Nicknamed the ‘Pine Tree State,’ Maine is home to some of the most beautiful, picturesque natural scenery in the United States. It is also one of the least populated states – with around 1.3 million people calling Maine home, it is the 41st most populous state. It is also America’s easternmost state, and is the northernmost part of New England.
Once regarded as the shipbuilding capital of America, Maine is still the home-state for a handful of major shipbuilders, including Bath Iron Works and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, and is New England’s busiest port; a title it claimed from Boston in 2001. Maine is also a major producer of paper products, and is one of America’s largest suppliers of blueberries. Recently Maine has also become one of the most popular destinations in the USA for tourists, leading some to dub the state ‘Vacationland.’
Unfortunately, Maine also has a bit of a reputation for being unfriendly towards businesses. The state government, wanting to preserve Maine’s natural beauty, heavily regulates any industry that could have an impact on the environment. Despite this, the large influx of tourists and the state’s status as a major port makes Maine a great place to start a small business. So how, exactly, do you start a business in the state? And what has to be filed to form a limited liability company or incorporate in Maine?
- Maine is one of the few states that does not require a corporation to include a designator, like ‘Inc.’ or ‘Corp.’, in its name. You can also reserve a name before forming your corporation by filing MBCA-1.
- Maine’s Secretary of State serves as the state’s main registry for corporate filings, so everything will be filed with the Secretary’s office. The office’s staff are also happy to help answer whatever questions you might have about the incorporation process.
- In Maine, a registered agent is referred to as a ‘clerk.’ Every business entity formed in Maine must have a designated clerk who is also a citizen of Maine.
- To incorporate in Maine, you must file your Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State and pay a filing fee. The Articles will need to include the names and addresses of the corporation, the designated clerk, and each of the incorporators. You will also have to disclose the type and number of shares the corporation will be authorized to issue, and choose whether the corporation will be run by its shareholders, or by a board of directors.