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62 PORTLAND RD, STE 25A, KENNEBUNK, ME 04043 | (207) 221-6276
by Maine Registered Agent LLC

How to Foreign Register Your Corporation in Maine

Filing the Application for Authority to Do Business (aka: Foreign Registration) will get your foreign corporation up and running in Maine. “Foreign” here just means your business is based outside of Maine. The certificate fee is $250 and may take the state up to 30 days to process. For an extra fee, you can have expedited processing to within a week. A Certificate of Good Standing is required to be submitted with this filing, and you’ll need to choose a Maine registered agent. Follow our filing guide below, or hire us to be your registered agent and get everything filed for you!

Corporate Foreign Authority in Maine $149 + state fees

Do I Need to Foreign Register My Corporation in Maine?

You will need to submit the Application for Authority to Do Business if your corporation is collecting income in Maine. Typical examples of this are listed below:

  • having employees who reside in Maine
  • maintaining a storefront, or selling retail products/services here
  • owning or leasing real property in Maine

If none of these examples apply to you or your corporation, contact a business lawyer or use Maine’s Business Answers program with the Department of Economic & Community Development for confirmation. If you know your corporation needs to foreign register into Maine, there a few things you can do ahead of time to make the process quick and easy!

3 Things to Do Before Registering a Foreign Corporation in Maine

Completing the following three steps before you apply for foreign authority will make the application process quick and painless. To prepare for the application:

1. Search for your business name

There’s a chance, however small, that your business name will not be available in Maine. Search for your corporation name using the Maine Secretary of State’s Corporate Name Search tool.

If your name is not available, you’ll need to choose a “fictitious name” (an alternate name) to operate under in Maine according to Title 13-C of the Maine Business Corporation Act section 404. You’ll also need to submit the Fictitious Name application (form FICT-4) with your Foreign Authority application and an additional $40 for state processing.

Your corporation name belongs to you in your home state, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be used by another entity in another state. The only way to protect your corporation name in all states is to get it federally trademarked.

2. Order a Certificate of Existence

You will need to prove that your corporation is active and current on reports in your home state by submitting a Certificate of Existence with your Application for Authority. This document is also called a “Certificate of Good Standing.” Prices and processing time vary from state to state, so contact your domestic state’s Secretary of State office to order this certificate right away.

Keep in mind that this certificate must be no more than 90 days old when it reaches the Maine Secretary of State’s office with your application. Or, skip this step altogether when you hire us to foreign register your corporation in Maine– we’ll get the certificate of good standing for you!

3. Choose a Registered Agent

Your corporation must have a registered agent listed on state record at all times to be in compliance with Maine business statute 13-C §1507-A. The registered agent information is public record. So if you don’t yet have a Maine address or want to keep yours private, a registered agent service would deliver both an address and privacy!

When you hire us to be your Maine registered agent, you get address privacy, an expert filing service for all your state filing needs, and Maine business experts available by phone and email when you need help. Get access to our registered agent address right away when you order our services, and get your corporation going in Maine! A complete walk-through of the Foreign Qualification application process is below.

Get Registered Agent Service Now – $49 year

Completing the Maine Application for Authority to Do Business

This application must be submitted to the Maine Secretary of State by mail. It must have original signatures as digital signatures are not accepted. Follow our step-by-step walk-through of the 8 sections of the application plus the required Customer Contact Cover Letter:


The first blank on this application asks for the exact name of your corporation on your home state record.

FIRST (Fictitious Name)

If your original corporation name is not available in Maine, enter an alternate name (aka “fictitious name”) to operate under in the state and submit form FICT-4 along with this application for authority. If your original corporation name is available in Maine, just write in “not applicable” or “N/A.”

SECOND (Registered Agent Information)

Check the “Commercial Registered Agent” (CRA) box if you have hired a service like ours & fill out the CRA number (available to our clients upon hire). Or, enter the name and information of your private noncommercial registered agent.

THIRD (Registered Agent Consent)

This statement confirms that the above listed registered agent agrees to be your Maine registered agent.

FOURTH (For professional corporations only)

This is just a pre-filled statement that only applies to Professional Corporations (entity identifier = PC) declaring that all shareholders, most of the directors, and all of the officers are truly licensed to perform the professional services described in your home state’s articles of incorporation.

FIFTH (Original Formation Details)

Enter the date your company first formed in your home state or country, along with your home US State or country of formation.

SIXTH (Principal Office Address & Mailing Address)

These addresses do not have to be Maine addresses. Remember, these addresses will be on public record and you can choose to use your Maine registered agent address here to maintain your privacy.

SEVENTH (Director & Officer information)

List the names and address of your corporation’s current directors and officers. Again, if you wish to keep these addresses private, you can use our registered agent address here.

EIGHTH (Certificate of Existence)

Just a statement that you are attaching a Certificate of Existence (aka a Certificate of Good Standing) with this application, that is dated within 90 days of this application’s delivery to the Maine Secretary of State. It does NOT need to be an original hard copy—a print-out will do.


Must be the date this application was completed and signed by an officer of your corporation. Must be a “wet signature” as digital signatures are not accepted.


Complete this cover letter so the state knows who to contact if they have questions about this application. Standard processing takes about 30 days, or you can choose expedited processing for an extra fee (add $50 for next day or $100 for same day processing).

Include a check or money order for $250 + any chosen additional fees for expedited processing. Also, add $40 to your order total if you are also submitted a Fictitious Name application due to your corporation name being unavailable. If you prefer to pay with a credit or debit card, complete and submit this credit card payment voucher with your filing.

Remember, it may be 30 days before you hear back from the state about your application. If you paid a little extra for expedited processing, then you should hear back within a week. If this whole process seems a little too time consuming, we do offer a complete foreign registration filing service that will take all this off your plate!

Quick & Easy Foreign Corporation Filing Service

Our foreign corporation filing service is staffed by local experts thoroughly familiar with this application process! Let us take care of all your filing needs so you can focus on running your growing business. The fees and filings included with our service are:

  • $250 State Foreign Application filing fee
  • $100 Our filing fee
  • $49 Maine Registered Agent service for 1 year
  • FREE Corporate By-Laws (optional)
  • FREE Secure online portal with 24/7 access
  • FREE Maine Corporate Annual Report reminder service

The filing fee for your Certificate of Good Standing is the only fee not included above because this varies from state to state. Our online order form will add this fee to your order when you choose your home state. Already have a certificate dated within the last 90 days? Email it to us and we can remove that fee from your order. Click the link below to get started!

Hire Us to Foreign Register Your Corporation $149 + state fees

Does Maine Require Annual Reports for Corporations?

Yes, Maine requires all corporations to submit an Annual Report by June 1st every year. The fee is $150 for Foreign Corporations and can be submitted through the state’s online system or by mail. The areas you will update and/or confirm on the annual report are:

  • Your Corporation Charter Number: This is your “entity ID number” and you can find it by using the state’s Corporate Name Search system.
  • Business name and principal address: This can’t be changed with the Annual Report! You will need to file a Amended Application for Authority to Do Business for $70 to update your company name and other articles, or pay $35 to update only the principal address online or by mailing in that Amended Application form.
  • Statement of purpose
  • Officer/Director/Shareholder full names and addresses

The state will email you an Electronic Filing Acknowledgment confirming your Annual Report if you choose to submit this online. If you choose to file this by mail with check or money order made out to the “Secretary of State,” they will mail your acknowledgment back to you.

The Annual Report you file will become publicly available for a fee. It costs only $3 to view an image of your Annual Report and other business filings through the state’s online business search system. Hiring us to handle all your corporate filings is a great way to maintain your privacy. When we file your foreign registration and Annual Report, we provide our name, address, phone number and email address to the state instead of yours.

Our filing service minimizes the amount of your personal information that goes on state record. Only the names of your directors and officers would appear on your report when you pair our free Annual Report Compliance service with our registered agent service. This service sends you free annual report reminders periodically before the June 1st due date. It will also generate an invoice and intake form for your Annual Report 3 months before the due date to give you plenty of time to choose to hire us, or to file it on your own.

FAQ section

Looking for more information? Check out the most commonly asked questions below and give us a call at (207)221-6276 during normal business hours if you have more questions. Our Maine business experts look forward to hearing from you!

Is my business information private in Maine?

No, Maine is does not provide privacy for businesses. The information you submit on state filings will become available for a small fee to the general public. Copies of your filed state documents, including registration and annual reports, can be ordered by anyone for about $3 per document through the state Corporate Business Search website.

What if I need to make changes to my foreign registered corporation?

The filing and process for making changes to your foreign registered corporation depend on what kind of changes you need to make with the Secretary of State (SoS):

Information to Change Filing Required Cost How to File
Officer/Director Info

Statement of Purpose

Annual Report $150 SoS by mail or online
Name of Foreign Corp

Business Principal Address*

Domestic state/country

Amended Application for Authority to Do Business $70 SoS by mail
*Business principal address only Amended Application for Authority to Do Business $35* SoS by mail or online
Registered Agent/Clerk Statement of Appointment or Change of Clerk or Registered Agent $35 SoS by mail

*If the only change you’re making is to the business principal address, the cost to file the Amended Application for Authority to Do Business is only $35. Any combination of other changes will require the full $90 payment.

If need to make changes to your Officer/Director or Statement of Purpose after you’ve already filed your Annual Report, you can submit an Amended Annual Report by mail to the Secretary of State for $150.

What if I need to change the Fictitious Name of my foreign corporation?

To change your fictitious name, you first need to cancel or “terminate” your old fictitious name then submit a new application for name you want:

1st: Complete the MBCA-5A Termination of Statement of Intention to do Business under an Assumed or Fictitious Name for $20 to remove your old fictitious name from state record.

2nd: Complete another FICT-4 Statement of Intention to do Business Under an Assumed or Fictitious Name for $40 to add your new fictitious name on state record.

You can mail in both filings in the same envelope with one check or money order for $60 to cover both costs to the Maine Secretary of State.

What if I need to close my business in Maine?

If you need to close or “withdraw” your Maine foreign corporation, you can submit the MBCA-12B, Application for Withdrawal. The cost is $90 and takes about 5-10 business days for the state to process. Expedited processing options are available for an extra fee. This statement needs to be mailed in or walked in to the Secretary of State’s office.

What if my company name is already being used in Maine?

If your domestic company name is not available in Maine, then you need to file a Fictitious Name application for $40 with your Application for Authority to Do Business.

Is there an initial or annual report requirement in Maine?

There is an Annual Report due by June 1st every year, no initial report is required. The cost is $150 for foreign corporations. A $50 late fee will be assessed if the report is received after June 1st. There is both an online and by mail option for submitting this to the Secretary of State.

Do I need a business license in Maine?

Maine does not require a general business license at the state level. Business licensing rights have been given to the counties, cities, and townships of Maine. The Business Answers program will help you determine if you need any local business licensing for your foreign corporation.

You may need an occupational license if your corporation provides medical or legal services, for example. Check in with the state’s Business Licensing site to see if the services your corporation offers requires this kind of licensing.

Where can I find a list of Maine corporation forms?

Visit the Maine Bureau of Corporations, Elections & Commissions site to download all the state provided corporation forms you need for your foreign registered business.

How to I contact the Maine Secretary of State?

Here are all the ways to contact the Maine Secretary of State’s office:

Physical & Mailing Address Division of Corporations, UCC, and Commissions

101 State House Station

Augusta, ME 04333-0101

Email Address [email protected]
Phone Number 207-624-7752
Fax Number 207-287-5874