If you plan to open a business in Maine, you're thinking about what costs you'll be incurring and if you should operate as a sole proprietorship, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation.
Budding entrepreneurs often choose to either work as a sole proprietor or as an LLC. And while the former seems clear, since you pay taxes as an individual on a common basis, the latter raises the question of how much is an LLC in Maine.
In this article, we'll get to the bottom of the following questions in detail:
Below we shall primarily consider the cost of a company in the state, but you can also explore our step-by-step guide on how to independently start an LLC in Maine.
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If we're talking about mandatory costs that should be expected regardless of the type of business, domestic LLC costs in Maine will need to consider the following fees:
|Certificate of Formation (for domestic LLCs)||$175|
|Statement of Foreign Qualification to Conduct Activities (for foreign LLCs)||$250|
|Annual Report (for domestic LLCs)||$85/year|
|Annual Report (for foreign LLCs)||$150/year|
|Application for Reservation of Name||$20|
|Statement of Intention to Transact Business under an Assumed or Fictitious Name||$125|
|Certified Document Copies||$5 ($2 plain, per page)|
|Certificate of Good Standing||$30|
The above-mentioned fees are higher for foreign LLCs (out-of-state foreign companies):
We will talk more about the different types of costs below.
Let's point out right away that, in fact, the online filing option is not yet available in the state of Maine so you can only file by mail. This causes some inconvenience.
You can download and print Form MLLC-6 from the Secretary of State's website and submit it in person or mail it to the following address:
Secretary of State
Division of Corporations, UCC, and Commissions
101 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
In Maine, just like in 90% of all other states, LLCs are required to timely file their annual report with the Secretary of State. Otherwise, if you ignore this requirement, the state will shut down your LLC.
Your annual report includes basic information and facts about your company (e.g. names and addresses of your LLC members and managers, registered agent information, your principal business address, the purpose of your business, etc.).
The report is required to provide the state with important data about your LLC, along with updated information or changes that have occurred since your last filing period. This will keep your company compliant with all state regulations and in good standing with the state.
The report can be filed online on the Maine Secretary of State's website. The filing is due by June 1. Note that the state charge a $50 penalty for late filings.
Maine law requires each LLC operating in the state to designate and maintain a registered agent (RA) to receive legal/tax documents, including service of process (if any), on behalf of the company.
Let's see who can be an RA for your Maine LLC:
We recommend choosing the last option to avoid possible legal issues and save your time on processing paperwork and mail. After all, a professional RA service will provide you with a number of benefits including the following ones:
That said when researching how much an LLC costs in Maine, it's worth including the cost of a registered agent in your calculations. The fee can be anywhere from $50 to $300 per year.
If you want to choose the best registered agent in Maine, check out our RA rankings and recommendations here.
If you already have a business in another state and plan to expand to Maine, you will need to register as a foreign LLC in the state.
Apart from the LLC filing fee ($250), foreign LLCs in Maine are required to pay the annual report fee of $150 per year.
A professional LLC (PLLC) is a specialized type of LLC that is implied for licensed professionals to provide their unique services in the state. Therefore, to form a PLLC, you will need a professional business license under Maine law.
In Maine, a PLLC is reserved for professionals who must have a professional license to render professional services within the state of Maine, including, among others, the following professions:
To form a PLLC in Maine, you will need to:
The information required to indicate in the certificate is somewhat extensive, but you need to make sure you fill in all the fields correctly. The cost of forming a PLLC in Maine is $175. Expedited and immediate processings are also available for an extra $50/$100, respectively.
In Maine, LLCs do not pay income tax since they are considered "pass-through" entities at the federal level. Therefore, you will need to pay this type of tax as an individual. In fact, there are two main types of state tax you will have to pay to the Department of Revenue:
In Maine, the income tax rates range from 5.8% to 7.15%. Thus, you will need to pay Maine income tax on any money you pay yourself.
All members or managers who take profits out of the LLC must also pay self-employment tax. The current tax rate is 15.3%.
In addition, every Maine LLC that sells goods and services pays sales tax at a flat rate of 5.5% with no additional local or county rates.
Another important issue to consider is the different types of business licenses and permits. Therefore, to make sure that your business doesn't require a certain type of business license permit to legally operate in the state, visit this page.
In fact, the state doesn't require LLCs to obtain a general business license. However, it may be required at the local level. Therefore, to make sure you can legally operate an LLC in Maine, you should contact your city's licensing board for information.
The main license or permit at the state level in Maine is the seller’s permit. Your LLC will need one if you:
You also need the seller's permit to legally pay sales tax to the IRS. To obtain the permit for free, you can register online here.
In addition, different types of businesses may need to obtain local business licenses in their city or county. Prices and conditions vary markedly here. Therefore, you can visit the IRS website for a complete list of licenses for Maine LLCs.
As you can see, the cheapest way to start an LLC in Maine is to form a company on your own and be your own RA, as well as only engage in activities that do not require additional licensing and permits.
Still, we recommend that you consider some additional documents and services that can be extremely useful when registering and running a company in Maine.
If you have already chosen a suitable business name for your LLC, but, for any reason, are not ready to register, you can reserve your name for up to 1 year in Maine.
The reason for name reservation can be the need to make some other preparation steps related to your business. In the meantime, there's always a risk that someone else takes your chosen LLC name.
To reserve your business name, you will need to fill out Form MLLC-1 and pay a $20 fee.
If for one reason or another, you want to conduct business under a fictitious name, you will need to fill out a Statement of Intention to Transact Business under an Assumed or Fictitious Name (Form MLLC-5) and pay a $125 filing fee.
A "doing business as" (DBA) name can be registered if your official business name is too long or inconvenient for marketing purposes, or if you are expanding your product line or changing your business direction altogether.
Registering a DBA is much easier and more cost-efficient than registering a new LLC name. In addition, you can always change your DBA by simply re-filing the application and paying the fee.
If your bank or business partner is requesting certified paper copies of your LLC registration documents, the state of Maine can simply resolve this issue at any time.
Simply order certified copies of your documents through the Secretary of State's website. In this case, the fees are as follows:
In Maine, just like in any other state, a Certificate of Good Standing is most commonly requested by banks or lending institutions when applying for business loans.
You can order the certificate through the Secretary of State's website for $30.