How to find a registered agent in Maine
Maine registered agent requirements
Being your own registered agent
Being a registered agent is something that anyone over the age of 18 can do as long as they live in Maine and have a Maine address. This address cannot be a P.O box address. It must be a street address at a physical location.
Furthermore, the registered agent needs to be available at this office address during normal business hours on all business days (Monday – Friday). This is so that if service of process documents were to be delivered to this address for your business, your registered agent would be there to receive them and could forward them to you right away.
Hiring a registered agent service
In addition to having a physical address where they will be located during normal business hours, your registered agent must also be ready and willing to take this position. Keep in mind that there are also professional registered agent companies that offer registered agent services.
It’s quite common for small businesses and startups to choose their business owners as registered agents. But as your business grows, you may want to go with a larger registered agent company. Otherwise, the position can end up taking all of your time. The truth is that hiring a professional registered agent company is not that expensive either. And because time is money, it can be greatly beneficial to you to delegate this position to professionals.
Recommended registered agent services
Why you need a registered agent
Registered agents are required in all 50 states, including Maine. A registered agent — also known as a resident agent or a statutory agent — is an individual or business entity that receives documents of a legal or government nature on behalf of your business.
Not all mail is received and accepted by registered agents — only official documents, tax notifications, and things like legal service of process, which are time-sensitive.
You can have a registered agent company be your registered agent. You can also be your own registered agent. Or, it’s possible to even have a close friend, family member, or employee be a registered agent. An attorney can be a registered agent too.
Many Maine LLCs (limited liability companies) and corporations prefer to hire a professional registered agent company because they offer the most services and can provide the most benefits. We will go over these in detail further ahead.
For now, it’s simply important to know that if you plan on incorporating your business in Maine, you must designate a registered agent in your formation documents.
When you need a registered agent
Forming a corporation or LLC (limited liability company) in Maine is a straightforward process. Your main goal with this process is to file a document called the Articles of Incorporation. This document may also be called the Articles of Organization.
This document requires you to fill out a number of fields, one of which is who your registered agent will be. Of course, you won’t need to know who your registered agent will be right away. First, you’ll need to choose a business name.
Choosing a strong business name can be done by following the business naming guidelines approved by the Maine Secretary of State. One important guideline is that you cannot have a name that has already been taken by another incorporated business in Maine.
After choosing a name and reserving it, this is when you will need to worry about your registered agent. You should include your registered agent’s contact information in your Articles of Organization or Articles of Incorporation.
Why use a registered agent service
One of the most important decisions you will need to make when filling out your Articles of Incorporation (Articles of Organization) is whether to appoint a large registered agent service company to be your registered agent or to appoint yourself, an attorney, an employee, or even a family member who you trust.
While it may seem enticing to appoint yourself or another individual as registered agent because you don’t necessarily need to pay an individual to take on this position, this is probably not your best choice. Appointing a company as your registered agent provides far more benefits.
First, you’ll have more privacy. You won’t have to use your home address as a registered agent address. This allows you to keep your work life separate from your home life.
Furthermore, if service of process (notification that a lawsuit is being filed against your business) shows up at your registered agent address, you can know that it won’t be in front of employees or customers. It also won’t be at your home, which might otherwise be a privacy issue.
Next, working with a registered agent company allows your business to grow in a seamless fashion. These companies have registered agent offices in all 50 states. No matter where you want to incorporate, they will help you foreign qualify, and you won’t have to switch registered agents to do so.
If you switch to a new registered agent and choose a registered agent company to fill the position, that company will often foot the filing fee bill for you. They may also fill out the necessary change of agent documents for you. This can be a huge weight off your shoulders and will also save you money.
Maine registered agent costs
The cost of a registered agent service in Maine is not expensive. Maine corporations and LLCs that choose to go with a commercial registered agent company will probably pay between $50 and $300 every year.
Exactly how much you pay will vary, depending on the company you choose to hire and what types of services they offer. Some companies will provide you with forwarded official correspondence and that is all. Other companies offer additional services.
Many registered agent companies also perform other business filings. For example, you may save some money when incorporating your business by hiring a company to help you with the incorporation process because they may throw in registered agent services for the first year as well. This is quite common.
How to change your Maine registered agent
If you would like to change your Maine registered agent, you will need to fill out a form and pay a filing fee. Many registered agent service companies can complete this filing on your behalf if you’d like them to. They can also pay the fee for you in many cases.
Conversely, if this is not an option offered by the registered agent you are hiring or if you would like an individual employee, trusted family member, or yourself to be your new registered agent, you will need to take the following steps.
Obtain a Statement of Change form, and complete it. This form is available through the Maine Secretary of State, Division of Corporations, UCC and Commissions.
Submit your completed form to the Maine Secretary of State, Division of Corporations, UCC and Commissions. You can perform this filing by mail or in person in Maine.
Pay the filing fee. By credit card is usually the best way to pay.
Keep in mind that you cannot change your registered agent on your Annual Report as you can in some other states. That’s because the report you complete will already be filled out with whoever your current registered agent is.
List of forms
Use the links and forms below to find a quality registered agent for your business and ensure you remain in good standing with the State of Maine.
Can you use a P.O. box for an LLC in Maine?
No. Maine LLCs and corporations need to have a registered agent with a physical address in the state. This means a street address, and P.O. box addresses will not be accepted. Your registered agent needs to be reliably at their appointed address during normal business hours throughout the week (Monday through Friday).
What is a statutory agent in Maine?
The statutory agent is another name for a registered agent. A resident agent is also sometimes used. All of these terms refer to the same thing: a business entity or individual that accepts official paperwork and legal correspondence on behalf of another business. Appointing your statutory agent (registered agent) in Maine is a critical part of the incorporation process.
When do you need to designate a registered agent?
You’ll need to appoint your registered agent when filling out your Articles of Organization (also known as your Articles of Incorporation). This document is required when incorporating your business in the State of Maine. You can designate an individual or a business entity to be your LLC or corporation’s registered agent.