Maine LLC Costs
Business owners in Maine benefit when forming a limited liability company. An LLC is a common business structure that allows small business owners and entrepreneurs access to liability protection, special tax breaks, special incentives, and a workable management structure. Some falsely think that LLC formation in Maine is expensive and complicated. But, it is a relatively simple and straightforward process that is affordable for most people.
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Costs to start an LLC in Maine
LLC Certificate of Formation ($175)
- You must file a Certificate of Formation, or Articles of Organization, with the Maine Secretary of State when forming an LLC in the state.
- The LLC cost to file Maine Certificate of Formation is $175.
- Maine offers expedited LLC services. 24-hour – $50, Instant – $100.
Maine annual report fee ($85)
- In Maine, you must file an LLC’s annual report with the Secretary of State.
- You can file the annual report fee with the Maine SOS Bearuea of Corporations Elections Commissions website.
- Or, you can create an annual report form and submit it by mail.
- The annual fee is $85.
- The Maine annual report is due by June 1st every year.
- The penalty for filing an annual report after its due date is $50. Your LLC could also face involuntary dissolution.
Maine registered agent fee (varies between $50 to $300)
- When you form an LLC in Maine, you must appoint a registered agent.
- A registered agent is how you ensure the Secretary of State that someone is available during business hours to accept subpoenas and other important notices.
- Anyone can act as an appointed agent in Maine as long as they meet the state requirements, which includes yourself.
- The entire cost of appointing a registered agent will vary depending on the agent, LLC needs, and state filing fees.
Fees to form a foreign LLC in Maine ($250 online)
- You must register as a foreign LLC if you have an existing one in another state and are expanding.
- You will register your Maine foreign LLC by completing the Statement of Foreign Qualification to Conduct Activities (Form MLLC-12) and submit it by mail to the Secretary of State Division of Corporations, UCC and Commission.
- The LLC cost to register a Maine foreign LLC is $250.
LLC name reservation fee ($20)
- Maine does not require you to reserve an LLC name before formation.
- But, when you reserve a company name, you are ensuring no other person can reserve and register the same name in Maine.
- LLC names in Maine must be unique and available in the state.
- You will complete the Application for Reservation of Name (Form MLLC-1) and submit it by mail to the Maine SOS.
- You can reserve an LLC name for 12 months before formation.
- The LLC filing cost for a company name in Maine is $20.
DBA filing fees in Maine ($125 online)
- The term DBA is an acronym for ‘doing business as.’ A DBA, or assumed name, is any registered name that a person or company uses to do business that is not its legal name.
- An LLC must register a DBA when operating a business using a name that is not the legal name of the LLC.
- All assumed names in Maine must be unique and meet state requirements.
- You will register the Maine DBA name by completing the Statement of Intention to Transact Business Under an Assumed Name (Form MLLC-5) and submit it by mail to the Division of Corporations, UCC, and Commissions.
- The cost to register a DBA in Maine is $125.
Cost of certified document copies ($5)
- You will use the Maine SOS Bureau of Corporations, Elections, and Commissions website to order certified document copies.
- The cost for Maine certified document copies is $5.
Maine Certificate of Existence ($30)
- Most banks in Maine will require you to file a Certificate of Existence before you can open a business bank account.
- You can order a Certificate of Existence online using the Maine Secretary of State website.
- The LLC filing fee for a Maine Certificate of Existence is $30.
Steps to start an LLC in Maine
Choose a business name
When deciding on an LLC name in Maine, you will want to consider a few things.
- LLC names in Maine must be unique and meet the state guidelines.
- Your Maine LLC name must meet all state naming requirements.
- It is always a good idea to check web domain availability to keep branding and marketing easy.
You will use the Maine Corporate Name website to conduct a name search for LLC name availability.
LLC name reservation fee
In Maine, you are not required to reserve an LLC name before the formation process.
You will reserve the Maine LLC name online. Company name reservation is valid for up to 12 months.
The cost to reserve a company name in Maine is $20. A Maine LLC name is good for up to 12 months. Maine does not require you to reserve an LLC name.
Appoint a Maine registered agent
In Maine, you must appoint a registered agent when you form an LLC in the state.
The price for a Maine registered agent or service varies between $50 and $100 a year. The cost depends on the state and your LLC needs.
A registered agent in Maine is an individual or business entity that receives tax forms, legal documents, subpoenas, civil notices, service of process, and other official government correspondence on behalf of a sole proprietorship, corporation, or LLC.
The registered agent you choose must be a Maine resident or a registered agent service authorized to conduct business in the state.
- Starter Plan – $39 a year plus State Fees
- Pro Plan – $149 a year plus State Fees
- Premium Plan – $249 a year plus State Fees
ZenBusiness has a stand-alone registered agent service for Maine LLCs. The price is $99 per year.
- Total Out The Door Maine LLC Formation Service Package – $58 a month and includes:
- Maine State Fee
- Filing Service Fee
- Registered Agent
- Tax ID
- Annual Plan – $225 plus State Fees a year
- Economy – $79 plus $153 ME filing fees
- Standard – $329 plus $153 state filing fees
- Express Gold – $349 plus $255 state filing fees
File Maine Certificate of Formation
You must file a Certificate of Formation with the Maine Secretary of State when you form an LLC in the state.
You will complete the Maine Certificate of Formation form and submit it by mail to the SOS Division of Corporations, UUC, and Commissions.
The LLC cost to file a ME Certificate of Formation is $175.
The state of Maine offers expedited LLC services. 24-hour – $50, Immediate – $100.
Maine Secretary of State
Division of Corporations, UCC and Commissions
101 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333
The Certificate of Formation form will ask various questions about your LLC.
- LLC name
- LLC effective date
- Indicate if it is a nonprofit.
- Registered Agent
The fee in Maine for filing the LLC Certificate of Formation starts at $95 if you file online, or $100 by mail.
Get a Maine LLC EIN
An Employer Identification Number, or EIN, can also be referred to as a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or Federal Tax ID Number (FTIN).
The IRS issues a 9-digit EIN to LLCs for income tax purposes. It acts as a Social Security Number for companies. The Internal Revenue services issue an EIN for no additional costs.
You must apply for an EIN if converting a sole proprietorship to an LLC.
Applying for an EIN is a simple process online through the IRS website.
Business banking for a Maine LLC
In Maine, financial experts recommend that an LLC owner open a business account separate from personal bank accounts. It protects personal assets and future credit scores.
Banks will require an LLC owner to submit a copy of the LLC’s Certificate of Formation, operating agreement, and EIN to conduct business banking.
Business banking accounts are generally free, and do not have additional charges or fees.
Business attorney fees in Maine
When you choose to retain a business attorney in Maine, you are ensuring a straightforward LLC formation process. It also means someone is available to handle any business-related issues that could arise later.
In Maine, business attorneys typically offer free consultations for first-time clients.
Professional services such as LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer offer LLC formation packages that include comprehensive legal services.
On average, a business lawyer in Maine will cost $300 per hour.
LLC taxes in Maine
- Maine LLCs are considered pass-through entities. It means that you will file personal tax returns rather than the company’s returns.
- If you sell physical products in Maine, you must register for a seller’s permit with the Maine Internal Revenue Services.
- The Maine state tax rate is 5.50%, and the state has no max on local and county tax rates.
- You must register for the Unemployment Insurance Tax with the Maine Department of Labor if you hire LLC employees.
- And you will register for the Employee Withholding Tax with the Maine Revenue Services.
- State taxes and federal taxes can get overly complicated. Appointing a tax expert can help ensure you do not miss important deadlines, pay penalty fees, or face possible dissolution.
Business licenses and permits in Maine
In Maine, the total LLC cost for business licenses and permits will vary depending on where the company is located and the type of business.
You will visit Maine.gov to explore which business licenses and permits you may need for your business.
A business licence in Maine varies between $25 to $300. The total cost of permits and licences will depend on where your LLC is, and the type of LLC.
Local government agencies in Maine will have different license processes and rules. You will want to contact the office to inquire about the process, price, and office hours.
You may find that some Maine LLC formation documents will require a notarization from a notary public.
If you cannot locate a notary, most government agencies have one in the office.
According to Maine law, a notary public can only charge a max of $5 per signature.
Employer obligations in Maine
- You have employer obligations when you hire in the state of Maine.
- You must verify that all employees are eligible to work in the US by completing Form I-9 from the USCIS Website.
- You will register for worker’s compensation insurance.
- You will report all new hires using the Maine Division of Support Enforcement and Recovery website.
- You will find a complete list of employer obligations in Maine.
Benefits of a Maine LLC
- Business banking is easier when you form an LLC in Maine. Starting a limited liability company helps to protect future liability. And banks will require that you open separate personal and business banking accounts.
- LLCs have different compliance requirements than Maine corporations. Incorporations must answer to shareholders and stock owners when they make business decisions.
- All LLCs in Maine are considered pass-through entities. Owners file personal tax returns rather than the LLC’s tax returns.
- The chances of double-taxation are lessened by forming an LLC. C-corporations are double-taxed, while LLCs are not.
- Maine has state-specific incentives that are available to LLCs. The Pine Tree Development Zones (PTZ) and Finance Authority Of Maine are available to LLCs in the state.
How long does it take to register an LLC in Maine?
The state of Maine does not allow LLC registration online. The Secretary of State will process the hardcopy LLC registration for 5 to 10 business days.
Maine offers a 24-hour expedited LLC service for an additional $50. The state also provides immediate processing for an additional $100.
Does Maine have an annual franchise tax?
One of the perks of forming an LLC in Maine is that LLCs are not subjected to a franchise tax or privilege tax.
How do I dissolve my Maine LLC?
Unless you dissolve your inactive Maine LLC, you will have ongoing costs. You must file a Certificate of Cancellation by mail with the Secretary of State.
The cost to dissolve an LLC in Maine is $75.
Why should I form an LLC in Maine?
Regardless of your business structure, converting to a Maine LLC will provide you with personal liability protection, state-specific perks, and an optimal business structure.
Do I need a business operating agreement for my LLC in Maine?
While Maine does not require you to submit an operating agreement to the state, having one in the company’s files is never a bad idea to avoid future internal conflict.
Banks in Maine will also require that you submit a copy of the business operating agreement to conduct business banking.
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