Skip to main content

How to Foreign Register Your LLC in Maine

If your out-of-state business is ready to operate in Maine, you will need to acquire a Certificate of Foreign Qualification (aka Certificate of Authority). Here, “foreign” just means your business was first organized outside of Maine. This certificate costs $250 and takes the state about 30 days to process. Expedited processing is available for an extra state fee. You will also need to order a Certificate of Good Standing from your home state and choose a Maine registered agent.

You can follow our DIY guide below, or hire us to file everything for you and serve as your registered agent!

Get Your Business Going in Maine $149 + state fees

Do I Need to Foreign Register My LLC in Maine?

If your business is collecting income from the residents of Maine, you may need to foreign register your LLC into Maine. The following situations typically require a Certificate of Foreign Qualification in Maine:

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

If you’re not sure if you need to foreign register, contact Maine’s Business Answers section of the Department of Economic & Community Development, or seek the advice of a business lawyer. If you know you need to foreign register into Maine, there’s a few things you can do to prepare!

3 Things to Do Before Registering a Foreign LLC in Maine

Doing a little bit of preparation ahead of time will make your Certificate of Foreign Qualification application quicker and easier. Take a look at these next 3 steps to get ready for the application:

1. Search for your business name

Whenever you foreign register your LLC into a different state, there’s a chance your business name won’t be available because it’s already being used or it’s too similar to one in use. Unless you have your business name federally trademarked, you will not be able to use it in Maine.

Check your business name availability with the Maine Secretary of State. If other company names appear that are the same as or too similar to yours, you may need to choose a “fictitious name” according to 31 Maine Revised Statutes Annotated (MRSA) §1508.

If it turns out you do need to operate in Maine under a fictitious name, simply include form FICT-4 along with your Certificate of Foreign Authority application. You will also need to add $40 for the processing of this application to your filing order total.

2. Acquire a Certificate of Good Standing

You will need to order a Certificate of Good Standing from the domestic (home) state of your LLC. This document is also sometimes called a “Certificate of Existence.” It proves your LLC is active and current on taxes and annual reports in your home state. This document needs to be submitted with your application for Foreign Qualification to the Maine Secretary of State.

Maine requires this certificate be no older than 90 days when they receive it with your foreign registration application. Keep this in mind when timing the submission of your application to foreign register because it must be mailed in to Maine and standard processing takes 30 days. Contact your home Secretary of State’s office to check on the cost and processing time for ordering this certificate. Or skip this step when you hire us to register your foreign LLC in Maine–we’ll order your certificate of good standing for you!

3. Choose a Registered Agent

The State of Maine requires all business have a registered agent listed for their business at all times. The name and physical Maine address of the registered agent is public record. If you’re new to Maine, this is where hiring a registered agent service would come in handy!

When you hire us to be your Maine registered agent, you get an address to protect your privacy, a filing service to prepare your documents and annual reports on your behalf, and Maine business experts that actually answer the phone when you have questions. If you’re ready to go in Maine and need immediate access to a registered agent address, click the link below! A complete walk-through of the Foreign Qualification application process is below.

Get Registered Agent Service Now –  $49 year

Completing the Maine Certificate of Foreign Qualification Application

A hard copy of this application must be submitted by mail to the Maine Secretary of State. They do not have an online application available yet. It must have original signatures (wet signatures), digital signatures will not be accepted. Below is a step-by-step guide to complete the 12 sections of the application, as well as the Customer Contact Cover Letter that must also be submitted:


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

FIRST (Entity Identifier)

If your original LLC name in your home state DOES NOT include an entity identifier like “LLC” or “L.L.C.” or Limited Liability Company, fill in your company name and add an entity identifier to it according to Maine’s business name requirements. Otherwise, write “N/A” in the blank under “FIRST.”

SECOND (Fictitious Name)

If your original LLC name is not available in Maine, enter an alternate name (aka “fictitious name”) to operate under in the state. If your original LLC name is available in Maine, just write in “not applicable” or “N/A” and do not check the box for form FICT-4.

THIRD (Formation Details & Principal Office)

Enter the date your company first formed, along with the jurisdiction (this would be the state if you’re in the US). You’ll also need your Principal Office Address. This address must be a physical street address. When you hire us as your Maine registered agent, you can list our address here. If you have a different business mailing address, you can list that in this section as well.

FOURTH (Operating Statutes)

This is just a pre-filled statement that this is an LLC applying for foreign qualification status and forming under Maine’s foreign LLC statutes.

FIFTH (Business Purpose)

A specific business purpose is required—what exactly will your business be doing in Maine? A short description like “jewelry repair” or “music lessons” is sufficient.

SIXTH (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.

SEVENTH (Registered Agent Consent)

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

EIGHTH (LLC Manager Names & Addresses)

If your business is member-managed (all owners share authority over the business), you can skip this section. If your business is manager-managed, list the names and address of the managers.

NINTH (Effective Date)

When do you want your registration in Maine to begin? If you have a specific date you want to be active in Maine, you can enter that. Or, if the date the state processes and approves your application is fine with you, just write in “upon filing” or “upon date.”

TENTH (Professional LLC)

If your LLC is a “PLLC” or Professional LLC in your home state, check this box and list the type of professional services you will be providing in Maine. Some examples of professional services include dentistry, architecture, therapy, and law. Review 13 MRSA, chapter 22-A for more details on professional LLCs in Maine.


If your LLC is a “Series LLC” in your home state, check this box and submit a statement attached to your application to be in compliance with MRSA 31 §1622.2.J. Otherwise, skip this section.

TWELFTH (Certificate of Existence)

Just a statement that you are attaching a Certificate of Existence (also known as 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.


Must be the date this application was completed and signed by the person who completed and/or approved this application. Also, 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).

With your filing, include a check or money order for $250 + any chosen additional fees for expedited processing. Prefer to pay with a credit or debit card? Submit the credit card payment voucher with your filing.

It can take the state around 30 days to process and mail out your Certificate of Foreign Qualification. If you chose one of the expedited processing speeds, it will take about a week or less. If this whole process seems a little overwhelming, check out our foreign registration filing service!

Quick & Easy Foreign LLC Filing Service

Our foreign LLC filing service will take care of this whole process for you so you can focus on running your expanding business! Our expert filing service will quickly and accurately prepare your application for submission. Below is a breakdown of fees and filings included with our service:

  • $250 Foreign Qualification filing state fee
  • $100 Our filing fee
  • $49 Maine Registered Agent service for 1 year
  • FREE Operating Agreement (optional)
  • FREE Secure online portal with 24/7 access
  • FREE Maine LLC Annual Report reminder service

The only fee not included in the list above is the fee for your Certificate of Good Standing from your home state. These fees vary from state to state, and our online order form will add this fee to your order total for you. If you already have this certificate, and it’s less than 90 days old, you can email it into us so you won’t need to pay for another one. Click the link below to get started!

Get Your Business Going in Maine $149 + state fees

Does Maine Require Annual Reports for LLCs?

Yes, Maine does require all LLCs to submit an Annual Report by June 1st every year. The fee is $150 for Foreign LLCs and can be submitted through the state’s online system or by mail. You will need your LLC Charter Number (this is your “entity ID number”) to begin this filing. Use the state’s Corporate Name Search system to find it, or look on your Maine Certificate of Qualification. Here is the information you will need to update and/or confirm on the annual report:

  • Your LLC 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 Statement of Change of Foreign Qualification for $90 to update your company name and other information, or pay $35 to update only the principal address online or by mailing in that statement.
  • Statement of purpose
  • Member and/or Manager names and addresses

If you choose to file this online, the state will email you back an Electronic Filing Acknowledgment confirming the information you submitted. If you choose to file this by mail, send a check or money order made out to the “Secretary of State” and they will mail you back an acknowledgment.

The information you submit on the Annual Report will be available to the public for a fee. Anyone can pay $3 to view an image of your Annual Report Filing Acknowledgment through the state’s online system. If information privacy is important to you, hiring us to file this for you is a great option!

For $100 plus the state fee, our filing service will minimize the personal information available on state record to just the required names of members and managers. Addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses used to file will be our information, not yours. When you order our registered agent service, consider also adding our Annual Report Compliance service. This service sends you free annual report reminders before the June 1st due date approaches. When the annual report filing generates in your account with us, that is when you can choose to pay our fee + state fee to file for you.

FAQ section

Still have some questions? If you don’t find the answers you’re looking for below, give us a call anytime during normal business hours at (207)221-6276. Our Maine business experts are here to help!

Is my business information private in Maine?

No, Maine is not a private state for businesses. The information you submit on your state filings will be available to the public for a small fee. Hard copies of your formation, registration, and annual report documents can also be ordered by anyone for a fee through the state website.

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

You can absolutely make changes to your foreign registered LLC by mail to the Secretary of State (SoS) or by using their online system. The process depends on what information you need to change:

Information to Change Filing Required Cost How to File

Member/Manager Info

Annual Report


SoS by mail or online
Name of Foreign LLC

Business Purpose

Registered Agent info

Domestic state/country

Statement of Change of Foreign Qualification $90 SoS by mail
Business principal address only Statement of Change of Foreign Qualification $35* SoS by mail or online
Registered Agent/Clerk only Statement of Appointment or Change or 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 Statement of Change of Foreign Qualification is only $35. Including any combination of other changes will require the full $90 payment.

If you’ve already submitted an Annual Report for your current year and need to make changes to member/manager information, you will need to submit the Amended Annual Report for $150 by mail to the Secretary of State.

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

If you already have a fictitious name on state record, and you want to change it to something else, you need to submit 2 filings to the Secretary of State:

1. The MLLC-5A Termination of Statement of Intention to Transact Business under an Assumed or Fictitious Name for $20 to cancel your old fictitious name.

2. Another FICT-4 Statement of Intention to do Business under a Fictitious Name for $40 to record the new fictitious name.

Both of these filings can be submitted in one envelope with one check or money order for the total amount to the Secretary of State.

What if I need to close my business in Maine?

If you need to close your LLC in Maine, you can submit the Statement of Cancellation of Foreign Qualification. This costs $90 and takes the state about 5-10 business days to process, expedited processing options are available for an extra fee. This statement needs to be mailed in or dropped off at the Secretary of State’s office in Augusta, Maine.

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

If your company name is already being used, or rejected by the Secretary of State because it’s too similar to a business already active, then you will need to submit a Fictitious Name application along with your Foreign Qualification filing. Think of it like an alias your company will be using in Maine only to do business.

Is there an initial or annual report requirement in Maine?

Maine does not require an initial report, but there is an Annual Report due by June 1st every year. The cost is $150 for foreign LLCs, and there is a $50 late fee if the report is received after June 1st. It can be submitted online or by mail to the Secretary of State.

Do I need a business license in Maine?

This depends on what kind of business you do and where you are operating your business in Maine. Most states require an occupational license if your LLC provides electrical or accounting services, for example. Check in with the state’s Business Licensing site to see if you will need an occupational license in Maine.

Otherwise, Maine does not require a general state business license. This has been turned over to Maine’s counties, cities, and townships. The Business Answers program will help you determine if you need a local business license for your LLC.

Where can I find a list of Maine LLC forms?

You can visit the Maine Bureau of Corporations, Elections & Commissions website for Limited Liability Companies to see a complete list of forms you can file for your foreign LLC.

How to I contact the Maine Secretary of State?

All of the Maine Secretary of State’s contact information is below:

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