Step 1) Pick a Name for Your Maine Corporation

Choose a Business NameWhen forming a Corporation, your first consideration would be its name. The state only requires that your name be a distinct identifier of your Corporation. It should not be similar or closely resembling that of an existing business entity legally registered with the Maine Secretary of State.

In starting a business in Maine, state policies do not require you to include a corporate designator in the business’ actual name. However, it is highly suggested that you still use one to make it known that you have incorporated.

When you have a business name, search for availability using the Maine business name search tool. An Application for Reservation of Name can be filed to the Secretary of State with a validity of 120 days. Filing fee for the application costs $20.


Step 2) File the Articles of Incorporation

Register an LLCLegally incorporating in Maine requires that you file an Articles of Incorporation. When you file for this form, there is basic information you need to provide as well. This form is filed to the Secretary of State of Maine.

When filing a Corporation in Maine, make sure to fill out the form concisely. Instructions are also provided in the form to help you fill it out correctly. An online or mail application of the form can be done.

Filing fee: $145


Step 3) Choose a Maine Registered Agent

Choose a Registered AgentWhen starting a Corporation in Maine, you also have to choose a Maine Registered Agent. There are a number of requirements you must fulfill when you choose a Registered Agent. Meeting these requirements allows your Corporation to be legally registered with the state.

The following should be complied for a Registered Agent in Maine: (1) a Registered Agent must be an individual residing in Maine or a business entity, that is officially permitted to operate in Maine; (2) a physical street address in Maine of the Registered Agent should be provided.

That said, you can hire a Registered Agent service and pay up to $160/year, or get a Maine Registered Agent free of charge when you form your Corporation with IncFile – which is $100 less than other online incorporation services.


Step 4) Maintain a Corporate Records Book

File Annual Reports & Publication RequirementsCorporate paperwork such as your Maine Corporation registration documents, business tax reports, licenses and permits, minutes of the meetings, etc. all need to be stored in one single file that is easily accessible within your corporate office.

With the use of a Corporate Records Book, you can keep everything organized. A Corporate Records Book can be purchased through the local office supply store within your area or have it shipped directly to you through Amazon.


Step 5) Elect the Primary Directors for Your Maine Corporation

Choose the Initial DirectorsIt is the responsibility of the incorporator when starting a Maine Corporation to elect the primary directors to serve the Corporation while the first shareholder’s meeting hasn’t been scheduled yet.

As soon as the directors are elected, the incorporator should file an Incorporator’s Statement that lists down all the names and addresses of the Maine Corporation directors. This Incorporator’s Statement should be filed in the Corporate Records Book as there is no need to submit this to the Secretary of State.


Step 6) Conduct an Initial Meeting with Your Board of Directors

Hold a Meeting with Your Board of DirectorsTogether with the elected directors, schedule an initial meeting when forming a Maine Corporation to decide on the following agenda:

Be sure to record the minutes of the meeting. Then, have it signed by the participants of the initial meeting.


Step 7) Complete your Maine Business Tax and Corporation License Requirements

Business LicensesWhen you’re forming a business, you have to abide by the rules of the state to facilitate for stress-free business operations. One of these is to take care of your Maine business taxes. As part of the requirements for Maine Corporation maintenance, you can follow the subsequent steps:

  1. File for a corporate Employer Identification Number (EIN) for free at the IRS website.
  2. Learn about your business tax requirements, and comply all necessary paperwork. (Visit our Maine Business Tax guide for more information)
  3. If you are incorporating an S Corp, file Form 2553 and have the shareholders sign the form. (Optional).

After you have complied with tax requirements, don’t forget to complete your Maine business licenses and permits as well. Business licenses and permits vary depending on business type, nature of operations, size, etc. To get you going on this task, read and understand all you need about business licenses with our Maine Business Licenses and Regulations guide.


Step 8) Open a Business Bank Account

Best Business Bank AccountWhile starting and running a Maine Corporation, keeping your business and personal finances separate is critical. Do this by opening a separate checking account for your business.

Although there are many options available, here are the top 3. You can also use your local bank, just be sure that all transactions are kept separate.


To-Do After Starting a Corporation

Now that you have followed the steps above, you are officially a Maine Corporation. Other than those 8 steps that are based on state guidelines, here are a few additional steps based on best practices for starting a successful Corporation. Not required, but highly recommended.

1) Create a Funding Ready Business Plan

Write a Business PlanA business is at higher risk when it does not have a clear set of financial and operational goals to work towards. That said, you need to write a business plan.

This business plan will lay down the foundation of the growth of your business. It doesn’t take an entrepreneurial genius or a great financial writer to create a business plan. You can start with the resources below.

Quick Links in Writing a Solid Business Plan


2) Build a Business Website

Build a Business WebsiteTrust is everything when you’re starting a business in Maine. One of the best ways to build trust with your potential customers is to have professional website that explains who you are and what you sell.

With WordPress, you can start a website for your Corporation in minutes and have no need to hire a professional. Learn how through this free step-by-step guide.


3) Submit an Annual Report for Your Maine Corporation

Create an Operating AgreementStarting a Maine Corporation always requires that you comply with regular paperwork. One such paperwork is your Maine Corporation annual report. This report is due every June 1 of the year, and should be filed to the Secretary of State of Maine. An online application or mail filing can be done.

Filing fee: $85 for domestic Corporations; $150 for foreign.

Please note that this guide is not legal advice. Always talk to a professional for specifics on how to start a Corporation in Maine or when starting a business in Maine.

Need Help Forming Your Corporation?

Have a reliable incorporation service like IncFile or LegalZoom do the work for you. Just answer a few questions about your business and they’ll take care of the paperwork.

Although both offer virtually the same service, IncFile is $100 less and our top pick. Enjoy!

Visit IncFile Or Visit LegalZoom