How to File a Maine DBA

Image of a man looking up how to file a D B A in Maine

Registering a Maine DBA (doing business as), also known as an assumed name, is a simple process. Depending on your business structure, you will complete the registration with either the Maine Secretary of State or the city in which you do business.

To learn more about why you may need a DBA, read our What is a DBA article.

How To Use This Guide

Use our free guide below to file to complete your Maine DBA registration:

Use A Professional Service

A professional service will handle filing your Maine DBA on your behalf, allowing you to focus on the other needs of your new business.

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DBA Maine - Maine DBA Registration is Easy

Step 1: Start With a Maine DBA Name Search

If you haven't already, head over to the Maine Secretary of State’s Interactive Corporate Services website to make sure your assumed name isn't taken by another registered Maine business. Your name can be similar to other business names, but it’s still a good practice to create a unique name.

TIP: Our business name generator tool is a great resource for entrepreneurs who are still working to create the perfect business name or website address.

In Maine, your fictitious name should not include:

  • Any business entity suffix, such as LLC, Incorporated, Corp., etc unless the business is actually an LLC, corporation, or etc.
  • Any terms given to financial institutions, including: "bank," "banc," "banco," "banque," "banker," "trust company," "savings and loan association," "savings bank," "credit union" or other similar words.

You can read more about the restriction on banking-related words here.

Next, a quick search on the U.S. Trademark Electronic Search System will tell you whether someone else has already trademarked your name.

Now would be the perfect time to make sure there’s a web domain available for your DBA as well.

Find a Domain Now

Service provided by GoDaddy.com

After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free

Step 2: Register Your Maine DBA with the State or City

Register with the State

In Maine, LLCs, corporations, limited partnerships, and limited liability partnerships register for an assumed name with the Secretary of State by filling out a Statement of Intention to Transact Business Under an Assumed or Fictitious Name form. There are different forms depending on your business’ structure.

Sole proprietorships and general partnerships file for a DBA at the city level. More on that later.

Maine makes a distinction between an assumed name and a fictitious name but uses the same registration form for both. An assumed name is basically a DBA, while a fictitious name is used for a “foreign” (not based in Maine) company whose real name is not available.


Forms

LLC
Corporation
Limited Partnership
Limited Liability Partnership

While it varies a bit depending on your business type, the following information is needed on the form (if applicable):

  • Name of the entity registering the assumed name
  • The fictitious name being registered
  • The locations where the assumed name will be used if not in all of the company’s places of business

It's important to know that a DBA doesn't protect your personal assets in the event that your business is sued. For more information on setting up a limited liability company, visit our How to Form an LLC page and select your state.


Submit Your Assumed Name Application with the State

Mail

Secretary of State
Division of Corporations, UCC, and Commissions
101 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0101

Fees

  • $125 Filing Fee

Register with the City

If your business is a sole proprietorship or partnership, you will need to register your DBA with the city. This process can vary a bit state to state. Below we will give instructions for the City of Portland. Contact your local city office if you need to register in a different city.

Forms

Sole Proprietorship - City of Portland
Partnership - City of Portland

The forms must be notarized. The information you will need to include depends on your business, but it includes, where applicable:

  • Type of business
  • Name and address of the business
  • Names of partners or name of sole proprietor

Submit Your DBA with the City of Portland

Mail or Drop-Off

City of Portland
389 Congress Street
Portland, ME 04101

Fees

  • $10 Filing Fee

Manage Your Maine DBA

DBA Questions

Call the Maine Secretary of State (207) 624-7752 or your local city office if filing as a sole proprietor or partnership.

Renew Your DBA with the State

Your Maine assumed business name does not need to be renewed.

Change Your DBA

Contact the Maine Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions: (207) 624-7736

Withdraw Your DBA

To terminate your assumed name with the state, you need to fill out one of the following forms:

LLC
Corporation
Limited Partnership
Limited Liability Partnership

Submit the completed form, along with the $20 fee, to:

Secretary of State
Division of Corporations, UCC, and Commissions
101 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0101

To withdraw a DBA for a sole proprietorship or partnership, contact your local city office. For the City of Portland, you must fill out this form and return it, along with a $10 fee, to:

City of Portland
389 Congress Street
Portland, ME 04101

Need Help Filing Your Maine DBA?

Have A Professional Service File Your Maine DBA For You

A professional service will handle filing your DBA on your behalf, allowing you to focus on the other needs of your new business.

We recommend using MyCompanyWorks ($99 + state fee) for a personalized DBA service.

Maine DBA FAQ

Can I file a DBA online in Maine?

No, you cannot file for an assumed name online in Maine.

How do I change my DBA in Maine?

You can change your DBA by contacting the Maine Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions: (207) 624-7736.

How can I withdraw my DBA?

To terminate your assumed name, you need to fill out one of the following forms:

LLC
Corporation
Limited Partnership
Limited Liability Partnership

Submit the completed form, along with the $20 fee, to:

Secretary of State
Division of Corporations, UCC, and Commissions
101 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0101

To withdraw a DBA for a sole proprietorship or partnership, contact your local city office. For the City of Portland, you must fill out this form and return it, along with a $10 fee, to:

City of Portland
389 Congress Street
Portland, ME 04101

How often should I renew my Maine DBA?

You do not need to renew your assumed name in Maine.

When is a DBA required in Maine?

A DBA is required whenever a business is operating under a name other than its legal name.

How do I transfer my DBA in Maine?

You can transfer your DBA by contacting the Maine Bureau of Corporations, Elections, and Commissions: (207) 624-7736

Is my Maine DBA protected from being used in other places?

There are some state-level laws that prevent DBAs that are too similar to existing ones from being used, but your name is not protected in Maine. It is possible to create a federal trademark for a DBA, which would offer stronger protection across state lines.

How many DBAs can I have?

You can have as many DBAs as you can afford to create and are able to keep track of. However, more isn’t necessarily better. Each one will come with additional incremental expense and paperwork, so you will want to make sure you have a good reason for each one you have.

Can a DBA get an EIN or Tax ID?

DBAs aren’t required to have a separate EIN because DBAs aren’t a business entity. The business entity that the DBA is under would have an EIN if an EIN is required.

To learn more about EINs and when you would need one for your business, read What is An EIN from our friends at TRUiC.

Can a DBA become an LLC?

Your DBA is just a name. A DBA is often confused with a sole proprietorship. If you mean “can my sole proprietorship become an LLC?” then the answer is “Yes. Absolutely.”

To learn how to form an LLC, visit our Form an LLC state guides.

Can a DBA have "Inc." in the name?

A DBA can only have "Inc." in the name if the business entity the DBA is attached to is a corporation.

How do I set up a DBA for a rental property?

It’s always best to consult an attorney. Usually, the best option is to form an LLC to protect your personal assets in the event of an issue with the rental property. Holding the rental property in your name and with a DBA will not afford you any protection.

Useful Links for Your Maine DBA