No, you don't need a lawyer to form an entity.
Wait. Why is a law firm saying on its website that you don't need a lawyer?
Because anyone can form an entity online using either the forms provided by the state or using one of the many online incorporation services available.
So, why should you hire a lawyer to assist you?
- You have questions about the process and about what type of entity is best for your goals that are not answered by the online services.
- You want a "go to" person during the process who is knowledgeable and who understands your needs.
- You are forming a corporation and neither the state website nor the online sites have the required forms for the Board of Directors Organizational Meeting, Bylaws geared to your company, or stock ledgers and certificates that need to be completed.
- You have more than one owner and you want to make sure you have a solid owners' agreement among all of the owners that sets forth all of the rights and obligations of the owners and what happens when one owner wants out, becomes incapacitated or dies.
- You just don't have the time to understand the intricacies of the process and you want it done right the first time.
- You realize that spending some additional dollars now may end up saving a lot of dollars in the future.
- You realize that after your entity is formed, you will have a lawyer who is familiar with your company, your goals and your needs and will be available for future work and questions.
If you choose to have us form your entity, you will have a lawyer for your business, and you will know that your company is on strong legal footing which will hopefully allow you to do what you do best: run your business.
Here are our entity formation packages:
Maryland LLC -- $850 -- includes:
- Initial meeting or phone conference regarding choice of entity, etc.
- Drafting and filing of the Articles of Organization with the state
- State filing fees (approximately $155 for expedited service)
- Single-member operating agreement (for multi-member LLCs, we include in the flat fee one hour of time for drafting the operating agreement, additional time is billed hourly)
- As many phone calls or e-mails to ask questions about initial setup, insurance, etc.
Maryland Corporation -- $1050 -- includes
- Initial meeting or phone conference regarding choice of entity, number of shares to issue, etc.
- Drafting and filing of the Articles of Incorporation with the state
- State filing fees ($175 for expedited service)
- Corporate by-laws and organizational minutes geared to your company's specific attributes
- Corporate book with stock issuance recorded in stock ledger
- As many phone calls or e-mails to ask questions about initial setup and get them answered quickly
What is not included in flat fee:
- Resident Agent Services via corporate resident agent for one year ($100 additional -- we will register you for the first year saving you the time of going to another website to order the service)
- Filing of State and Federal Tax ID Requests (we will guide you through this if you need us to)
- Filing of Sub S Election (Corp only) if elected (your accountant should do this)
- Buy-sell agreement among multiple shareholders, or a multi-member operating agreement for an LLC, would be billed at an hourly rate of $375 per hour, and those agreements would take approximately 2 hours for first draft; subsequent revisions to get to final can take 2 to 5 hours
- Questions that require legal research (hourly rate)
- Formal Legal Opinions (hourly rate)