How to Start an LLC in Maine | 2024 Guide

Start a LLC in Maine

How to Start an LLC in Maine: If you’re looking to launch a business in Maine, starting a Limited Liability Company (LLC) may be the right choice for you. An LLC provides personal liability protection for its owners while giving them flexibility in managing and taxing the business. This guide provides a step-by-step process for starting an LLC in Maine. From choosing a unique name to registering with the state and obtaining necessary licenses and permits, Webinarcare Editorial Team will walk you through setting up your new business entity. So grab a pen and paper, and let’s get started!

What is a Limited Liability Company?

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a type of business entity that combines a corporation’s limited liability protection with a partnership’s tax benefits. LLCs are popular among small business owners for their flexibility and ease of formation. In Maine, an LLC must have a unique name and file Certificate of Formation with the Secretary of State. Depending on their business needs, LLCs may also elect to be taxed as a corporation or an S-corp. Owners of an LLC, called members, are not personally liable for the company’s debts and losses, and the company’s profits and losses are passed through to the member’s personal tax returns. This makes an LLC an attractive option for those seeking personal liability protection and simplified taxation.

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Steps on How to Start an LLC in Maine

To form an LLC for your business, you must follow the guidelines that include naming your LLC, hiring a Resident Agent, filing your Certificate of Formation, creating your LLC operating agreement, getting an employer identification number, opening a bank account and getting business licenses and permits.

Step 1: Name your LLC in Maine

After you have decided on the idea to form an LLC in Maine, deciding the name for your LLC is significant. There is a complete guide on LLC name guidelines for you to have a proper LLC business name. Here are some regulations you must follow while naming your LLC,

  • The name should not be confused with a government entity.
  • The name should be unique.
  • The name should be available to use.
  • Any other business does not use the name.
  • The new name must include “LLC” if it is a limited liability company.

In Maine, if you do not wish to file your LLC right away but want to hold the name that you have decided on, then you can reserve your LLC name for 120 days. You must file a name reservation application in Maine Secretary of State to keep the name.

Recommended: We recommend a professional service that can offer you unlimited name search, trademark and copyright registration at a reasonable price. We recommend using –

LegalZoom($0 + State Fees for LLC Formation)

You can register your business under a different legal name if your preferred name isn’t available. Once you have chosen a name, you can submit an application for filing Maine DBA (doing business as). In this manner, you can choose any name you desire for your business. A DBA allows a company to operate under the name of the person or entity who owns it. If you have decided to file for a DBA, you can file it in two methods, by mail and in person. However, before filing a DBA, you should know that you need to renew your DBA from up to Indefinite, which costs around $125 for Assumed Name filing and $40 for Fictitious Name filing.

Step 2: Hire a Resident Agent in Maine

Hiring a Resident Agent in Maine is a must since a Resident Agent is a person or business entity responsible for receiving important legal documents on behalf of your Maine LLC. Most states require you to designate a Resident Agent when forming your LLC.

The qualifications of a Resident Agent vary depending on the jurisdiction. Still, generally, a Resident Agent must meet the following criteria:

  • Availability: A Resident Agent must be available during regular business hours to receive and process legal documents and official correspondence.
  • Physical Address: A Resident Agent must have a physical street address within the state where the LLC is registered. This address, known as the registered office, cannot be a P.O. Box.
  • Residency or Authorization: For individuals serving as Resident Agent, they must be residents of the Maine where the LLC was formed. A business entity acting as a Resident Agent must be authorized to do business within that state.
  • Age: A Resident Agent must be at least 18 years old.
  • Good standing: A Resident Agent should not have any legal or financial issues that impede their ability to fulfill their duties.

Choosing a reliable and responsible Resident Agent is essential, as failure to receive and respond to legal documents can seriously affect your business. Some businesses use professional Resident Agent services to ensure compliance and proper handling of legal matters.

However, if you would like to have an easier process in filing the necessary documents, you can get Maine Resident Agent Services.

Step 3: File your Certificate of Formation in Maine

The Certificate of Formation for an LLC is an important document to start your limited liability company (LLC). Maine Certificate of Formation is a simple document that contains the business name and address as well as the name and address of the person who received lawsuits on behalf of the organization.

Here are the guidelines and specific requirements in filing your Certificate of Formation in Maine.

1. Obtain the Necessary Forms: Visit the Maine’s business filing office website, usually the Maine Secretary of State’s office, to download the required forms or file online.

2. Provide the Required Information: Fill in the necessary details in the form, which typically include:

  • The name of your LLC (must include an LLC designator such as “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” or “Limited Liability Company”)
  • The purpose of your LLC (a general statement or specific business activities)
  • The address of your LLC’s principal place of business
  • The name and address of your registered agent (the person or business entity responsible for receiving legal documents on behalf of your LLC)
  • The management structure of your LLC (member-managed or manager-managed)
  • The duration of your LLC, if not perpetual
  • The names and addresses of the LLC’s organizers or members

3. Sign and File the Form: Submit the completed form in the {state} state office, either by mail, in person, or online. You may mail it at Secretary of State, Division of Corporations, UCC and Commissions, 101 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0101.

4. Pay the Filing Fee: When you submit your Certificate of Formation, you’ll need to pay a filing fee of $175. Make sure to check and include the correct payment with your submission.

5. Receive Confirmation: After your Certificate of Formation have been filed and processed, you’ll receive a confirmation from Maine, typically a stamped and approved copy of the document or a Certificate of Formation.

Recommended: Filing formation papers is easy and hassle-free if you hire a professional service. We recommend using –

LegalZoom($0 + State Fee)

Once you have successfully filed your Certificate of Formation and it has been approved, your Maine LLC is officially formed. However, remember to complete additional steps, such as creating an Operating Agreement, obtaining an EIN, and registering for any required licenses and permits.

Step 4: Create Your Maine Operating Agreement

An operating agreement is a document that contains all of your company’s organizational details. Drafting an operating agreement in most states is not required. Yet, having one as an internal document is strongly advised. An operating agreement includes information like-

  • About Business
  • Members and management
  • Capital contribution
  • Profit Distribution
  • Change of membership
  • Dissolution

To understand how an operating agreement works, you should check out how to create an operating agreement in Maine.

Recommended: Get oprating agreement drafts ready on your table with a help of a professional service. We recommend using –

LegalZoom($0 + State Fee for LLC formation)

Step 5: Get an EIN

After documenting the operating agreement, you should get or request an Employer Identification Number (EIN) in Maine. An EIN will serve as the tax ID for your professional corporation. EIN can be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It is a 9-digit number similar to Social Security Number. EIN, however, is distinct from SSN. It is only used for business-related activities, particularly for submitting general taxes. The form must be completed and uploaded to the IRS website.

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.

In obtaining an EIN for your LLC, you should be aware to ensure that your LLC is eligible for an EIN. You need an EIN if you have employees, operate as a corporation or partnership, or meet other specific IRS criteria. Before applying, gather the required information, including your LLC’s name, mailing address, and the responsible party’s Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Also, you can apply for an EIN through various methods, including online, by fax, mail, or telephone (for international applicants).

Recommended: Professional services have the EIN included in their LLC formation package. We recommend using –

LegalZoom($0 + State Fee for LLC formation)

Step 6: Open a Bank Account and Prepare for Taxes

After you have filed for and received your Employer Identification Number, you should open a bank account because you will use this account for yourself, your clients, and your employees.

Your business dealings in Maine might be simpler with a US business bank account because it boosts your company’s legitimacy and liquidity. Most banks demand an EIN to create a business bank account for firms other than sole proprietorships. Also, having an EIN makes tax preparation easier. You can anticipate paying employment and corporate taxes with Maine LLC.

Opening a bank account is necessary for Maine business. If you are still wondering where to open an account in your Maine, you should check the Best Bank for Small Business in Maine.

Step 7: Get a Business and License Permit

You must get a business license in Maine before establishing your LLC. A business license is a legal document granted by a state government body that permits you to conduct business within the area under its jurisdiction. The price of business licenses and permits in Maine ranges from $50 – $300. If there is a requirement for a specific license or city-based permit, you must inquire with the Maine Secretary of State.

Cost to Form an LLC in Maine

Even if you have a business name and structure in mind, you should consider whether you can afford the costs of forming an LLC in Maine. Certificate of Formation costs around $175. The initial filing fee is $175, and the annual fee is $85.

If you forget to pay the annual fee for your Maine LLC, you will have a penalty of $50. However, you can check the Maine LLC Cost for additional information.

Advantages of Creating Maine LLC

Even though some people decide on what to do with their businesses, some choose to put it in their own individual name, while others still choose to set it up via LLC in Maine. Important benefits will help you set up an LLC in Maine.

  • Pass-Through Taxation: The pass-through structure will make the company not pay twice the tax. Most start-ups and entrepreneurs in Maine apply for an LLC because of this structure. Pass-through taxation refers to how income and losses from an LLC (Limited Liability Company) are passed through to its members (owners) for tax purposes rather than being taxed at the business entity level. This means the LLC does not pay federal income taxes; the members’ profits and losses are allocated based on their interests. Each member then reports their share of the LLC’s income or losses on their personal tax returns and pays taxes at their individual tax rates.
  • Ownership Flexibility: If you need sole and primary control over your company’s operations, a sole proprietorship will allow you to do so. If you apply for an LLC in Maine with flexibility, you will have default rules set by law and need an operating agreement.
  • Personal Liability Protection: Personal Liability Protection protects your business from damage, debts, or legal obligations. In personal liability protection, the company’s profits and earnings will stay as is even if your company is about to be sued. This protection of having an LLC in Maine can also be extended to the company’s properties and assets. Many start-up companies will benefit from this since most are starting to build a company. Even if liability exists, the LLC in Maine will protect its assets.


What is an LLC in Maine?
An LLC in Maine is a limited liability company, which protects the members of the company from being held personally liable for the company’s debts.
How do I form an LLC in Maine?
To form an LLC in Maine, you must file Articles of Organization with the Maine Secretary of State and pay a filing fee.
How much does it cost to form an LLC in Maine?
The filing fee to form an LLC in Maine is $175.
Can I form an LLC online in Maine?
Yes, you can form an LLC online in Maine through the Maine Secretary of State’s website.
How long does it take to form an LLC in Maine?
It usually takes about 7-10 business days to form an LLC in Maine.
Do I need to have an EIN for my Maine LLC?
If your LLC has one or more employees, or if you file certain tax returns, you will likely need an EIN for your Maine LLC.
How do I get an EIN for my Maine LLC?
You can apply for an EIN for your Maine LLC through the IRS website.
What taxes do I need to pay as an LLC in Maine?
LLCs in Maine generally need to pay state and federal income tax, and may also need to pay sales tax, employment tax, and other taxes.
How do I file Maine state taxes as an LLC?
You will likely need to file a Maine corporate income tax return as an LLC, in addition to any other state taxes that apply.
Can I be the only member of an LLC in Maine?
Yes, a Maine LLC can have only one member – this is called a single-member LLC.
Do I need an operating agreement for my Maine LLC?
Although Maine does not require LLCs to have an operating agreement, it is highly recommended to have one to establish the rules and regulations of the LLC.
What is a registered agent in Maine?
A registered agent is a person or entity who is designated to receive legal documents and other important information on behalf of the LLC.
Do I need a registered agent for my Maine LLC?
Yes, Maine requires all LLCs to have a registered agent who is located in the state of Maine.
Can I be my own registered agent for my Maine LLC?
Yes, you can be your own registered agent in Maine, as long as you have a physical street address in the state.
What is the annual report for an LLC in Maine?
The annual report is a document submitted to the Maine Secretary of State each year that confirms the LLC’s continued existence and provides basic contact information.
When do I need to file an annual report for my Maine LLC?
Maine LLCs must file an annual report online by June 1st of every year.
Do I need to pay any fees for annual report filing in Maine?
Yes, there is a $85 annual filing fee for Maine LLCs.
How can I dissolve my Maine LLC?
You can dissolve your Maine LLC by filing paperwork with the Maine Secretary of State and paying a $60 filing fee.
Can I change the name of my Maine LLC?
Yes, you can change the name of your Maine LLC by filing a Certificate of Amendment of Articles of Organization with the Maine Secretary of State.
Can I transfer ownership of my Maine LLC?
Yes, but the legal process of transferring ownership of an LLC in Maine may vary, and it is best to seek the advice of an attorney.
How do I know if a name is available for my Maine LLC?
You can search the Maine Secretary of State’s website to see if a name is available for your Maine LLC.
How do I renew my Maine LLC each year?
You can renew your Maine LLC each year by filing an annual report and paying the $85 filing fee.
What specific taxes am I liable for?
As an LLC in Maine, you will be liable for state and federal income tax, and may also be liable for other taxes, such as sales tax and employment taxes.
When is the filing deadline for Maine rental returns?
Maine rental returns are due by April 15th each year.
Is a Maine LLC treated as a separate taxable entity?
Not typically. By default, an LLC in Maine is considered a pass-through entity, meaning that the LLC’s income is reported on the member’s individual tax returns.
Can out-of-state businesses form an LLC in Maine?
Yes, businesses from any state can form an LLC in Maine.
Can a foreign LLC conduct business in Maine?
Yes, a foreign LLC can conduct business in Maine, but must register with the Maine Secretary of State.
Do I need a lawyer to form an LLC in Maine?
It is not required to have a lawyer to form an LLC in Maine, but it may be helpful to have one review your Articles of Incorporation and other important documents.
What does LLC stand for?
LLC stands for Limited Liability Company.
Is a business license required to start an LLC in Maine?
Yes, a business license is required to start an LLC in Maine.
What are the name requirements for an LLC in Maine?
The name of the LLC must include one of the following words or abbreviations
Should I hire an attorney to set up my LLC in Maine?
It is not required by law to hire an attorney to set up an LLC in Maine, however, it might be helpful to consult with one to ensure that your paperwork is correct.
Can I form an LLC in Maine if I’m not a resident?
Yes, anyone can form an LLC in Maine, regardless of where they live.
What type of business activities can an LLC do in Maine?
An LLC can engage in any lawful business activities in Maine.
What is the procedure for forming an LLC in Maine?
To form an LLC in Maine, you have to file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State.
Can I register my LLC name before the submission of Articles Of Organization in Maine?
No, you cannot register the name of your LLC before the submission of Articles of Organization in Maine.
What are the publication requirements for an LLC in Maine?
Maine does not have any publication requirements for an LLC.
Does Maine offer a combined business registration?
Yes, Maine offers a combined business registration for LLCs that include registration requirements for taxes instead of getting them from multiple state agencies.
Where do I file my LLC paperwork in Maine?
You need to file your LLC paperwork in Maine with the Secretary of State.
What is an LLC operating agreement?
An LLC operating agreement is a legal document that outlines how a company will be run.
Is an operating agreement required for LLCs in Maine?
No, an LLC operating agreement is not required in Maine, but it is highly recommended.
Is it possible to register my LLC name through a DBA in Maine?
Yes, it is possible to register your LLC name through a DBA in Maine as long as you follow the guidelines.
Can I form an LLC on my own in Maine?
Yes, you can form an LLC on your own in Maine.
What is the filing fee for registering a DBA in Maine?
The filing fee for registering a DBA in Maine is $50.
What is the name reservation process in Maine?
Maine does not offer a name reservation or name availability check process.
Are there annual report requirements for LLCs in Maine?
Yes, annually LLCs in Maine must file Annual Reports with the Secretary of State as required.
When is an Annual Report due for LLCs in Maine?
Annual Reports for LLCs in Maine are due by June 1st of each year.
Can I apply for a City Based Business License in Maine?
Yes, but the requirements and conditions will vary according to state districts in trying to obtain a city business license.
How will I get notified about the status of my LLC applications in Maine?
Maine corroborates via email, upon receipt and acceptance/denial of documents throughout the LLC filing process.
What is the penalty for failure to submit the Maine LLC Annual Report on time?
Failure to file the Maine LLC Annual Report gets penalty to file within 60 unless paying any appropriate financial fees.
Is there a publication oversight for an LLC in Maine?
No, there is no publication oversight requirements in while forming an LLC in Maine.
Are foreign entities required to qualify for operating in Maine?
Foreign entities are obligated to individually establishe their business qualification to operate in Maine.
Can an LLC purchase real estate in Maine?
An LLC can purchase any real estate property or assets under an LLC name.
Is there any processing time for documents related to LLC in Maine?
Usually, the filing time for LLC documents takes 3-5 business days.
Can employees of an LLC file papers on behalf of the LLC?
As per Maine Corporations and Charities Division law only employers can act on behalf of an LLC formed in Maine.

Also Read

How Fast Can I Form an LLC in Maine

The time it takes to form an LLC in Maine can vary depending on several factors. Typically, the process can be completed in a matter of weeks, but there are steps that must be followed in order to ensure a smooth and timely formation. One of the most important steps in the process is choosing a unique name for your LLC that complies with Maine’s naming requirements. The name of your LLC must be distinguishable from the names of existing businesses in the state, so it is important to conduct a thorough search to ensure that your desired name is available.

Once you have selected a name for your LLC, you will need to file Articles of Organization with the Maine Secretary of State. This can typically be done online or by mail, and the filing fee must be paid at the time of submission. The Articles of Organization will outline important details about your LLC, such as its name, address, registered agent, and the names of its members.

After the Articles of Organization have been filed and approved, you will need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. This number is required for tax purposes and is necessary for opening a business bank account and hiring employees. You can apply for an EIN online through the IRS website, and the process is generally quick and straightforward.

Once you have completed these steps, you will need to draft an operating agreement for your LLC. While not required by the state of Maine, an operating agreement is essential for outlining the ownership and management structure of the company, as well as the rights and responsibilities of its members. Having a clear and comprehensive operating agreement in place can help prevent disputes among members and ensure that the business operates smoothly.

Overall, the process of forming an LLC in Maine can be completed relatively quickly and efficiently, especially if you have a clear understanding of the steps involved and are diligent in following them. By taking the time to carefully choose a name, file the necessary paperwork, obtain an EIN, and draft an operating agreement, you can streamline the process and get your LLC up and running as soon as possible. In doing so, you can focus on growing your business and achieving your entrepreneurial goals without unnecessary delays or complications.


In conclusion, starting an LLC in Maine is a strategic choice for entrepreneurs seeking a flexible, straightforward business structure with limited liability protection. By following the essential steps, including choosing a business name, filing Certificate of Formation, appointing a Resident Agent, creating an Operating Agreement, obtaining an EIN, and securing the necessary licenses and permits, you can successfully establish your LLC. This business structure offers numerous advantages, such as pass-through taxation and ownership flexibility, making it an attractive option for small business owners looking to grow and protect their ventures. As always, consult legal and business professionals for guidance specific to your situation and state requirements.

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