Choosing the best business structure for your Maryland startup

Figuring out what type of entity you’d like to form is often the biggest decision you have to make when starting a business. has brought together information about all different business types to help you choose the right one for your Maryland startup.

C Corporation in Maryland

If you incorporate your new business in Maryland, your corporation will by default be a C Corporation. Multiple classes of shares are allowed, and you may have an unlimited amount of shareholders. A C corporation provides you with greater flexibility than an S Corporation. You will report gains and losses on your corporate tax return. can help you register your Maryland C Corporation today!

S Corporation in Maryland

S Corporations are set up in much the same way as a C Corporation, but there is an additional form to fill out and submit to the IRS to obtain the “S” tax classification.

Your S Corporation must issue at least one share, but not to more than 100 shareholders. S Corporations are pass-through entities, allowing gains and losses to be reported on the owners’ individual tax returns. has more information on forming a Maryland S Corporation.

LLC in Maryland

An LLC is a type of hybrid entity—it offers the liability protection of a corporation, but is classified as a partnership for tax purposes.

Learn more about forming a Maryland LLC.

Foreign Corporation in Maryland

If a non-Maryland corporation wishes to expand and conduct business in Maryland, they probably need to file as a Foreign Corporation with the Secretary of State of Maryland. If you do not adhere to these requirements, you may be penalized or fined.

We’ve collected more information about forming a Maryland Foreign Corporation to help you decide.

Nonprofit Corporation in Maryland

Most nonprofit corporations obtain 501c3 status from the IRS. To become a 501c3 nonprofit corporation, you’ll first register as a basic nonprofit corporation at the state level by submitting Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation. Then, you’ll apply for the 501c3 status at the federal level. can register your nonprofit corporation—we can even assist you with your 501c3 application! Take a look at more information on forming a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporations.

Maryland Trade Name

A DBA in Maryland is called a Trade Name. Regardless of whether you’re an individual, partnership, corporation, or LLC, your Trade Name is registered with the Department of Assessment and Taxation of the Maryland Secretary of State.

See how can help set up your Maryland DBA!

Maryland Startup Quicklinks

For information on other types of businesses in Maryland, please explore the links below: