The Maine Certificate of Formation is the LLC form you fill out and file with the state to form an LLC.
Follow the steps in our How to File a Maine LLC Certificate of Formation guide below to get started.
Or simply use a professional service:
Northwest ($29 + State Fees)
Filing the Maine Certificate of Formation is Easy!
Step 1: Get Your Certificate of Formation
You must download and mail in your Maine Certificate of Formation. There are no online filing options in Maine.
Step 2: Fill Out the Certificate of Formation
In this step, we will help you complete the Maine Certificate of Formation form.
You will need to know the following information to complete each Article:
- Entity Name
- Entity Type
- Registered Agent Name and Registered Office Address
- Filing Date
Having a creative and smart business name is important but not as important as having a legally correct name.
When you choose a name for your business, you have to make sure the name:
- meets Maine naming guidelines.
- is not already in use by another business in Maine.
Follow the Maine Naming Guidelines:
- Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or “limited company” or one of their abbreviations (LLC, L.L.C., L.C., LC).
- Your name cannot include obscene language.
- Your name cannot promote abusive or unlawful activity.
- Your name cannot falsely suggests an association with public institutions.
- You must get approval from the Maine Bureau of Financial Institutions to include any of the following words in your name: savings, savings bank, bank, banker, banking, trust, trust company, trust and banking company, and credit union (or any plurals or variations).
- Your name must be distinguishable from any existing business in the state. This includes Maine reserved names. We will help with this step in the search for your business name section below.
- Low-profit LLC names must include "Low-profit Limited Liability Company, "L3C," or "13c."
Check Name Availability:
Is your name available in Maine? Make sure the name you want isn't already taken by doing a name search on the Maine Secretary of State website.
To learn more about naming your business, including best practices and creative branding, visit our How to Name a Business in Maine guide.
Not sure what to name your business? Check out our Business Name Generator.
If applicable, you must state if your LLC will be designated as a low-income or professional LLC.
Register Your Domain Name:
We recommend checking to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don't plan to make a business website today, you may want to buy the URL in order to prevent others from acquiring it.
Find a Domain Now
Registered Agent and Registered Office
A registered agent accepts and sends legal documents on your LLC’s behalf. When you register your Maine LLC, you are required to list your registered agent and your registered office.
Your registered agent can be anyone 18 years or older that lives in Maine. Your registered agent must always be available at the registered office during regular business hours.
To learn more about choosing a Maine registered agent, read our How to Choose a Maine Registered Agent guide.
To learn more about what a registered agent does and how to choose one, read our What is a Registered Agent guide.
You must include the effective date for the Certificate of Formation.
Step 3: File the Certificate of Formation
To register your LLC, you will need to file the Certificate of Formation with the Secretary of State. This can be done by mail.
File Your Maine Certificate of Formation
Download and mail in the Certificate of Formation PDF to the Maine Secretary of State website.
State Filing Cost: $175
Secretary of State Division of Corporations, UCC and Commissions
101 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0101
Turnaround Time: The standard turnaround time for processing corporate filings is 5 to 10 business days.
Create an Operating Agreement
A Maine LLC Operating Agreement is a legal document that outlines the ownership structure and member roles of your LLC.
In Maine, you aren’t required to have an Operating Agreement to officially form an LLC, but it's still a good idea to have one. You can start your operating agreement before, during, or after you file your Certificate of Formation.
Your operating agreement will be kept in your LLC’s private business records; you do not file it with the state.
Use our free Operating Agreement Tool to draft a customized operating agreement for your LLC.
Get an EIN
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is like a social security number for your LLC. You will need an EIN if you want to hire employees or open business bank accounts.
You can get your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our What is an EIN article.
Open a Business Bank Account
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential to protect your business' corporate veil. When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your LLC is sued.
For reviews on some of our most trusted business banks, visit our Best Banks for Small Business review.
Get Licenses and Permits
When you are registering an LLC, you need to determine if your business needs any licenses or permits in order to remain compliant. On the federal level, there are a handful of business activities that require licenses and/or permits.
Find out how to obtain necessary licenses and permits for your business or have a professional service do it for you:
- Federal: Use the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) guide to federal business licenses and permits.
- State: Apply for or learn more about licenses, permits, and registration with Maine's Business Licensing webpage.
- Local: Contact your local county clerk and ask about local licenses and permits.
Brand Your Business
The strongest and most memorable businesses are built on a solid brand. When developing your brand, think about what your business stands for. Customers and clients are looking for companies that have a compelling brand, as much as they are shopping for high-quality products and services.
Creating a logo for your business is vital for increasing brand awareness. You can design your own unique logo using our Free Logo Generator. Our free tool can help you design your own unique logo for your new business idea.