Maine Nonprofit Compliance

Required annual filings

This guide covers the required filings to maintain a nonprofit corporation in Maine. If you are looking to form nonprofit in Maine, please visit our Start Your Maine Nonprofit guide. The steps below apply to nonprofits that are both incorporated and foreign qualified in Maine. Please note that this is a general list and may not be exhaustive or applicable to all nonprofits.

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1 File IRS Form 990
Agency:Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Form:

IRS Form 990-N, 990-EZ, 990-PF or 990

Instructions:

See Form 990 Thresholds to determine which form to file.  Then see Current Form 990 Series for instructions.

Due:

By the 15th day of the 5th month following the end of the taxable year.  For most organizations, the tax year ends December 31 so the Form 990 is due May 15.

Fact Checked:8/28/19
2 File Maine Corporate Tax Exemption Renewals

Not required



There is no renewal requirement for Maine corporate income tax exemption.

More information: Maine Revenue Services
3 File Maine Sales Tax Exemption Renewals

Not required



Maine does not have a renewal requirement for sales tax exemption, but organization information most be kept up to date.

More information: Maine Revenue Services
4 File Maine Annual Report
Agency:Maine Secretary of State - Bureau of Corporations, Elections, and Commissions
Form:

Create a paper Annual Report

Filing Method:

Mail or online.

Agency Fee:

$35

Due:

Annually by June 1.

Law:

Maine Revised Statutes Title 13-B § 1301.

Penalties:

$25 fine for late fee.

Notes:
  • Anyone with authority may file.
  • Original signatures are required if you file by paper.
Fact Checked:8/6/20
5 Renew the Charitable Solicitation Registration

Maine Charitable Organization License

Agency:Maine Office of Professional and Occupation Regulation
Law:

Maine Revised Statutes Ann., Title 9, Ch. 385, §§ 5001-5018

Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:No
Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?No
Fact Checked:4/10/20

Automatic Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • Organizations that solicit primarily within their membership and do not contract with a professional solicitor. For purposes of this paragraph, the term "membership" does not include those persons who are granted a membership upon making a contribution as a result of a solicitation
  • Persons soliciting contributions for the relief of any individual specified by name at the time of the solicitation, when all of the contributions collected, without any deductions whatsoever, are turned over to the named beneficiary for that individual's use
  • Charitable organizations that do not intend to solicit and receive and do not actually solicit or receive contributions from the public in excess of $35,000 during a calendar year or do not receive contributions from more than 35 persons during a calendar year, if the charitable organizations do not contract with professional solicitors and if no part of the assets or income inures to the benefit of or is paid to any officer or member
  • Educational institutions, the curriculums of which in whole or in part are registered or approved by the Department of Education, either directly or by acceptance of accreditation by an accrediting body recognized by the Department of Education, and organizations operated by the student bodies of such institutions
  • Hospitals that are nonprofit and charitable
  • Free clinics
Law:

Maine Revised Statutes Ann., Title 9, Ch. 385, § 5006

Fact Checked:1/16/20

Initial Registration

Form:

Charitable Organization Application

Filing Method:

Mail or online.

Agency Fee:

$20

Turnaround:

2-3 weeks

Notes:
  • Check the website for the status of your license. PENDING means it is under review. ACTIVE means your organization is authorized to solicit.
  • Some Maine counties and municipalities may require charities that solicit in-person to register prior to fundraising.
Before you Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  • Check the available exemptions to see if your charity is eligible for exemption from the full registration requirement.
  • Look through the list of required attachments and make sure that you have each required document in hand before starting the registration application.

Foreign Applicants:

  • Check the available exemptions to see if your charity is eligible for exemption from the full registration requirement.
  • Look through the list of required attachments and make sure that you have each required document in hand before starting the registration application.
  • If you will foreign qualify in Maine, obtain a certificate of good standing from your home state to submit during the foreign qualification process. The certificate cannot be more than 90 days old when filing foreign qualification documents.
How to Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  1. File entity formation documents with the Maine Secretary of State - Bureau of Corporations, Elections, and Commissions.
  2. Submit a Charitable Organization Application and all required attachments to the Maine Office of Professional and Occupation Regulation.

Foreign Applicants:

  1. Determine whether or not your charity will need to foreign qualify based on your activity in Maine. If not required, skip to number 3.
  2. File foreign qualification documents with the Maine Secretary of State - Bureau of Corporations, Elections, and Commissions.
  3. Submit a Charitable Organization Application and all required attachments to the Maine Office of Professional and Occupation Regulation.
Required Attachments:
  • Current year budget or IRS form 990
  • IRS determination letter
  • List of officers and directors
  • Professional fundraising contracts
Fact Checked:4/14/20

Registration Renewal

Form:

Charitable Organization Application and Annual Fundraising Activity Report for Charitable Organization

Filing Method:

Mail or online.

Agency Fee:

$20

Due:

Annually by November 30.

Due Date Extension:

Maine does not grant extensions for charitable organization registration.

Penalties:

There is a $50 late fee for renewals filed within 90 days after the expiration date.

Notes:
  • Make sure to include all required attachments
  • Late applications filed December 1 - March 1 must include a $50 late fee. After March 1st, applicants must file a new initial application.
Required Attachments:

  • List of officers and directors
Fact Checked:2/4/20

Change of Fiscal Year

Agency Fee:

$0

Turnaround:

1-2 business days

Notes:

Email Tammy Reed at tammy.reed@maine.gov to update fiscal year.

Fact Checked:12/7/18

Cancellation

Form:

Annual Fundraising Activity Report for Charitable Organization

Agency Fee:

$0

Notes:

To close out your registration, submit a letter indicating your withdrawal request and a final annual fundraising activity report, which can be emailed, faxed, or mailed.

Fact Checked:7/14/20
6Maintain a Maine Registered Agent

Maintain a registered agent that has a street address in Maine. The registered agent is responsible for receiving legal documents such as service of process. Appointing a registered agent service is often preferable to listing an officer or director, as their information often changes. Consider using our registered agent service in Portland , ME to maintain compliance with the state requirement.


Continue reading

Fundraising Compliance

Learn how to stay compliant with charitable solicitation laws.

Read the guide
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