Maine LLC Formation Options
Skip the state fees! Get a Maine LLC and the best of our services today. Includes EIN, hassle-free maintenance, business address & mail forwarding, Privacy by Default®, local Corporate Guide® service, and everything you need to operate at full capacity.
Do It Yourself
Sign up for a free account and use our online tools to start your Maine LLC today. Includes Maine LLC formation and maintenance walkthrough and company document creation. All for free.
Pay in Full
Includes Maine LLC, business address & free mail forwarding, Privacy by Default®, lifetime support from local Corporate Guides® and a year of registered agent service.
How to Start an LLC in Maine
To start an LLC in Maine, you’ll need to do three things: appoint a registered agent, choose a name for your business, and file a Certificate of Formation with the Division of Corporations, UCC & Commissions. You can file the document by mail. The certificate costs $175 to file. Once filed with the state, this document formally creates your Maine LLC.
Every Maine LLC must appoint a registered agent that meets the qualifications described in the Model Registered Agents Act, 5 ME Rev Stat § 105 (2019). You don’t need to hire a registered agent, but if you do, make sure your registered agent will list their address on your filings wherever possible to ensure maximum privacy.
If you’re starting a new business, you probably already know what you want to name your LLC. But you’ll need to know if your preferred name is available. To find out, visit https://icrs.informe.org/nei-sos-icrs/ICRS?MainPage=x and search until you find the perfect name for your LLC.
Once you know who your registered agent will be and what your LLC name is, you’re ready to file your Maine Certificate of Formation. Follow along with our filing instructions below:
Filing the Maine LLC Certificate of Formation
Learn more about each Certificate of Formation requirement below. Note that the information you provide becomes part of the public record—permanently.
Or skip the form entirely and hire us to form your Maine LLC. We provide a free business address to list whenever possible throughout the filing to better keep your personal address private.
Your name must include “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Company,” or an abbreviation like “LLC.” You can’t use a name that is already in use in Maine.
Most LLCs want their LLCs to begin their existence immediately, but if you want to push off your start date (say the next tax period is right around the corner), you can list an effective date up to 90 days in the future.
If your LLC is a low-profit LLC or a professional LLC, you’ll have to note this in your certificate. A low-profit LLC isn’t just an LLC that doesn’t make a lot of money—it has a charitable or education purpose instead of the purpose of making money. Professional LLCs provide the services of licensed professionals like attorneys or surgeons. Tip: Most LLCs aren’t low-profit or professional.
For your Maine registered agent, you can list a noncommercial agent (such as yourself) and include a street address in Maine that will become part of the permanent record for your LLC. Rather not make your home or office address public knowledge with this filing? You can hire a commercial registered agent like Northwest. Our address is already on file with the Maine Secretary of State. If filing yourself but hiring a commercial agent, you’ll need to find your agent’s number on this list of Maine CRA Public Numbers.
Maine LLC Authorized Person
An “authorized person” is what Maine labels the person who signs and submits your Certificate of Formation. An authorized person doesn’t have to be a member, manager, or anyone with ownership interest in your LLC. When you hire Northwest, we’ll be your authorized person.
Why Have a Registered Agent Form Your Maine LLC?
Professionals in Maine hire registered agent services like Northwest Registered Agent to start an LLC—but why?
Standard filing companies don’t have employees or offices in every state. But as a national registered agent, it’s a requirement for us, which is a benefit for our clients. Our office is in Portland, ME. We’re on a first name basis with the people who work in the Division of Corporations, UCC and Commissions. We know all the fastest filing methods, which translates to fast, professional service—without extra fees.
As your registered agent, we list our Portland registered office address on your LLC’s formation documents. Why? If you’re starting a business from your apartment in Presque Isle, do you really want your apartment address as your business address? (Hint: the answer is no.) We’ll list our address, so you don’t have to list yours. Plus, we never sell your data. We don’t list your personal information on filings if we don’t have to. It’s all standard and part of our commitment to Privacy by Default®.
Free Mail Forwarding and Business Address
We already accept your legal mail—so why not take it a step further? In every state, we include limited digital mail forwarding for your regular mail too (5 pieces of regular mail a year; $15 a doc after that). Plus, you can list our address as your business address. That means you can have all business mail routed through our office. With both mail forwarding and a business address included, you get a level of security unmatched in the formation industry.
We know the in’s and out’s of each state—and we use this knowledge to help you when you need it most. Our team of Corporate Guides® has over 200 local business experts. You can call or email us for answers to all your questions about your LLC in Maine. Our Corporate Guides are dedicated solely to helping you with your business—not selling you services or meeting quotas.
What Do I Do After My Maine LLC Is Formed?
After your Maine LLC Certificate of Formation is recorded by the state, you still have a few more important steps to take, including getting an EIN, drafting an operating agreement, opening a bank account, funding the LLC and learning about state reporting and tax requirements.
Get an EIN
An EIN (“Employer Identification Number”) is a federal tax ID assigned to your business by the IRS. The IRS uses your EIN to easily identify your business on tax filings.
Does a Maine LLC need an EIN?
Yes, most LLCs in Maine will need an EIN (unless you’re forming a holding company that will never buy or sell anything, and even then, you might still need one). In order to register with the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services (for example, for sales and use taxes or service provider taxes), your LLC will need an EIN. You’ll also need an EIN if you have employees or file certain federal excise taxes. And when you go to open a business bank account, the bank will likely ask for your EIN as well.
How do I get an EIN for my LLC?
You can apply for an EIN directly from the IRS at no cost. Most businesses are able to apply online, but if you don’t have a social security number, you’ll need to apply with a paper form. Want one less thing to do? Add on EIN service when you hire us, and we’ll get your EIN for you. Or choose our VIP service—an EIN is included.
Write an LLC Operating Agreement
Operating agreements put into writing how your business actually operates—how much each member invested, how profits and losses will be allocated, how voting works, and what happens if there’s a dispute or if the whole business (knock on wood) falls apart.
Do I need an operating agreement for a Maine LLC?
Yes. 31 ME Rev Stat § 1531 (2019) says that a “limited liability company agreement must be entered into or otherwise existing” and notes that the agreement can be made before or after filing the Certificate of Formation.
Your operating agreement one of your LLC’s most important internal documents. In addition to being required under statute, your agreement can help your LLC with everything from opening a bank account to handling major events from mergers to dissolution.
What should be in an operating agreement?
An operating agreement should explain how the business will handle “big picture” situations—everything from allocating profits and losses to dissolving the business. Below is a list of common topics that operating agreements should cover.
- Initial investments
- Profits, losses, and distributions
- Voting rights, decision-making powers, and management
- Transfer of membership interest
- Dissolving the business
Your operating agreement can cover pretty much anything as long as it isn’t contrary to Maine law. Topics not allowed to be changed in the operating agreement are listed in 31 ME Rev Stat § 1522 (2019), which forbids actions such as varying the company’s capacity to sue and be sued in its own name.
How do I write an operating agreement?
To write an operating agreement, you need to address how your business will handle money, members, votes, management, and more. Not sure how to get started? At Northwest, we’re here to help your LLC get off on the right foot. When you hire us, we provide your business with a free LLC operating agreement, specific to your management style. We’ve spent years developing these agreements and other free LLC forms—which have been used by over a million LLCs.
Open an LLC Bank Account
Your LLC needs its own bank account. Why? An LLC gets its limited liability from being a distinct entity, separate from its members. If you mix personal and business finances, you could lose your liability protections.
How do I open a bank account for my Maine LLC?
To open a bank account for your Maine LLC, you will need to bring the following with you to the bank:
A copy of the Maine LLC Certificate of Formation
The LLC operating agreement
The LLC’s EIN
If there are multiple members in the LLC, you may also want to bring an LLC resolution to open a bank account that states that the person going to the bank is authorized by the members to open the account in the name of the LLC. Northwest can help with this as well—LLC bank resolutions are one of the many free legal forms we provide to ensure you can get your LLC started fast.
Fund the LLC
Time to put some money in that new LLC bank account. What money? For starters, your initial contributions to your LLC’s capital. LLC members are owners, and each owner needs to pay for their membership interest to fund the LLC.
What is membership interest?
Membership interest is your percentage of ownership of the LLC. Membership interest is normally proportionate to your investment. So how does this work?
Imagine your LLC has 5 members. 4 members each invest $1,000 in the business. One member invests $6,000. The total contribution of all members is $10,000. The 4 members each own 10% of the business. The moneybags member who shelled out $6,000 owns 60% of the business.
Typically, this also means that the 4 members would each get 10% of any profits, and moneybags would get 60%. Exactly how profits and losses are allocated, however, can be adjusted in the operating agreement as long as changes are in line with IRS requirements and Maine laws.
File Maine Reports & Taxes
Maine LLCs are required to file a Maine Annual Report each year. This report is basically an information update you file so the state knows who currently runs things and how to contact your business. Maine LLCs are also subject to state tax filing requirements.
How much is the Maine LLC Annual Report fee?
The Maine LLC Annual Report costs $85 to file.
When is the Maine LLC Annual Report due?
You’re required to file your Maine LLC Annual Report by June 1st each year.
On the form, you update your LLC’s contact and ownership information (even if it’s exactly the same year to year). Don’t even consider blowing it off, though. There’s a $50 late fee—and if left unpaid for 65 days, the state will dissolve your LLC. The state doesn’t even mail out reminders anymore, so it’s important to keep this deadline on your radar.
When you sign up for Northwest, we send you reminders for your annual report due dates. Want one less thing to worry about? With our business renewal service, we can complete and submit your annual report for you for $100 plus the state fee.
What should I know about Maine LLC taxes?
Maine LLCs don’t have a state tax to file (you could consider the annual report a tax, but that’s a different discussion). That said, all profits will likely pass to the LLC’s members as profits and they’ll be required to pay personal income tax to the state on those profits.
The Maine personal net income tax rates for single filers are:
5.80%: $0 to $22,199
6.75%: $22,200 to $52,599
The state sales tax in Maine is 5.5%, and there aren’t any city or county sales taxes. There are a few exceptions to the 5.5% rate though—prepared food and rental lodging are taxed at 8% and short-term auto rentals are taxed at 10%.
Maine LLC FAQs
How can I submit the Maine LLC Certificate of Formation?
You can file your Maine certificate by mail. Mailed filings must be submitted to the following address:
Secretary of State
Division of Corporations, UCC and Commissions
101 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0101
How much does it cost to start a Maine LLC?
The filing fee for your Maine LLC Certificate of Formation is $175, plus $50 if you want expedited processing.
You can now hire us for and pay just $41 out the door with our VIP monthly payment option. Or for a one-time fee of $400 ($450 expedited), including state filing fees, a year of registered agent service, limited mail forwarding and loads of useful forms and tools to help get your Maine LLC up and running.
How long does it take to start a Maine LLC?
Maine doesn’t have an online filing option for LLCs, so things move a bit slowly. Standard processing is around 14 business days. For an extra $50, you can speed that up to around 5 business days.
If you hire Northwest to start your LLC, we file online and typically have your expedited Maine LLC formed within 5 business days.
Does a Maine LLC need a business license?
Maine doesn’t have a general, statewide business license. Most cities and towns don’t require a general license either, but they do license specific business activities, from clamming to liquor sales.
Need an EIN or a certified copy of your Certificate of Formation for license applications? Northwest can help. You can easily add on these items to your LLC formation order.
Can a Maine LLC help me live more privately?
Yes. While you can’t remove all ownership information from Maine public filings (like you can in states like New Mexico, Delaware, and Wyoming), a Maine LLC can still help you reduce your public footprint. For example, you can maintain better address privacy by listing our address on public docs instead of your own. Check out our page on living privately with an LLC to learn more.
What is a foreign Maine LLC?
A foreign Maine LLC is any LLC formed outside of Maine but registered to do business in the state. For example, if you formed an LLC in New Hampshire but wanted to conduct business in Maine as well, you would register as a foreign LLC in Maine by filing Statement of Foreign Qualification to Conduct Activities with the Division of Corporations, UCC & Commissions. Like domestic LLCs, foreign LLCs in the state have to file annual Maine annual reports ($150). Northwest can register your foreign LLC in Maine for you today!
How to Order LLC Formation Service
Our Maine LLC formation service is designed to be fast and easy—signing up takes just a couple minutes. Here’s how it works:
With Northwest, we give you flexibility on how to pay. You can pay all the fees up front (this includes one full year of registered agent service). Or, pay just $41 out the door with our VIP monthly payment option. With our VIP option, we also include an EIN. Just choose one of the buttons below, answer a few easy questions about your business and submit your payment.
We’ll prepare your Maine Certificate of Formation and send them to the Division of Corporations, UCC & Commissions for approval. In the meantime, you’ll have immediate access to your online account, where you can find useful state forms, pre-populated with your business information.
Once the Maine Division of Corporations, UCC & Commissions has approved your filing, we notify you that your Maine LLC has been legally formed. You can now take any necessary next steps, like getting an EIN and opening a bank account.