There are a few different options when it comes to forming a business in Maine. From a legal perspective, there are three main types of Maine for-profit business entities: LLCs, S Corporations or C Corporations. For most entrepreneurs, we believe an LLC provides the right mix of liability protection and ease of administration.
here are some minimum requirements you must meet in order to form an LLC within the state of Maine. These are a completed Certificate of Formation, a business name and a fee you pay to the Secretary of State, Division of Corporations. We recommend taking a few additional steps before officially forming your LLC:
- Research your target market to make sure there’s a demand for the products and services you provide.
- Read industry guides to give you a starting point in your niche.
- Create a comprehensive business plan that defines the most important aspects of your Maine business.
- Write an Operating Agreement that covers how you will run your LLC.
After you’ve created your Maine LLC, you will also need to review your business license requirements, understand ongoing filing needs, set up a separate business bank account and get an accountant.
In Maine, you register a business by completing and filing your Certificate of Formation with the Maine Secretary of State, Division of Corporations. You will need to gather information about your business, fill out the form and send it to the Secretary of State with your filing fee. This will officially form your LLC in Maine.
You can file your Certificate of Formation in person at the Secretary of State, Division of Corporations office or mail it in. Alternatively, Incfile can guide you through every step of the process by getting details from you and filing the form on your behalf — for free! There’s no additional charge for our basic LLC filing service, so all you need to do is pay the Maine state filing fee.
And get a free Registered Agent for a year.
At the time of writing the fee charged by the Maine Secretary of State, Division of Corporations is $175. You can always check the latest Maine filing fees here. You can also pay an additional $50 or $100 for expedited filing through Incfile, which will create your LLC faster. The amount of the expedited fee is dependent on how quickly you want your filing processed. Some LLC filing services do charge you extra to prepare and submit your filing documents, but at Incfile, we do this for free — so you only pay the state fee.
Once you’ve gathered all of your information together and filed your Certificate of Formation (or had Incfile do it for you), it can take up to a week for the Maine Secretary of State, Division of Corporations to legally create your LLC. When the filing office is backlogged, it may take up to 30 business days for formation. If you pay an additional $50 of $100 expedited fee, your LLC can be formed either the next business day or the same business day.
The name of your Maine LLC needs to be unique, so you’ll need to make sure it's not already being used by another business. You can do that via the Maine Secretary of State website, or by using our fast and simple Business Name Search tool.
Find out using Incfile’s Business Name Search Tool.
Try Incfile’s Business Name Generator to brainstorm ideas.
There are a few ways to register your Maine LLC name.
- If you’re forming a new business and your business name is unique in Maine and meets state naming rules, you simply include it in your Certificate of Formation.
- If you want to change the legal name of your business, file a Certificate of Amendment with the Secretary of State, Division of Corporations.
- If you just want to do business under a different name, file a Statement of Intention to Transact Business under an Assumed or Fictitious Name with the Maine Secretary of State, or f you just want to do business under a different name, file a Statement of Intention to Transact Business under an Assumed or Fictitious Name with the Maine Secretary of State, or we can do that on your behalf.
If you want to prevent people from using your business name across the U.S., you can file a trademark for the name We can help.
In other states, the formal documents that you file to form a corporation or LLC might be known as Articles of Incorporation. In Maine, this document is called your Certificate of Formation, and it performs the same functions as the Articles of Incorporation.
Yes, the state of Maine is one of the few states that requires new LLCs to have an Operating Agreement put in place. Although this is a legal requirement, the state of Maine considers the Operating Agreement an internal document so there is no need to file it with the Maine Secretary of State. Simply file it with all your pertinent business documents.
No, Maine does not permit Series LLC formation within the state. A Series LLC is a special type of LLC where you create one “overall” business and then have individual, series LLCs within it, each counted as separate legal entities.
Yes, all legal business entities in Maine, including LLCs, must have a Registered Agent at all times. Here at Incfile, we provide a free Maine Registered Agent service for the first year if you file through us.
Or get your first year free when you incorporate your business through us.
If you wish to change your Maine Registered Agent you can do so by filing a Statement of Appointment or Change with the Secretary of State. Here at Incfile, we provide a free Maine Registered Agent service for the first year if you file through us. If you’ve been using a different Registered Agent and want to switch to us, we’ll file the Statement of Change on your behalf.
Have Incfile file the paperwork for you.
If you need to know the Registered Agent of a specific Maine business, you can browse for a Maine Registered Agent search within the state's agent service list.
As an LLC, any business profits you earn will be reported on your personal 1040 filing and reported and taxed as “pass-through” income. You will typically need to pay:
- Self-employment or payroll tax on all business profits
- Federal income tax on profits after you meet your tax-free allowance
- Sales tax for selling taxable products and services
Maine charges a 5.5 percent state sales and use tax on all retail sales, leases and rentals of most goods. You will also need to pay sales tax if you provide a taxable service. You can find a full list of taxable services here.
You will need to register as a sales tax vendor with the Maine Revenue Services. You can complete this process online.
The base rate for Maine sales tax is 5.5 percent, and there may be additional sales tax depending on your region, county or city. Once you know your overall sales tax amount, calculate the value of all your taxable products and services. Then, multiply that by your sales tax rate to understand how much you will need to pay.
Once your LLC’s sales tax application is approved, you will receive a letter with instructions on how often you must file a sales tax return and pay sales taxes. Returns and payments may be due monthly, quarterly or annually.
No, there is no franchise tax for LLCs in Maine. Some states levy a tax on corporations for the privilege of doing business, however Maine only levies this tax on banks and financial institutions.
If you're forming a business within Maine, you'll likely need some sort of business license in order to operate. The types of business licenses you need will vary depending on your type of business, industry, location and various other factors. We can research the types of business licenses you might need for you.
We hope you’ve found this Maine LLC FAQ useful. If you’ve used our services and have a question that isn’t answered here, let us know and we’d be happy to help.