How to Create an LLC in Maine

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How to Form an LLC in Maine:
5 Simple Steps to Get Started
According to the IRS, each state may use different regulations around forming an LLC, and you should check with your state if you’re interested in starting a Limited Liability Company. To simplify the process of forming an LLC in the state of Maine, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to detail each step of the process and answer any questions you may have.

Step 1
Name Your Maine LLC

Your first consideration when choosing a name for your LLC is that it be unique from any other business in the state of Maine. You can quickly and easily do a name check on the Maine Secretary of State website business name database to verify the business name you want is available. For a $20 fee, you can reserve a name for 120 days by filing an Application for Reservation of Name (MLLC-1) by mail to the Maine Secretary of State’s office.

In order to comply with Maine state law, your company’s name must end with the term “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviations “LLC” or “L.L.C.” The name must not include the words “Incorporation,” “Corporation,” or any abbreviations thereof.

Step 2
Appoint a Registered Agent in Maine

The state of Maine requires that any LLC have a registered agent for service of process. This means your LLC must have an entity that agrees to physically accept any legal papers on the company’s behalf should it be sued. This entity does not have to be an individual person. The registered agent can be any resident of the state of Maine or a business entity authorized to do business in Maine so long as the agent has a physical street address within the state.

Step 3
File Maine Certificate of Formation
To officially create your LLC in the state of Maine, you’ll need to complete the Certificate of Formation (Form MLLC-6) and file it with the Secretary of State. For a $175 fee, this can be done by mail only. To complete this form you will need to know the following:
  1. The final name and address of your LLC
  2. The name and address of the company’s registered agent

Step 4
Create an Operating Agreement

You may want to consider preparing an operating agreement to outline the ownership and operating procedures for your LLC.

An operating agreement will set the guidelines for running your company. This does not need to be filed with the state, but it can go a long way toward ensuring your company’s success.

Step 5
Apply for an Employer ID Number (EIN)

An IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN) is required of your LLC unless it is a single-member LLC with no employees. Obtaining an EIN is as easy as completing the application on the IRS website.

It’s possible your company will need to register with the Maine Revenue Services (MRS). Whether or not your company needs to follow this step will depend on the exact types of taxes it will be collecting and/or has been collecting from the state as well as whether it has employees. You can register online at the MRS website.

If your LLC will be selling a physical product, you’ll need to register for a sellers permit through the Maine Department of Administrative & Financial Services website. This will allow you to collect sales tax on taxable sales. Additionally, if you have employees, you’ll need to register for Unemployment Insurance Tax through the Maine Department of Labor and also register for Employee Withholding Tax through the Maine Revenue Services website.

Other Considerations
Foreign LLCs and Business Licenses
Foreign LLCs

If your company is a foreign LLC, also referred to as an out-of-state LLC, wanting to do business in the state of Maine, you’ll need to follow all the steps outlined above with a few minor differences.

You will need to file a Statement of Foreign Qualification to Conduct Activities (MLLC-12) with the Maine Secretary of State as well as a Certificate of Existence (also referred to as a Certificate of Good Standing in some states) from your LLC’s domestic or home state.

The Certificate of Existence must date back no more than 90 days prior to filing. The filing fee is $250.

Business Licenses

Some industries will require you to secure federal, state, and local licenses to legally operate in the state of Maine.

You can get federal licenses and perform a Maine license and permit search to find the right licenses for your business.

Because business licenses and permits are issued at all levels of government and for such a multitude of reasons, there isn’t one central location where you can find everything you need to be compliant.

Do some careful research to find out what licenses and permits you need or hire a professional service to do it for you.

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