How to Form a Company in Massachusetts


Forming a business in Massachusetts is a straightforward process that takes only a few hours to complete. You don’t need any special training or license, and the state doesn’t even require you to spend money on legal help. To form a corporation or LLC (Limited Liability Company), you’ll need to fill out some forms, file them with the Secretary of State’s office, and pay an annual report fee. Once your business entity is created, you can begin hiring employees and selling goods for profit!

Choosing a business entity.

One thing to keep in mind when choosing a business entity is that you want one that will be easy to maintain and dissolve, as well as transfer ownership of the company if you should decide to sell it later. This might not sound like a big deal now, but once you get your business up and running it’s probably going to take up most of your time—and life! So why not pick an entity now so that it won’t end up being more work than necessary?

Choosing a name.

In addition to a name, the Secretary of State will ask for:

  • The address of your business.
  • A statement that verifies you own the business name. This can be done by using an official document such as a deed or credit card statement showing you as the owner of the name (for example, “John Smith” on The Coffee Beanery’s credit card). Or if it’s not practical to obtain such documentation, simply have one or more people who can attest that they know Mr./Ms./Mrs., etc., owns and operates that company name.

Registering to do business in Massachusetts.

Before you can do business in Massachusetts, you must register with the state. The Secretary of State is responsible for registering businesses and issuing certificates. You may also be required to register with other agencies such as:

  • Department of Revenue
  • Department of Labor
  • Department of Public Utilities

Obtaining an employer identification number (EIN)

An EIN is a tax identification number for businesses. It will be used on the IRS Form SS-4, which you’ll use to apply for your federal employer ID number (FEIN). You can apply for an EIN online or by mail; either way, the process takes about 15 minutes.

To start the application process, visit and click on “Start eFile” in the upper right corner of the page. Next, select “Apply for Employer Identification Number (EIN).” Once you’ve selected this option and filled out some information about yourself and your business — including whether or not it’s a sole proprietorship or corporation — you’ll be asked if you’d like to receive an email confirmation when applying online (which is highly recommended). If so, follow these instructions:

  • Email address: Enter your work email address here if you want an email receipt confirming that your application was accepted by IRS computers (or rejected). If this field isn’t applicable to your situation — say, because no one else will be working with this account except yourself — leave it blank; then click “Continue” at bottom left of page 2 below any empty fields until all blanks are filled in before clicking “Next.”
  • Taxpayer ID Numbers: Enter both social security numbers (SSNs) for anyone who needs them—including yourself!—and click Next once again after completing each record; finally hit Calculate Your Exact Filing Cost before hitting Submit at bottom right of page 2 below line 15 with all blanks filled out correctly according

Filing an annual report.

All corporations are required to file an annual report with the Massachusetts Secretary of State. This annual report must be filed within 90 days of the close of your corporation’s fiscal year. The annual report is available for download on the Secretary of State’s website, and must be filed online by following these instructions:

  • Click on “Corporation Division Online Services”
  • Click “Register a New Business” (or “Continue as Business”)
  • Select the type of entity you want to create or continue operating under (e.g., “Corporation”)
  • Fill out all required information about your business, including its name and address in Massachusetts, as well as any other states where it may have operations or offices outside Massachusetts – this may include out-of-state mailing addresses

Once you complete this process, click submit at the bottom right-hand corner of your screen when asked if you want to submit filings online or send them via mail/fax!

Filing taxes.

Regardless of your company’s legal structure, you will have to file taxes. Here are some specific details about how to file taxes as a sole proprietor, an LLC, a corporation and more:

  • Sole Proprietorship: In this case you’ll need to file Form 1040 for yourself and Schedule C for your business. You can use the same form if you operate under another type of structure as well.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC): An LLC is treated as an entity separate from its members in most cases; therefore each member needs to fill out their own tax forms. If the LLC has more than one owner then each individual will have their own IRS Form 1120S which is used by S corporations or partnerships with multiple owners.
  • Corporation: A corporation files its returns using Form 1120S or 1120 depending upon whether it’s a domestic corporation or foreign corporation (also referred as “C” corporations). See our article on how domestic vs offshore incorporation works here! We’ll go into more detail below regarding what exactly these mean so stay tuned…

Forming a business entity in Massachusetts is not difficult, but there are several steps that you need to take to get started.

The first step to forming a business in Massachusetts is choosing the right business entity. You can choose from three options: a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation. A sole proprietorship and partnership are both considered unincorporated entities, but there are differences between them. For example, you need to file personal income tax returns as an individual if you operate as a sole proprietor and file your taxes on Schedule C of Form 1040. With a partnership, each partner is responsible for his or her own taxes on his or her share of profits and losses (Schedule E).

A corporation is also known as an incorporated entity because it’s created under state law through incorporation papers filed with the secretary of state’s office in Massachusetts; this process requires filing Articles of Organization which cost $140 per year plus $50 per additional shareholder (up to four total). The benefits include limited liability protection against personal debts incurred by employees while working for your company; these debts would be paid from corporate assets instead of from personal funds owned by shareholders like partners in partnerships do not enjoy this benefit unless they register their businesses with creditors’ rights laws passed by individual states that allow them to protect some property from creditors such as real estate owned solely by those individuals who have registered under these statutes.”


The process of forming a business entity in Massachusetts is not difficult, but there are several steps that you need to take to get started. The first step is choosing the right type of entity for your company. You should also think carefully about naming your company, since it will be an important decision that will affect what happens later on down the road. Make sure that your name meets all requirements before registering with any state or federal agencies; then file those applications! Once approved by these agencies, you can apply for an employer identification number (EIN) from IRS and file annual reports as well as taxes (if applicable).

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