A Maine limited liability company (LLC) is a type of business entity that protects its owners, who are called members, from being held personally responsible for any debts and court judgments against the company. There may also be tax benefits to the members in an LLC such as pass-through taxation, in which members report the company's profits and losses on their personal income tax returns. A Maine LLC may consist of one or more members, who may be individuals, other LLCs or corporations.
Chose a business name. The name of a Maine LLC must not be the same as, or too similar to, any other business already registered in the state. Conduct a free name availability search through the website of the Maine Secretary of State office (see References). The name of the business must include the words “limited liability company” or the abbreviation “LLC” or “L.L.C.” The name must not contain any words that would cause it to be confused with a public institution or a bank or financial institution.
Choose a registered agent. Maine requires all LLCs to have a registered agent, who is a person or company resident in the state, to receive legal and tax documents on behalf of the company. An LLC registered in Maine may act as its own registered agent, as long as the company has a physical address -- not merely a post office box -- in the state.
Download the Maine Articles of Organization form. This form is available from the website of the Maine Secretary of State. You can also obtain the form by calling 207-624-7736 and requesting that they mail form MLLC-6 to you. Additionally, you can pick up the form in person at the Maine Bureau of Corporations, Elections & Commissions, 111 Sewall St., 4th Floor, Augusta, Maine 04333-0101.
Complete the articles of organization. You will need to include the name and address of the company and the registered agent, the type of management structure the LLC will be using and the names and addresses of the members and managers of the LLC.
Submit the completed articles of organization to the Maine Secretary of State office. The form may be submitted in person or by mail. The state does not accept registration by FAX. As of 2010, a fee of $175 is also required to be submitted with the articles of organization. The mailing address is Maine Secretary of State, Bureau of Corporation, Elections and Commissions, 101 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333-0101.
Create an operating agreement. This is a contract between the members of the LLC that stipulates how the company will be run. Although operating agreements are recommended, Maine does not require an LLC to have one. Maine also does not require the operating agreement to follow any specific format; Maine LLCs are free to tailor the operating agreement to the specific needs of the company. Include topics such as how new members may be added or existing members may be bought out, distribution of profit and losses between members, financial contributions required, the voting rights of the members, and how the company will be managed. Keep a copy of the operating agreement at the company's principal business location.