How to form an LLC in Maine

Update: January 2, 2024

By: Tom Macken

Start an LLC in Maine how-to

Lobster. Rocky coastline. Portland and potatoes. Maine is known for many things including the stunning Mount Katahdin. 

You’ve made the big decision to start your own business and are looking into establishing an LLC in Maine. How much money will we need, exactly? Listed below are the measures, costs, and paperwork essential for a Maine company’s formation and operation.


1. Name Your Maine LLC
2. Select a Maine Registered Agent
3. File the Certificate of Formation
4. Receive a Certificate From the State
5. Create an Operating Agreement
6. Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
7. File Annual Renewals
Costs and Next Steps

A limited liability corporation, sometimes known as an LLC, provides small companies with a number of benefits, including protection from personal responsibility and tax breaks. If an LLC is the perfect company structure for you, take these steps to form one in Maine.

Due to the high filing costs and the need that the majority of organizational documentation be submitted over the mail, establishing an LLC in Maine is a little bit more complicated than it is in most other states.

Note that you have the option of forming the limited liability company (LLC) yourself, or you may contract with a reputable company formation agency to do all of the legwork on your behalf.

1. Naming of Your Maine LLC

When choosing a name for a limited liability company (LLC) in the state of Maine, there are two primary rules that must be followed:

  • The name of a limited liability company (LLC) has to be recognizable from the names of other business organizations already registered with the Secretary of State in Maine.
  • The name of a limited liability company (LLC) has to include one of the following phrases or abbreviations: “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Company,” “L.L.C.,” “LLC,” “L.C.,” or “LC” are all abbreviations for “Limited Company.”

Make a reservation for your Maine LLC company

After you have decided on a name for your limited liability company (LLC), you may make a reservation for it with the Secretary of State of Maine. This will guarantee that it will not be utilized by another business entity in Maine until your Certificate of Formation is submitted.

To begin, enter the name you’ve chosen into the Corporate Name Search tool on the website of the Maine Secretary of State to see whether or not it is already in use within the state. 

If the name is available, you may reserve it for up to one hundred and twenty days by submitting an Application for Reservation of Name to the Secretary of State via mail. The filing cost is twenty dollars.

2. Find a Maine Registered Agent

A registered agent in Maine is required of every limited liability company operating in the state. If the limited liability company (LLC) is taken to court, this refers to a person or company that has agreed to accept service of process on its behalf.

The Registered Agent might either be a resident of Maine or a business entity that is permitted to conduct operations in the state. It is required that the Registered Agent have a real, physical address in the state of Maine.

Registered Agent explainer

A Registered Agent is a person or corporate organization that is responsible for receiving vital tax forms, legal papers, notice of litigation, and official communication from the government on behalf of your company. 

This may include tax returns, legal documents, and notices of lawsuits. Consider the role of your registrant as that of the point of contact for your company with the state.

Who can be a Registered Agent?

A Registered Agent is required to be either a person who lives in Maine on a permanent basis or a company that is licensed to operate in the state of Maine and acts in the capacity of a Registered Agent service. You have the option of selecting anybody who works for the organization, including yourself.

3. Submit an application for the Certificate of Formation

The Certificate of Formation form lays forth fundamental information about your limited liability company and is responsible for formally establishing your LLC. Because this form serves as the legal registration for your company with the state, it is essential that all of the details be accurate.

What info should be included on a Certificate of Formation?

When completing the Certificate of Formation for your Maine LLC, you are required to give the following information:

  • LLC’s name
  • LLC’s duration–perpetual or limited
  • Address of the main office of the limited liability company Name and address of the registered agent for the limited liability company
  • Location where the Secretary of State should send notifications to the limited liability company (LLC) through mail.
  • How the Limited Liability Company (LLC) will be run: by its members or by its managers
  • Whether or whether the limited liability company can provide professional services
  • Name and address of each LLC organizer and at least one member or manager with operational competence.

Certificate of Formation application

The State Secretary is the official registrar of limited liability companies in Maine. The state will require that you submit a Certificate of Formation with them (Form MLLC-6)

The name of the limited liability company (LLC), the date of filing as well as the effective date that is sought for the business creation, the identity of the registered agent, and, if appropriate, the designation as a professional LLC are all included on the form.

It has the signature of an individual who is allowed to form the limited liability company. There is a fee of $175, and the form may take anywhere from 10 to 30 working days to be processed. There is an extra charge for expedited processing, which is available upon request.

Please send the form to:

Secretary of State, Division of Corporations, UCC and Commissions, 101 State House Station, 

Augusta, ME 04333-0101

4. Obtain a Certificate From Your State

After the formation paperwork of the LLC has been submitted and authorized, the state will issue you a certificate that proves the LLC officially exists. If you ask for a copy and pay appropriate stamps, the state will send you the certificate.

With this certificate, the limited liability company will be able to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN), as well as business permits and a bank account for the firm.

5. Draft an Operating Agreement for Your Company

Even while establishing a detailed operating agreement for an LLC is not a legally required stage in the process of incorporating a limited liability company in Maine, it is highly suggested for all new limited liability firms. 

Operating agreements for limited liability companies are considered valid governing instruments in the state of Maine.

The following items should be included in the operating agreement:

  • Describe the business structure of the limited liability company.
  • Determine the specific duties and commitments that each member of the limited liability company (LLC) has
  • Operational structure of the LLC.

A limited liability corporation (LLC) may face legal and practical issues without an operating agreement.

6. Get your employer ID tax number (EIN)

A number of limited liability companies (LLCs) will be required to get a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN), often known as a tax ID number. 

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a nine-digit number that identifies your company to the Internal Revenue Service. You need an EIN in order to pay government employer taxes, open a bank account (in most situations), or recruit staff.

On the website of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which is accessible without charge, you may check to see whether you need an EIN and submit an application for one online. 

The vast majority of companies are required to obtain an EIN, although a significant exception is provided for single-member limited liability companies, which are permitted to use the owner’s Social Security number instead.

Business Licensing requirements

Depending on the nature of their operations and where they are located, some limited liability companies (LLCs) doing business in Maine may be needed to get one or more business licenses or permits from the state or from their respective municipal governments.

Review the Secretary of State’s Start a Business Guide, which is made available to the public, for advice on how to satisfy the prerequisites for obtaining a state license to do business in Maine. The Maine License Directory allows users to search for specific licenses that they need.

Contact a municipal or county clerk in the city or county where your limited liability company (LLC) is based to get information on the local licensing requirements.

7. File Yearly Renewals

Annual reports must be submitted by Maine limited liability companies to the Secretary of State. Consider the yearly report to be a form of communication with the state.

The purpose of the annual report is to guarantee that the state is kept up to date on who the owners of your limited liability company are, where its physical location is, and whom the registered agent is. The filing fee for the yearly report required by Maine is $85.

Costs and the next step?


When you submit your Certificate of Formation with the Secretary of State in Maine, you will be charged a cost of $175. The Secretary of State in Maine will charge you $20 to reserve the name of your limited liability company, and you will need to pay $85 to file an annual renewal.

Consider the following additional fees that may be incurred by an LLC:

  • Reserving a Name for an LLC
  • Copy of certified documents with the DBA (Doing Business As) name
  • After Receiving Your Certificate of Existence

Next Steps 

When you register a limited liability company (LLC), you establish a legal basis upon which to operate your firm. Companies should make it a priority to maintain their limited liability company in compliance with state regulations and in an active position on the state’s website.

In addition, having an LLC enables you to perform the following:

  • Obtain any permissions or licenses that are required to run your business, such as those issued by the health department, the zoning department, the department of home occupations, the department of professional licensing, and so on. Some states need a seller’s permission to conduct sales
  • Register your company with the department of revenue in your state.
  • Create a bank account for your company, such as a Kabbage or Novo account, and apply for a credit card for your company.
  • Invest in insurance coverage for your company.
  • Create a trademark to protect both your company’s name and its logo.

Do-it-yourself or use a professional agency to form an LLC?

To establish a limited liability company (LLC), you are not required by law to consult a lawyer. The majority of states enable the establishment of LLCs via the process of registering the business entity on the website of the secretary of state and with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

If you are not acquainted with the process of forming an LLC, your best bet may be to employ a professional LLC provider so that you can be certain that the creation will go smoothly and quickly.

When entrepreneurs start a new firm, they may save startup costs and save valuable time by using a professional agency that specializes in company forms. They can take care of the things that you may not have time to think about for a price ranging from $50 to over $500, and some examples of such things are as follows:

  • Developing an operating agreement for an LLC that details your company’s who, what, when, where, why, and how, and putting it into writing (required in some states).
  • Putting together a Certificate of Formation that includes information on the registered agent, the management of the LLC, and the date the LLC was formed.
  • Taking up the role of registered agent for your firm.
  • Keeping careful records in the event that there are investigations or litigation.
  • payment of filing fees and registration with the appropriate parties.
  • registering the name of your company and ensuring that the name you choose for your limited liability company is accessible.
  • Finishing up and turning in all of the necessary legal and formation documentation.


Who can serve as a Registered Agent in Maine?

In the state of Maine, the role of registered agent is open to any person who is the owner, member, officer, or director of a business entity and who satisfies the conditions outlined above for state registered agents.

How much does it cost to form a limited liability company in the state of Maine?

The filing charge for the Certificate of Formation for a Maine Limited Liability Company is $175, and the cost to reserve your LLC name with the Maine Secretary of State is $20.

How does the state of Maine tax limited liability companies (LLCs)?

Only LLC members pay federal and state income taxes for Maine LLCs. The individual members of the LLC are personally liable for the payment of their share of federal income taxes once the liability transfers via the LLC itself.

Editorial Manager

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