Choosing to incorporate in Maine can limit your personal liability for obligations that solely relate to your business. However, in order to receive this protection that’s inherent in the corporate structure, you’ll need to create a legal corporation first. In Maine, this involves filing articles of incorporation with the secretary of state’s office.
Create a unique name for the new corporation. Maine allows you to use any name for the corporation that isn’t already in use and is distinguishable from existing business names, though there are a number of restrictions to be aware of. Corporate names cannot be obscene, promote abusive or illegal activity or insinuate affiliations with public organizations.
Obtain the articles of incorporation form for domestic corporations. You can access a copy of the form on Maine’s Secretary of State website.
Prepare the articles of incorporation. Copies of the form can be accessed on the Maine Secretary of State website or from an online document provider. To complete the articles, you’ll need to know the corporation’s clerk, the different classes of stock the corporation will have, the number of shares it’s authorized to issue and whether the corporation will have a board of directors or not.
File the articles of incorporation with the Maine Secretary of State’s office. Submit the form and payment for the filing fee to the Division of Corporations at 101 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333-0101.
- Maine requires every domestic corporation to file an annual report in order to remain in good standing. The report, as well as the annual fee, is due by June 1 of the year immediately following the year that the annual report covers. If you provide the Maine Secretary of State’s office with an email address for the corporation, you can receive email reminders of annual report filing deadlines.
- As part of the incorporation process, Maine requires that you appoint a clerk -- referred to in most other jurisdictions as a registered agent -- who is authorized to accept legal documents served on your corporation. The clerk you appoint must be an individual who is a resident of the state. However, an officer or director of the corporation – even if it’s you – can serve as the clerk.
- Your corporation may have an obligation to pay Maine corporate income tax. Maine requires the payment of income tax from businesses that incorporate in the state if the entity files a federal tax return and has nexus with the state. The term “nexus” refers to an economic connection between the business and the state, such as owning property, conducting business operations and having employees or an office in the state, to name just a few.
- Maine Dept. of the Secretary of State: Maine Revised Statutes - Title 13-C, Section 401
- Maine Dept. of the Secretary of State: Domestic Business Corporation Articles of Incorporation
- Maine Dept. of the Secretary of State: Maine Revised Statutes - Title 13-C, Section 502
- Maine Revenue Services: Maine Corporate Income Tax
- Maine Dept. of the Secretary of State: Filing Requirements Reminders