Starting a Business in Maine Checklist

Check business name availability with the Maine Secretary of State

Start by doing a search to see if your business name is available:
http://icrs.informe.org/nei-sos-icrs/ICRS?MainPage=x

Maine business name requirements:

Maine LLC: must contain the words “limited liability company” or “limited company” or the abbreviation “L.L.C.,” “LLC,” “L.C.” or “LC”

Maine corporations: name must be distinguishable from other registered Maine businesses.

Maine Secretary of State

Secretary of State
Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions
101 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0101
T: 207-624-7736
F: 207-287-5428
cec.corporations@maine.gov

File papers to create my business

You form a new business entity by filing the documents with the Maine Secretary of State. To form a corporation, file the Articles of Incorporation and pay the $145 filing fee. To form a Maine LLC, file a Certificate of Formation and pay the $175 fee. You can get the form from the Bureau of Corporations website and mail or deliver it to the Secretary of the State. Normal processing takes 5-10 business days.

Information to include in Maine business entity filing:

- Business name

- Registered agent name and physical address (mailing address also, if different)

- Filer name and signature

- Authorized stock information (corporations only)

- Indicate powers of the directors (corporations only)

- Names and addresses of the incorporators (corporations only)

Incorporate in Maine with Northwest Registered Agent if you don’t want to do the filing yourself.

Maine Secretary of State

Secretary of State
Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions
101 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0101
T: 207-624-7736
F: 207-287-5428
cec.corporations@maine.gov
http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/corp/

Register with the Department of Revenue

You can register with the Department of Revenue Services a for variety of taxes (including sales and use/income tax withholding/service provider tax) online at https://www.maine.gov/cgi-bin/online/suwtaxreg/index or by mailing in an Application for Tax Registration, which you can download from the Revenue Services website.

Income Tax:

Maine’s corporate tax rate ranges from 3.5% to 8.93%

Maine’s individual income tax rate ranges from 0% to 7.95%

Sales Tax:

Maine’s sales tax rate is 5%

Maine Revenue Services

Central Registration Section
P.O. Box 1057
Augusta, Maine 04332-1057
P: (207) 624-5644
F: (207) 287-6975

http://www.maine.gov/revenue/

Get a business license

There is no state business license but some businesses need state trade or professional licenses. For links to professional licensing boards http://www.maine.gov/portal/business/professions.html

Businesses are licensed at the local level in Maine. Check with the city where you do business to see what their licensing requirements are.

City of Portland

Business licenses are issued by the City Clerk’s Business License Administrator. The City of Portland only requires certain types of businesses to be licensed. Application forms are available on the city’s website http://www.portlandmaine.gov/voter/cityclerk2.asp#Business_License_Applications

City of Bangor

Bangor does not issue licenses for all businesses. It depends on your business activity. For a list of businesses that must have a City of Bangor License and to download an application: http://www.bangormaine.gov/index.php?id=244&sub_id=215

Local License Info

City of Portland

Office of the City Clerk
389 Congress Street
Portland, ME 04101
P: (207) 874-8557
F: (207) 874-8612

City of Bangor

Bangor City Clerk’s Office
73 Harlow Street
Bangor, ME 04401
P: (207) 992-4220
F: (207) 945-4449

Collect and Charge Sales Tax

Do I need to collect Maine sales tax?

You will need a sales tax permit if you sell tangible personal property or provide taxable services at retail in Maine. If you have questions you can contact the Sales Tax Division.

What is the Maine sales tax rate?

Maine’s sales tax rate is 5.5%.

How do I register for Maine sales tax?

You can register with the Department of Revenue Services a for variety of taxes (including sales and use tax) online at https://www.maine.gov/cgi-bin/online/suwtaxreg/index
Or you can download the Application for Tax Registration off of the Department of Revenue website and mail, email, or fax them to the Central Registration Section.
The Department of Revenue will mail your Certificate and filing instructions within 20 business days.

How much does a Maine Sales Tax Certificate cost?

No fee.

Maine Revenue Services

Maine Revenue ServicesCentral Registration Section
P.O. Box 1057
Augusta, Maine 04332-1057
P: (207) 624-5644
F: (207) 287-6975
centreg.tax@maine.govSales

Tax Division
PO Box 1060
Augusta, Maine 04332-1060
(207) 624-9693
sales.tax@maine.gov