How to Start an LLC in Maine: If you’re interested in setting up a Maine LLC, you’ve come to the right place. Having an LLC not only protects your personal assets but also is less complicated than other business structures. Maine laws make it easy to establish your LLC in Maine. On this page, You’ll find all the steps that must be taken to ensure that your Maine LLC has been correctly established. We recommend you read the whole article very carefully word by word, don’t miss anything 🙂
On this page, you’ll learn about the following:
- How to Start an LLC in Maine
- After Starting Your Maine LLC
- Maine Foreign LLC
- Maine LLC Formation Review
How to Start an LLC in Maine
An LLC or a Limited Liability Company is a hybrid business entity combining a corporation’s characteristics with a partnership or sole proprietorship. It separates your personal assets from your business assets, thus giving you personal asset protection.
If you wish to start an LLC in Maine, you mainly have to file your Certificate of Formation with the State and pay a filing fee of $175. There are some more steps to follow to get your LLC established in Maine. The following steps explain everything you need to create your LLC in Maine in 2022. Let’s get started! It is always recommended to hire a professional LLC formation service in Maine to set up your LLC.
Step 1: Decide a Name for Your Maine LLC
The very first step while forming an LLC in Maine is to give a proper name to your LLC. Before you name your business, you must know that the name should be easy to remember, available in the state, and follows all the LLC naming guidelines.
Maine LLC Naming Guidelines
There are a few specific requirements all the LLCs in Maine have to follow while naming their Company. Some of the most important requirements are as follows:
- Your business name should be available and no other existing business in Maine can have the same name. Perform a name search from the below-mentioned source to be sure your name isn’t taken already.
- “Limited Liability Company”, “LLC”, and “L.L.C.” – any one of these has to be used as a suffix in your business name.
- You cannot use any name for your business that is confusing or misleading. Terms such as “Treasury”, “State Department”, “FBI”, “CIA”, etc. shouldn’t be included.
- Terms like “Bank“, “University“, “Attorney“, “Doctor“, etc can be added only after the additional requirements by Maine State Government are fulfilled.
- (Optional) It’s better to name your business something for which your desired domain is available.
|Important Links –||Submit Offline Form to –|
|Maine Business Entity Search – Online Search|
Name Reservation Form – PDF
Name Availability Standards – Guidelines
Maine LLC Name Search – Instructions
|Secretary of State|
Division of Corporations, UCC and Commissions
101 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
Reserve Business Name for Future
If you do not wish to file your LLC right now but want to hold the name you have decided then you can reserve your LLC name for 120 days. To keep the name, you have to file a name reservation application and pay $20 to reserve your name with the Maine Secretary of State.
Doing Business As (DBA) or Trade Name
Once you have a legal name for your LLC, you can register it. However, it is not mandatory. You can, instead, use DBA, Fictitious Name, or Trade Name. In that case, you must register your name with the Maine Secretary of State by submitting a Statement of Intention to Transact Business Under an Assumed or Fictitious Name in Maine along with the filing fee of $125 and $40 for Fictitious Name filing.
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TailorBrands – ($49 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup
TailorBrands offer DIY website templates and incredible logo designs. If you plan to get a website then it is wise to have a “.com” domain for your business but these days you can also use other TLDs like “.company”, “.xyz” etc. With TailorBrands, you can get everything you need at an affordable price.
It is not legally mandatory to use the word LLC in your domain name or email. If you want you can use it. However, it is recommended not to use LLC in the domain name. A domain name should be short and easy to remember.
Step 2: Assign a Registered Agent in Maine
The second step to forming a Maine LLC is to appoint a Registered Agent. A registered agent is a person or business entity that will act or work on your LLC’s behalf. This person or business will receive important tax forms, legal documents, all notices of lawsuits, and other official government correspondence in Maine. Hence, hiring a competent Maine Registered Agent for your LLC is necessary.
Make sure your registered agent is a resident of Maine or has a physical street address. Their business address or the principal address should be in Maine. Most LLC formation companies also provide registered agent services. Below are two great LLC setup services, even if you buy their cheapest plan (normally $49/year) you also get registered agent service and other services at a reasonable price.
These LLC formation services are recommended registered agent services as they are authorized to conduct business in Maine. Some LLC formation services offer standalone Maine registered agent services. You can purchase only Registered Agent services from them without purchasing any other LLC formation services.
A person who is above 18 years of age and has a physical address in the state of Maine can be a Registered Agent. A Registered Agent can be an independent person or can be a business entity. One who is responsible for handling all the legal documents.
Yes, you can be your own registered agent if you are a resident of the state of Maine and you are above 18 years of age. To become a registered agent you must have the authority to conduct any type of business in Maine.
Step 3: File Certificate of Formation in Maine
The third and most important step in forming a Maine LLC is to file the Certificate of Formation. This Maine Certificate of Formation is a legal document needed to officially register your business with the Secretary of State. It costs $175 (by mail) to file your formation certificate in Maine. (Read more on LLC cost in Maine).
The Certificate of Formation includes details like the name of the LLC, registered agent’s name, address, employees’ details, and structure of the company (member-managed or manager-managed). Before hiring employees in Maine LLC, one should know about the rules and regulations thoroughly. Also if you are expanding your existing business (an LLC) to Maine then you need to register as a Maine Foreign LLC.
How to File by Mail
If you prefer filing real-life forms for your Maine LLC registration, then you can download the Maine Limited Company Certificate of Formation. Read the form thoroughly and fill it out. It will have to fill, among others, your name, city, state, zip code, and signature. You may also file in person by visiting the office on business days.
Mail To: Secretary of State
Division of Corporations, UCC and Commissions
101 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0101
Processing Time: It takes around 7 to 10 business days to form an LLC in Maine. By paying an additional fee, it can be expedited.
Recommended: Online LLC Formation service can provide all these documents within 6-8 days with lifetime customer support and 100% accuracy. We recommend using –
TailorBrands – ($49 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup
Step 4: Create Your Maine LLC Operating Agreement
Moving on to the fourth step, filing your operating agreement. An operating agreement is a document that legally outlines the proprietorship and operating procedures of your LLC. This document is vital as it ensures that all business owners are on the same page regarding how they operate, thus reducing future conflicts.
When it comes to filing a Maine LLC Operating Agreement, the state does not require you to have a comprehensive operating agreement, but it is ideal to have one that contains all the details of your business operation. Like Maine, there are other states that do not have a mandatory rule to file operating agreements. But, this document would be useful if you decide to dissolve Maine LLC later. Hence, having an operating agreement may not be necessary but it is definitely ideal.
Recommended: You can get operating agreement templates at only $29 with TailorBrands. You don’t need to worry about drafting it as they will take care of it on your behalf. We recommend using –
TailorBrands – ($49 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup
Step 5: Filing a Maine LLC EIN
The Employer Identification Number or, simply, the E.I.N. is a nine-digit number given by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to make it easier to identify the type of business for tax purposes and taxes in general. The EIN is necessary for any active business or any form of business for that matter.
EIN is needed when the LLC hires employees. Hiring employees in Maine LLC requires following specific rules and regulations. On the other side, EIN for Maine foreign LLC should be obtained if your LLC is based in other states.
To obtain EIN (aka FEIN) one has to fill up a form (Online or by mail) and submit it to the IRS. Enter details of your LLC, and finally complete the form and send it to the address given. You can also get an EIN Assistant who can help you with the process.
Mail to: Internal Revenue Service, Attn: EIN Operation, Cincinnati, OH 45999
Fax: (855) 641-6935 | Fee: Free
Recommended: This hassle will be reduced when you hire an LLC formation service. They take care of obtaining EIN and all other things for your LLC. We recommend using –
TailorBrands – ($49 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup
Note: You don’t need a Social Security number when getting an EIN. You can proceed to fill out I.R.S. Form SS-4 and leave section 7b blank. You must then call the IRS at (267) 941-1099 to complete your application. Agents or employees will help you with that.
Congratulation, you are now done with all the necessary steps to form your Maine LLC. If you do it yourself it should take you a long time to properly understand and do all the steps.
However, if you use TailorBrands it should take fewer hours and you always have live chat with expert support for any help you need.
After Starting Your Maine LLC
After forming your LLC, there are still some things that you will need. Take note of the following:
- Get a company business bank account
- File Maine business permits & licenses
- Get general liability insurance and professional liability insurance with coverage for employees
- File a Maine LLC annual report or biennial report
This page has provided you with steps to LLC formation and filing processes. You now have to remember upcoming filing deadlines and filing fees or filing costs, including fees for late filings to make sure your LLC is up-to-date.
Cost of Maine LLC
Forming an LLC in Maine is no doubt more cost-effective than other structures of a business. There are some fees and charges one has to bear to form a Maine LLC. LLCs have pass-through taxation. Hence, your Maine LLC won’t bring you a massive tax burden. Here are some of the fees and taxes are needed to be paid while forming an LLC in Maine,
|Fees/Tax||Amount to be Paid|
|Name Reservation Fee (By Main)||$20|
|Name Registration Fee (By mail)||$20 (for renewal $200)|
|Certificate of Formation Fee||$175|
|LLC Annual Fee||$85|
In Maine, an LLC name reservation is not mandatory. You can register your LLC name at the time of registering your LLC. If you wish to hold the name for some time without registering your LLC, then you can do that by submitting the form to their office. Your LLC name will be reserved for 120 days without registering your LLC. It can be done by paying $25.
In Maine, an Annual Report has to be produced every year. It costs $85. Also, the State of Maine requires LLCs to pay a Sales Tax of 5.5%. Read our guide on LLC costs in Maine for more information.
Maine Foreign LLC
If you are interested in forming a Foreign LLC in Maine then you need to file the Certificate of Foreign LLC to the Maine Secretary of State. Foreign LLCs allow you to operate your business in more than one state. Along with the Certificate of Foreign LLC, you need to submit some more documents like the Certificate of Good Standing, etc. to the Maine SOS to form your foreign LLC in Maine. To know more in detail, check out our guide on Maine Foreign LLC.
Reasons to Start an LLC in Maine
With a GDP of $56.8 billion, Maine has gained large popularity lately. Apart from the growing economy, the state currently has active LLCs in manufacturing industries, art, education, management, and other industries. The state offers diverse business funding options to start-ups. LLCs need to get business licenses to make any business transactions. Also, businesses get a reduction in tax liabilities and other tax benefits in Maine. Read more on Maine’s classification of LLC tax. The main advantages of starting an LLC in this state are as follows,
Creditors can get some silent rights
The first benefit of the LLC in Maine is that all the creditors get some silent rights under section 1573. It means that any creditor who is providing funds to an LLC member will be given interest based on the charging order. The creditor has all the rights to revive, and if in case that creditor doesn’t claim that silent rights, it will be provided to the member.
Formation of LLC is easy
When one is going to Start an LLC in Maine, then they have to file many documents. But in Maine, there is an act under which one doesn’t need to give their partners’ names in the papers. The name of members and the managers is required to be attached to the annual report only.
This way, the LLC member has a person who can file all the forms on behalf of their LLC, and they don’t have to go through hectic procedures. This person can be some legal authority or some other business also.
Duration of the LLC
When an LLC has formed in the Maine state, then the time duration for which that LLC will exist is perpetual. It means that no matter whether the founding member of the LLC is alive or not, the LLC will be registered and keep functioning for a more extended period of time.
Freedom of selection
There is a freedom of selection in the Maine LLC with the help of which one can create the voting and non-voting members. Along with that, they can also customize the members who can contribute to their profits and loss. It will help in setting the LLC on a path to success.
Moreover, when a contract is made, it is allowed LLCs to make changes in them easily. According to the Government Acts, one can easily make changes in proportion and tailor the risk and profit percentages to a smooth and better management system.
Top 3 Businesses in Maine
Maine is known as one of the best states in terms of providing the best business environment. That is why new entrepreneurs are deciding to form an LLC in Maine. But before you take any further action in your LLC, you should know which state’s most profitable industries are. Also, note the contribution that they have made towards the GDP of Maine. So, here is the list of the best ones.
It is noticed that the contribution of the healthcare sector of Maine to its economy is $10 billion in 2016, which is intended to increase in net years. The healthcare centers, or hospitals, have employed more than 35,000 people, which is roughly 8% of the total population that allows, which makes it one of the largest institutions in the state.
From the 18th century, shipbuilding started in Maine State and has been a leading producer of wooden ships during World War 1. More than 200 companies in the state build all range of boats and yachts no matter what you require. Moreover, they also make ships for military, and commercial purposes like battleships, cruisers, destroyers, etc.
Maine has also become a tourist spot with the beautiful coastlines and American history present in the state. The tourism sector’s contribution to the state GDP is near $10 billion and pays a tax of $600 million to the state. Moreover, other industries like restaurants, agriculture, and fisheries are also supported by tourism as tourists spend money in these sectors, making it a savior of other sectors.
Some small businesses that have flourished well in Maine are:
- Coffee shops
- Dairy and poultry farms
- Hotel online advertisements
Maine LLC Formation Review
Time needed: 5 minutes.
Just to recap, here are the easy steps again when forming an LLC in Maine. Click on the steps in this list to read the full detail.
- Name your Maine LLC
The first thing you must do is to choose a company name, which should be unique, easy to find, and available in the state.
- Choose a Registered Agent
In Maine, it is mandatory to select a registered agent for your LLC. Get a professional Registered Agent from LLC formation services like NorthWest Registered Agent to get things done hassle-free.
- File a Formation Certificate
Filing a formation certificate is necessary when forming an LLC in Maine. Depending on the state, it could be called any of the following: Certificate of Formation, Articles of Organization, or Certificate of Organization.
- Create an Operating Agreement
An operating agreement is not a strict requirement in Maine but something encouraged when you start an LLC to avoid future conflicts.
- Get an EIN
The Employer Identification Number (EIN), also called Federal Tax Identification Number, serves to identify a business entity like a social security number but for a company.
How Fast Can I Form an LLC in Maine
Processing time for LLC in Maine is usually about 5-10 business days. However, it can be expedited by additional payment to the state.
If you want to start a business in Maine, you need to consider the legal requirements. For example, you must pay Social Security and Medicare taxes for each member of the LLC, and you need to withhold payroll taxes for any employees. It is also necessary to file an annual report with the Secretary of State. There are two ways to file the report, online or by mail. If you prefer to file by mail, you can send it via UPS or FedEx. You will pay a filing fee of $85 to file the report.
Once you’ve paid the fees, you need to send the paperwork to the Secretary of State’s office, 101 State House Station, in Augusta. The certificate of formation costs $175. You can also pay an expedited fee of $50 to get the document within 24 hours. Alternatively, you can request the certificate of formation right away online through a website such as Huckleberry.
In Maine, LLC formation takes seven to 10 business days, although you can expedite the process. To avoid delays, you should have an operating agreement drafted in advance. This document details the proprietorship’s operating procedures. Having an operating agreement in place ensures everyone in the business is on the same page.
Another important consideration is the registration agent. This person will receive correspondence on behalf of your business and will be listed on your Certificate of Formation. The registered agent can be the owner, a member of your business, or a third party. You can also hire a service to perform this task.
Filing an annual report is another important part of the process. By law, LLCs must file an annual report by June 1 each year. Fortunately, filing a report online can expedite the process and save you time and money. The Secretary of State’s website also provides online services for filing the form.
When starting a business in Maine, it is crucial to follow all of the required steps. First, you must register with the Secretary of State. Fill out all the necessary forms, pay any required fees, and choose a business name. Make sure you choose a name that is easy to remember, has the right spelling and a unique meaning. Also, you must ensure that it is not already in use by another business.
When you register an LLC, you must also designate a registered agent. This person will be able to receive government and lawsuit notices. The registered agent must live in Maine and have a street address. This individual serves as the primary point of contact for your business. You can be the registered agent yourself or hire a registered agent for your business. This can save you time and money. However, it may come with some unintended consequences.
If you are a resident of Maine, then you can file your LLC by yourself. However, it is always worth having a professional than doing it yourself to handle legal complexities, paperwork, and other documentation.
Apart from the formation fee of $175 (domestic LLC) and $250 (foreign LLC), LLC costs in Maine include $85 for Annual Reports every year. LLCs are liable to pay sales tax of 5.5% every year.
It takes 7 to 10 business days to get a Maine LLC if you file via mail. If you hire a professional LLC service, then it might take less than that. We recommend TailorBrands which has impeccable turnaround time.
Every year all the LLCs have to submit an Annual Report and pay $85 to the Maine Secretary of State and renew the LLC. It is mandatory to renew your LLC every year.
Generally, for the LLCs, it is a default tax structure. Once you will obtain the EIN, you will get the various tax structure options to select. Sometimes LLCs choose S Corp to reduce federal tax burdens. Read more on the Maine Classification of LLC Tax.
LLCs are easier to establish than other business structures. Small businesses, especially start-ups can easily start an LLC in Maine at a bare minimum cost. An additional fee for expedited service might be needed if you need faster service. Along with limited liability protection, LLCs have a ‘pass-through taxation’ advantage for which they are excluded from certain taxes. The formation of limited liability companies requires much lesser documents and legal processes. Share your queries with us, and leave a comment below.