What are the state requirements that my business must meet?
All for-profit and non-profit corporations, limited partnerships, limited liability companies, and limited liability partnerships must register with the Bureau of Corporations. There is no state license that businesses need to have as all general business licensing is done at the local level, but the state government does regulate certain professions by requiring special permits. Depending on the occupation and business type, professional individuals and sometimes the businesses that offer their services will need to apply for special permits from the relevant state agency.
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What kinds of occupations require special permits?
Several professions must obtain licenses in order to practice in Maine. These professions include barbers, electricians, auctioneers, insurance professionals, counselors, financial service providers, and marine harvesters, just to name a few. A full list can be found at www.maine.gov/portal/business/professions.html.
What are the local licensing requirements?
The requirements for business licenses depend on the locality where you are applying. For example, the cities Portland, Lewiston, and Bangor all issue special occupational licenses based on the services offered by the business, but which types of businesses are regulated in this way vary from city to city. In Portland, all sole proprietors and general partnerships that do business under a different name then their own, often referred to as “doing business as” or “d/b/a”, must file an additional registration with the city, but there is no such requirement in Lewiston. Because local licensing requirements are established by city ordinances, it is best to check with your city’s business division to make sure that your business is meeting all local licensing requirements.
What information do I need to provide on the licensing application?
Again, the information needed will depend on the license you are applying for. However, applications almost always require certain things, including the full name of the business, the business’ address and contact information, and the owner’s name and contact information or in the case of a corporation, the names and contact information of the corporation’s officers. For occupational licenses, you will also need to provide information about the goods and services your business offers, and submit documentation of any inspections that are required by city law.
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