Maine – 50 States of Incorporation, Rebooted

Come join us on the East Coast for a glimpse at incorporating in Maine this week! Maine is the largest of the six New England states. It’s home to producing plenty of lobsters and blueberries.

The state also has the nickname “Vacationland,” since its economy thrives on its peak tourism season in the summer months. Maine is home to many local, small businesses and the culture of entrepreneurship thrives. As of 2014, companies with fewer than 500 employees made up three-fifths of Maine’s private workforce. Small businesses in Maine also have little trouble finding funding for their companies. Their patrons are strong supporters of local mom and pop shops. If the “Pine Tree State” sounds like the home of your next business, here’s what you need to know about incorporating in Maine.

1. Pick your entity.

Choosing a business entity is the first step in starting your small business. You can choose to operate as a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation. Consult an attorney or tax professional first if you are unsure which business entity is the right choice for you. If you decide to incorporate as a limited partnership or LLC, your entity must be registered with the Bureau of Corporations at the Office of the Secretary of State.

2. Utilize the state’s Small Business Advocate program.

The Secretary of State for the State of Maine has a Small Business Advocate program to assist businesses within the state. This Advocate works specifically with small businesses that have 50 employees or less. It assists with the business in understanding the state’s regulatory requirements in order to stay in compliance. Should a small business feel as though they have been aggrieved by a state agency, they may reach out to the Small Business Advocate for assistance.

3. Figure out which licenses you need with Maine Business Answers!

Maine Business Answers is a portal designed to make it easy to start and conduct business in the state. The portal helps entrepreneurs determine which city, state, and town permits or licenses that their business may need in order to operate. You may also register online for Maine sales and use tax and/or income tax withholding.

4. Name your company.

If you haven’t already chosen a name for your business, now is the time to start! Remember to keep it short, simple, and to the point. Along with the naming process comes registering your trademark or service mark. This is filed online through the Secretary of State office. If your business operates under a name that is different from your given name, you must register for a Doing Business As name (DBA) in the city or town where your business is located. If you plan to hire employees, you will need to register an Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the IRS.

5. Need extra help running your business?

If you’re in need of more information about financing programs, business education, and general small business assistance, check out the MaineBusinessWorks program! Developed by the Maine Small Business Development Centers and Department of Economic & Community Development, this portal is dedicated to building Maine’s future, one business at a time. You may request advising for both new and existing businesses that allows you to manage, run, and grow your company.

If Maine sounds like the perfect place to venture into the world of entrepreneurship, then follow the Secretary of State on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest small business updates.

Thinking about starting a small business in Maine? Give us a call at 1(877) 692-6772 or visit us at if you have any questions about forming a business or the regulations required.

Welcome back to the 50 States of Incorporation, Rebooted where we share what it takes to start a business in each of the 50 states. Join us biweekly for advice on how to start an LLC or corporation across the United States.

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