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

A Foreign LLC may be operating in Massachusetts without a state license or a state-issued certificate of authority. However, in the event of a dispute or legal proceedings in Massachusetts, the foreign LLC may be required to pay a $500 fee to register. Alternatively, the foreign LLC may register before a lawsuit is filed. In either case, filing the documents early will save the business from any future hassles.

During the application process, the foreign LLC must appoint a registered agent to handle all paperwork and formalities. Most businesses choose to hire a third-party organization to take care of these tasks, allowing them to focus on their business. Once a business is approved, it must file an application with the Secretary of State. To register an LLC or a corporation, the filing fee is $390 and $500, respectively.

The application to register a foreign LLC in Massachusetts can be filed with the Secretary of State through mail. The registration process takes 24 hours. There is a fee of $250. To register a foreign LLC, you must appoint a resident agent in the state. Upon appointment, the registered agent will file and maintain the necessary papers and documents with the Secretary of State. In addition to the filing fee, the LLC will also be required to pay the $190 annual report fee.

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.

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