Maine LLC Formation Guide

A Maine limited liability company (or LLC) is a legal entity that provides a flexible management structure, simplified taxes, and personal asset protection. You will need to choose a name for your LLC, appoint a registered representative, and file a Certificate of Form with the Secretary of state’s Division of Corporations. Maine is not up-to-date so they won’t accept any filings in person or by mail. Standard processing requires a $175 filing fee. Daunted? Don’t be afraid. This handy guide will help you get your Maine LLC formed.

1. Name Your LLC

You may have a business name in mind, but you must comply with 31 ME Rev. Stat. Stat.

  • Be unique among business names in Maine.
  • You can use “limited liability company,” “limited company”, or the abbreviation L.L.C., “LLC,” or “L.C.”
  • Avoid using abbreviations or words that could make it sound like another type of entity such as “corp” or “limited partnership”.

Is it possible to reserve a Maine business name?

Absolutely. You can still reserve your LLC name for 120 days if you are not yet ready. To do this, file the Application to Reservation of Name with Secretary of State. All Maine business forms must be sent by mail or delivered in person at the Augusta office.

What is the difference between my LLC’s title and a DBA name?

The legal name of your LLC is listed on your Certificate of Formation. Any other name that your LLC uses to conduct business is called a Doing Business As (DBA). Sometimes referred to as a trade name or fictitious name of a business, a DBA can also be called an assumed name.

Your LLC could be registered under Jane Johnson, LLC, and do business under Jane’s Blue Eyed Pies.

Maine requires LLCs in order to register DBAs with the Secretary of State. A Statement of Intention To Transact Business under an Assumed Or Fictitious Name will need to be completed and filed. Your total cost for registering your DBA is $125. This can be paid to the Secretary by mail or in person. While that may seem a bit steep, it’s important that-registering your DBA prevents another business from using the name, which is required by law.

2. Designate a registered agent

Next, you will need to appoint an agent registered for your LLC. A registered agent is the person or company that receives important legal mail on your behalf. All LLCs in Maine must have a registered agent. Before you can fill out your Certificate, you will need the name and address of your registered agent.

What is a registered agent?

5 ME Rev. outlines the requirements for Maine registered agents. Stat. Stat. The registered agent must:

  • You must have a physical address in Maine (no PO boxes, virtual offices).
  • Maintain regular business hours (9am-5pm).
  • Accept legal mail from Maine’s Division of Corporations for your business. Get them to you quickly.

Are you able to be your own registered agent for Maine?

Yes, you can. But do you really want to? Your name, address, as well as other private information, will be made public by you acting as your own registered agent. This can open you up to unwanted sales calls, spam mail, junk mail, or email. You’ll also need to maintain regular, nine-to five business hours at your registered office, which may not be convenient for your busy business schedule.

3. Submit Certificate of Formation for LLC

File the articles of organization to create your limited liability company.

Agency: Maine Secretary of State – Bureau of Corporations, Elections, and Commissions 
Form: Form MLLC-6: Certificate of Formation
Instructions: Rules for Limited Liability Companies
Filing Method: Mail or in-person
Agency Fee: $175 + optional $50-100 expedite fee
Turnaround: ~14 business days. ~24 hours for $50 expedite fee. Immediately for $100 expedite fee.
Law: Maine Revised Statues – Title 31, Chapter 21: Limited Liability Companies
Notes: When filing by mail, include the filer contact cover form. Original inked signatures are required.

Maine’s Certificate Of Formation is required to officially create your LLC. You will also need to attach a Customer Contact Cover Letter to your Certificate. It requires basic information about the LLC’s contact details. Once both forms have been completed, mail or hand deliver them along with the $175 filing fee to Maine’s Secretary Of State.

Notice: All information contained in this form will be made public.

The following information will be required to complete the form:

  • Company name. An indicator such as “LLC” is required for your company name.
  • Filing date. This is the date your LLC will begin. The majority of LLCs choose “date of filing” to initiate their business immediately. However, you can also choose a date that is up to 90 days away.
  • Low-profit LLC. To form a low profit LLC (an LLC that has a charitable or educational purpose), check the box. Hint: Most LLCs skip.
  • Professional LLC. To form a professional LLC, check the box and indicate the type of services you will provide. The majority of LLCs are not professional LLCs.
  • Registered agent. Person or entity who will accept legal mail on behalf your LLC. Please indicate whether your registered agent is commercial (like we) or noncommercial (“like Jean”)
  • Maine authorized person. This is the person, or entity, who signs and submits Certificate of Formation. This can be anyone outside your LLC.

What can I do to keep my personal data from being made public?

A registered agent is your best option. You can list all names, addresses and phone numbers on this form online. However, any registered agent who is worth their salt will include as much information as they can on the Certificate.

A registered agent is required for every Maine LLC. A registered agent will accept all your important legal mail. However, a good one will keep you private information out of public records by listing your business address wherever they can on the form. Hiring a registered agent, such as us, is the best way to protect your privacy when you form an LLC in these highly public times.

What is the average time it takes to create a Maine LLC

Standard processing can take between 10 and 15 business days. You can request a faster processing time for your LLC by paying an additional $50 or $100 to have your filing processed on-the-spot by the state (if staffing is available).

You will need to add time for mailing your forms if you send them via the postal service.

4. Create an LLC Operating Agreement

Operating agreements are legal documents that outline in writing the rules and structure of an LLC. Operating agreements are legal documents that define the rules and structure of an LLC. Members can refer to them in case of miscommunication or confusion. Your operating agreement is more important than the Certificate of Formation.

Is it necessary for Maine to have an LLC in order to have an operating contract?

Maine law requires that your LLC has an operating agreement. ME Rev. Stat. Stat.

While you can technically agree to an operating agreement just by discussing it, it is essential that your LLC has a written operating agreement . If members of the LLC get into a dispute, an oral agreement won’t suffice. You must also comply with Maine’s default LLC statutes if you fail to do so. Your operating agreement is an internal document and you don’t need to file it with the state. You should make sure to keep your operating agreement safe and filed with any other important LLC documents.

Is an operating agreement required for a single-member LLC?

Yes. You probably know what you want to do with your LLC so you might be thinking, “Why would I need an operation agreement just to agree?”. An operating agreement is required for opening a bank account for your LLC in Maine. A separate bank account allows you to limit your LLC’s liability.

5. Register for an EIN

After you have filed all paperwork with the state it is time to apply for your Employment Identification Number (EIN). It’s like a social security number for you business. Online applications with the IRS are the best way to obtain an EIN. You will need to apply in writing if you don’t have your social security number.

6. Register for a Bank Account

Why would you open a bank account for your business only? You could lose your liability protections if your personal and business finances are mixed. Separation is crucial to the integrity of your LLC. A dedicated bank account that bears your LLC’s name will make you look more professional.

You will need the following documents to open a bank account in Maine for your Maine LLC:

  • Maine LLC Certificate of Formation (a copy is acceptable)
  • Operating agreement for the LLC
  • The EIN of the LLC
  • An LLC Resolution to Open A Bank Account (if more than one member of your LLC).