Are you thinking about starting a limited liability company (LLC) in Maine? LLCs are a popular choice for small businesses because they offer personal asset protection and flexible management structures. Plus, LLCs are relatively easy and inexpensive to set up. In this article, we’ll give you an overview of what you need to do to start an LLC in Maine. We’ll cover the LLC formation process, the LLC name, the LLC registered agent, the LLC operating agreement, and more. After reading this article, you’ll have a good understanding of what’s involved in starting an LLC in Maine. So let’s get started!
Before we dive in, here’s a really good explanation video on starting an LLC in Maine for those who prefer a video guide.
Benefits of starting an LLC in Maine
There are many benefits to starting your LLC in Maine. As expert start-up guides will advise you, it has the advantage of limited liability protection for its members. It’s more compact than a Corporation or S Corporation.
Limited Liability Protection
One of the most significant benefits of starting your Maine business as an LLC is that it offers limited liability protection, which means that if a lawsuit arises from a customer or client for something you did while operating your business – it won’t follow you home. Rather than the people who own it, the business itself is liable for paying out any damages.
Your personal assets, such as your car or house, are separated from your Maine business assets and aren’t at risk of being taken away if someone sues your business for something you did wrong. Many entrepreneurs start their businesses as LLCs because of this benefit.
An LLC in Maine has the choice of being taxed as a Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, or Corporation. It’s a good deal for start-ups since they don’t have to worry about finding an accountant or anything like that just yet.
Note: Single-Member LLCs are treated as Sole Proprietorships by default.
Minutes of meetings not required
Lastly, one of the benefits of starting your LLC in Maine is that no minutes are required for meetings. People don’t have to travel for monthly meetings or anything like that. They need to follow the operating agreement, which doesn’t take too many hours out of the day.
Maine LLC Rules & Requirements
This is a quick summary of the most important rules and requirements that this article will go through in depth.
To apply for permission to form an LLC in Maine, the company must have a in Maine. Your LLC’s name must include “Limited Liability Company,” or their abbreviation, “LLC.” It can’t be something that resembles another already existing business. Ensure you as a business owner keep accurate records and reports of your business transactions.
Best Maine LLC Formation Services
If you’re thinking about starting your LLC in Maine, it’s a good idea to use a professional service that can handle the process for you. These services will ensure you get all the necessary paperwork filed correctly and timely so that you don’t have to worry about anything going wrong with your business registration.
Finding the Best LLC Formation Services in Maine
Choosing the best LLC formation services in Maine is an essential first step for anyone looking to start their own. Here are some of the most critical factors you’ll want to consider:
- Customer service/communication
- Integration with accounting software (if necessary)
These factors will help you narrow down your list of potential providers to find the one that provides you with the professional service you need at an affordable price. We have reviewed some of Maine’s best LLC formation services here: Best LLC Formation Services.
As mentioned above, it’s usually recommended that if you’re unfamiliar with this kind of thing, then you should consider allowing LLC formation service providers to help you start your own business here in Maine. These services will ensure that you comply with state law and all the rules and requirements. If anything goes wrong, they’ll have your back so that you don’t have to worry about it.
However, if you’re looking to do it on your own, then you can continue reading our guide on how to start an LLC in the state of Maine.
The following is a step-by-step guide of what you can expect when forming an LLC in Maine:
5 Steps to Starting an LLC in Maine
- Name your Maine LLC
- Choose your Maine Registered Agent
- File your Maine LLC Certificate of Formation
- Create your Maine LLC Operating Agreement
- Get an EIN for your Maine LLC
Step 1: Name your Maine LLC
Choosing your name can be one of the most challenging parts of starting your Maine LLC. You’ll have to choose a name that’s not already in use by another Maine LLC or restricted by the state.
The rules for naming your Maine limited liability company are as follows:
- Your name cannot mislead people into thinking the Maine LLC was set up by the government or is a federal government agency.
- The name can’t be too similar to another Maine company’s
- Your name has to end with an LLC designator (LLC, LTD., etc.)
- You may need to fill out additional paperwork if you want to use certain words in your Maine LLC name, including bank, trust, trustee, incorporated, Inc., and corporation.
- If you want to see if a specific LLC name is available, you can run a business name search on the Business Entity Search page of the Maine state website.
After choosing the perfect name for your new Maine business, you can also secure a good domain name. A domain name is also helpful if you want a business email address @yourllc.com.We recommend using Namecheap to register your domain. They have great prices, fast service, and an easy-to-use website.
Step 2: Choose your Maine Registered Agent
Before you form your LLC in Maine, you’ll need to appoint a registered agent with a physical street address in the state of Maine. This person or entity would be responsible for receiving essential documents on your behalf if anything happened that would require that sort of thing (lawsuits, etc.). You can name yourself as your Maine registered agent, but that isn’t advisable because you would not be able to claim any anonymity.
What is a Registered Agent?
A Maine registered agent is an individual or business entity that agrees to accept the service of process on behalf of a Limited Liability Company.
When you create a Limited Liability Company in Maine, the State of Maine requires that this registered agent be appointed for your LLC to become effective. The Maine Secretary of State’s Office will not file your Certificate of Formation unless you designate a registered agent on your application form.
Who can be a Registered Agent in Maine?
For a registered agent, you can select a person or an organization. The individual can be a Maine resident, a Maine corporation, or a non-Maine corporation with a business presence in Maine.
You can also use a Maine registered agent service to appoint a registered agent and obtain a business address. Services such as Zenbusiness and Northwest Registered Agent offer this service as a feature of some of their packages when you register a Maine company with them.
What does a Registered Agent in Maine do?
A registered agent in Maine is available during normal business hours to accept important documents and notices on behalf of your LLC. These can be official court papers such as lawsuits or service of process documents that will require the registered agent’s signature.
A registered agent is not responsible for the management of your Maine LLC, nor are they required to do anything with the documents once they are received at their business address except for filing them under Maine law.
Step 3: File your Maine LLC Certificate of Formation
You’ve chosen your Maine name and appointed a registered agent, and now it’s time to create your LLC and become a recognized legal entity.
Before filing, you will need to decide between a member-managed and manager-managed LLC. The members run a member-managed LLC, while a designated manager runs a manager-managed LLC.
To start an LLC in Maine, you’ll need to file your Certificate of Formation with the Maine Secretary of State, which can be done by mail. The filing fee is $175, and a person must file this with authority to do so on behalf of the Maine LLC.
File your Maine LLC Certificate of Formation
You’ll need the following documents to submit your papers:
- The official name of your Maine LLC
- A brief description of the purpose of your Maine LLC
- Your Maine LLC’s street address
- Your Maine registered agent’s name and address
- The signature of your registered agent
- Your LLC’s authorized person’s signature
- Your return address
The filing fee is $175 and a person must sign the formation documents with authority to do so on behalf of your Maine LLC. You’ll need the download the filing form and mail it.
Secretary of State
Division of Corporations, UCC and Commissions
101 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
Step 4: Create your Maine LLC Operating Agreement
After filing your Maine LLC Certificate of Formation, you will want to create an Operating Agreement.
An operating agreement is an internal document that sets out the internal rules of your Maine LLC. These rules address issues such as how LLC owners will spend the money, whether voting takes place within your business, what happens if someone wants to sell their interest in the company etc.
Maine does not require an LLC to have an operating agreement, but it is recommended that you create one. An operating agreement ensures that all members know and understand their roles within the company. If they ever need to take legal action, they will show a court of law that the company functions as more than just an unincorporated association.
This operating agreement should be thorough but concise, outlining everything you want to include regarding the membership responsibilities of your Maine LLC, so there are no misunderstandings down the line.
The operating agreement will also be necessary when you open a business bank account in Maine.
Step 5: Get an EIN for your Maine LLC
An EIN, or Employer Identification Number, is a unique number that the IRS issues to businesses for tax purposes. An EIN is like your business’s social security number. You can use it to file state or federal-level tax returns and financial statements with different government agencies or open a business bank account.
An EIN is required for several reasons. First, as mentioned above, it is needed to open a business bank account for your Maine LLC. You will also need an EIN to hire employees, as it is used on employment tax forms. Finally, an EIN is often required when filing your business taxes.
After you receive your EIN, you will be informed of your Maine LLC’s various tax classification options.
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
Applying for an EIN for your business is free of charge.
Maine LLC Processing Time
Mail filings take 5-10 business days for the state of Maine to process your Certificate of Formation and approve your LLC.
Maine LLC Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to start an LLC in Maine?
The LLC filing fee is $175 in Maine.
How do I set up an LLC in Maine?
Step 1: Choose a name for your Maine LLC
Step 2: Choose a Maine Registered Agent
Step 3: File the Certificate of Formation
Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement
Step 5: Get an EIN
Is there an annual fee for LLC in Maine?
The annual filing fee is $85 in the state of Maine.
How long does it take to start an LLC in Maine?
It takes 5-10 business days to start an LLC in Maine when filing by mail.