How to start an LLC in Maine

Are you thinking about forming an LLC in Maine? Find out what forms you'll need, information about fees, how long it takes to register, and more.

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by Michael H. Cohen, Esq.
updated May 11, 2023 ·  5min read

Limited liability companies (LLCs) in Maine are affordable and easy to form. And as with other states, the State of Maine has some specific requirements that are unique to the state.

Interested parties must register with the Secretary of State by filing the necessary forms, paying the necessary fees and meeting all naming and formation requirements.

The specifications required for forming a Maine LLC are as follows:

Registration. Registrants must file a certificate of formation with the Secretary of State. The certificate must include pertinent information such as:

  • LLC name
  • Effective date
  • Designations of members, officers, and managers as applicable
  • Registered agent’s name and address
  • Authorized entity’s name and dated signature
  • Completed filer contact cover letter sheet (part of the certificate of formation form, which can be downloaded from the Secretary of State’s website)

All documents submitted must be accompanied by the required filing fee.

Forms and fees. The filing fee for the certificate of formation is about $175. Fees for expedited services are, per entity, $50 for 24-hour service and $100 for immediate service. Fees can change, check with the Secretary of State for the most recent fees.

Timeline. Processing time for documents is usually between five to 10 working days. Expedited services are available for 24-hour and immediate turnaround.

Naming requirements. LLC naming requirements can be confusing. However, the easiest way to make sure that your LLC name will be approved is to ensure that it is distinguishable from other LLCs and includes specific words required of LLCs. You may opt to have a preferred name checked for availability before filing your LLC formation documents with the Secretary of State.

Formation requirements. To form an LLC, a registrant must first file a certificate of formation with the Secretary of State.

An LLC with more than one member is also strongly advised to have a limited liability operating agreement among its members.

Should your LLC offer professional services, you may have to obtain certain licenses and permits from the state’s professional licensing boards.

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Starting an LLC in Maine

Before you begin the registration process for an LLC in Maine, it’s important to know what an LLC is and whether or not it is a viable business structure for your company, so be certain to read up on the definition and benefits of an LLC.

These steps will guide you through the LLC registration process with the Maine Secretary of State:

1. Decide on a name for your business.

You can choose any name for your LLC as long as it ends with “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Company” or any variation of its abbreviation—e.g., LLC, L.L.C., LC or L.C.

A name may be reserved up to 120 days. You must file a name reservation application with the Secretary of State, along with the required filing fee that is about $20. Name reservations may not be renewed. Be sure to include the name to be reserved, address and dated signature of the applicant and a completed filer contact cover letter sheet.

2. Assign an agent for service of process.

Registered agents are individuals or corporations authorized to do business in the state and have permanent addresses in Maine. Registered agents accept legal documents on behalf of the LLC and make sure its members are notified.

3. Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS.

If there are two or more members in your LLC, your company will need to obtain an EIN from the IRS, for tax purposes.

4. Create an operating agreement.

Although LLCs in Maine are not required to have a limited liability company operating agreement, it is wise to have one in place with other members should your LLC have more than one member. The State of Maine recognizes limited liability company operating agreements as governing documents.

5. Familiarize yourself with the LLC’s continuing legal obligations, specifically annual reports.

Reports are filed with the Secretary of State on or before June 1 every year. Reports may be done online or by mail and must include payment for the $85 filing fee. Fees can change, check with the Secretary of State for the most recent fees.

Make sure that your LLC, should it offer professional services, meets state legal requirements.

Additional continuing legal obligations may vary with each state. These could be, but are not limited to, state taxes, annual or biennial reports and so on.

Filing an LLC and Fees

Following are the forms and fees that are required when starting an LLC in Maine:

1. Forms. First, complete and submit a certificate of formation to the Secretary of State. All documents submitted must be accompanied with the payment for the necessary filing fee.

2. Fees. The filing fee for a certificate of formation is about $175. This must be paid upon submission of the documents to the Secretary of State. You may opt to avail of expedited processing services for an additional fee, which are, per entity, $50 for 24-hour service and $100 for immediate service.

3. Limited liability company operating agreement. Although the LLC operating agreement will not be submitted to the Secretary of State, it is a good idea to have one in place for LLCs with more than one member. This agreement should be kept on file by the registered agent.

4. Taxes. LLCs in Maine are treated as corporations, limited liability partnerships, or single-member LLCs and are subject to federal income tax classifications. Depending on the type of taxation you opt to have for your LLC, you will have different federal tax responsibilities.

You should always make sure to acquaint yourself with the state laws regarding taxation. Your LLC may be subject to other taxes depending on the kind of services your LLC may offer.

Start an LLC online in Maine in three easy steps. LegalZoom provides LLC formation and filing services, including providing a registered agent in Maine.

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Michael H. Cohen, Esq.

About the Author

Michael H. Cohen, Esq.

Healthcare and FDA lawyer Michael H. Cohen is Founder & President of the Michael H. Cohen Law Group. The Michael H. Cohe… Read more

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of the author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.