Start an LLC in Maine

Form Openn

Last updated on: October 5, 2021

Are you looking to start a new business in Maine – specifically a Limited Liability Company? If so, and you are unsure of how to create an LLC in Maine, here, we will go through the process and the options available to assist you with your start-up. 

Establishing an LLC this way is affordable and fairly straightforward: setting up business in Maine is no different – though there are certain requirements, which are specific to Maine’s state laws. In this article, we will cover Maine filings and costs and other elements of LLC formation – and more specifically PLLC – start-up. 

More information regarding Professional LLCs can be found here.

Choose a Name for a Maine LLC

LLC Name Check

One of the first things you’ll need to do is have a name for your new company. It’s worth bearing in mind that when deciding on the name for your LLC, the name should clearly indicate the type of entity it is and the service/s it will provide. 

This is also beneficial for when your company name is in directories so that it can be found/seen by potential customers and for any advertising or promotional activities. It is more than likely that you already have a name for your enterprise in mind, but it is essential to carry out a business name availability check before pursuing the actual llc start-up.

Business Name Reservation

If you have settled on a name and checked that it is available but are not quite ready to pursue the rest of your LLC formation – and you really want that name  – then there is a way that you can put the name on hold with the state. Be aware that this cannot be done online: this has to be done the old-fashioned way, by regular mail, after filling out an application for the reservation of the name, attaching a cover letter, and sending it to the Maine Secretary of State. This letter needs to include information such as the name of your business to be reserved, contact information, and a mailing address. 

You will also need to include a check for $20 and then mail it with your cover letter to the Maine Secretary of State: 

Secretary of State
Division of Corporations, UCC, and Commissions
101 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0101

If you don’t have a checkbook – or just prefer plastic – then you can print out a credit card voucher, fill it in, and include that with your cover letter instead. 

Write a Maine Operating Agreement

To open an LLC in Maine you will need to draft an Operating Agreement. Templates are available for this, and when doing so, ensure that you use a Maine LLC Operating Agreement template as the specifics for these can vary between states. 

An Operating Agreement is essentially the heart of your business. It’s a declaration of the purpose of your business entity, what its activities will be and its managerial structuring, and how profit will be dispersed to its members and other financial details. 

Obtain an EIN for an LLC in Maine

You will need to apply for an LLC EIN – Employment Identification Number. These are nine-digit numbers and are assigned only by the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). This number is used by the IRS for business taxing, plus, you will need one in order to open a separate business account at a bank for your LLC. An EIN is also required if you intend to hire employees. 

There is more than one option available when it comes to how to get an EIN in Maine. 

Online

Firstly, you can go to the website for the IRS and apply online

Fax

Alternatively, you may prefer to apply for an EIN using downloadable documents and then filing by fax at:

 (855) 641-6935

Mail

Finally, using the same downloadable forms as are used for fax applications, you can request your EIN using standard mail services and posting to the following address:

Internal Revenue Service Operation
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999 

Appoint a Registered Agent in Maine

To form an LLC in Maine requires having a registered agent service. This is obligatory when owning a limited liability company. A registered agent acts on the behalf of you and your business and the state. Their purpose is to ensure the timely movement of legal documents between llc owner and state, at the formation of the LLC and then throughout the year, ensuring all compliances are met. They are effectively a third-party mediator and should your LLC have any legal action taken against it – the registered agent will be handling the paperwork duties. 

If you are going to use an LLC formation service provider to get your business up and running then it’s worthwhile checking out which ones will assist you with obtaining an agent. 

One company considered the best registered agent service provider is Inc Authority who offer a free registered agent service for the first 12 months with their basic formation package ($99 annually after that). However, their basic formation package is one of the pricier on the market. Alternatively, Northwest Registered Agent offer a first-year-free registered agent service for just $39 plus the state fee. Subscription to the registered agent service is $125 per annum after the first 12 months. 

Individual as Your Registered Agent

Another option for the appointment of a registered agent if not utilizing an llc formation business is to select an individual yourself from this list of commercial registered agents in Maine:

List of Commercial Clerks and Commercial Registered Agents

Open an LLC Bank Account

If you are starting an LLC in Maine, as with anywhere else, you will need a business bank account for llc formation. With a separate account for all your LLC’s financial activities, you will be keeping your personal financial activities and those of your business separate. To not have a business checking account in Maine and to run company finances through your own accounts is what is known as commingling, and you will be directly liable for any legal action taken towards your LLC business. This means your own house, car, and so on could be seized in the event of debt collection and bankruptcy. To not have a business bank account for your LLC removes the entire point of the safety barrier that limited liability offers. 

File the Certificate of Formation with the Maine Secretary of State

For Maine llc formation, you will need to file a Certification of Formation document. This is a compulsory piece of documentation that needs to include information such as the legal name for your llc business in Maine, the date of establishment, the name of your registered agent, and details informing the state of your LLCs intended operational activities. This needs to be filed with Maine’s Secretary of State and have an application. The Certificate of Formation llc filing fee in Maine is $175. The applications are generally done within 10 business days but for an additional $50, it can be done in a single day. If you are willing to pay an extra $100, it can be done immediately. 

The application can be sent by mail to this address (don’t forget to include the necessary payment details):

Secretary of State 
Division of Corporations, UCC, and Commissions 
101 State House Station 
Augusta, ME 04333-0101

Alternatively, you may submit your application for your Certificate of Formation in person. 

Fulfill Additional Requirements

Maine Business Licenses and Permits

Despite all of the above, there are further steps, which need to be taken before doing business in Maine. There are many tiers to LLC licensing. Depending on what service/services you intend to deliver or the type of goods you intend to sell, there will be the necessity for additional licenses in order to be able to operate legally. 

You can check to see which types of business entities are subject to specific professional licenses in Maine. On a municipal level, you can check via Maine.gov here.

Maine LLC Annual Report

Limited liability company owners who conduct business in Maine will be required to file an annual report with the state. This report for the state contains the pertinent information of any changes or updates to your business since either the initial filing or the previous year’s report, depending on the longevity of your business entity. It is important to get these done before LLC filing deadlines. 

These annual reports are easy to file with the state and can be done in one of two ways. Option number is to do it online

Or, if you prefer, you can download the paperwork and send a hardcopy via normal mail services to:

Secretary of State
Division of Corporations, UCC and Commissions
101 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0101

LLC Tax Filing Requirements in Maine

There are several ways in which you will be paying taxes in Maine. As with any other state, there are tax benefits available to LLC members.

State Taxes

The IRS considers LLCs to be ‘pass-through’ entities. This means that any profit made from your business is channeled directly to its owner/owners (this also includes any salary you pay yourself). That money is now part of your personal income tax return and will be taxed as standard by the IRS.

Federal Taxes

Federal taxes are paid from any earnings from your business. The amount will of course be determined by just how much you earned and is after allowances and deductions – healthcare plans and business expenses, for example.

Additional Taxes

Because the profits from your company come to you (and any other members if there are any) and because you will be paying your own salary, the LLC will be required to pay Self-employment Tax – or in other words, Social Security contributions. 

Do You Need Help Launching an LLC in Maine?

If you want help setting up an LLC in Maine, whether it’s simply finding a free registered agent or that and every other aspect of setting up an LLC in Maine, there are plenty of small business formation services available to assist you. With the help of these companies, LLC filing couldn’t be simpler – and is typically much cheaper than creating a company with a business attorney. To help you decide which of these will be best for you and your business, here is a quick overview of 7 of the best llc provider services.

Senior Business Tax Writer, etc
Jean Wilson Murray
https://bestllcservices.co/
(323) 789-5289
Senior Business Tax Writer, etc
Jean Wilson Murray

In this IncFile vs ZenBusiness review, we're going to compare two of the most popular LLC formation services based on pricing, features, and drawing out differences and similarities to let you see which is most suitable for you and your business.

You can learn more about @Mike here.

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