How to Look Up an LLC in Maryland (Most Effective Method)

Delina Chantel Yasmeh
Published by Delina Chantel Yasmeh | Author
Last updated: April 10, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Lou Viveros, Growth & Transition Advisor
Methodology
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You may need to look up a Maryland limited liability company for various reasons, including finding a relevant business name or setting up a Maryland LLC.

The process itself is simple, but there are some things you should know before you start your Maryland business search.

After conducting comprehensive research on the entire process, our team of legal experts will provide a detailed explanation about looking up an LLC in Maryland. Read on to find out what our research revealed.

Quick Summary

  • To look up an LLC in Maryland, visit the Business Express Portal and search by business name or department ID.
  • Other business search methods that you can consider include search engines, commercial business databases, or the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation website.
  • According to the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation's 2020 Annual Report, the state registered over 3,000 state-level trademarks, underscoring its commitment to safeguarding the intellectual properties of local enterprises.
  • Whenever I'm helping my clients select a business name, I make sure to thoroughly check for trademarks to ensure no one would come after me for infringement. 


How to Look up an LLC in Maryland?

A woman looking up for an llc in maryland

To look up an LLC in Maryland, visit the Maryland Business Express Portal and do a quick search.

1. Maryland Business Express Website

Looking up an LLC in Maryland starts by searching the business entity on the official state website.

To perform the search:

  • Navigate to the "Business Name" search bar.
  • Type the business name in the search field and click the "Search" button.
  • You should see the results in a moment.

The business entity search will help you view business details, including:

  • LLC Name Availability
  • Business entity type
  • Maryland Registered Agent
  • Owner or organizer's name
  • Physical address
  • Filing history
  • Annual report/personal property

You can click the "Order Documents" button for more information about the existing business.

Depending on your needs, you can choose the appropriate search option to efficiently locate and retrieve information about businesses registered in Maryland through the Maryland Business Express site.

The two search options that you can take advantage of are:

a. Business Name Search

This option allows users to search for businesses based on their names. Users can input a business's full or partial name to retrieve relevant information. This is particularly useful when you have a specific company in mind and want to access details such as registration information, status, or other related data.

Using identifiers like "limited liability company" or "LLC" will help you get more results. If the LLC name for your business is available, it won't be registered in the database, and you can take it.

"When establishing a Maryland LLC, you must select a unique and available name that is not already registered with the Maryland Secretary of State."

- Jon Morgan, CEO, Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Venture Smarter

b. Department ID Search

This option allows users to search for businesses using their Department ID. The Department ID is a unique identifier assigned to each business entity by the relevant government department. If you have the Department ID of a specific business, you can use this option to access information related to that particular entity quickly.

2. Call the Filing and Business Service Line

Consider calling the business service line if you have a direct question and need an immediate response. Some common questions addressed during the call generally relate to good standing, business filings, and personal property returns.

You can call any of the following customer service lines:

  • (401) 767-1330
  • (800) 735-2258 (Maryland Relay)
  • (410) 260-7980 (Comptroller of Maryland- Central Registration)

Note that phone hours of operation are 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday to Friday.

If you have a technical concern, you can contact the technical support team directly at (888) 96303468 (toll-free) or (419) 990-1090. Technical Support is available round the clock.

3. Use Virtual Assistance

Direct your question to Agent Mary, Maryland.gov's intelligent virtual assistant, for quick assistance.

4. Perform A Live Chat with a Customer Representative

You can also perform a live chat with the customer service representatives.

To do this:

  • Navigate to the Maryland eGovernment Services Support platform.
  • Click the "Live Chat" tab.
  • Then click the "@Leave Message" button to initiate the chat with a live customer service representative.

During the chat session, do not share personal or confidential information, including credit card numbers, social security numbers, and bank account numbers.

5. Submit a Support Request

Submitting a support request may take a while before getting the response.

You'll need to provide the following information:

  • Your Name
  • Business Name
  • Department ID
  • Contact phone
  • Your email
  • Description of the problem

6. Other Search Alternatives

A google search engine in botch laptop and mobile devices

Other than the methods mentioned above, here are alternative search methods for Maryland LLC lookup:

  • You can use search engines to determine if your intended business name is available.
  • Visit the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) website and utilize their search functions.
  • Check the official website of the Secretary of State in Maryland. This office typically oversees business registrations and may provide additional tools or information for searching and retrieving LLC details.
  • Depending on the nature of the business, you can explore industry-specific directories or databases with information about Maryland LLCs.
  • Consider using commercial business databases or third-party services that generate business information.
  • Search social media platforms for businesses with a solid social media presence. Using hashtags like #MarylandLLC in the search bar is an excellent way to get more accurate results from this search.

Note: Use only reputable and official sources to obtain accurate and up-to-date information when conducting business entity searches.

How To Check If A Business Name Is Trademarked In Maryland ?

To check if a business name is trademarked in Maryland, you can follow these methods:

1. Visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Website

The USPTO is the federal agency responsible for registering trademarks in the United States.

To perform this search:

  • Access the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) on the USPTO website.
  • Enter the business name you want to check for trademark registration in the search bar.
  • The search results will display any existing trademarks that match or are similar to the business name you entered.
  • Examine the details of the trademarks to ensure there isn't a current registration for the exact or a similar name.

As reviewed by Mandour & Associates, an Intellectual Property law firm, trademarks are registered across 45 different classes of goods and services, simplifying the registration process and identifying potential infringement [1]. If the business name is used for a different type of product or service, it may not conflict with your intended use.

2. Check the Maryland Secretary of State's Website

Although the USPTO is the primary source for federal trademarks, you may also want to check the Maryland Secretary of State's website. They may have information on state-level trademarks.

The Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) could be a relevant resource. According to the 2020 Annual Report from the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation, Maryland registered over 3,000 state-level trademarks, highlighting the state's active role in protecting local businesses' intellectual properties.

If you want comprehensive and accurate information, consider consulting with legal professionals specializing in intellectual property law. They can provide guidance and perform a more thorough trademark search.

You should be aware of several trademark myths, including zero possibility of being sued for using a common or generic name, as reviewed by JD Supra, to avoid hurting your business [2].

Remember that even if a name is not registered as a trademark, someone may still have common law rights to it through use in commerce. Trademark registration provides additional legal protection but is one of many factors to consider.

Performing due diligence and seeking legal advice can help ensure that the business name you choose does not infringe on existing trademarks and that you can use it without legal issues.

A logo trademark about a certain company

Here are several important reasons to conduct a Maryland LLC search:

  • To confirm whether a particular LLC exists in Maryland, especially if you are looking to engage in transactions, partnerships, or collaborations with a specific business.
  •  Check the status and details of an LLC to assess its credibility and stability.
  • Ensuring that an LLC is in good standing with the state and has fulfilled all legal requirements, such as filing annual reports and paying necessary fees.
  • To identify the owners or members of an LLC.
  • Verifying the details of the registered agent, the designated individual, or entity responsible for receiving legal documents on behalf of the LLC. 
  • Assessing the LLC's financial health can be relevant for potential investors, creditors, or entities considering financial transactions with the business.
  • Checking for existing LLCs with similar or identical names to avoid potential conflicts and ensure the uniqueness of the desired business name.
  • Confirming that the business is legally registered and complies with state regulations provides legal protection to those engaging with the LLC.
  • For businesses researching their competitors or similar enterprises in the same industry, conducting an LLC search can provide valuable insights into the business landscape.
  • Before initiating legal actions or disputes, gathering information about the opposing party, including their LLC status and relevant details, is essential.

Performing a Maryland LLC search can help you make informed business decisions, mitigate risks, and ensure legal compliance in business transactions and relationships.

Related Articles:

FAQs

How Do I Add a DBA to an Existing LLC in Maryland?


To add a DBA to an existing LLC in Maryland, conduct a name search to ensure uniqueness, then submit a completed Trade Name Application along with the applicable fee to the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation. Once approved, update business records and comply with regulations, remembering to renew the DBA registration every five years.

Do I Need a Trade Name in Maryland?

You do not need a trade name in Maryland, as it's optional. Registered businesses are only required to have a business name to utilize in the state. However, a trade name is necessary if you plan to conduct business using a name different from your legal business entity name.

How Do I Look Up a Maryland Corporation?

To look up a Maryland corporation, you need to browse through the Business Name database by typing in the words contained in the company name. The Maryland name search tool will instantly produce the results if any matching business entities are in the state.


References:

  1. https://www.mandourlaw.com/trademark-classes/
  2. https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/ten-trademark-myths-and-how-they-can-77457/

About The Author

Author
Delina Chantel Yasmeh, J.D./Tax LL.M, specializes in Mergers and Acquisitions at Deloitte and PwC, managing billion-dollar transactions. Educated in Accountancy at California State University and holding advanced degrees from Loyola Law School, she is highly skilled in tax law. Delina also dedicates time to pro bono work for women and children.
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Growth & Transition Advisor
LJ Viveros has 40 years of experience in founding and scaling businesses, including a significant sale to Logitech. He has led Market Solutions LLC since 1999, focusing on strategic transitions for global brands. A graduate of Saint Mary’s College in Communications, LJ is also a distinguished Matsushita Executive alumnus.
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