Maine LLC Formation Guide

This guide will help you set up an LLC in Maine. It includes step-by-step instructions for obtaining tax IDs and filing documents.

Overview

Because they are affordable to set up, offer flexibility for the owners and are simple to manage, LLCs are the most preferred business structure. Your LLC legalizes your business and limits your personal liability. It also allows you to have tax flexibility. As you go through this process, the following steps will guide you.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Maine LLC

  1. Check Name Availability

    Your LLC’s legal name may not be in conflict with any registered name. You can search for the name you want to check availability.

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

    Name Search

    Name Reservation: Optional
    Suffix: It must contain the words “limited liability corporation” or “limited company”, or the abbreviation L.L.C., “LLC,” or “L.C.” or “LC” (or, in the instance of a low profit limited liability company, “LLC,” “L.C.”). Unless the limited liability firm is filing an assumed company name under section 1501, or a registration for a foreign limited liability corporation under section 1511, the company must contain the words “limited liability company” or “limited company” The term “limited” can be abbreviated to “Ltd.” and “company” could be abbreviated to “Co.”

    31 MRSA

  2. Designate a registered agent

    Before you can file to officially create your Maine LLC, it is necessary to choose who your Maine registered agent will actually be. A registered agent is the legal representative of a business that receives notices about lawsuits and other legal notices.

    Every LLC must have a registered agent as required by state law. When you file Maine articles of incorporation with the Maine Secretary of State – Bureau of Corporations, Elections, and Commissions, the registered agent will be designated.

  3. Maine Certificate of Formation

    To create a limited liability company, file the articles of organization

    Agency: Maine Secretary of State – Bureau of Corporations, Elections, and Commissions
    Form:
    Form: Certificate of Formation
    Instructions:
    Limited Liability Companies
    Filing Method Mail or in person
    Agency Fee: $175 + $50-100 optional expedite fee
    Turnaround: ~14 business days. $50 expedite fee within 24 hours Instantly for $100 expedite fees
    Law:
    Maine Revised Statues Title 31, Chapter 21 Limited Liability Companies
    Notes: Include the cover letter for the filer contact when filing by mail. Original inked signatures required
  4. Establish Company Records

    Your LLC must maintain accurate and complete records. Your LLC’s first records will be your filed articles of organization. Other official records that your LLC may produce include:

    • Minutes of meetings
    • Operating agreement
    • EIN verification letter
    • The LLC may be amended or filed with other entities throughout its life.
  5. Make the Operating Agreement

    An Operating Agreement is the governing document of the LLC. This document outlines the rules and procedures for how the LLC will operate, such as holding an annual meeting. The agreement will be reviewed and approved at your organization meeting.

  6. Organise the Organizational Meeting

    The organizational meeting is the first meeting of members of an LLC. To conduct this meeting, you will need to have your operating agreement and the filed articles of organization. Keep a record of the meeting and keep it in your company records book.

  7. Register for a Federal Employer Identification Number.

    An EIN is required for any LLC that has more than one member, or hires employees. A bank account opening requires an EIN.

    Agency: Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
    Form:
    IRS Form S-4
    Filing Method You can send mail, fax or online by phone.
    IRS fee $0
    Turnaround: Online or over the phone, immediately. 4 business days via fax. 4-5 weeks via mail
    Notes: Only certain hours are available for the IRS website. Before closing your session, print your EIN. Additional guidance is available at IRS Pub 1635, Understanding Your EIN.
  8. Maine Tax Identification Numbers/Accounts

    You can submit one application to register for income, unemployment compensation, sales and use taxes, service provider tax and motor fuels tax.

    Send your submission to:
    Maine Revenue Services

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

    Form:

    Maine Application to Tax Registration
    Fee:
    $0
    Filing Method
    Mail or online
    Notes:
    To register, you will need your EIN.
  9. Consider Electing C-Corp Taxation or S-Corp Fiscal

    Your LLC will automatically be subject to pass-through taxation. However, the majority of LLCs maintain this tax classification. Some LLCs can choose to elect S-Corp and C-Corp tax treatment.

    • Owner-employees with more than $75,000 per annum can benefit from S-Corp to reduce self-employment taxes.
    • Double taxation is a problem for C-Corps: members pay taxes on distributions and the corporation pays taxes. You may be eligible for C-Corp tax treatment if your profits exceed $250,000 or you offer employee benefits.
  10. Get Business Licenses and Permits

    You must have the appropriate licenses and permits to run your business legally. It is easy to find the right licenses and permits for your state and federal business.

    Maine Business License

    NOT REQUIRED

     

    Maine does not require licensure for general business licenses.

    Maine does not have an overall business license at the state-level, but licenses for local businesses are required.

  11. You must continue to file for your LLC

    You are required to file both federal and state tax returns.

    To maintain good standing with the secretary-of-state, many states require that business entities file an annual report. The table below shows the requirements for Maine LLCs to file an annual report.

    Domestic Maine Corporation Annual Report Requirements

    Agency: Maine Secretary of State – Bureau of Corporations, Elections, and Commissions
    Form:
    Enter your charter number to create a Preprinted report.
    Filing Method Mail or online.
    Agency Fee: $85
    Due: Each year, June 1.
    Law:
    Maine Revised Statutes Title 13 – C SS 1621.
    Penalties: Late fees of $50
    Notes:
    • Anybody with authority can file.
    • If you file on paper, original signatures are required
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