How to Find the Best Registered Agent in Maine
This guide will help you find the best registered agent in Maine. We’ll explore key factors to consider, evaluate top providers, and equip you with the knowledge to make an informed decision for your business’s registered agent needs.
What is a Maine registered agent?
According to the Maine Secretary of State, a registered agent is a person or business entity that receives service of process and official correspondence as a third-party representative for a business organization.
A registered agent in Maine is the point of contact between you and the Secretary of State.
The role of the registered agent is to accept legal documents and other notices, including:
- Certificate of Formation – the formation documents for a limited liability company (LLC)
- Articles of Incorporation – Maine documents submitted by a corporation upon formation
- Annual report fee– due by June 1 each year
- Certificate of Good Standing – required to open business bank accounts in Maine
- Maine franchise tax – due April 15 to the Maine Revenue Service
A registered agent is a bodily presence
A registered agent in Maine must be physically present in the state and available during regular business hours on every working day of the year.
The Maine Secretary of State needs to know that someone is physically present to accept legal notices and other official correspondence.
You get the added benefit of using the registered agent’s address in Maine public record as the business address.
The appointed agent is the state-required point of contact
The central role of a registered agent is to accept time-sensitive legal notices and summons from the Maine Secretary of State and law firms.
The state of Maine gives you ten days to respond to a subpoena.
You risk a default judgment or a court-ordered involuntary dissolution if you do not respond to a summons in Maine.
A registered agent service is an essential reminder
The annual report in Maine is due June 1 each year.
You must submit the fee on time or risk losing good standing in Maine and maintaining asset protection.
An appointed registered agent service will remind you as due dates are near and assist you in filing the correct paperwork and paying fees on time.
Cost of a registered agent in Maine
You can appoint yourself as your own registered agent at no cost to your company as long as you meet the state-registered agent requirements.
The Maine Secretary of State requires a registered agent to be at least 18, and they must have a physical street address in the state.
You can opt to appoint a family member, friend, or employee for free.
If you go with an outside registered agent service, the cost will range between $50 and $500.
When to appoint a registered agent
Upon filing the business formation documents with the Secretary of State, you will appoint your Maine registered agent.
An LLC will provide the registered agent with contact information when submitting the Certificate of Formation.
Corporations file the Articles of Incorporation to list the registered agent they’ve appointed.
Maine state law requires all business organizations to appoint an agent regardless of structure.
Other business structures include:
- Sole proprietorships
How does a Maine LLC appoint a registered agent?
File the Certificate of Formation
You will complete the Maine LLC Certificate of Formation form and submit it to the Maine Secretary of State.
Maine Secretary of State
Division of Corporations, UCC, and Commissions
101 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333
Appoint your registered agent
Section 5 of the Certificate of Formation form will require certain information.
Is it a commercial or noncommercial registered agent?
- Registered agent name
- Registered agent address (no PO box)
Pay your Maine filing fees
The cost of filing the Certificate of Formation in Maine is $175.
You can pay extra for expedited LLC filing services.
- 24-hour: $50
- Instant – $100
The cost to file Certificate of Formation in Maine is $175.
How to change your registered agent in Maine
If you switch registered agents or there is a registered office address change, you must officially notify the Maine Secretary of State.
Submit the statement of appointment or change
You will complete the appropriate statement of appointment or change form and submit it to the Maine Secretary of State Division of Corporations.
The cost to submit the statement of appointment or change of a registered agent to the Maine Secretary of State is $15 for nonprofits and $35 for all other business structures.
The Division of Corporations will take 5 to 10 business days to process a switch in registered agents.
You can expedite the process for an additional fee.
Submit a Certificate of Amendment
Only LLCs in Maine can switch registered agents by filing a Certificate of the Amendment.
It’s not the recommended way to change registered agents unless you’re making other changes to your Certificate of Formation.
The cost to file the amendment is $50.
The cost to switch registered agents in Maine is $15 for nonprofits, and $35 for all other business entities.
How to resign as a registered agent in Maine
If you resign as a registered agent, you must complete the registered agent statement of resignation form and submit it to the Maine Secretary of State.
You will also send a notice of resignation to the organization you’re resigning from.
The resolution to change the resident agent form will ask for specific information.
- Company name
- Registered agent information
- Contact information for the person to who the notice needs to be sent to
- Statement of resignation
The cost to file a resignation of registered agent is $15 for nonprofits and $35 for all other business structures.
The Maine Secretary of State will take 5 to 10 days to process a registered agent resignation.
Benefits of appointing a registered agent in Maine
You maintain liability protection
The Maine annual report is due by June 1 every year.
Businesses that fail to pay the fee on time risk losing good standing in Maine. Which means that you also lose asset protection.
A registered agent will send you notifications about upcoming due dates and assists you in filing the correct documents and proper fees.
You can keep your personal address out of public record
It’s common for small business owners to work from a home address or private office.
All business addresses are searchable using the Maine Corporate Name Search, including those that are also personal addresses.
The public can search the Maine Secretary of State database by name, keyword, or charter number.
You can appoint a registered agent and use the service address as the business address so that it will get listed in public record rather than yours.
You get much-needed discretion
When a law firm attempts to contact you, they can send a process server without notifying you first.
A registered agent is a third-party representative whose role is to accept sensitive legal notices and documents out of the view of customers and clients and offer you peace of mind.
The freedom of a flexible schedule
The Model Registered Agent Act requires all commercial and noncommercial registered agents to be available during normal business hours on every work day of the year.
When you appoint yourself, you are responsible for being physically available during those hours.
Having an outside registered agent or service gives you the flexibility to come and go from the office.
You have constant access to the Maine Certificate of Good Standing
You must show proof of a company’s good standing in Maine to open new business bank accounts and apply for credit cards.
When you appoint a commercial registered agent service, you get 24/7 access to the Certificate of Good Standing and other formation documents that make doing business convenient.
Foreign LLC formation is uncomplicated
LLC expansion into other states requires appointing a registered agent before the business formation process.
Organizations that have already appointed a professional registered agent service can start the process immediately.
What is a noncommercial registered agent in Maine?
Noncommercial registered agents are not listed with the Maine Secretary of State and are typically individuals or agents that only serve one or two businesses. Commercial registered agents are those that have registered and are listed on the Secretary of State website.
How do I become a registered agent in Maine?
You aren’t required to submit any special documents to become a noncommercial registered agent. To become a listed commercial agent, you must register with the Maine Secretary of State.
Can I get my business mail delivered to my Maine registered agent?
Most commercial registered agent services offer mail-forwarding services at an additional cost. But, you will want to use a different business address for billing, shipping, and mail to avoid extra charges.
Can I use my registered agent address for the IRS?
You can’t use a registered agent address with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). When you apply for an EIN, the IRS requires the physical address of your business’s principal office.
What does service of process mean in Maine?
According to Maine Rule 4, a sheriff, a deputy, or any other individual authorized by law or appointed by the court services can serve as a process server and deliver service of process. The service of process is legal documents such as subpoenas.
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