How to Start an LLC in Maine
Here are the 7 steps to start a limited liability company (LLC) in Maine
For more information on how to form an LLC in any state, see the article How to Form an LLC.
Find out how to form a Maine LLC for yourself
Learn about Maine LLC formation, including information on Registered Agents, naming rules, business licenses, and more.
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Creating an LLC in Maine
A limited liability company (LLC) offers many benefits to small businesses, including liability protection and tax advantages.
An Limited Liability Company LLC must be formed in Maine by filing a Certificate of Formation with the Maine Secretary of State and paying the $175 filing fee.
However, you’ll first need to choose a name and registered agent for your Maine LLC . The formation of an LLC may take up to 2-3 weeks business days but may be expedited for an additional fee.
An LLC can be easily formed in Maine. Simply follow these seven steps, and you’re done. Find out more about LLCs and their benefits in our What is an LLC guide.
Step 1. Choose a Name for Your LLC Maine
Creating an LLC in Maine requires you to choose a business name before you can file a Certificate of Formation. Be sure that your business name complies with the Maine naming requirements and can be searched by potential customers.
- Maine law requires an LLC name to contain the words “Limited Liability Company” or “Limited Company,” or the abbreviations “Ltd.,” “LLC,” or “LC.” “Limited” may be abbreviated as “Ltd.” or “LTD,” and “Company” as “Co.”
- It is not acceptable for your Maine LLC to have words associated with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
- You should avoid using words or abbreviations that may make your LLC Maine appear to be a different type of entity, such as “LP” or “corporation”.
- There may be additional documentation and licensure paperwork required for certain restricted words (bank, lawyer, attorney, credit union, etc.).
- Check the state’s business name database to ensure the name you want is not already taken(including businesses no longer in operation)
See a complete list of Maine’ naming rules here.
Check URL availability: You are likely to need a web page even if you don’t think you do. Buying your domain name now will at least give you the option of having one in the future. It’s a good idea to check the URL availability before finalizing your Maine LLC name.
For LLCs, corporations, and LLPs in Maine, a DBA is required. The Maine Secretary of State administers the Statement of Intention to Do Business Under an Assumed or Fictitious Name for incorporated enterprises. To learn more about DBAs, read our "What does DBA mean" Guide.
In Maine, there is no online procedure for reserving a name, therefore the request must be submitted by mail. To reserve your desired name, you'll need to submit a completed and signed Application for Reservation of Name and Cover Letter to the Secretary of State.
An LLC stands for a Limited Liability Company. A simple business structure that is more flexible and offers many of the same benefits as a traditional corporation. For more information, see "What is a Limited Liability Company?".
Step 2: Appoint Your Registered Agent in Maine
Your next step in forming an LLC in Maine is to appoint a Registered Agent, an individual or company authorized to receive legal and state mail on your behalf.
All Maine LLCs must have a registered agent. Please include your registered agent’s name and address on your Certificate of Formation.
Registered Agent Requirements in Maine
To comply with Maine law, your LLC’s registered agent must be a resident or business entity that maintains a physical address in Maine. The “registered address” cannot be a P.O. box. It must be a real physical address that can be visited in person.
Further, in Maine, your registered agent must agree to perform this role and sign a form confirming their consent. Consent statements should include the following:
- Written confirmation that the person designated consents to serve as the LLC’s registered agent
- The name of your Maine LLC and the person designated as your registered agent
- Registered agent’s signature
- Date of execution
Although you do not have to submit this form to the Secretary of State, your business must record it. Learn more about Maine Registered Agents by reading our full guide.
Domestic LLCs can change the registered agent on the amendment form right away, but domestic corporations are unable to do so. On the annual report form, corporations and LLCs are not permitted to alter their Maine registered agent or clerk.
Any person over the age of 18 who has a Maine street address and is an owner or employee of a firm can be the entity's registered agent in Maine. You may also pick someone you know well to serve as your LLC's representative, or perhaps a friend you trust, as long on.
Are You looking for a Registered Agent?
Wise Business Plans offers a free year of registered agent service when forming an LLC in Maine.
Step 3.Prepare and File Certificate of Formation
To create a Maine LLC, you will need to file a Certificate of Formation with the Maine Division of Corporations. You may only apply by mail.
There is a $175 filing fee. You must send the original and a copy of your certificate if you file by mail.
You will receive a duplicate form back from the state once it receives your documents.
It may take up to 5-10 business days to process a mailed submission.
Maine has two expedited LLC options:
- 24-hour processing for $50 extra
- Immediate processing for $100 extra
If you choose one of our business formation plans, we can handle this step for you.
The following information is typically required to create a Certificate of Formation:
- Your LLC name and principal place of business.
- Name, address, and signature of the LLC’s registered agent
- Decide whether your Maine LLC will be member-managed or manager-managed. Indicate the names and addresses of each member and manager.
- The reason for forming the LLC in Maine.
- Name and address of the LLC’s organizer.
- The effective date of the certificate,
- The person forming the LLC must sign the Certificate.
Foreign LLCs: LLCs that are based in another state but intend to conduct business in Maine must complete a form called the Qualification of Foreign LLC.
By forming a foreign LLC, you can operate as one entity in multiple states. If you already have an LLC and want to do business in Maine, you’ll need to register as a foreign LLC. You can only do this by mail.
A filing fee of $250 also applies to this form, and you need to attach your state’s certificate of good standing.
File the Certificate of Formation
File Form MLLC-6 by Mail With the Maine Secretary of State
Address to Mail
There is a state filing fee of $175 payable to the Maine Department of State. (nonrefundable)
Secretary of State
Division of Corporations, UCC and Commissions
101 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
In a member-managed LLC, the members (owners) take on the business's daily responsibilities. Manager-managed LLCs are managed by managers who are elected by the members. Those who manage your LLC will have the authority to do a wide range of tasks-from hiring staff to opening bank accounts.
When an LLC conducts business in the state where it was created, it is known as a "domestic LLC." When we talk about an LLC, we generally mean a domestic LLC. A foreign LLC must be established when an existing one wishes to expand its operations to another state.
Maine's Secretary of State has a 14-day business days deadline. For $50, the expedite fee is 24 hours. For $100, the expedite fee is right away.
Step 4. Get a Certificate From the State
Upon filing your Certificate of Formation, the secretary of state will review it. As soon as the Certificate of Formation is approved, the LLC becomes a legal entity.
By obtaining this certificate, LLCs will be able to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN), licenses, and business accounts.
Step 5. Write an Maine LLC Operating Agreement
An operating agreement is a legally-binding document that sets out how your LLC will operate, from the voting process to mergers.
In Maine, LLCs are required to have a written operating agreement, according to Revised Statutes Section 1531.1.B of the state’s legal code.
Written operating agreements are helpful for different reasons, including resolving disputes over financial agreements and other potential litigation.
The LLC declaration can prove that your LLC is a separate entity, which can help preserve your limited liability.
An operating agreement ensures that all business owners are on the same page and reduces the possibility of future conflict.
How should an operating agreement be drafted?
The operating agreement should detail the LLC’s overall business purpose and other important matters, such as how the company will be taxed and how new members will be accepted. Legal agreements can clarify several important concerns, such as:
- There is a possibility that LLCs could be subject to generic state laws that could be detrimental in a lawsuit.
- A member’s personal liability protection may be weakened.
- Members may not fully understand their roles and responsibilities, which may lead to future disputes.
In Maine, you can include just about anything in your operating agreement, as long as it doesn’t violate the state law or the Certificate of Formation.
In contrast to articles of organization, an operating agreement is not typically required to form an SMLLC, nor is it filed with the state. It is, however, highly recommended. Keep it at your business's official location if you decide to have one.
In Maine, it is not required by law to have an operating agreement, but it is highly advisable to have one. An operating agreement will help protect your limited liability status, prevent financial and managerial misunderstandings, and ensure that you decide on the rules governing your business instead of state
Step 6. Get an EIN for Your Maine LLC
Basically, an employer identification number (EIN) is a social security number for your LLC in Maine.
To identify your LLC for tax purposes, the Internal Revenue Service assigns a nine-digit Employer Identification Number (EIN). You can apply for your EIN either by mail or online.
An EIN is used for the following purposes:
- Manage state and federal taxes
- Create a business bank account
- Hire employees
Get an EIN Number in Maine
Getting an EIN number is easy and free, There are two ways to get an EIN number in Maine.
The 1st option is:
Apply online for an EIN from the IRS
The 2nd option is:
Get an EIN by Mail or Fax
Address to Mail
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
For comprehensive information on Maine company taxes, see Business Owner's Toolkit or the State of Maine. A Federal tax identification number (EIN) is required for LLCs that need to have employees.
A tax classification will be discussed with you when you obtain an EIN. In most cases, LLCs choose the default status.
Some LLCs can reduce their federal tax obligation by electing S corporation status. Consult with a local accountant to find out which option is best for you.
Step 7. File Your LLC Maine Annual Report
Every year, all LLCs conducting business in Maine must submit an Annual Report to the Maine Secretary of State by June 1. You may download a pre-designed annual report form from the website of the Maine Secretary of State; you’ll need your LLC’s state charter number to enroll on the site.
Due Date: Maine LLC’s annual reports are due by June 1.
Late Filings: Maine fines LLCs $50 for late filings.
Are you Looking for Maine LLC Formation Service?
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What to do After Forming Your Maine LLC
Keep your personal and business assets separate
Your personal assets (such as your home, car, and other valuables) may be at risk when your Maine LLC is sued if they are mixed with your business accounts.
Here are some steps you can take to protect your LLC in Maine:
1. Create a Business Plan:
If you decide that a Maine LLC will be a good choice for your business in Miane, your next step is to create a business plan (although it is not required), so that you have a roadmap for what you will do and how you will accomplish it.
Free: Business Plans Examples
Do you need help creating a business plan? Check out these six free, proven business plan examples from different industries to help you write your own.
2. Open a Bank Account
As soon as your LLC is officially formed, you should open a business bank account. Why? Keeping separate bank accounts will help you maintain the legal distinction between the LLC and you (the owner).
Because LLCs are limited liability companies, creditors and litigants can’t take your assets.
It is essential for small business owners to partner with the right bank. Find out which banks offer the best business checking accounts, have low or no fees, ATM accessibility, and interest-earning accounts as well as online or mobile banking tools.
Recommended: Check out our business bank account page to learn which banks offer the best business check accounts, ATM access, interest-bearing accounts, and online and mobile banking options for businesses.
3. Obtaining a business credit card:
- Allows you to separate personal and business expenses.
- Develops your company’s credit history, which can be helpful to raise capital (e.g., small business loans) later.
4. Hiring a business accountant:
- It prevents your business from overpaying taxes while preventing penalties, fines, and other costly tax mistakes.
- Gives you more time to focus on your growing business by simplifying bookkeeping and payroll.
- Manage your business’s funding more effectively. Find out where extra profit or loss can be made
Getting Business Insurance for Your LLC
You can manage risks and grow your LLC with business insurance. Here are the most common types:
- General liability insurance protects your business from lawsuits. Most small businesses purchase general liability coverage.
- Professional liability insurance protects professionals and businesses from claims of negligence from their clients or customers. Liability insurance typically covers negligence, copyright infringement, personal injury, and more.
- Workers’ compensation insurance: Covers illnesses, injuries, and deaths resulting from a worker’s work.
Ready to Protect Your Business
Let us help you with your business insurance needs.
- General business liability insurance
- Medical insurance
- Term life insurance
- Workers’ Comp
- Surety bonds
- Commercial auto
Create Your Business Website
A website is an important step in legitimizing your business. It is essential for all businesses. You are missing out on a large percentage of potential customers and revenue if you don’t have a website, even if your business is too small or in an offline industry.
More than 90% of consumers begin their search for products and services online. If you don’t have a website that is ready to welcome your customers, then they will simply find your competitors.
Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:
- Every respectable firm has a website. When it comes to getting your firm online, size or sector isn’t a concern.
- Creating a basic website has never been easier, thanks to website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder. To design a website, you don’t need to hire a web designer or developer.
Recommended: If you want to enhance your conversion rates and maximize revenue in order to help expand your business and meet objectives, you should always hire a professional business website design company to build your business website.
Wise Business Plans is a leading web design company, We have created over 2000 + websites across 20 countries for our clients but we are physically based in 7 major cities in the United States including Alabama web design, Pennsylvania, Las Vegas, Colorado Springs, Iowa, Michigan and San Diego.
Maine LLC FAQs
To form a Maine LLC, you'll need to submit the Certificate of Formation with the Maine Secretary of State, which costs $175. You can submit your paperwork by mail. The Certificate of Formation is the legal document that officially establishes your Maine Limited Liability Company.
An LLC can be beneficial to a small business. By forming an LLC, you limit your liability to the resources of the business, protecting your own assets. Most LLCs will protect you from claims against your business, including lawsuits.
It usually takes the 10-15 business days. If you want your LLC to be processed more quickly, you may pay an extra $50 for 24-hour service or an extra $100 for the state to perform the filing on the spot (if staffing permits).
To cancel or dissolve your LLC in Maine, complete form MLLC-11C, Certificate of Cancellation (Forms and Instructions), including the completed Filer Contact Cover Letter. The SOS's website has the Certificate of Cancellation form available for download.
You must follow a legal procedure known as an amendment if you want to change the name of your Maine LLC. To notify the Secretary of State about your intention to alter the company name, complete and submit the proper form.