How To Incorporate In Maine
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1. Choose a Name for Your Maine Corporation
Check on Available Names in Maine: You cannot incorporate your small business in Maine without a unique corporate name for your business. Before you file to incorporate, you should check to be sure that the name that you have chosen for your corporation is not already in use by another corporation. You can search online records and government databases to find out if the name that you have chosen is already in use by another corporation. To search a database of Maine corporations, visit at the official website of the Secretary of State: Maine Corporation.
Reserve a Corporate Name: You can apply to reserve the corporate name that you have chosen until the time that you can file to incorporate. The application is available online on the official website of the Maine Secretary of State: Reserve a Maine Corporation Name.
There is a $20.00 filing fee and the name that you have chosen will be reserved for a period of 120 days.
Filing Trademarks and Doing a Corporate Name Search: Even if you find that the name that you have chosen for your corporation is not in use by another corporation in the state of Maine, it is possible that the name may be in use by a corporation in another state. There could be some restrictions on your use of the name. You should seek legal advice from an attorney who can advise you on what these restrictions may be and how to take steps to trademark the name that you have chosen.
Maine Corporate Name Requirements: According to state law in Maine, you must choose a name for your corporation that includes the word “corporation,” “incorporated,” “limited,” “company” or an abbreviation of one of these words.
2. Find a Registered Agent in Maine
For you to incorporate your small business in Maine you will need to have a registered agent. A registered agent acts as an agent for service of process and will receive legal and tax documents for your corporation. You can find a list of persons and companies that provide registered agents services online on the official website of the Maine Secretary of State: Register Agent for Maine.
3. File Articles of Incorporation with the Maine Secretary of State
Minimum Requirements: The Articles of Incorporation that you file with the Secretary of State needs to include certain items. Your Articles of Incorporation need to include your corporate name, the purpose of your corporation, the number of shares that your corporation is authorized to issue, the name and address of your registered agent (“clerk”), and the name and address of each incorporator. You will also need to provide information about the board of directors if your corporation has directors. The Articles of Incorporation needs to be signed by each incorporator as well as the registered agent. You can download the form at Maine Corporation Set Up.
Other Maine Legal Provisions: It is a good idea to consider including additional legal provisions as part of your Articles of Incorporation. You should consult an attorney when you are preparing the Articles of Incorporation document so that you can be sure to include the additional legal provisions that are appropriate for your company.
Where to Submit Form: You should submit the completed Articles of Incorporation document and payment to the office of the Secretary of State, Division of Corporations, UCC and Commissions, 101 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0101.
Filing Fee: There is a fee of $145.00 to file Articles of Incorporation in Maine. Any checks that you write should be made payable to the Maine Secretary of State.
4. Create Other Maine Incorporation Documents (Corporate Kits)
Once you have submitted your Articles of Incorporation document to the Secretary of State, you can begin to take actions in your corporation like appointing officers and directors, adopting corporation bylaws, issuing stock certificates, obtaining a tax ID number, and acquiring a business license. You should also think about creating other types of corporate documents such as buy-sell agreements, shareholders agreements that determine when stock can be sold, and documents that explain what happens if an owner decides to leave the company. These types of documents can be very useful, especially if your corporation has multiple owners. You should consult an attorney when you are drafting these documents to make sure that you are complying with all the legal requirements that apply to your corporation. You might decide to consult one of the various corporate service companies that help corporations to prepare these types of documents for a fee.
5. Qualify Your Maine Corporation to Do Business in Other States
You need to qualify your corporation to do business outside the state of Maine if the main office of your corporation is located in another state. Most other states will require your corporation to qualify before you can do business there and will require you to pay taxes in your home state. To read more about how to qualify your corporation to do business in other states, go to Doing Business in other states.
6. Make Annual Filings and Pay Annual Fees and Taxes in Maine
Once your corporation is registered in the state of Maine, you will be responsible for filing an annual report. You will be required to provide updated information about your corporation, your officers, and your registered agent. The filing fee is $85.00. You can file online at Maine Corporation Fee.
You will also be responsible for filing a corporate income tax return and paying the required Maine state income taxes. You can find frequently asked questions about the corporate income tax in Maine online on the official website of the Maine Department of Revenue: Maine Corporate Tax.
When the time has come for you to prepare tax documents for your corporation, consult an accountant so that you can avoid mistakes in the preparation of your tax documents that could end up costing you a lot of money in extra taxes.
Although there are many complex decisions involved in the process of incorporating your small business, especially if your corporation has multiple owners, if you consult an attorney and an accountant you can feel more confident that your paperwork will be processed correctly.
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This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.