Business Answers - FAQs

1. I want to start a business. What do I need to do/do I need a business license?

2. I want to form an LLC/corporation/LLP. What do I need to do?

3. How do I get a sales tax certificate?

4. I will be doing (x). Do I need a sales tax certificate?

5. I will be doing (x). Do I need a license for my business?

6. Hiring Employees. What do I do?

7. I’m closing my business.  What do I do?

8. Need help with legal issue that state agencies do not administer?

 

  1. I want to start a business. What do I need to do/do I need a business license?
    • First response should be to ask what type of business they are planning to start
      • Depending upon their response to this, refer to Drew’s list in Outlook and provide the information they need
    • Also ask if they have decided how they will organize their business (sole proprietor, LLC, s-corp, etc.)
      • If they are a sole proprietor with no employees, all they will have to do is register their DBA with their municipality (can use their SSN as their EIN)
      • If they will be organizing as anything other than a sole proprietor they will need to file the appropriate paperwork with the Secretary of State and get an EIN from the IRS (can be done online at http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/How-to-Apply-for-an-EIN)

 

  1. I want to form an LLC/corporation/LLP. What do I need to do?

 

  1. How do I get a sales tax certificate?

 

  1. I will be doing (x). Do I need a sales tax certificate?
    • Unless you are confident that you know the answer, refer them to MRS sales, fuel and special tax division at 207-624-9693

 

  1. I will be doing (x). Do I need a license for my business?
    • This will vary depending upon what they are doing, but in general:
      • Profession/business related to trees, other plants, animals: DACF, 207-287-3200
      • Restaurants or anywhere serving food: DHHS health inspection, 207-287-5671
        • Seafood requires a special license from DMR
      • Anywhere making prepackaged food or selling it: DACF food and fuel license, 207-287-3841
        • Often times both the food and fuel (DACF) and health inspection (DHHS) are required, but the agencies try not to double license. I usually advise them to start with whichever one is closer to what they are doing then call the other to make sure they do not also need the second license.
      • Most professional licenses are issued through DPFR (207-624-8603) and can be found at this site: http://www.maine.gov/pfr/professionallicensing/professions/index.html

 

  1. Hiring Employees
    • If hiring employees, contact the Department of Labor at (207)621-5120 and Maine Revenue Services at (207)626-8475.
    • If you need a federal ID number, you must contact the IRS.
    • If you are operating as a sole proprietor and would like to register for a "DBA" or "Doing Business As," please contact your municipality. If you are interested in setting up as another business entity, such as an LLC or S-Corp, and would like to learn more about the process, please contact the Secretary of State at 207-624-7736. The Secretary of State cannot give legal advice as to what business entity is best suited for your individual circumstance.


       
  2. Closing a Business
  • It is recommended you contact all departments or agencies that might have issued a permit or license. Some common departments included DHHS for eating and lodging permits, (207) 287-5671; Dept. of Ag. for retail food and fuel sales, (207) 287-3841; Secretary of State for registered LLCs, S-Corps or Non-Profits, (207) 624-7752; Maine Revenue Service for sales tax/resale certificates, (207) 624-5644; and BABLO for on- or off-premise liquor sales, (207) 624-7720.

 

  1. Need help with legal issue that state agencies do not administer.
    • Refer to Bar Association’s lawyer referral program or appropriate level of government. 800-860-1460