There are a number of reasons you might need to change your Maine LLC’s registered agent. Maybe your designated registered agent moved out of state, left the company, or no longer wants the responsibility. Maybe you had assigned the job to yourself, and you no longer want your address on public record. Maybe (hopefully) your business has expanded so much that you no longer have time to handle the registered agent responsibilities.
Whatever your reason may be, changing a registered agent in Maine might seem like a daunting task, with a mountain of paperwork and legal proceedings involved. However it’s actually quite simple, and this guide will help make the process quick and painless.
The state of Maine has certain requirements for changing your LLC’s registered agent. Any business entity may change its registered agent, as long as it files a “Statement of Appointment or Change” with the Secretary of State, including information for both the current and new agents.
The Maine Revised Statutes provide some background on the state’s policies regarding registered agent changes. See here for more information.
You can’t pick just anyone to be a registered agent for your LLC. The state of Maine puts certain restrictions on who can serve as one. If you’re choosing or changing your registered agent, keep these requirements in mind. The registered agent in Maine must:
* If your registered agent is a foreign business entity, it must be authorized to transact business in Maine
In order to change your registered agent in Maine, you will need to file a “Statement of Appointment or Change” with the Secretary of State’s office. The tricky part is making sure you’re using the correct form, as there are separate ones for different entity types, as well as commercial and non-commercial registered agents. For LLC commercial agents, see here, and for LLC non-commercial, here. You can peruse all the LLC business forms on the BCEC Forms and Fees page. Both forms require similar information:
Both forms come with a cover letter where you’ll include information about the filing and your own contact info. Also, both forms require a $35 fee, payable by check made out to “Maine Secretary of State.” The S.O.S. also accepts payment by card, but only if you complete and include a “Credit Card Payment Voucher.”
If you were hoping to file online, unfortunately, that isn’t an option. You’ll need to file by mail or in person at:
Secretary of State
Division of Corporations, UCC, and Commissions
101 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0101
You can also change your registered agent on an LLC Certificate of Amendment, but since this form costs $80, you shouldn’t use it for agent changes unless you already need to file it for something else. While other states also allow agent changes on annual reports, Maine does not.
If you’re too busy, or if you’d feel more comfortable letting someone else take the reins, you have the option of hiring a company or individual to file your paperwork for you. It’s a great way to save time and stress.
Submit your form? Pay your fee? Your registered agent change is in progress. Processing time is typically 5-10 business days, but if you need it done sooner, there are two options for expedited processing: $50 for 24-hour service and $100 for immediate service.
Think of your registered agent as a mediator between you and the state of Maine, the person or business entity that handles some of your most important paperwork.
In case you thought the registered agent was just a formality, look at the documents they handle:
A lot of important stuff. Which is why a reliable registered agent is essential to every Maine business owner.
By handling high-priority and sensitive documents on your behalf, your registered agent takes care of your communications with the state, so you can spend more time building your business.
Plus, if you operate a Maine small business from out of state, a trustworthy registered agent is especially important, as the state requires a local contact for your LLC. Having this contact ensures your company will receive and respond to time-sensitive documents, so you won’t miss filings and get hit with penalties.
If you’re unsure where to find a good Maine registered agent, consider using a registered agent service. These companies provide you a reliable, professional registered agent so you can have peace of mind knowing you won’t ever miss a filing, tax deadline, or state correspondence.
Sure, you can jump online, search “registered agent service,” and get a ton of results. But the truth is that not all of these services are trustworthy. So, we’ve done some research for you. If you want to know you’re getting a top-quality registered agent, take a look at our comparison guide on the best rated registered agent services. Many of these providers can also form an LLC for you if you’re needing a fresh start. ZenBusiness and IncFile are two very well known options.
There are numerous reasons you might need to give up your Maine registered agent role, but only one way to resign.
Registered agents play an important role in the life of an LLC, handling sensitive legal and tax documents, so it’s essential that agents follow proper resignation procedures. Otherwise, you could leave your company with unplanned fines or penalties, and you could be individually liable.
Fortunately, for Maine LLCs it is easy.
Follow these steps and the hardest part of your resignation won’t be the process itself, it’ll be saying “so long” to your former business.
Once you resign, your LLC will need to find a replacement right away. However, the Maine Secretary of State doesn’t require that you inform the company before you officially resign; it only requires that you send a copy of your “Statement of Resignation” immediately after filing it. That said, discussing your resignation with the LLC in advance can be beneficial to everyone involved. It gives them ample time to plan for their registered agent change and avoid potential penalties.
It could also expedite your resignation. Your name stays on file as registered agent for 31 days after you submit your statement unless your LLC appoints a replacement sooner. If the LLC is ready to with your successor as soon as you resign, you may not have to retain your responsibilities for those 31 days.
Whether it’s because you’re moving on to another company or taking on something entirely new, soon you’ll be leaving your registered agent duties behind. But to do that, you’ll first need to file a “Statement of Resignation” with the Maine Secretary of State.
Find this form on the Secretary of State LLC Forms and Fees page. It has two parts: the statement itself and a “Filer Contact Cover Letter”
Statement of Resignation: For this section, enter your name and address, then the LLC name, mailing address, and name of the person that you intend to notify about your resignation. Sign and date it and that’s it!
Filer Contact Cover Letter: Here you must include the entity name, the filing you’ve attached, and your contact information (address, phone, email). This is also where you can choose expedited processing if you’d like.
This filing comes with a $35 fee which you can pay via check (made payable to “Maine Secretary of State”). Credit cards are also an option, as long as you include a “Credit Card Payment Voucher.” Finished? Mail your documents and payment to:
Department of the Secretary of State
Division of Corporations, UCC and Commissions
101 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0101
Immediately after sending your resignation, you must also send a copy to your LLC.
Standard processing time for this form is 5-10 business days, but if you need it done right away, you can request 24-hour service for $50 or immediate service for $100 on the Cover Letter. After your filing is processed, you will remain on file as the LLC’s registered agent for 31 days, or until they appoint your replacement, whichever comes first.
When you put down your registered agent responsibilities, someone else has to pick them up, or your LLC will lose its good standing with the state. Help your LLC keep its momentum by carefully planning your transition.
This starts with finding a successor who’s ready to take over right away. Even a small gap in registered agent coverage can result in severe penalties. Any Maine business entity that goes 60 days without a valid registered agent can be administratively dissolved by the state. That’s a serious consequence, which is why it’s important to assist your LLC in finding a replacement.
No matter who the business nominates, they must meet Maine’s registered agent requirements. They must:
Any foreign entity serving as a registered agent must be authorized to conduct business in Maine. An individual LLC member may serve as the company’s agent, but sometimes it’s easiest to pass along those responsibilities to a professional service.
We recommend using a registered agent service, which can take over registered agent duties, freeing up more time for the LLC’s managers to focus on running the business.
You do a lot for your Maine LLC. You’re essentially the shield that protects it from fines, the filter that catches important documents, the conductor that keeps it on track with compliance.
Because you play such an important role, it’s crucial that you follow the resignation procedures exactly — and potentially provide a replacement agent for the business. Otherwise, you might find yourself and your LLC in hot water.
Follow this guide and you’ll be totally fine. Soon, you’ll be on to your next project, whether that’s starting a new business in Maine or something completely different.
If you need a fresh start and would like to form a brand new LLC, there are plenty of services that can take care of this for you. ZenBusiness and LegalZoom are two very popular options.
Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.
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