When someone mentions a foreign limited liability company, some people assume that this type of entity pertains to an overseas business. However, this type of LLC is established by a U.S. company based in another state. For example, if your main office is in Denver but you wish to establish an office in Boston, you’ll need to obtain a foreign qualification in Massachusetts. To register a foreign LLC in Massachusetts then, you need to download a registration for application for a foreign LLC in Massachusetts.
You’ll need to fill out the form using a program, like Adobe Acrobat, as the Secretary of the Commonwealth will not accept forms that are handwritten.
To form a foreign limited liability company, you’ll need to have the following information:
- A federal employer identification number called an EIN
- The LLC name, or an alternative name in case the original name you chose is not available
- The state where you have your home-based LLC and the formation date
- Your main office address
- If different from the main contact address, the name, and address of the manager(s), if applicable
- Names and addresses of individuals authorized to manage any instruments associated with interests in real estate
- The name and address of your Massachusetts resident agent (the person managing your LLC’s paperwork)
Besides the application, you’ll also need some supporting attachments, including the following:
- A cover sheet
- A certificate of good standing originating from the state where you formed your LLC
- Your application fee ($500) – a check payable to the Secretary of the Commonwealth or paid with a charge card for a faxed form
If you want to mail or submit your application in person, you’ll need to submit it to the Secretary of the Commonwealth at 1 Ashburton Place, Room 1717 in Boston, MA 02108-1512. You can fax the office with your application at 617-624-3891.
The processing time for a foreign LLC in Massachusetts is pretty fast. If you mail the application, it is usually processed in three to five business days after it is received or in one or two days if you apply in person. Faxed applications are processed in 24 hours.
Select a Unique Business Name
When forming a foreign LLC in Massachusetts, you need to choose a unique name first and make sure some form of “limited liability company,” “LLC” or “LC” (with or without periods) is included in the name.
Hire a Resident Agent
You’ll also need to hire a resident agent to take care of receiving your LLC paperwork.
Purchase a Domain Name
Next, you’ll need to buy a domain name for your foreign LLCs website and you’ll need to submit information from your Articles of Organization. If you work with an online company that handles foreign limited liability company applications, they can help you glide through the process.
Create an Operating Agreement
You will also need to have an operating agreement on record in your company. This document is helpful for resolving internal differences and giving potential members an idea of how your business is set up and run. This agreement may be similar to or a duplicate of the operating agreement you have in place where your business is based.
When You Need to Register a Foreign LLC
If your company has a presence in Massachusetts or has employees in the state, you’ll need to foreign-qualify your LLC. Maybe you regularly accept orders in the state. If so, again, you’ll need to register a foreign LLC. This also holds true if your company possesses assets in Massachusetts.
If you don’t register a foreign LLC, you’re not operating legally. By creating a foreign LLC then, you’ll attract more customers to your business and make more money. Having an LLC in place will also give you an edge when it comes to enforcing contacts or recovering damages. You can also avoid any penalties or fines that may be imposed by the state.
Having a foreign qualification in Massachusetts will enable you to use the same owners who run your business-based LLC while hiring local managers as well. Also, you can do business in other states while your company remains a sole entity. For example, you’ll use the same EIN for all your LLCs and file only one federal tax return.
You’ll also need a foreign qualification to open a bank account. By registering your foreign LLC in Massachusetts you’ll gain the trust of your customers.
To ensure there are no glitches in the process, it’s best to get the help of an online service provider. It’s important to foreign qualify your LLC first before you start doing business in the state. While Massachusetts gives you ten days to register after commencing business in the state, it still is better to register early.
Call the Corporation Center About Forming a Foreign LLC in Massachusetts
You’ll save time and money by contacting the Corporation Center about forming your foreign LLC in Massachusetts. Give the company a call today for further details at (800) 580-4870.