How to Form an LLC in Maine
Starting an LLC in Maine begins with submitting a Certificate of Formation to Maine’s Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions. Once processed and approved, your company can register for any required taxes and apply for permits or licenses. Many LLCs will also write an operating agreement and open a business bank account.
- File a Maine LLC Certificate of Formation
- Obtain a federal tax ID from the IRS
- Register with state departments, such as Maine Revenue Services
- Apply for state permits and licenses
- Write a Maine LLC operating agreement
- Open a bank account for your Maine LLC
Sounds like a lot? Sign up for our formation services package, and we’ll create and file your formation documents. We’ll also provide you with a custom operating agreement and initial resolutions—documents commonly requested by banks when opening your account. Plus, we provide a full year of expert registered agent service! We have everything you need to get your Maine LLC started today!
Maine Certificate of Formation Requirements
On the Certificate of Formation, you designate important information about your LLC, including its name and registered agent.
Your Maine LLC’s name must include one of the following: Limited Liability Company, Limited Company, L.L.C., L.C., LLC or LC. “Limited” and “Company” may also be abbreviated as “Ltd.” and “Co.”
Your name can’t include terms that could suggest it’s a bank, like “savings,” “bank,” or “trust.” Use Maine’s Corporate Name Search to ensure your name isn’t already in use in Maine.
This is the date you’d like your LLC to begin existence. If you choose a later date, it must be within 90 days.
There are options on the Certificate of Formation to designate your LLC as a “low profit LLC” or a “professional LLC.” You don’t have to check either box, and most companies don’t qualify for either designation.
- A low profit LLC is formed for charitable or educational purposes and not for the purpose of income or property appreciation.
- A professional LLC is formed for the purpose of performing a professional service. These are services for professions that require a license by state law, such as accountants, nurses, dentists or veterinarians.
You can select either a commercial or noncommercial registered agent. A commercial agent specializes in registered agent service and is registered with Maine’s Secretary of State. We are a commercial registered agent service, and you can put our name here and keep your own address private. If you choose a noncommercial agent, you’ll have to include physical and mailing addresses, which become part of the public record.
Your Maine LLC must authorize someone to form and file the Certificate of Formation. The authorized person doesn’t have to be a member or have any ownership rights. If you hire us, we’ll serve as your authorized person.
Filer Contact Cover Letter
This cover letter is not part of the public record. You include the name of your business, the type of filing you’re submitting (Certificate of Formation), any special processing requests, total fees enclosed, contact information in case of any questions, and where you’d like your copy sent (this doesn’t have to match any of the addresses in the Certificate of Formation).
Submitting Maine Certificate of Formation
How can I submit my Maine Certificate of Formation?
Because Maine’s Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions requires an inked signature on formation documents (no scans or copies), there are no options to submit online or by fax. Instead submissions can be mailed or done in person. In either case, the Certificate of Formation form is available from the Bureau of Corporations, Elections & Commissions.
What is the filing fee?
$175, payable by credit card, check or money order.
What are my choices for processing?
There are three options for processing:
- Standard: Free
5-10 business days (up to two calendar weeks)
- 24-hour expedited: +$50 ($225 total)
This processing time can actually be up to two days, as it doesn’t include weekends or holidays. So, if the request arrives on a Saturday, it won’t be processed until Monday.
- Immediate expedited: +$100 ($275 total)
Like the other processing options, immediate processing is only available during business hours. Realistically, this option is good if you’re applying in person, but doesn’t save you much time when applying by mail.
How do I choose expedited processing?
The Certificate of Formation includes a Filer Contact Cover Letter, where you can select expedited filings. If paying by check or money order, include a separate check or money order for the expedited fee. (Don’t write a check for $225 for 24-hour expedited processing; write a check for $175 and a check for $50.) If paying by credit card, you don’t need to submit a separate credit card payment voucher.
If filing by mail, write “Expedited Service” in the lower right-hand corner of the envelope.
At Maine Registered Agent LLC, we form LLCs daily. Our comprehensive formation services include everything you need at a low price.
WHAT WE PROVIDE
- A Full Year of Registered Agent Service
We’ll sort through the spam and scan documents daily.
- Company Privacy
List our address on public documents and keep yours private.
- Instant Access to Your Secure Client Account
You can log in immediately and access free helpful resources, like state forms pre-filled with your information
- Custom Documents
We provide your LLC with an operating agreement, initial resolutions, member certificates and more!
- Compliance Tools
We include auto-reminders for filing requirements, such as your Maine LLC annual report.
- Expert Customer Service
We don’t make you deal with automated operators. Call our friendly, expert staff for assistance.
WHAT WE CHARGE
We offer standard and expedited (but not immediate) processing.
|Fees (Standard)||Fees (Expedited)|
Maine State Filing Fees
Our Formation Service Fee
1 Year Registered Agent Service
FAQ for Maine LLCs
Below are some of the most common questions for forming a Maine LLC.
What is a Maine registered agent?
A Maine registered agent accepts service of process, legal documents, and official notifications for your LLC. A registered agent maintains a registered office.
Why do I need a registered agent?
Maine Statute §1661 (Title 31, Section 21, Subsection 13) requires an LLC to have and maintain a Maine registered agent. When the state needs to communicate with your business, they need a reliable channel of communication.
A registered agent benefits you as well. By using a commercial registered agent like us, you can keep your address off of public documents, like your Certificate of Formation. This means your personal address won’t get all the junk mail that comes with a public address. We’re the ones sifting through spam and ensuring you never miss an important notice.
FEDERAL TAX ID
What is a federal tax ID?
A federal tax ID (also called an Employer Identification Number or EIN) is a unique number assigned to a business by the IRS for federal tax purposes.
Does my Maine LLC need an EIN?
Many Maine LLCs need an EIN, but not all. You should get an EIN if any of the following apply to your business.
- You have employees
- You file Employment, Excise, or Alcohol/Tobacco/Firearms returns
- You withhold taxes on income (other than wages) paid to a non-resident alien
- You have a Keogh plan
- You are involved in a trust, estate, real estate mortgage investment conduit, non-profit organization, farmer co-op, or are a plan administrator
- You intend to open a business bank account
Also, Maine Revenue Services uses your EIN for state-level tax filings, so if you have to manage any state taxes (like sales tax), you’ll need an EIN.
How do I get an EIN?
You can apply for one on the IRS website for free. However, if you’d rather have one less thing to do, you can add it on to our package for the cost of our time ($50).
MAINE TAX REGISTRATION
Is tax registration necessary for my Maine LLC?
Depending on your type of business, you may need to register with Maine Revenue Services and/or the Department of Labor. Sales taxes, service provider taxes, fuel taxes, and cigarette/tobacco taxes are all managed by Maine Revenue Services. LLCs with employees will need to register with the Department of Labor for withholding and unemployment contributions.
How do I register with Maine Revenue Services?
You can register online with Maine’s Sales & Use, Withholding and Service Provider Tax Registration Service. Or, download the Maine Application for Tax Registration from Maine Revenue Services.
How do I register with the Department of Labor?
The Department of Labor uses an online system called the Maine Employer Registration Internet System (MERIS).
MAINE BUSINESS LICENSE
Do I need a business license for my Maine LLC?
Maine doesn’t have a general business license, but you may need other licenses or permits. Maine’s Department of Economic and Community Development has a website called Business Answers where you can answer simple questions about your business and determine what kinds of permits and licenses you’ll need.
MAINE LLC OPERATING AGREEMENT
What is an operating agreement?
An operating agreement explains how your LLC operates. For example, your operating agreement might include your initial members and their contributions, meeting procedures, the responsibilities of members and managers, voting rights, and how disbursements will be handled.
Does my Maine LLC need an operating agreement?
There’s no law requiring your LLC to have a written operating agreement, but having one is always a good idea. Taking the time to make clear decisions about how you want your company to work can help prevent member disputes down the road. We provide your LLC with a custom operating agreement with our formation services.
MAINE ANNUAL REPORT
What’s a Maine annual report?
This is a mandatory yearly report for Maine’s Bureau of Corporations, Elections & Commissions. The report updates company ownership and contact information.
When is my Maine annual report due?
The report is due June 1st of each year. You don’t need to submit an annual report in the year you form.
Will the state mail me a reminder?
No. The Bureau of Corporations, Elections & Commissions will email a reminder to the email on file. Don’t let this important reminder get filtered as spam or lost to an outdated email address. Hire us, and we’ll send you annual report reminders.
How can I submit my annual report?
The easiest way is to file online with the Bureau of Corporations, Elections & Commissions Annual Reports Online portal. Alternatively, you can download a paper form from the Bureau of Corporations, Elections & Commissions website.
What is the fee?
$85 a year. Online submissions are payable by credit card or electronic check. Paper submissions are payable by check or money order.
Benefits of a Maine LLC
- Easy to Manage
One reason why LLCs are so popular is that they’re often easier to manage, especially for small businesses. LLCs can be managed by members themselves; they don’t require managers (let alone officers and a board of directors like a corporation). LLCs also aren’t required to have formalized annual meetings or to keep meeting minutes.
- Avoid Double Taxation
LLCs and other pass-through entities don’t pay income taxes at the entity level. Instead, profits are distributed to members, who then report these profits on their individual tax returns. In a standard corporation, however, income is taxed twice—once at the corporate level and again after distribution, on individual tax returns.
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We know all the ins and outs of forming a Maine LLC. Sign up for our formation services package, and we’ll handle your formation paperwork, give you custom documents and helpful pre-filled forms, and provide a year of registered agent service. We’ll help make your dream company a reality today!