Frequently Asked Questions

How do I determine which type of business entity—sole proprietorship or limited liability corporation, say—is right for me?

Deciding whether you wish to operate as a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company or corporation is a big decision. You should choose the structure that best suits your business. More information on the various types of businesses can be found here. If you decide to incorporate, form a limited liability company, or a partnership, you may want to consult an attorney or accountant for guidance. However, you can obtain incorporation papers from:

Maine Secretary of State
Bureau of Corporations
State House Station #101
Augusta, ME 04333
Telephone: (207) 624-7752

Forms and information are also available from their website. If already incorporated in another state, obtain an application to do business in Maine as a foreign corporation from the same office. http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/corp/index.html

For sole proprietors and general partnerships only: If you operate a business, and the business name is different from your given name, you must register that name in the CITY or TOWN where your business is located. This is called filing a d/b/a ("doing business as") and the fee varies slightly, according to your location.

Also, if you decide not to incorporate and wish to protect the name of your business, you may file a TRADEMARK or SERVICE MARK with the Secretary of State’s office. For information regarding filing marks, you may call (207) 624-7752 or go to their website at http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/corp/index.html .