Massachusetts Foreign Qualification

Massachusetts is a state that has many opportunities for business owners. However, in order to legally do business within the state you’ll have to take steps to foreign qualify first. The process is straightforward, but can take some time and effort. Still, it’s required if you want to operate a business of any kind within the state.

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Foreign Qualification at 888-366-9552

What is Foreign Qualification?

Foreign qualification is nothing more than the process of registering a business so that it may legally operate within a state other than its current one. For instance, a business in Maine that wishes to open a storefront or have representatives in Massachusetts will have to foreign qualify in order to do so legally.

Why Does A Company Need Foreign Qualification?

Why You Need To Do It – If your business is going to have any kind of physical presence within Massachusetts, it will need to foreign qualify. This keeps your LLC or corporation fully compliant and ensures that you face no penalties related to doing business in the state.

When Should You Do It? – Once you decide to move or branch out into Massachusetts, your business should start the ball rolling on foreign qualification. This ensures that your company gets the process completed quickly without having to face potential delays. Generally, you will need to receive Massachusetts foreign qualification if your company falls under any of the following criteria:

  • Has a physical presence in Massachusetts
  • Buying a property there
  • Have remote employees
  • Accepts orders in Massachusetts
  • Owns a bank account in Massachusetts

What Happens If Your Entity Does Not Foreign Qualify?

If you fail to foreign qualify you won’t be able to initiate any lawsuits within Massachusetts. You’ll also face financial fines and penalties of $500 per year. Additionally, a business will face potential tax related penalties.

Steps To Obtain Foreign Qualification

There are several steps that must be taken in order to receive Massachusetts foreign qualification. These include the following:

1. Obtain Certificates – The first thing you should do to foreign qualify in Massachusetts is to obtain a Certificate of Existence from your home state. Then, download the Foreign Limited Liability Company Application for Registration or the Foreign Corporation Certificate of Registration from the Secretary of State website.

2. Collect And Submit Information – Fill out all the requests on the application and provide all the necessary information.


  • LLC name registered in the home state
  • LLC name in Massachusetts, if different
  • The LLC’s Federal Identification Number or an EIN
  • Name of the home state
  • The original date of the formation
  • The character and nature of the business your LLC will conduct in Massachusetts
  • The principal office business address
  • The business address of the registered office in Massachusetts, if any
  • Names and business addresses of the managers
  • Names and business addresses of all people authorized to execute, acknowledge, deliver, or record any related real property and assets
  • Name and address of resident agent in Massachusetts
  • The latest date of dissolution, if specified
  • An authorized signature


  • The exact name of the corporation
  • Corporation name in Massachusetts, if different
  • The original state of incorporation
  • The date of the formation
  • Duration of the business, if not perpetual
  • The principal office street address
  • The business address of the registered office in Massachusetts, if any
  • The date of the fiscal year end
  • Description of the activities the corporation will conduct in Massachusetts
  • Names and business addresses of all current officers and directors
  • An authorized signature

3. Appoint Registered Agent – You must choose and appoint a registered agent who will handle the paperwork and formalities involved in maintaining your foreign qualification. Most businesses elect to let a third party organization like DoMyLLC handle this so they can focus on other aspects of their business.

4. File The Application – Once you complete the form, turn it into the secretary of state along with the $500 filing fee for LLCs and the $390 fee for corporations.

5. Ongoing Maintenance – Massachusetts requires all businesses to submit an annual report each year. For LLCs, the deadline is the anniversary of their initial registration and the filing fee is $500 by paper and $520 if filed online. Corporations must file by 2.5 months after the end of the calendar year and pay a fee of $125 by mail, $109 online along with corporate taxes.

What Is the Difference Between Foreign Qualification And Incorporating?

When incorporating, an entirely new business entity is formed. Foreign qualification won’t create a new business or impact your existing one. Instead, it will allow existing businesses to operate legally in a state outside of their home state.

How DoMyLLC Can Assist With Streamlining The Process

Businesses today have many different issues to pay attention to. Our team takes the stress of foreign qualification off your shoulders. We do all of the work for you, letting you focus on other aspects of your business instead. We provide:

  •     Name availability checks
  •     Full filing and registration for a business
  •     Dedicated account managers
  •     Unlimited customer support when you need it

Contact us today and let us take the burden of Massachusetts foreign qualification off your shoulders and give you more time and less stress.

Massachusetts Foreign Qualification FAQs

Massachusetts requires that you submit the Certificate of Existence along with the Foreign Limited Liability Company Application for Registration or the Foreign Corporation Certificate of Registration.

There is a $500 filing fee for LLCs and a $390 fee for corporations in order to apply for foreign qualification in Massachusetts.

Any business planning on operating within Massachusetts that is currently based elsewhere may file for foreign qualification.

No attorney is required, but it is still a good idea for businesses to consult with their legal teams in order to ensure that they remain fully compliant and protected.

All basic business information will be requested in the form. This includes things like:

  • Name of business
  • Business address
  • State of formation
  • Type of business
  • Registered agent information

You’ll have to file a fictitious name with the state and operate under it. This won’t impact the name that your business operates under in any other state, however.

Massachusetts Business Resources

Massachusetts Office of Secretary of State
Phone Number:
(617) 727-9640

Massachusetts Secretary of State
One Ashburton Place, 17th floor
Boston, MA 02108