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This paper considers basic bounds on the overhead of link-state protocols in mobile ad hoc networks. Hierarchical protocols are known for their good scalability properties, and hence this paper considers a two-level hierarchical protocol. In such protocols, nodes need to keep track of shortest path information, link states and cluster membership. Two types of overheads are considered; the memory needed to store routing-related information, including link-states and cluster membership, and the control messages that need to be exchanged to keep track of the changes in the network. Memory overhead is important practically for dimensioning network nodes, while message routing overhead is important since it reduces the effective capacity of the network to carry user data (vis-a-vis control data). The scalability properties of the message routing overhead are analyzed for different modes of network scaling. Practical implications, such as optimal cluster size, average/fixed memory requirement and routing protocol parameter selections are discussed.