Choosing to start a new company is both exhilarating and terrifying. It’s the first of many choices you’ll have to make along the path. Depending on where you reside, you may need to register your company at the state, municipal, and federal levels. This tutorial will assist you through the steps of registering your Maine company.
Maine Business Registration Name Your Maine Business
Naming a new company may be a difficult job for many people. The name should be memorable, letting people know what you have to offer. A strong name, on the other hand, is much more than that. It is a branding tool that provides an inside peek into your organization’s purpose and future goals. The correct name may help you set yourself up for long-term success; the wrong name can destroy a ship before it ever sets sail.
Considering Your Name
While many entrepreneurs are inclined to speed through the name process, you should take your time and investigate all naming options. Take multiple brainstorming sessions and utilize the free internet business tools available today to assist you come up with a variety of choices, narrowing them down as you go.
Maine Name Lookup
The Maine Secretary of State’s corporate name search tool will assist you in locating company organizations by name. You should also make sure that your name isn’t too similar to any existing firm in your state. This will assist to prevent future misunderstanding and legal problems.
It’s time to start legitimizing your firm once you’ve chosen a name that appropriately portrays your brand. These following procedures will differ based on your company structure and the legal requirements of your state. The next section will go through the various company structures.
If you want to utilize a “doing business as” (DBA) name, also known as an assumed name or fake name in Maine, our DBA guide will assist you in ensuring that you are legally registered at the state, county, and/or municipal levels. There are a number of advantages to registering your fake name with the state. It provides an additional degree of security against other Maine firms, establishes your company’s validity, and may be needed by certain suppliers, banks, and lenders.
2. Select a Business Structure for Your Maine Company
Now that you’ve picked a good name for your brand, it’s time to start the legalization process. Before you begin the registration procedure, you must decide which company structure is appropriate for you. Each has its own set of perks, drawbacks, and tax advantages.
The sole proprietorship
A single proprietorship is the simplest straightforward business form. This informal corporation was created for entrepreneurs who do not want to work with others. It provides no personal asset protection and does not need state filing.
Sole proprietorships usually do business under the owner’s surname. If you want to operate under an assumed name, you must register for a Maine DBA with the city clerk in any city where your company is located. Filing costs and renewal processes differ from city to city. A complete list of Maine Municipal Clerks & Registrars may be found on the Maine Secretary of State’s website.
A general partnership, like a sole proprietorship, is an informal structure established for entrepreneurs who form a partnership with at least one other person. You and your partners’ surnames may be used for the firm, or you can get a DBA name. Profits and losses would be reported on your (and your partners’) personal tax return, and no personal assets would be protected.
Some partnerships (such as limited partnerships and limited liability partnerships) in Maine are required to submit formal documentation with the state and pay a filing fee.
If you do not intend to go public in the foreseeable future, a limited liability corporation (LLC) may be the best option. It provides more freedom and protects your personal assets in the case of a lawsuit.
The state of Maine requires all LLCs to choose a registered agent who will receive legal papers on the organization’s behalf. Your registered agent must be a qualified Maine resident or a company allowed to do business in Maine. Many new LLCs choose to use a registered agent service, which costs between $29 and $300 each year.
Maine also needs you to follow specific name rules and obtain a Certificate of Formation, which contains important information about your business. Maine LLCs must also maintain an operating agreement.
A corporation is a kind of business entity for those who have (or want to have) shareholders. So, if you want to go public in the future, this may be the greatest alternative for you.
Corporations, like LLCs, must designate a registered agent to receive paperwork, compliance papers, and government communication on the organization’s behalf. Your registered agent, like an LLC, might be a professional service, a corporate organization, or a person.
You must also submit the Articles of Incorporation with the state in addition to obtaining a registered agent.
3. Determine whether your company needs to be registered in Maine.
Once you’ve decided on your formal company structure and registered your new business name, you need check with your state to see what the criteria are for business registration. Each state has its own set of rules, which must be strictly followed.
Most informal business arrangements, such as sole proprietorships and general partnerships, do not need to be registered with the State of Maine. Check with your local government to discover whether your sole proprietorship or general partnership has to be registered at the county or municipal level.
Furthermore, certain firms (for example, sole proprietorships and single-member LLCs with no workers) are exempt from registering and filing for a Tax ID Number, also known as an Employer Identification Number (EIN), with the IRS. Even if this is not a necessity for your company, you should consider registering regardless since there are various legal and tax advantages.
Even though you are not compelled to register your firm, it is important to recognize that creating an LLC has several legal and financial advantages. Your business debts are considered personal debts if you are a single proprietorship or a partnership. This implies that in the case of a lawsuit, your personal assets might be taken. Personal protection is provided through LLCs, which legally shield your personal assets and minimize your personal liabilities.
Aside from personal protection, LLCs have various additional advantages, including:
Profit distribution, decision-making, and company management flexibility
“Flow-through” taxes permits the LLC’s revenue and costs to pass through to the owners’ personal income tax returns, with no limits on the number and type of owners.
If you don’t have the time or skills to organize your own LLC, there are a variety of trustworthy LLC filing services that may assist you. We analyzed and selected the five finest LLC registration services because we realize how difficult it can be to navigate through the thousands of accessible alternatives. Our LLC service review compares each to ensure you associate with a service that saves you both time and money.
4. Register Your Maine Business for Taxes
EINs are used by the IRS to identify firms for tax purposes. Every company with workers is obligated to have one. Our EIN guide will assist you in determining the EIN requirements for your company structure and will coach you through each stage of the procedure.
You may also need to register for state and local taxes, such as withholding tax, depending on the scale of your firm. You must get a seller’s permit from the Department of Revenue if you want to sell physical goods or taxable services. With this authorization, you may collect sales and use tax on each item(s) sold.
5.Obtain Maine Business Permits and Licenses
A Maine business’s licenses and permits are decided by a variety of variables, including its location and expertise. To stay compliant, real estate businesses, for example, will need to register for and renew licenses with the Maine Real Estate Commission. The Maine.gov website will help you discover more about the state standards for your specific company.
Furthermore, certain businesses are governed by a federal agency and need federal licenses and/or permits. A liquor company, for example, would be subject to FDA standards and recommendations. Visit the Small Business Administration (SBA) website to learn more about federal permit requirements and costs.