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Our Step By Step Guide

How to form a limited liability company in Maine

Forming a limited liability company provides liability protection for any type of business, and should be among the first steps you take as a new business owner. Starting a limited liability company can help you protect your personal assets while adding legitimacy to your company. Follow our step by step guide or let us handle the paperwork on your behalf, ensuring your business is filed quickly and accurately.

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Why start your business in Maine?

If you have questions about starting a business in Maine, the Maine Department of the Secretary of State has answers. Their Business Answers Program has all the resources necessary for starting a Maine business. Some of these answers include planning, financing, and registering your business to be ready to open its doors to the public.

Helpful Maine Resources

Secretary Of State Details

UCC and Commissions
101 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0101

Phone:207-624-7736
Website: www.maine.gov

Two Ways to Register Your Business

MyCorporation® can help you file all of the necessary documents to form your limited liability company in Maine.

File and submit the formation paperwork yourself

Our free guide provides you with all of the information you'll need to form your limited liability company in Maine. Bookmark this page as a reference so you can return easily as you complete each step of the process.

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Let MyCorporation handle the formation process for you.

Our filing experts can get you up and running quickly and accurately, completing the required filings on your behalf.

$99+ state fees
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See other business types

Are you looking for another entity type? We offer several other guides for the state of Maine.

The first step will be to decide on a name for your business. Choose a name that is memorable and unique, easy to understand and pronounce, and accurately represents your business. You'll want to search your name choices on the web to quickly find out if they are already taken. It's also best to jot down one or two alternatives, in case the name you settle on is not available for registration in Maine.

There are a few rules that Maine Limited Liability Companies must follow in order to register a name.

  1. The name you choose must be unique and not "confusingly similar" to the name of any other Maine business. This is to prevent fraud or misrepresentation and is a common rule in all 50 states. You can find out whether a name is available by using the Maine Secretary of State's corporate name search tool. Use keywords from the name to be searched or the charter number to begin. Be sure to check variations or alternate spellings as well, otherwise your filing may be rejected.

    You can also use our business name search service, and we will do a more thorough search on your behalf and report back our findings. MyCorporation also include a business search for free when we complete your LLC filings for you.

  2. Your business name must include the words "Limited Liability Company," or its abbreviations "L.L.C." or "LLC."

You can learn more about how to choose a business name and other important information through the Maine Secretary of State website.

Tip: A business name check is included with every one of our business formation packages. We check with the state to determine the availability of your business name automatically. You can also conduct a nationwide business name search here.

There are two options to choose from when it comes to setting up your limited liability company in Maine: "Member managed" or "manager managed". The first thing you need to know is that owners of any LLC are referred to as "members". A single member LLC has just one owner, while a multi-member LLC is an LLC owned by 2 or more members. Pretty simple, right?

Maine LLCs must also designate one or more individuals to manage the day to day operations of the business. This can be handled by one of the members of the business (member managed, the most popular choice and the default in most states), or a professional manager appointed by the members to act on their behalf (manager managed).

While the differences are subtle, what you really need to know is that each member in a member managed LLC has the power to make decisions for the business. However, in a manager managed LLC, the members choose who will manage the business and relinquish all of the decision making to the manager chosen. The person chosen can be one of the members of the business as well, or it can be someone else entirely.

Most states require that you designate a registered agent for your business, and Maine is no exception. A registered agent acts as the state's means to communicate with a business and is responsible for receiving legal and official documents related to the business.

In the state of Maine it is required that all business entities filed in the state maintain a registered agent. This registered agent may be an individual or entity that receives official and legal documents on behalf of the business. The registered agent must have a physical address in Maine. In other words, a P.O. Box is not allowed as a registered agent address. This means a member of the limited liability company can act as the registered agent if desired, or a third-party registered agent service like MyCorporation can be used.

Why designate a third party to act as my registered agent in Maine?

One thing to note about the registered agent information is that it is publicly available. This can cause privacy concerns for business owners who do not wish to list their personal contact information on the internet for everyone to see. It is also common for the registered agent to become a target of spam or robocalls since this private information is relatively easy to obtain.

Another issue that may arise is that in the case of a lawsuit, these documents would be hand delivered directly to the registered agent, and in the case that you used your business location for this purpose, this could occur in front of your customers. This is why many business owners opt for a third-party registered agent service such as MyCorporation to act as a registered agent on behalf of their business.

Tip: Our Deluxe and Premium formation packages include a full year of registered agent services for your business. We also offer standalone registered agent services which you can add to your business later.

Ready to Get Started?

MyCorporation® takes the guess work out of starting your business. Answer a few simple questions, and our filing experts will take care of the rest.

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The state of Maine requires you to file Certificate of Formation to order to form an LLC. This document includes basic information about the Maine LLC such as:

  • Name of the Maine limited liability company
  • Effective date of the LLC filing
  • Designation as a low profit LLC (check only if applicable)
  • Designation as a professional LLC (check only if applicable)
  • Name of the registered agent and street and mailing address
  • Date, print name(s), and signature(s) of authorized persons

The filing fee is $175. Make payments out to the Maine Secretary of State and submit the completed form to the Secretary of State Division of Corporations, UCC and Commissions 101 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333.

The state of Maine requires an LLC to create an operating agreement at the time of formation. The agreement can be oral or written, and should be kept with the company's records. In order to open a bank account for your business, you will often be required to submit both your operating agreement, as well as your EIN number.

What kind of information needs to be included in a Maine operating agreement?

Operating agreements while not required, are an import part to laying the foundations of a properly run business. An operating agreement sets guidelines for the way your business operates now and into the future. The most common details included with an operating agreement are:

  • Basic contact details: The name of the LLC, the address of the principal business location and often, the registered agent address.
  • The business purpose: This is a basic one sentence description of what kind of business your LLC will do, and is often a very general description, which creates a bit more flexibility as the business matures.
  • Tax structure: Often this indicates the way the LLC will choose to be taxed. The main options are to be taxed as a sole proprietor or a partnership ( both pass through options ) or to be taxed as a corporation ( requires an S Corp Election to be filed )
  • Ownership and management: This section lays out the general rules about how the business will operate day to day. This refers to step 3, where you determined whether your business would be "manager managed" or "member managed". As mentioned before, member managed is the default and the most common choice. If you are unsure, member managed is a pretty safe bet.
Tip: All of our formation packages include a sample operating agreement you can use directly, or modify to fit your needs. Start Now

General licenses to operate a business are managed at the town and city level in Maine. You may look up business licenses by profession and register online through the Maine Secretary of State's Business Licensing department.

In the event that you need a bit of help, you may also turn to MyCorporation's business license compliance package. Our skilled professionals will do the work for you. We identify all of the licenses required by your business and provide you with the information you need in order to file.

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MyCorporation® takes the guess work out of starting your business. Answer a few simple questions, and our filing experts will take care of the rest.

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An EIN (also called a Federal Tax Id) is a nine-digit number that is issued by the IRS and used to uniquely identify your business for tax purposes. Think of it as a Social Security Number (SSN) for your business, except an EIN is far less sensitive. It is important to wait until the LLC has been approved by the state before applying, and for that reason, filing for an EIN is one of the last things to do when you are setting up a business.

Like a social security number, the EIN allows you to:

  • Open business checking, savings, or investment accounts
  • File taxes for the business
  • Complete payroll for employees if applicable
  • Obtain lines of credit and credit cards, as well as "build credit" for your business
  • Apply for applicable business licenses when required.

You only need a few pieces of information to file including your mailing address and legal business name. You can apply online with the IRS by downloading IRS Form SS-4 (PDF)(116 KB), or work alongside a third party organization like MyCorporation to complete an EIN application.

limited liability company Formation Packages

Save money and simplify the process of starting your business by bundling the services you need with our business formation packages.

BASICS
$99
  • Articles of Organization
  • Name Availability Search
  • Minutes & Membership Certificates
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STANDARD
$124
  • Articles of Organization
  • Name Availability Search
  • Minutes & Membership Certificates
  • Annual Report service
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DELUXE
$224
  • Articles of Organization
  • Name Availability Search
  • Minutes & Membership Certificates
  • Annual Report service
  • Registered Agent services
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Frequently asked questions

In Maine, if your profession requires state licensing, you would incorporate your business as a Professional Service Limited Liability Company (PLLC). This often includes doctors, lawyers, therapists, and other professions where state licensure is required.

A PLLC is different than a Professional Corporation (PC), which consists of shareholders that own company stock and has different tax implications. Maine allows licensed professionals the opportunity to form both a PLLC and PC, if desired. PLLCs are usually more popular, as they require less effort to build and operate.

Generally, this can include the following professions:

  • Accounting
  • Acupuncture
  • Architecture
  • Chiropractic
  • Clinical social work
  • Dentistry
  • Law
  • Marriage, family, and child counseling
  • Medicine
  • Speech-language pathology and audiology
  • Nursing
  • Optometry
  • Osteopathy
  • Pharmacy
  • Physical therapy
  • Physician assistants
  • Podiatry
  • Psychology
  • Shorthand court reporters

According to the Maine Secretary of State, the current processing time for LLC filings is 5 to 21 business days. All applications are reviewed in the date order they are received.

A Maine LLC must file an annual report every year to maintain good standing. You may file online or print out a paper form to file in the mail. The filing fee is $85 and the legal filing deadline is June 1.

In order to form a limited liability company in Maine, you will be required to pay various fees for services. The breakdown of the required fees are as follows:

  • Articles of Organization Filing Fee - $250
  • Biennial Report Filing Fee - $85

In total, expect to set aside at least $335 to form an LLC in Maine.

According to the Maine Secretary of State, foreign entities that wish to transact business in Maine must first obtain a certificate of authority from the Secretary of State. The filing fee is $250.

If you experience any difficulty in accessing our content, please contact us at 877.692.6772 or email us at accessibility@mycorporation.com.

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