Forming an LLC in Maine will separate your business’s finances with your own personal assets. This means that your personal assets are protected against any potential debts that your LLC might have. Forming an LLC in the State of Maine is easy and straightforward, and can be done by following a few simple steps.

Key Steps in Forming Your Maine LLC

There are some steps that you must take in order to properly form your Maine LLC. While these steps are similar in most states, the steps vary slightly depending on the state. The following must be done in the State of Maine in order to establish your LLC:

Once you’ve followed the requirements of choosing your name, you can reserve your name for a period of up to 120 days by filing a name reservation request, along with the required $20 fee.

Keep in mind the requirements for choosing a registered agent. This includes the fact that the agent must have a physical address within the state. Therefore, a P.O. box cannot be used, which is the requirement in most states. If you are operating a single-member LLC, then you can act as your own registered agent, so long as you reside in the State of Maine. For example, if you are operating a single-member foreign LLC (meaning that you do not reside within the state), then you cannot be your own registered agent. Even multi-member LLCs can have a member act as the registered agent, assuming that the member meets the physical address requirements. If you need help finding a Maine registered agent, you can search the State Department website.

Next, you will need to file the Certificate of Formation, which must be mailed to the Secretary of State’s office located at the Division of Corporations, UCC and Commissions, 101 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0101. The fee is $175, along with an additional $50 fee if requesting that the registration be expedited (24-hour processing time). For immediate service, you can pay an additional $100 fee.

While single-member LLCs are not required to draft an operating agreement, multi-member LLCs are in fact legally obligated to do so in the state of Maine. This agreement outlines the decision-making processes and ownership of the LLC.

After this, you should hold your first LLC meeting. In fact, the first meeting could include the drafting of the operating agreement, as all members should be in attendance when drafting the agreement. During your meeting, you should all agree on what is to be included in the operating agreement, as this document will be legally binding in court.

Additional Steps Before Conducting Business

There are some additional steps that you will need to take before you should begin conducting business. Therefore, while the Secretary of State approved the Certificate of Formation, and while you’ve already drafted your operating agreement, you’ll still want to follow these next steps to ensure that you have all pertinent documentation and licensing.

You will likely need to obtain an EIN. This number is provided by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and specifically identifies your business. If you operate a single-member LLC and have no employees, then you might not need this number. If, however, you operate a multi-member LLC (regardless of whether or not you have employees), then you will need this number. Similarly, if you operate a single-member LLC and intend on hiring employees, then you will need to obtain an EIN.

This form can be filled out on the IRS website and submitted online or mailed. There is no fee for requesting an EIN.

You might also need to obtain applicable business licenses and permits, depending on the jurisdiction where you choose to operate as well as the industry in which you are operating. For example, you might need certain health permits, building permits, or even signage permits.

If you need help forming your LLC in Maine, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5-percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law, and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with, or on behalf of companies like Google, Stripe, and Twilio.