How To Start An LLC In Maine
To start an LLC in Maine, you must file a Certificate of Formation with Maine’s Division of Corporations, UCC & Commissions. You can file the document by mail. The Certificate of Formation costs $175 to file. Once filed with the state, this document formally creates your Maine LLC. However, to actually ready the LLC to do business, you must complete several additional steps.
Starting a Maine LLC Guide:
Maine LLC Filing Options
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Maine LLC Certificate of Formation free download. When you're done filling out the form, submit it to your state.
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Maine LLC Certificate of Formation Requirements
To form a Maine LLC, you must complete and file the Certificate of Formation with the the Division of Corporations, UCC & Commissions. See the document below and click on any number to see what information is required in the corresponding section.
Your name must include “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Company,” or an abbreviation like “LLC.” Most businesses go with “LLC.”
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. Likewise, professional LLCs aren’t just more polite—they provide the services of licensed professionals like attorneys or surgeons. Tip: Most LLCs aren’t low-profit or professional.
You can list a noncommercial agent and include a street address in Maine that will become part of the permanent record for your LLC. Or, you can list a commercial registered agent like Northwest. Our address is already on file with the Maine Secretary of State.
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.
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.
When you hire Northwest, your total out-the-door cost is $400 ($450 expedited), including state fees, a full year of registered agent service, lifetime customer service, and loads of useful forms 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 registered agent?
Yes, a Maine registered agent is required for your LLC. You can either go with noncommercial agent or a commercial agent. A noncommercial agent can be pretty much any Maine resident, like a family member or even yourself. It’s not just a title, however—it’s real work that affects you and your business. Registered agents are required to give a physical address that becomes a part of the permanent record of your Maine LLC. Unfortunately, publicly-listed addresses are common targets for data-sellers and spammers. Registered agents also have to be available at the address listed during business hours to accept legal notifications. Maine won’t sympathize if you miss a process server because you were out sick, snowed in, or away in the City for business.
That’s why many businesses go with a commercial agent, like Northwest Registered Agent. We put our address on your Certificate of Formation, so you don’t get junk mail or unwanted visitors. And our job is to be available, so you never miss a service of process.
Create the Maine LLC Operating Agreement
Do I need an Operating Agreement?
It may be tempting to skip writing an operating agreement because it’s not a document you’re required to file with any state agency. Plus, starting a business in the 207 already involves plenty of paperwork. But your operating agreement isn’t something to ignore—it’s the most important internal document of your Maine LLC.
Why is an Operating Agreement important?
Your operating agreement spells out how your LLC operates—how much each member invested, how profits and losses will be allocated, and what happens if there are member disagreements or if you close down the whole business. And while it’s mainly an internal document, your operating agreement isn’t just for members or managers. Your bank will ask to see it when you go to open a business account. Potential investors and partners will want to see it before they sign on.
Do I have to write the Operating Agreement?
Not from scratch. We give you a free operating agreement, specific to your management style when you sign up for our service at Northwest. We want your business to start out on the right foot. We’re proud of our forms and have spent years refining and developing operating agreements, resolutions, membership certificates and more, which we provide for free. We were the first website to hand out free LLC forms, and over a million LLCs and counting have used our forms to help form and maintain their businesses.
Get a Maine LLC EIN
Do I have to get a tax ID number (EIN)?
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. When you go to open a business bank account, the bank will likely ask for your EIN. Long story short, you will almost definitely need an EIN. Getting an EIN is pretty easy and free from the IRS. Or, even easier, add on EIN service when you hire Northwest, and we’ll apply for your EIN for you.
Open a Bank Account for Your 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 Maine 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.
We recommend calling your bank ahead of time before going in and asking what their requirements are. Most banks don’t open business accounts nearly as frequently as personal accounts, so some bankers may be unfamiliar with their own bank’s requirements. As frustrating as that may be for you, calling ahead will help save you from being super annoyed when you walk into the bank.
Obtain a Business License
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.
File Maine LLC Reports
What is a Maine LLC Annual Report?
Essentially, a Maine LLC Annual Report is an expensive form ($85) you’re required to file 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. We can help with this—when you hire Northwest, we send you reminder notifications for your reports. For total peace of mind, you can even hire us to file your reports for you each year.
How much does an LLC in Maine cost each year?
The filing fee for a Maine LLC Annual Report is $85.
Pay the LLC Taxes
What are the Maine LLC taxes?
The Maine personal net income tax rates for single filers are:
5.80%: $0 to $21,049
6.75%: $21,050 to $49,999
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%.
For a general overview of Maine business taxes, check out our Maine taxes page. We also have many more free resources you can explore to help you manage your LLC. Free guides, free forms, and exceptional service—that’s Northwest.