Start a Business in Maine

Incorporation Service

Your specialist works with you 1-on-1 to form your LLC, corporation, or other business structure. We prepare and file most formations in just one business day!

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This guide on starting your business in Maine provides step-by-step instructions on the paperwork to file formation documents, obtain tax IDs, and set up company records.

how to start a business

Step-By-Step Startup

Below is an overview of the paperwork, cost, and time to form each of the most popular business structures. Simply click on the link for your desired structure to view detailed step-by-step instructions.

  • If you have not decided whether you want to form an LLC, corporation, or other business structure, click here.
  • If wish to form your business in a different state than Maine, click here.
Structure Paperwork Cost Time

Maine Limited Liability Company

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  • Form MLLC-6: Maine Limited Liability Company Certificate of Formation
  • Operating Agreement
  • IRS Form SS-4: Obtain an EIN
  • Maine Application for Tax Registration
  • Formation: $175 + optional $50-100 expedite fee
  • Formation: Immediately online. ~14 business days. ~24 hours for $50 expedite fee. Immediately for $100 expedite fee.

Maine Corporation

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  • Form MBCA-6: Maine Business Corporation Articles of Incorporation
  • Bylaws
  • IRS Form SS-4: Obtain an EIN
  • Form 2553: S-Corp Election, if desired
  • Maine Application for Tax Registration
  • Incorporation: $145 + optional $50-100 expedite fee
  • Incorporation: ~14 business days. ~24 hours for $50 expedite fee. Immediately for $100 expedite fee.

Maine Nonprofit

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  • Form MNPCA-6: Maine Domestic Nonprofit Corporation Articles of Incorporation
  • Bylaws
  • IRS Form SS-4: Obtain an EIN
  • IRS Form 1023: 501(c) Tax Exempt Application
  • IRS Determination Letter
  • Maine Application for Tax Registration
  • Maine Sales Tax Exempt Organization Application
  • URS Charitable Registration, if applicable
  • Maine Charitable Organization Application
  • Incorporation: $40 + optional $50-$100 expedite fee
  • 501(c): $275 or $600 IRS fee
  • Maine Charitable Registration: $50
  • Incorporation: ~14 business days. ~24 hours for $50 expedite fee. Immediately for $100 expedite fee.
  • 501(c): 2 weeks to 3 months

Top 5 Tips on Registering a Business in Maine

  1. LLC formation can be filed online but corporate formation cannot. For this reason, LLC formation is immediate but incorporation takes ~2 weeks, unless you pay the state expedite fee. When filing by mail, include the filer contact cover form.
  2. Original inked signatures are required on formation and annual report documents.
  3. You need your EIN before you can register your business for state business tax accounts. Maine Revenue Services permits you to submit a single application to register for income tax withholding, unemployment compensation tax, sales and use tax, service provider tax, motor fuels tax, and other business taxes.
  4. Maine uses the terms "registered agent" and "clerk"/"commercial clerk" interchangeably. This individual or business receives notice of lawsuit and other official documents for your business. An LLC or corporation must always have a clerk or registered agent on record in Maine.
  5. LLCs and corporations must file an annual report. Only if you have filed a previous annual report, you will receive an e-mail from the Maine Secretary of State. So mark a reminder for your first year, because the secretary will not notify you. As your registered agent, we provide a reminder.

Incorporation Service

Your specialist works with you 1-on-1 to form your LLC, corporation, or other business structure. We prepare and file most formations in just one business day!

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