Filing Maine Articles of Incorporation requires some preplanning, but it’s necessary to form a for-profit corporation in the state. By following a few simple steps, you’ll be ready to move on to the next phase of your operational strategy.
Forming a corporation in Maine starts with filing your Articles of Incorporation. Once approved, this process establishes your company as an official business entity in the state. The Maine Secretary of State’s Bureau of Corporations, Elections & Commissions is responsible for receiving and processing Articles of Incorporation for businesses. The statute that governs this process is Title 13-C of the Maine Business Corporation Act.
Before beginning, keep in mind that all information included in the Articles of Incorporation is public record.
How to Complete the Articles of Incorporation Form
Proper completion of the Maine Articles of Incorporation form is essential to set up your business as an official entity.
Methods of Filing
There are two ways to file your Articles of Incorporation paperwork:
- By mail
- In person
As of June 2021, there are no online or fax filing options for those looking to file Articles of Incorporation. You can find fillable PDF forms on the Bureau of Corporations, Elections & Commissions’ website.
Foreign Articles of Incorporation
Foreign (out-of-state) companies must submit an Application for Authority to Do Business to the Maine Bureau of Corporations, Elections & Commissions.
The state charges a fee for regular processing. It costs a lesser fee to file an Application for Authority to Carry on Activities for a foreign nonprofit. Processing time is two to four weeks unless you opt for expedited service and pay an additional fee. Then your documents will be processed within 24 hours or on the spot.
Existing business entities must submit a Certificate of Existence or similar document along with their Articles of Incorporation.
Articles of Incorporation Form Questions
- List the corporate name.
- Describe any professional services your corporation offers.
- Disclose whether your entity is a benefit corporation.
- Enter information for your commercial clerk/registered agent (see below). Remember, this individual must have a physical address in Maine.
- Designate the person listed as your clerk/registered agent as qualified for the role.
- Include information about stock shares on this line.
- Declare whether your corporate entity has a board of directors or will be managed by shareholders.
- Determine the powers or liabilities incurred by the board in the context of the company’s operations and bylaws.
- Asks if you would like your corporation to have preemptive rights as defined in 13-C MRSA §641.
- Asks for any provisional information for inclusion in the filing.
A registered agent functions as the official point of contact between your corporation and the state government. Registered agents might be single individuals or other professional entities. These individuals or entities also receive important legal notices, such as subpoenas, that must be delivered in person.
In the case of domestic business corporations, the Maine Secretary of State office refers to these entities as “clerks,” either a “commercial clerk” or “noncommercial clerk.” “Registered agents,” for Maine’s purposes and paperwork, only apply to foreign business corporations and require different applications (commercial and noncommercial) for appointment. All clerks for Maine corporations must be residents of Maine or entities authorized to do business in Maine as commercial clerks.
Corporation Name Guidance
Choosing a name can be key to the success of your business. You want something memorable as well as relating to your organization’s services.
Search the Maine Bureau of Corporations, Elections & Commissions business name database to see if your corporate name is unique and available. Once you have a name, you have the option to reserve it for up to 120 days. ZenBusiness’s name reservation service can help you with this.
Maine requires you to include one of the following words or their standard abbreviation in your corporation’s name: “Limited,” “Incorporated,” or “Corporation.”
Once you opt to file incorporation paperwork in Maine, you need to choose a registered agent, also called a clerk, to represent your company’s interests. This might be the initial incorporator or someone else of your choosing.
The agent must have a physical address in Maine. They must also be available during regular business hours to receive any important documents or legal notices on behalf of your organization.
You can be your own registered agent, but, since that requires you to always be available during standard business hours, you might opt to use the ZenBusiness registered agent service. They’ll help find a registered agent in the state to ensure your documents are accepted on behalf of your corporation.
How to Submit the Form
In Maine, filing is a bit more complex than in other states. There are no online or fax options available for filing.
Forms may be submitted in person or via mail. As of June 2021, the mailing address for filing Articles of Incorporation is:
Secretary of State
Division of Corporations, UCC and Commissions
101 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0101
After you file your Articles of Incorporation, you’ll need to keep track of important filing dates, make sure all your licenses and permits are up to date, along with filing your annual. Instead of stressing out, use our Worry-Free Compliance service to put your mind at ease and focus on other things.
Check the Maine Secretary of State website to see the most current filing fees and methods of payment available. Expedited service and instant processing are available for additional fees.
The approximate turnaround time for non-expedited filing is seven to 10 business days. Expedited filing shortens that process to 24 hours.
Payment for the filing should be enclosed with the paperwork.
The Articles of Incorporation form comes with a cover letter template. It asks for:
- Entity name
- A list of enclosed filings
- Verification of filing fees
- Contact information
Once you’ve filed the initial paperwork for your Articles of Incorporation, you can then turn your attention to other elements of launching your business. While you can navigate this process on your own, it’s best to work with professionals to ensure it’s done right.
ZenBusiness can complete your Maine Articles of Incorporation with one of our business formation plan packages. This mitigates any stress associated with the administrative aspects of starting a business and allows you to focus elsewhere.
Maine Articles of Incorporation FAQs
- What does it cost to incorporate in Maine?
For the most current fees and methods of payment available, check with the Maine Secretary of State website.
- How long does the incorporation process take in Maine?
Upon filing, the average processing time is seven to 10 business days for the Articles of Incorporation.
- Who processes the Maine Articles of Incorporation?
The Maine Secretary of State’s Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions is responsible for processing Articles of Incorporation.
- What Maine statute governs the Maine Articles of Incorporation?
Title 13-C of the Maine Business Corporation Act governs the Articles of Incorporation.
- Do I need an attorney to file the Maine Articles of Incorporation?
No. An attorney isn’t necessary to file Articles of Incorporation, but an attorney or business formation service can help navigate the process.