How to Form an LLC in Maine

This guide for starting an LLC Maine offers step-by–step instructions for filing forms, obtaining tax IDs, setting up company records, and obtaining tax IDs.

Overview

The most widely used business structure is the LLC. They are cheap to create, allow for flexibility, and are easy-to-run. Legally forming an LLC establishes your company, reduces personal liability, and allows for tax flexibility. This guide will walk you through the process step by step.

Step-by–Step Maine LLC Instructions

  1. Verify Name Availability

    Your LLC’s legal name must not conflict with any other registered names. Do a name search to find the availability of your preferred name.

    Name Search Maine Secretary of state – Bureau of Corporations, Elections, and Commissions

    Name search

    Name Reservation Optional
    Suffix: Must contain the words “limited-liability company” or “limited firm” or the abbreviation L.L.C.,” L.L.C.,” L.C.” Or “LC” and, in case of a low-profit, “L.L.C.,” or “LLC,” unless the limited company is filing an assumed title under section 15,10, or registering a name for a foreign, limited liability business under section 15.11. The abbreviations for “limited” and “company” are “Ltd.” or “Co.”

    31 RSA §1508

  2. Register an Agent

    Before you file to establish your Maine LLC, you must decide who your Maine registered agents will be. Register agents are the business’s legal representative to receive legal notices, such as government or lawsuit notices.

    Each LLC must be registered by an agent under state law. You must designate the registered agent when you file Maine articles of association with the Maine Secretary of State- Bureau of Corporations, Elections, and Commissions.

  3. Maine Certificate of Formation

    For limited liability companies, you will need to file the articles.

    Agency: Maine Secretary of state – Bureau of Corporations, Elections, and Commissions
    Form:
    Form MLC-6: Certificate Of Formation
    Instructions:
    Rules for Limited Liability Companies
    Filing Method Mail or in-person
    Agency Fee $175 + optional $50–100 expedite fees
    Turnaround: ~14 business days. $50 expedite fees within 24 hours For $100 expedite fee, pay immediately
    Law:
    Maine Revised Statues- Title 31, Chapter 21, Limited Liability Companies
    Notes: Send the mail-in form with your contact information. Original inked signatures must be provided.
  4. Establish Company Records

    Your LLC must keep accurate and complete books. Your LLC’s initial documents are your filed articles. The LLC will also produce many other official records, such as:

    • Minutes from meetings
    • Operating agreement
    • EIN verification letter
    • Amendments to and other filings to the LLC during its lifetime
  5. The Operating Agreement should be created

    The Operating Agreement, which is the governing document for your LLC, can be drawn (or used as a template). It outlines the procedures of how the LLC will be run, including holding an annual meeting. At your organizational meeting, you will review the agreement and vote on it.

  6. The Organizational Meeting will be held

    The organizational meeting is the first meeting for members of an LLC. This meeting will require your operating agreement as well as your filed articles. Keep the minutes of the meeting in your company record book.

  7. Receive a Federal Employer Identification Number, (EIN).

    EINs are required for LLCs that have more than one member and those who hire employees. EINs are often required in order to open a bank account.

    Agency: Internal Revenue Service
    Form:
    IRS Form HTML4
    Filing Method Mail, phone, fax, online.
    IRS fee $0
    Turnaround: You can order online immediately or by telephone. 4 business days by fax. 4-5 weeks by post
    Notes: The IRS website is not available after hours. Before you close your session, print your EIN. For more information, please refer to IRS Public 1635: Understanding your EIN.
  8. Maine State Tax Identification Numbers/Accounts

    To register for income tax withholding or unemployment compensation tax, sales tax, use tax, service tax, provider tax, motor fuels taxes, and other business tax registrations, submit one single application

    Send to:
    Maine Revenue Services

    http://www.maine.gov/revenue/

    Form:

    Maine Tax Registration
    Fee:
    $0
    Filing Method
    Mail or online
    Notes:
    Registering requires your EIN.
  9. Consider Electing C-Corp Taxation / S-Corp Governance

    Your LLC is subject to pass-through taxes by default. Most LLCs retain this tax classification. Some LLCs may be eligible for C-Corp or S-Corp tax treatment.

    • S-Corp can be used to help owners who earn more that 75,000 annually save on self-employment tax.
    • C-Corps are subject to double taxation. The corporation pays taxes on profits, and members pay taxes for distributions. C-Corps may offer low tax rates for retained earnings if profits exceed $250,000 per owner.
  10. Apply for Business Licenses & Permits

    Licenses and permits are required to legally run your business. You can search for your type of business and the location you live in using the Small Business Administration Business License & Permit Look-up Tool. This will allow you to quickly navigate through the many federal, state, local, and international requirements.

    Maine Business License

    NOT REQUIRED

    Maine does not require general business licensure.

    Maine does not have a state-level general business license. However, local licenses are sometimes required.

  11. For your LLC, you will need to continue filings

    You must file tax returns for both the federal and the state governments.

    In many states, business entities must file an annual reporting to keep good standing with their secretary of state. For LLCs that were formed in Maine, see the table below to find out if an annual report is required.

    Domestic Maine Corporation Annual Report Required:

    Agency: Maine Secretary of state – Bureau of Corporations, Elections, and Commissions
    Form:
    You can use your charter number for a Preprinted Report form.
    Filing Method Mail or Online.
    Agency Fee $85
    Due: Every year by June 1.
    Law:
    Maine Revised Statutes Title 13C SS1621.
    Penalties: Late Fee $50
    Notes:
    • Anyone who has authority may file.
    • Paper filings require original signatures.
Note: To form an LLC in your state, you can do the filing paperwork yourself or hire an LLC formation service. The average state filing fee to form an LLC in the U.S. is around $100, but this varies by state.
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