On this webpage, Start a Business has given the overview of the basic requirements needed to begin transacting business in Maine as a corporation. Whether you are representing a pre-existing company seeking authority to transact business or you’re looking to start your very own in-state company from the ground up, we’ve got you covered. You will need to download the PDF for your corporation and have an authorized officer supply all the necessary information. A filer contact cover letter and filing fee (list of filing fees found below) will need to accompany this PDF once printed. Foreign corporations will need to prove legitimacy by submitting a certificate of good standing along with their application.
- Domestic Business Corporation–$145
- Domestic Non-Profit Corporation–$40
- Foreign Business Corporation–$250
- Foreign Non-Profit Corporation–$45
How to File
Step 1- The first step we always recommend is to verify whether the name you plan on operating under is unique to your entity. If it isn’t sufficiently distinguishable from that of another entity, your application will rejected upon submission. For foreign entities this would mean that you would need to operate under a fictitious name for the duration of your term in Maine. To avoid this predicament, you can perform a Business Entity Search to review the Secretary of State name database. This search will not guarantee authenticity as all reserved names will not be associated in that query. A Name Reservation can be filed lasting a total of 120 days prior to filing if needed.
Step 2- Next you will be able to download the PDF for your corporation type. Linked below are tutorials specific to each filing type. Click on the one that applies to you to gain more detailed information.
- Domestic Business Corporation
- Domestic Non-Profit Corporation
- Foreign Business Corporation
- Foreign Non-Profit Corporation
Step 3- With the form completed you will be able to fill out the filer contact cover letter giving all the contact person’s information as well as detailing the method of payment.
Step 4- Finally you’ll be able to pay the filing fees (listed at top of page) and attach the certificate of good standing (if applicable) before sending all items to the below address for processing. Before beginning operations, wait until the confirmation of your acceptance has been sent by the office of the Secretary of State.
Department of the Secretary of State,
Division of Corporations, UCC and Commissions
101 State House Station Augusta, ME 04333
EIN – In order for the federal government to recognize your corporation as a valid tax paying employer, you will need to apply for an Employer Identification Number. This can be accomplished for free on the IRS website. Our tutorial for the PDF application and Online registration should assist anyone experiencing confusion during the acquisition process. Once you’ve successfully obtained your EIN you will be able to use it to open checking and savings accounts, register for corporate credit cards and hire new employees.
Corporate Bylaws– This document serves as a set of rules and regulations under which the employees of your corporation will be required to operate. It goes into detail over the relationship that directors, officers and shareholders have with the corporation by delineating the rights and duties of each position. A free template for such a document can be found here on our site by clicking on the heading of this paragraph. You will be able to download it in both PDF and MS Word formats and incorporate it into your business structure once completed.
Renewal– All entities are required to renew each year with the filing of their annual report. You will receive an email reminder as the deadline of June 1st approaches that will detail the method of filing as well as the consequences you will face if you fail to do so. Failure to pay the late filing penalty will result in your legal entity being revoked or dissolved in the state of Maine. Your annual report is simply used to update the Secretary of State with the current state of your corporation and to notify them of any changes which have occurred over the previous year.