If you would like to start and learn how to form a corporation in Maine, there are a few things that you should do now. However, in a professional corporation, professionals must create a special organizational structure to establish a professional or service corporation. Among the appropriate professions to organize a professional corporation in Maine are accountants, physicians, engineers, architects, and attorneys.
Forming a professional corporation in Maine or any business organization needs a certain number of steps. In this article, Webinarcare Editorial Team is going to share those steps. Keep in mind that these are general procedures. Depending on local law, it may be modified. For instance, your professional corporation may be subject to city or county-based rules.
On this page, you’ll learn about the following:
- What is a Professional Corporation in Maine?
- How to Form a Professional Corporation in Maine
- Step 1: Verify If You Are Qualified for a Professional Corporation
- Step 2: Name your Professional Corporation in Maine
- Step 3: Choose the Maine Resident Agent
- Step 4: File the Articles of Incorporation in Maine
- Step 5: Write an Operating Agreement in Maine
- Step 6: Designate the PC Board of Directors in Maine
- Step 7: Write the Corporate Bylaws
- Step 8: Hold the First Board of Directors’ Meeting
- Step 9: Request an EIN in Maine.
- Step 10: Open a Bank Account and Prepare for Taxes.
- Step 11: Get a Business License in Maine
- Step 12: File Your Taxes in Maine
- Main Characteristics of a Professional Corporation
What is a Professional Corporation in Maine?
A professional service corporation (PSC), often known as a professional corporation (abbreviated as PC), is a particular type of organization that is permitted by state law to allow owners of specifically licensed professions to practice in the Maine. A professional corporation’s owner is answerable for their own negligence or wrongdoing but is not held personally liable for the actions of other owners. The abbreviation PC or P.C. is frequently used to denote professional corporations.
This structure allows professionals to enjoy some of the benefits and protections of a traditional corporation while maintaining their professional status and abiding by the regulations of their respective licensing boards.
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How to Form a Professional Corporation in Maine
To form a Professional Corporation in Maine for the professional service you provide, you must follow a few steps that include verifying if you are qualified for a PC, naming your business, hiring a Resident Agent, filing the Articles of Incorporation, outlining an operating agreement, requesting for an EIN, opening a bank account, getting a business license, and filing for an Annual report and taxes.
Step 1: Verify If You Are Qualified for a Professional Corporation
In forming a professional corporation in Maine, you should know if you are qualified. There are specific professions that are allowed to form a professional service corporation, including-
- Lawyers and others
To provide your service, you must be qualified and have a license. In most cases, you can now form a professional corporation after finishing your studies, passing the exam, and receiving your license. If you work in an industry that does not provide a license or professional certification, you should consider starting an LLC or corporation.
Step 2: Name your Professional Corporation in Maine
After you have decided to form a professional corporation in Maine, you must choose a name for your corporation. Here are some pointers to consider when naming your professional corporation.
- The business name should have the word PC, frequently followed by the name of the principal owner in place of Inc or LLC. (Example. John Doe, MD, PC)
- Limit of restricted words that need a license.
- A unique name is needed with no match
- No confusion with a government entity name.
In Maine, if you do not wish to file your professional corporation right away but want to hold the name that you have decided on, then you can reserve your corporation name for 120 days. You must file a name reservation application in the Maine Secretary of State to keep the name.
If not already present, a professional corporation, professional association, service corporation, or professional service corporation must be included in the name. You may register your business under a different legal name if your preferred legal name is unavailable. Once you’ve decided on a name, you can apply for Maine DBA (doing business as). This way, you can run a clinic or law firm under your name.
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Step 3: Choose the Maine Resident Agent
The next step in forming a professional corporation is hiring a Resident Agent, who accepts legal paperwork for your business. This person or business will receive important tax forms, legal documents, all notices of lawsuits, and other official government correspondence in Maine. Forming a professional corporation for your service will be easier if you have Resident Agent in Maine.
Alternatively, you can serve as your own Resident Agent if you have the time. Usually, in Maine, a Resident Agent costs is ranging from $50 – $150. To make it easier, you can hire Maine Resident Agent Services for your professional corporation.
Step 4: File the Articles of Incorporation in Maine
After you hire a Resident Agent to form a professional corporation, the next step is to file the Maine Articles of Incorporation. In writing the Articles of Incorporation, the business name, owner’s contact information, corporation address, and Resident Agent contact information, should be written. Include the names of all co-owners as well. All owners must demonstrate that they have the necessary licenses to practice the profession in question.
Filing the Articles of Incorporation in Maine may be done with two ways, by mail and in person drop off. The Articles of Incorporation fee may vary from different state. However, in Maine, it costs $145 for filing in person and by mail. There’s no online filing available.. For offline filing, Send the form by mail or drop it off to Secretary of State, Division of Corporations, UCC and Commissions, 101 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0101..
Step 5: Write an Operating Agreement in Maine
An operating agreement in Maine is a document that contains all of your company’s organizational details. It is optional to draft an operating agreement in most states. Yet, having one as an internal document is strongly advised. The operating agreement includes information like-
- About Business
- Members and management
- Capital contribution
- Profit Distribution
- Change of membership
Step 6: Designate the PC Board of Directors in Maine
The next step is to form the first board of directors for your PC in Maine. All of the initial directors must provide the owner with their contact information. The owner must keep records and submit them by the Maine Secretary of State. As a shareholder and owner, you must ensure that a provision for appointing a new director is included in the By-laws. In Maine, you must have Three directors in forming your Professional Corporation.
Step 7: Write the Corporate Bylaws
Now that you are done forming the team of the board of directors, the next step is to draft corporate bylaws. Corporate bylaws are the basic rules that control a corporation. It includes the organization’s structure, processes, laws, and rules. As a result, all personnel, managers, and corporation members must obey the firm’s rules.
Creating comprehensive corporate bylaws requires specific knowledge about the company, its structure, and operations. However, I can provide you with a general outline of what corporate bylaws usually include. It is crucial to consult with Maine Business Attorney or a legal expert to ensure that your bylaws comply with the laws and regulations governing your jurisdiction and industry.
- Name and Purpose of the Corporation
- Registered Office and Agent
- Board of Directors
- Indemnification and Insurance
- Conflict of Interest
- Records and Reports
Step 8: Hold the First Board of Directors’ Meeting
Gather the board of directors for the first meeting after drafting the corporate bylaws. This meeting will conclude with the appointment of directors to manage the company’s daily operations, approval of the bylaws, selection of the corporation’s financial reporting year, and approval of the stock issue. Minutes should be taken at all board meetings and kept with the company’s records.
Step 9: Request an EIN in Maine.
After the operating agreement’s documentation, you should get or request an Employer Identification Number (EIN) in Maine. The tax ID for your professional corporation will be an EIN. The Internal Revenue Service can provide an EIN (IRS). It has nine digits and is comparable to a social security number. Nevertheless, EIN is different from SSN. Only business-related tasks, primarily filing general taxes, are performed using it. The form needs to be filled out and submitted online to the IRS.
The application of an EIN in Maine can be through the following:
- Apply Online- The online EIN application is the preferred method for customers to apply for and obtain an EIN.
- Apply by Fax- Taxpayers can fax the completed Form SS-4 application to the appropriate fax number), after ensuring that the Form SS-4 contains all of the required information.
- Apply by Mail- The EIN application Form SS-4 can be filed via mail. The processing time frame to receive the mail is four weeks.
- Apply by Telephone-International Applicants – International applicants may call 267-941-1099 (not a toll-free number) from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday to obtain their EIN.
After you have your EIN number, you can benefit in several ways. It will give your professional corporation the absolute advantage necessary to operate at full capacity without encountering legal or judicial issues.
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Step 10: Open a Bank Account and Prepare for Taxes.
You should open a business bank account as soon as you have applied for and received your Employer Identity Number because you will use this account for yourself, your clients, and your staff. Check out the Best Banks in Maine for you to decide on which bank you are going to open an account.
Due to your organization’s increased legality and liquidity, having a US business bank account may make conducting business in Maine easier. Most banks require an EIN for businesses other than sole proprietorships to open a business bank account. Also, keeping your accounts separate will prevent you from merging your personal and business finances. Also, filing taxes is simpler when you have an EIN. You can expect to pay employee and corporate taxes when you form a professional corporation.
Step 11: Get a Business License in Maine
Before your professional corporation operates in Maine, you must have Maine Business License first. A business license is a formal document issued by a state government agency that allows you to conduct business in the geographic area governed by that agency. The cost of business licenses and permits in Maine ranges from $50 – $300. You must check with the local authorities to see if any special licenses or permits are required.
Step 12: File Your Taxes in Maine
Finally, you’ve arrived at the final process. Remember to file your taxes when you have obtained a business license and are ready to begin operations. To avoid a large tax bill, you should begin paying taxes quarterly as soon as possible. Each state has different tax requirements. Start examining the Maine tax classification for the taxes that an LLC in Maine must pay.
Main Characteristics of a Professional Corporation
In forming a Professional Corporation, the main characteristics must be distinguished before forming it. These are the general characteristics of forming a Professional Corporation in Maine.
- Limited Liability Protection: A professional corporation provides its owners, shareholders, or members limited liability protection like a regular corporation. This means the shareholders’ personal assets are generally protected from business debts, obligations, and lawsuits, except in malpractice or professional negligence cases.
- Maine Licensing Requirements: All shareholders must typically be licensed professionals in the same field in a professional corporation. The corporation must also comply with specific state regulations and licensing requirements that govern the profession.
- Governance and Management: A professional corporation is governed by a board of directors, who the shareholders elect. The board appoints officers to manage the day-to-day operations of the corporation. All directors and officers must be licensed professionals in the same field as the corporation.
- Taxation: Professional corporations are taxed as C corporations, where the corporation pays taxes on its income, and shareholders pay taxes on dividends received from the corporation. However, some professional corporations may be eligible for S corporation status, allowing pass-through taxation. Income, losses, deductions, and credits flow to the shareholders, who report this information on their income tax returns.
- Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer of Shares: Professional corporations often restrict the ownership and transfer of shares to ensure that only licensed professionals in the same field can become shareholders. This helps maintain the professional nature of the corporation and adheres to state licensing requirements.
- Malpractice Liability: While a professional corporation provides limited liability protection for general business debts and obligations, it does not shield shareholders from liability for their own malpractice or professional negligence. Shareholders can still be personally liable for their actions in providing professional services.
In summary, a professional corporation is a specialized corporate structure designed for licensed professionals, offering limited liability protection and a formal governance structure while adhering to state licensing requirements and regulations.
Maintain Professional and Business License in Maine
You must maintain or renew your professional license regularly now that you have established your professional corporation. Even if your company is well-established, it is only meaningful if you have a valid operating license. And it makes no difference if your professional license is still valid for a year or two, but your business license has already expired.
Make time at least once a year to check the status of your licenses. You won’t miss anything important this way. You can address any issues that arise.
Filing Annual Report in Maine
In Maine, you must submit a report. The owners’ and Resident Agent’s names and contact details are listed in the Annual Report. Also, it should include all of your yearly financial activity. You must submit the report every 1 year (1st June) in the Maine Secretary of State.
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- Form a Professional Corporation in Maine
- Form a Professional Corporation in Maryland
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- Form a Professional Corporation in Missouri
- Form a Professional Corporation in Montana
- Form a Professional Corporation in Nebraska
- Form a Professional Corporation in Nevada
- Form a Professional Corporation in New Hampshire
- Form a Professional Corporation in New Jersey
- Form a Professional Corporation in New Mexico
- Form a Professional Corporation in New York
- Form a Professional Corporation in North Carolina
- Form a Professional Corporation in North Dakota
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- Form a Professional Corporation in Oregon
- Form a Professional Corporation in Pennsylvania
- Form a Professional Corporation in Rhode Island
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- Form a Professional Corporation in Utah
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- Form a Professional Corporation in Wisconsin
- Form a Professional Corporation in Wyoming
How to Save Money While Forming Maine Professional Corporation
One of the keys to saving money during the formation of your Maine professional corporation is to consider the resources you already have at your disposal. Start by assessing your skills and determining what tasks you can handle yourself. It is tempting to outsource everything, but taking on services like name search, preparing articles of incorporation, and even making phone calls can save you money that would otherwise be spent on professional assistance.
Another way to save money is to research and compare prices before committing to any professional services or purchases. Don’t settle for the first service provider you come across; instead, do your due diligence and seek out multiple quotes and reputable providers. This approach will ensure that you get the best value for your money and avoid unnecessary expenses. Furthermore, consider utilizing online platforms and tools that offer affordable or free services to expedite the process, such as using templates for various legal documents.
Creating a budget and sticking to it is crucial when forming a professional corporation. Setting a realistic budget will help you prioritize your expenses and limit any unnecessary spending. This not only applies to the formation phase but also to the initial years of your business. By monitoring your finances closely and keeping your expenses in check, you can free up resources to invest in the growth and success of your professional corporation.
Another area to save money is by exploring various options when it comes to office space and equipment. While having a physical office might be desirable, it might not be financially viable for a new professional corporation. Consider alternatives such as shared office spaces or working from home until your business grows and generates enough revenue to support a physical location. Additionally, you can opt to lease or rent equipment instead of purchasing it outright, which can significantly reduce your upfront costs.
Networking and collaborating with like-minded professionals can be a valuable tool to save money while forming your professional corporation. Seek out organizations and associations that offer resources, discounts, or cooperative purchasing options exclusive to their members. By joining forces with others in your industry, you can leverage collective bargaining power and gain access to cost-saving opportunities that would not be available to you as an individual.
In conclusion, by taking a strategic approach and being mindful of your expenses, it is entirely possible to save money when forming a professional corporation in Maine. The key is to assess your resources, compare prices, set a budget, explore alternatives, and seek out cost-effective solutions through collaboration and networking. With a little extra effort and some smart choices, you can launch your professional corporation without breaking the bank.
In conclusion, forming a professional corporation in Maine is a strategic decision for licensed professionals who seek to combine their expertise and services under a single corporate entity. This business structure offers limited liability protection, a formal governance structure, and compliance with state licensing requirements. However, it also comes with certain restrictions on ownership, transfer of shares, and personal liability for professional malpractice. By carefully considering the advantages and disadvantages of a professional corporation, professionals can determine whether this structure aligns with their business goals, regulatory requirements, and risk management needs, ultimately contributing to a more organized, secure, and compliant professional practice.