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How to Form a Maine LLC: The Many Benefits of Doing Business in Maine
There are many requirements that go into getting your Maine LLC up and running, many of which can be overwhelming for new business owners.
However, with the right support, you’ll be able to successfully form your Maine LLC so you can start doing business as a limited liability company. Below you will find an overview of each step in the state of Maine:
What is a Limited Liability Company (LLC)?
Operating your business as a limited liability company opens your business up to the many benefits offered by the LLC business structure. When you do business as a limited liability company, you are able to obtain specific licenses and permits, you are able to open up a business bank account, and perhaps most importantly, LLC business entities protect the business owner’s personal finances.
After you form a limited liability company, your personal assets are kept separately from the business assets. This means that in the case of debts or lawsuits against your LLC in Maine, your bank accounts, vehicles, or properties cannot be sought after.
The LLC formation process can be lengthy, and some of the formation documents can seem complicated. However, with the right support, you can have your Maine limited liability company up and running in no time.
Contact the professionals at LLC Formations so we can help you get started.
The Maine LLC formation process has nine easy steps:
1. Choose a name and complete an LLC name search
2. Select a registered agent
3. Obtain a Certificate of Formation
4. Create an LLC Operating Agreement
5. Obtain an EIN
6. Open a business bank account
7. Complete an Annual Report
8. Obtain a business license
9. File your LLC taxes
1. Choose a Name for Your Maine LLC
When choosing a name for your LLC in Maine, there are a few important things to consider. You’ll want to make sure that your business name is creative and unique so your LLC name will be approved. You should also make sure that the domain name of your LLC is available so your business can have an online presence.
Before you form your LLC, step 1 is to make sure that your name is available before you continue with the LLC formation process. You can check the name availability by conducting an LLC name search.
Conduct an LLC Name Search
Before you legally form an LLC, you need to conduct a name search to ensure there is not another LLC in Maine with the same business name. This will save you time and money because if you file for your LLC and get denied due to the name not being available, then you will have to pay the LLC filing fee again if you want to start an LLC with a new name.
You can conduct the business name search through the Maine Secretary of State website. The Main Secretary of State search tool allows you to see other names that may be similar to the business name you’ve chosen. After seeing if your ideal business name is available, you can continue moving forward with the LLC formation process for your LLC in Maine.
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2. Choose a Registered Agent for Your Maine LLC
You have four options when choosing a registered agent:
- You select yourself as the LLC’s registered agent.
- You select your LLC as its own registered agent.
- You select a family member or friend to be your LLC’s registered agent.
- You hire a commercial registered agent.
Who Can Be a Registered Agent?
Your registered agent must be over the age of 18, and your registered agent must also have a valid address in Maine. This address will serve as the official office address on record with the State of Maine for your Maine LLC. All relevant mail will be sent to the listed address of your registered agent or registered agent service.
Since all of your important mail will be sent to your agent, it’s important to choose somebody who is reliable. If you don’t respond to important mail in a timely manner, your LLC could be dissolved or you could even be in legal trouble.
What are the Benefits of Using a Registered Agent Service?
There are many benefits that come with using a registered agent service to handle matters for your LLC in Maine. If you don’t have access to a Maine street address because you live in another state, then a registered agent service can provide you with a street address so you can open up a business in the state of Maine.
Additionally, all of the registered agent’s information is public record, so business owners who prefer privacy would benefit from hiring a registered agent service. If you are ever served a lawsuit, you will be served at the official address. To avoid the potential embarrassment of being served in front of customers or coworkers, many business owners choose to hire a registered agent service so they can be kept separately from the Maine LLC.
Consider using an organization that specializes in business formations as your registered agent. If you need help with choosing a registered agent or service, contact the professionals at LLC Formations so we can help you get your business up and running.
3. File the Certificate of Formation
Once you have entered your registered agent’s information, your next step is to file the Certificate of Formation with the Maine Secretary of State. The Certificate of Formation gets submitted to the Maine Secretary of State in order to legally form your LLC.
The Certificate of Formation can be filed with the Maine Secretary of State either online or by mail. You’ll need to download form MLLC-6 from the Maine Secretary of State website and pay a filing fee by check or money order if filing by mail.
If you have questions about any part of this process, reach out to an LLC Formations representative so we can help you step by step.
- Enter your chosen LLC name. The name should end with the designations outlined on the form. An LLC cannot have a name that represents another type of entity such as a corporation, Corp, or Inc.
- Enter the date of filing and specify your filing date. Chose “Date of this filing” or chose a specific date by choosing “Later Effective Date.”
- Designate the type of LLC to organize.
- List the LLC name and address.
- Include a statement of general-purpose. This means that the business owner must indicate whether the LLC is operating a business or holding assets.
- Include the names and addresses of each member. If you are the sole owner of the LLC, you have a single-member LLC. If you co-own the LLC, you have a multi-member LLC. This means everyone who owns a percentage of the company is listed in the document.
- Include the name and address of your LLC’s registered agent or service.
- Name the procedures of buying out existing members.
- Explain how a member’s shares will be divided if they die or leave the company.
- List procedures for any new member to buy into the LLC.
- List the duration of your LLC. If you plan on the LLC operating for a long time, choose “perpetual.” If you have an end date in mind, include the date.
- Enter the name of your Maine LLC. It should be an exact match to the name on page one.
- Write in “Certificate of Formation” as the type of state filing.
- Special Handling: Choose which type of processing you would like for your LLC formation.
Processing Times for Maine LLCs
You can choose how quickly you’d like your Maine LLC to be approved. There are a few different processing times to choose from:
- 5 – 10 business days: ($175)
- 24 Hour processing: ($225)
- 1-hour processing: ($275)
After you complete your Certificate of Formation, you can send all of your information by mail. Be sure to include your state filing fee with your documents. You can pay the filing fee by check or money order if filing by mail. If you file online, you can pay by credit card.
Types of LLCs
You can choose between two different types of LLC designations when you form an LLC in Maine. You can choose the designation as low-profit LLC, or you can designate your Maine LLC as a professional LLC.
A low-profit LLC makes a limited profit and is purposed for charitable causes. See statute 31 for more information about low-profit LLCs. A professional LLC in Maine is for general business operations with normal profits. See Statute 13 MRSA Chapter for more information.
Mailing Address for Your Maine LLC’s Certificate of Formation
Secretary of State
Division of Corporations, UCC and Commissions
101 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0101
Once your filing has been approved by the Maine Secretary of State Office, you will receive a certified copy of your Certificate of Formation for your Maine LLC from the Division of Corporations.
You have the option to hire a firm to complete and file your Certificate of Formation for you, which can save you a lot of time and energy that can instead be invested in your business. If you need help with filing the Certificate of Formation for your LLC in Maine, contact the team at LLC Formations so we can help you with this part of forming an LLC.
4. Create an LLC Operating Agreement for Your LLC in Maine
Every new business should have an LLC Operating Agreement. Having an Operating Agreement is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended when forming an LLC. A Maine LLC Operating Agreement outlines how your Maine LLC will run. It will also state who the managing members are, and it describes the directions and expectations for how each member will contribute to the Maine LLC.
The Operating Agreement is instrumental in helping to resolve disputes that may arise in the future. Your Operating Agreement should address how disputes will be settled, voting rights, and how the value of the business is shared among the members of the LLC is ever dissolved.
Your Operating Agreement should be kept in a safe place along with your Certificate of Formation. Although you don’t need an Operating Agreement, it can only benefit your business to have one. If you need help with drafting your Operating Agreement, contact the professionals at LLC Formations so we can help you keep your business organized and protected.
5. Obtain an EIN Number for Your Maine LLC
Once your LLC is approved, your next step is getting an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Your Employer Identification Number is like your LLC’s Social Security Number (SSN). It identifies your LLC for tax and filing purposes. You can also use the EIN to conduct other types of business transactions. For example, with an EIN, you can open a business bank account and obtain a line of business credit.
Use your EIN to:
- Hire employees
- File local, state, and federal taxes
- Handle employee payroll
You can apply for the Employee Identification Number through the IRS. The IRS uses the EIN to measure your federal tax obligation based on the money you earn through your Maine business.
The EIN may be referred to by various other titles, such as Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), Federal Employee Identification Number (FEIN), or Federal Tax Number. No matter what name it’s called, it serves the same purpose and will be a requirement if you wish to pursue a financial footprint with your Maine LLC.
If you need help with registering for an EIN, contact the professionals at LLC Formations.
6. Open a Bank Account for Your Maine LLC
When starting an LLC, it’s important for you to keep your business finances separate from your personal finances. In order to do this, LLCs should open up a company bank account with the bank for their Maine business.
Having a business account allows business owners to handle many important aspects of running an LLC, such as hiring company employees and being able to obtain a business credit card.
Each bank may have different requirements of what is needed in order for you to open a business account. Some banks may require the forms to be filled out by every member of the LLC, whereas some just require the company owner.
If you need help with choosing the best bank for your Maine LLC, contact the team at LLC Formations so we can provide you with the information about which bank is right for your business.
7. File an Annual Report for Your Maine LLC
Now that your LLC is filed and ready to operate, you must renew your registration on a yearly basis by filing a Maine LLC annual report. The Maine annual report filing renews your LLC status for another 12 months in the state of Maine.
Annual reports are expected to be filed by June 1 of each calendar year. If you’ve filed a new LLC, your annual report will be due on the following year by June 1st. If you file after this date, you can expect to be charged a late fee of $50 plus the normal $85 state filing fee. If you have not filed by August 15th, the State of Maine will administratively dissolve your LLC, so be sure that your filings are submitted on time.
The annual report may be filed by mail or online. We recommend that you file the report online for faster processing. You will receive immediate approval of your filing if done online, whereas you may have to wait a few business days if you choose to handle your filings by mail. The filing fees can be paid by card when you file online. Otherwise, you can pay by check or money order.
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8. Obtain Business Licenses for Your Maine LLC
A mistake many new business owners make is not having the proper business licenses for their new business. When you form an LLC, you sometimes need to worry about more than filing fees and deadlines. You must review the business license requirements for the municipality you will operate in and ensure you’ve secured the correct licenses to run your organization or you could be fined or shut down.
Here are some examples to consider when starting an LLC:
- City business licenses/tax permits
- Building permit
- Health permit
- Occupational permit
- Signage permit
- Alarm permit
- Zoning permit
- Alcohol & tobacco permit
- Liquor license
- Sales and use tax permit
- Seller/reseller permit
Check this guide for information on business licenses when forming an LLC in Maine.
9. Understand Tax Requirements for Your LLC in Maine
Taxes are very important to consider when you form an LLC in the state of Maine. Each city and state has varying tax rules. You must research the tax rules for your business and locations so your company can be in compliance.
When you form an LLC, you have to be aware of which taxes you’ll be responsible for or you could owe a lot of money in additional fees. Contact the professionals at LLC Formations so we can help you determine which taxes your LLC will need to be prepared to pay.
How Can LLC Formations Help You?
Filing for an LLC in Maine can take a lot of time, but the effort is worth it when you consider the many benefits offered to you. Although the process can be time-consuming, if you go step by step, you can have your business up and running in no time.
If you’re looking to do business in the state of Maine, it’s a wise decision to register your business as an LLC. Contact the professionals at LLC Formations so we can help you get your business started. We’ll handle all of the paperwork so you can focus on what really matters—growing your business.
Our next guide focuses on the process of beginning an LLC in Maryland.