The steps below are similar for all entity structures such as Limited Liability Companies, Corporations, Sole Proprietorships, etc. Please make sure to do research before submitting your filing. Your business may require state licensure, etc.
Step 1: Find out if your business name is available.
Visit this link: https://icrs.informe.org/nei-sos-icrs/ICRS?MainPage=x
Keep in mind that you’re going to want to type in different versions of your business name to make sure that you’re not duplicating someone else’s business name. This is also important for marketing purposes, as you do not want customers confusing your business with someone else’s company!
Step 2: Decide what kind of business structure you want.
For the purposes of continuity and clarity, this article will focus on starting a single-member LLC.
Step 3: Determine your Registered Agent
If you are filing by yourself as the sole owner of your business, you will only need to worry about your own personal information. You will be the “registered agent” – this is the person who will handle all legal aspects of your business.
Step 4: Download the paper application form.
Visit this link: https://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/forms/mllc/mllc6.pdf
Step 5: Complete the paper filing process…yeah. Paper.
Maine is old-school when it comes to filing. We contacted their office by calling (207) 624-7752, and spoke to a very knowledgeable representative who advised us that the State of Maine requires a “wet signature”.
In other words, you have to print, fill it out, and sign it with a black or blue pen.
Once you’ve filled out the application and figured out how you’re going to pay for your business registration (all of the instructions are on the form itself), mail that bad boy in and you’ll be good to go whenever they get around to approving your registration.
Step 6: Wait for the Secretary of State to approve your filing.
If something goes wrong during the process, the state will reach out to you to correct any issues.
Step 7: Make physical and digital copies, and keep your documents safe!
Once you receive your approved letter from the Secretary of State, make sure that you “back up” your files by making multiple physical copies. Seriously consider scanning your documents and copying them to the cloud, thumb drives, etc. in the event that you need your documents in a pinch.