How to Start an LLC in Maine – Best Guide

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Are you looking forward to owning an LLC in Maine, and are you looking for the best guide to start?

Here is the best guide on how to start an LLC in Maine. 

It contains all you need to know about starting your LLC without hassles. 

How To Start An LLC in Maine

This guide has made starting an LLC in Maine easy. 

The first thing you’ll need to do is file the Certificate of Organization with the Maine Secretary of State.

The Certificate of Organization is a legal document that officially establishes your Maine Limited Liability Company.

You can apply online, by mail, or in person. 

The cost to start an LLC in Maine is $175.

Steps To Start an LLC in Maine

Follow these steps to start an LLC in Maine

  • Select A Name For Your LLC in Maine
  • Choose a Registered Agent
  • File the ME Certificate of Formation
  • Create an LLC Operating Agreement
  • Get an EIN

Select A Name For Your LLC in Maine

You need to come up with a unique and intelligent name for your business before you register your LLC.

Your business name needs to be unique for branding purposes and legitimate for legal purposes.

When choosing a name for your LLC, ensure that:

  • Your name meets Maine guidelines
  • Must contain the words limited liability company, limited company, LLC, or L.L.C.
  • Also, it doesn’t contain restricted words or phrases (these often include terms like bank, attorney, and university) without approval
  • It is distinct from any other entity or trade name registered in Maine

Also, do a Maine LLC name search with the Secretary of State to find out if your name is available in Maine.

If your business name is available and meets guidelines, you’ll register it when you file your Certificate of Formation with the Secretary of State.

In addition, check if the domain name is available before you register the name. 

Appoint A Registered Agent

When you file your Certificate of Formation, you’ll need to list a registered agent.

This is because a registered agent’s job is to accept legal documents like service of process and tax notices for your LLC. 

However, your registered agent can be a person or a registered agent service. 

More so, you can act as your registered agent, but many business owners choose to use a registered agent service.

Your registered agent must: 

Be available during regular (9 am – 5 pm) business hours at the address you provide

Provide an address public

File an LLC Certificate of Formation

The next step is officially forming your LLC by filing your Certificate of Formation with the Maine Secretary of State.

You can fill out and file the Maine LLC Certificate of Formation and mail it in. 

The filing fee is $175 for LLCs in Maine.

However, the following information must be filled in to complete the form:

  • Entity Name
  • Entity Type
  • Registered Agent Name and Registered Office Address
  • Filing Date

You can mail your Certificate of Formation and send it to the Secretary of State.

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Also, the fee is payable to the Secretary of State at: 

Secretary of State

Division of Corporations, UCC, and Commissions

101 State House Station

Augusta, ME 04333

Create an Operating Agreement

To legally take possession of your LLC management and structure, you need to create a Maine LLC operating agreement.

This document will give you something to return to if a dispute or lawsuit ensues. 

However, your operating agreement should outline the following:

  • Each member’s responsibilities
  • How new members will be admitted
  • How existing members may transfer or terminate their membership
  • How profits and dividends will be distributed

Meanwhile, you can add as many provisions as you want, as long as they don’t conflict with Maine law. 

Get An EIN

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a Social Security number (SSN) for your company. 

The Internal Revenue Service and the state of Maine will use this number to track your business activity.

Also, your EIN will come in handy when it’s time to:

  • Open a business bank account
  • File Federal and State taxes
  • Hire employees

What To Do After Forming an LLC in Maine

Having learned how to start an LLC in Maine, it is essential to protect your business.  

You can protect your business by taking some legal steps and separating your personal and business assets to avoid the risk that your LLC is sued. 

You can also follow these steps below to protect your LLC in Maine:

Opening a Business Account

You may have to separate your assets from your company’s assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.

This also makes accounting and tax filing easier.

Get a business credit card

Getting a business credit card helps you separate all business expenses for end-of-year tax purposes.

It also helps you build your business credit score, which is essential for getting a line of credit or business loan. 

In addition, it allows you to keep track of department expenses by issuing multiple cards to your employees.

Hire a Business Accountant

To prevent your business from overpaying on taxes while helping you avoid penalties, fines, and other costly tax errors, you may have to hire a business accountant. 

Doing this makes bookkeeping and payroll easier, giving you more time to focus on your growing business 

Furthermore, it helps you manage your business funding more effectively, discovering areas of unforeseen loss or extra profit

Get Your Business Insurance

Getting business insurance helps you manage risks and focus on growing your LLC. 

The common types of business insurance are:

General Liability Insurance: This broad insurance policy protects your business from lawsuits. 

Professional Liability Insurance: This business insurance is for professional service providers (consultants, accountants, etc.) and covers malpractice claims and other business errors.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance: This type provides coverage for employees’ job-related illnesses, injuries, or deaths. In Maine, businesses with one or more employees, excluding officers and LLC members, must have workers’ compensation insurance.

Create Your Business Website

To legitimize your business, you need to create a business website. 

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Every business needs a website to avoid missing out on many potential customers and revenue.

Send Out a Press Release

To provide publicity, you need to do press releases to promote your business. 

This is because they are also one of the most cost-effective strategies to establish your brand presence on the web. 

Also, they provide publicity, improve your website’s search engine optimization (SEO), drive more customers to your website, and have long-lasting benefits.

Keep Your Business Licenses and Permits

You must comply with federal, state, and local government regulations to operate your business in Maine. 

You must obtain and keep your business licenses and permits from your state. 

For instance, for a restaurant’s LLC, you must obtain permits like; need health permits, building permits, signage permits, etc.

However, the details of business licenses and permits vary from state to state. 

The fees also vary depending on what sort of license you are seeking to obtain.

Tax Filing Requirements

Depending on the nature of your business, you may have to register for one or more forms of state tax.

You must register for sales tax if you sell a physical product; you’ll typically need to register for a seller’s permit online through the State of Maine website.

Some of the tax filing requirements are: 

Maine Sales Tax

This is required if you are selling a physical product.

You must register for a seller’s permit through the Maine Department of Revenue Services.

Meanwhile, the certificate allows a business to collect sales tax on taxable sales.

Maine Employee Tax

If you have employees in your LLC in  Maine, you must register for Unemployment Insurance Tax with the Maine Department of Labor Tax and Benefits System. 

Also, the Employee Withholding Tax with the Maine Department of Revenue Services.

File Your Annual Report

You can file an Annual Report Online with the online Maine Secretary of State. 

Note: Any annual report received by the due date will give your LLC a “Not in Good Standing” status.

Also, Maine may dissolve your LLC after one year for failure to file an annual report.

Hiring Employees

If you plan to hire employees for your LLC in Maine, you need to abide by the law and follow these steps:

You must: 

  • Verify that new employees have US work permits. 
  • Report employees as “new hires” to the State
  • Provide workers’ compensation insurance for employees
  • Withhold employee taxes
  • Print workplace compliance posters and place them in visible areas of your workspace

How to Start A Foreign LLC in Maine

If you have an existing LLC and you want to extend the business to Maine, you need to register as a foreign LLC. 

This is because forming a foreign LLC allows your company to operate as one entity in multiple states. If you have an existing LLC and want to do business in Maine, you must register as a foreign LLC. This can be done online.

How to Obtain a Certificate of Good Standing in Maine

In Maine, the certificate of good standing is also called the certificate of legal status. 

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With a certificate of good standing, your business is verified that it was legally formed and adequately maintained in Maine. 

Meanwhile, you can order a Maine LLC Certificate of Good Standing online for free. 

You might need to get your certificate of legal standing if: 

You will seek funding from banks or other lenders

You might form your business as a foreign LLC in another state

You will obtain or renew specific business licenses or permits

You can order a Certificate of Legal Existence online or by mail.

Online: Request a Certificate Online Through the Maine Secretary of State

Also, you can request a Certificate by Mail or In-Person. 

Conclusion

As simple as filing an LLC in Maine is, you will follow simple guides and requirements to get your LLC running in Maine. 

The steps have been simplified and explained in this guide on how to start an LLC in Maine. 

We hope you find the guide helpful!

Don’t forget to share! 

How to start an LLC in other states of the United States

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