachusetts Secretary of State.

Step 1: Choose Massachusetts Foreign LLC Name

Obtain a name reservation certificate and submit it with your foreign qualification requirements at the Massachusetts Secretary of State. Your LLC’s legal name outside of Massachusetts will be listed on the application, along with the name it will use in Massachusetts. Take note of the requirements for naming your LLC

Check name availability at Massachusetts’s business entity names and reserve your LLC name.

Step 2: Select Massachusetts Foreign LLC Registered Agent

You’ll need a registered agent to form a foreign LLC in Massachusetts and take note that a Massachusetts registered agent must have a local address. Here are three of the best LLC services on our list that will provide you with registered agents to ease your worries: 

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Step 3: File Registration of Massachusetts Foreign LLC 

Fill out and submit a Foreign LLC Application for Registration form via email to corpinfo@sec.state.ma.us or by mail to Secretary of the Commonwealth One Ashburton Place, Room 1717, Boston, Massachusetts 02108-1512.

Include the following:

  • LLC’s full legal name. 
  • A fictitious name or a DBA (only if your LLC’s legal name is not available); Attach a statement of adoption of the fictitious name signed by all LLC members.
  • LLC’s principal office and mailing addresses.
  • LLC formation state and date.
  • Registered agent’s name and address in Massachusetts
  • Date when your LLC will start operations in Massachusetts.
  • Credit card information on the last page of the form for the $150 application fee. 

The LLC cost in Massachusetts, even for foreign LLCs will differ between online filing and by mail.

Step 4: Determine How Your Massachusetts Foreign LLC is taxed

Foreign LLCs are also subjected to the Massachusetts Business Privilege Tax, and they must file LLC annual reports each year.

Note that forming a foreign LLC would be good for your business as you can legally operate in a different state thus reaching a larger market and opening more opportunities for higher profit.

Steps to Filing Massachusetts Foreign LLC Online

When you are registering for the foreign LLC in the State of Massachusetts, you will have to submit your Application for Registration of foreign LLC with the Secretary of the Commonwealth which costs $500. After approval, you will receive a Verification Certificate from the State Office. The State does not offer online filing options for foreign LLC. We have explained the aspects you need to cover when you apply for Massachusetts Foreign LLC.

  1. Download the Application Form PDF on your system.
  2.  Read the instructions provided in the form carefully and fill the form accordingly.
  3. Before making the payment, thoroughly review the information provided in the form to be correct and accurate.
  4. Make sure to fill the form by typing. The State office does not accept the form filled in ink or any other form of handwritten form.
  5. Attach your name reservation application along with the reservation fee.
  6. You are also required to attach the ‘Cover Sheet’, which is provided on the third page of the application form PDF.
  7. The State mandates the filing of the Certificate of Existence or Good Standing issued by an officer or an agency properly authorized by the State of Original Jurisdiction.
  8. Make the payment of $500 to the ‘Secretary of the Commonwealth’ via check or by card for the faxed forms.
  9. If you are filing the application by fax, you are also required to attach the Fax Voucher Cover Sheet. For additional instructions about fax filings, you can read the fax filing guidelines issued by the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts office.
  10. Attach all the documents, i.e., the application form, cover sheet, Certificate of Existence or Good Standing, Filing fee, name reservation form and fee, and Fax Voucher Cover Sheet in case of faxed filing together.
  11. For mail or in-person filing, submit the documents to the following address: Secretary of the Commonwealth One Ashburton Place, Room 1717, Boston, Massachusetts 02108-1512
  12. To fax your documents, place the fax voucher coversheet, as the first and only cover sheet, on top of your fax filing and fax it to 617-624-3891.

After Forming Massachusetts Foreign LLC

Here are added things you need to accomplish after forming your Massachusetts Foreign LLC

  1. Obtain Business Licenses. Find the business licenses you’ll need using the Business License Search.
  2. File LLC annual reports and Business Privilege Tax.
  3. Pay State Taxes like sales tax; you’ll need an EIN for your LLC

It is convenient plus easy to file for the foreign LLC if you are doing it online. The steps are very easy and that’s why it’s possible to go along with the steps and form a foreign LLC in Massachusetts. 

How Much Does It Cost to Register a Foreign LLC in Massachusetts

To register as a foreign LLC in Massachusetts, you can file through mail, fax, in-person or online by paying $500 to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

When you want to establish a foreign business in Massachusetts, you’ll need to register with the Secretary of Commonwealth. A certificate of existence and good standing will be necessary to be eligible to operate in the state. While there are many online resources for this, most business owners will prefer to work with a third-party organization to do this for them. This will allow them to focus on other aspects of their business while a third-party company handles the necessary paperwork. Once you’ve decided on a registered agent, you’ll need to file your application with the secretary of state’s office. The filing fee for an LLC is $500 and $390 for a corporation.

To register a foreign limited liability company in Massachusetts, you must submit a Certificate of Organization form online or by mail to the Secretary of the Commonwealth. You’ll also need to submit an annual report to the state by fax or mail. The filing fee is $500 and $520 if you file by fax. You’ll also want to file a comprehensive operating agreement, which clarifies the duties of each member of your company.

Whether you want to register a business in Massachusetts for tax purposes or to avoid penalties related to operating illegally, foreign qualified LLCs can benefit from these advantages. They can avoid large fines and penalties associated with doing business in an unfriendly state. However, registering a foreign limited liability company requires a significant investment of time and money. So, if you are planning to start a business in Massachusetts, you may want to consider hiring a service to register your foreign LLC.

To register a foreign LLC in Massachusetts, you will need to submit an application online or in person. The application will take up to 24 hours. A cover letter will not be part of the public record, but will be included with the Certificate of Good Standing application. Filing online will save you time, but in-person filings may take 7-10 business days. The Massachusetts Corporations Division does not offer an expedited paper application process, so you may want to consider filing an application by fax.

A limited liability company in another state must register a name reservation certificate with the Secretary of State. Then, the foreign LLC will need to file an application with the Secretary of Commonwealth to become a legally recognized entity in Massachusetts. Once the LLC has completed the process, it will need to file a Certificate of Authority (CO).

Before the company can transact in Massachusetts, it must file a Certificate of Authority. This document is similar to the company formation documents. It must include the primary and mailing address of the LLC, the name of the registered agent, and the names of all LLC members. A Certificate of Good Standing is required within 60 days after filing the application. In addition, it is important to have a Massachusetts registered agent.

F.A.Qs

What is a foreign LLC in Massachusetts?

If your LLC is formed under the laws of another state, it is referred to as a foreign LLC in Massachusetts.

Do I need a foreign LLC?

Businesses incorporated outside of the state where they operate must have “foreign qualifications” issued in the other states.

What is the main difference between domestic and foreign LLC?

A domestic LLC is a company registered in Massachusetts as an LLC. The entity type that has a physical presence in another state is a foreign LLC.

In Conclusion

Starting a foreign LLC in Massachusetts does not require a lot of documentation or tasks. However, it is always good to seek help from a professional when it comes to running your business. Get a professional registered agent and form your foreign LLC anywhere without a hassle.

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