Incorporate a Business in Maine
CorpNet makes it fast and easy to incorporate a business in Maine. You can register your business online or have one of our experienced filing experts assist you.
Save time, enjoy personalized service, and get peace of mind by working with our filing experts who have experience helping entrepreneurs in all 50 states, including Maine. We stand by our services with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Start a Business
Incorporating in Maine can feel overwhelming at first, but CorpNet is here to help get you started. The authority for incorporating in Maine falls under the Secretary of State, Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions. This Division also keeps all corporate filings on record. The main location is in Augusta. The chief types of business organizations structures available are Sole Proprietorships, General Partnerships, Limited Partnerships, Limited Liability Partnerships, Corporations and Limited Liability Companies. Each one has definite advantages and disadvantages, depending on the needs of your business. Choosing the suitable organizational structure for your company is one of the most significant decisions you will make.
5 Steps to Incorporate in Maine
Choose a Name for the Corporation
Search to make sure your company name is available. You can use the free CorpNet company name search. Your corporate name in Maine will have to include one of the suffixes, Corporation (or Corp.); Incorporated (or Inc.) and for limited liability companies, LLC. Maine has reserved the words: Bank, Trust, and Engineer/Engineering – these can be used in your name if you have the appropriate certificates and licensing, but otherwise are prohibited. Your corporate name cannot imply a service or business which conflicts with the purpose stated when you register.
Register Your Corporation
Register your corporation (or LLC) with the Secretary of State. CorpNet offers filings of the Articles of Incorporation (for corporate structures) and for LLCs, Articles of Organization.
Hold an Official Meeting
Hold the first official meeting for the corporation or LLC and adopt the Bylaws (corporations) or Operating Agreement (LLCs). This is a legal meeting and must be recorded as such. (See section below about officers and documentation.)
Apply for an EIN
Apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) under the corporate name. In Maine, this will also serve as your State Tax Identification Number. You will also have to arrange for a bank account under this number for accounting purposes. Your financial institution will want a copy of the EIN as well as a certificate of registration from the Secretary of State.
Obtain Licenses and Permits
Obtain any specific licenses and permits required, either statewide or for the county in which you will do business. Some examples would be: Electrician’s license, trucking licenses and permits, Liquor license, etc.
Foreign and Domestic Corporations
Business and nonprofit corporations are considered to be either domestic or foreign corporations. A domestic corporation is one that has been incorporated under the laws of the State of Maine. Conversely, a foreign corporation is one that has been incorporated under the laws of another state or country. By registering with that particular state, you may be authorized to do business within the state of Maine.
When registering a foreign business, the Application For Authority To Do Business form must be submitted. The application must be supplemented by a certificate of existence or a document of similar meaning accordingly authenticated by the Secretary of State. It must state that the corporation has legal existence, good standing or comparable language and cannot be dated any earlier than 90 days preceding the date of delivery for filing the application.
Officers and Documents
Corporations in Maine must have one or more directors. Any change (address or ownership) must be filed with the Secretary of State.
The incorporators or board of directors must approve beginning bylaws for the corporation. The right to grant, adjust or eliminate bylaws is subject to the articles of incorporation and the stockholders.
Every Maine corporation has to have a Clerk, sometimes known as the registered agent. The Clerk must be a natural person who is also a resident of the state. The clerk can be one of the directors or officers of the corporation but this is not required. The corporation’s board of directors must elect the Clerk unless the articles of incorporation set aside the appointment of the Clerk for the shareholders. The clerk is the person who is chosen to accept official state correspondence.
Additionally, the clerk must keep on file a list of all of the corporation’s shareholders and maintain records of all the shareholders’ meetings.
Maine also requires that all corporations keep a registered office. This can be the same address as its place of business.
Every year, a report must be filed with the Maine Secretary of State, except for the first year of incorporation. The report should be filed each year between January 1 and June 1 of the calendar year and must include the corporation’s name and jurisdiction, the address of its main office, the name of its registered agent if it is a foreign corporation, a short statement regarding the nature of the business, and the names and addresses of the president, financial officer, and directors.
An annual financial statement should also be filed no later than five months after the closing of the fiscal year. This should include the end of the year balance sheet as well as the statement of change of shareholders; equity unless the information is located elsewhere.
- Articles of Incorporation – This is the articles of incorporation filed with the Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions.
- Application for Reservation of Name – This form can be filed online. It results in a name search and reserves a business name for up to 120 days. There is also a version for foreign corporation name registration.
- Application for Authority to do Business – The form used for foreign corporations.
- Statement of Appointment or Change of Commercial Clerk – Since the clerk/registered agent is the point of contact between the corporation and the State of Maine, any changes must be documented with the Secretary of State.
- Certificate of Election to Dissolve – Used to dissolve a corporation. There are other forms required for mergers and consolidation.
Forming a Corporation Online
Incorporation in Maine can be conducted through our services in order to make things easier and less overwhelming. Although some filings are not available online (such as the Corporate Name Reservation) they can be faxed or mailed.
We offer complete packages that let you to establish your corporation or LLC without missing important steps or documents. Our professionals will help you through the process and unlimited customer support is included in our services. This allows you to concentrate on managing your business rather than getting stuck in state-mandated paperwork.