Major Business Headquarters Expansions Program

On November 1, 2017, PL 297, An Act To Promote Major Business Headquarters Expansions in Maine, Promote the Commercialization of Research and Development in Maine and Create Jobs became law. This program is intended to encourage the location and expansion of major business headquarters, in the State of Maine, and to promote the recruitment and training of employees for these facilities. The location and expansion of major business headquarters, in Maine, will create high-quality jobs, benefit small businesses that supply goods and services to the major business headquarters and its employees, increase the tax base, and provide many other direct and indirect economic benefits to the State.

Application Process:

A qualified applicant must satisfy the following criteria in order to be eligible to apply to for this program:

  • The company's principal facility, from which the applicant directs its national or global business activities, determined by the Commissioner of DECD, at time of application, are or will be located in the State of Maine;
  • The applicant employs at least 5,000 full-time employees worldwide, of which at least 25% are or will be based in this State;
  • The applicant has business locations in at least 3 other states or foreign countries; and
  • The applicant intends to make a qualified investment, within the State of Maine, of at least $35,000,000 to design, permit, construct, modify, equip or expand the applicant's headquarters

If the criteria can be met, a qualified applicant may submit a letter and supporting documentation to  the Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), for a certificate of approval. 

Certificate of Approval:

Once an applicant has submitted the requested documentation, the Commissioner shall make a determination of whether the applicant is a qualified applicant.  Within 30 days, from the date DECD determines the application is complete, DECD shall issue a certificate of approval or a written denial indicating why the applicant is not qualified.  The certificate of approval, issued by the Commissioner of DECD, must describe the qualified investment and specify the total amount of qualified investment approved under the certificate. 

Upon issuance of a certification of completion, the Commissioner of DECD will issue a certification letter to the qualified applicant, describing the qualified investment and specify the total amount of qualified investment approved by the certification.

Program Benefits:

  • Beginning with the tax year during which the certificate of completion is issued or the tax year beginning in 2020, whichever is later, and for each of the following 19 tax years, a certified applicant is allowed a credit against the tax due for the taxable year in an amount equal to 2% of the certified applicant's qualified investment
  • A credit is not allowed for any tax year during which the taxpayer does not meet or exceed employment targets measured on the last day of the tax year;
  • For each of the first 10 tax years for which the credit is claimed, there must be a total of at least 80 additional full-time employees based in the State whose jobs were added since the first day of the first tax year for which the credit was claimed, multiplied by the number of years for which the credit has been claimed;
  • For each tax year after the 10th tax year for which the credit is claimed, the taxpayer must employ a total of at least 800 additional full-time employees based in the State whose jobs were added since the first day of the first tax year for which the credit was claimed
  • Cumulative credits may not exceed $16,000,000 under any one certificate

Reporting Requirements:

On or before March 1st of each year, a certificated applicant shall file a report with the Commissioner of DECD for the tax year ending immediately preceding the calendar year.  The certified applicant's report shall contain the following information:

  • Number of full-time employees based in the State of Maine
  • Incremental amount of qualified investment made in the report year

The Commissioner of DECD must provide copies of the report to the State Tax Assessor and the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over tax matters at the time the report is received.

By April 1st of each year, the commissioner shall report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over tax matters aggregate data on employment levels and qualified investment amounts of certified applicants for each year.

The State Tax Assessor shall report to the committee the revenue loss during the previous calendar year, including the loss due to refundable credits, as a result of this section for each taxpayer claiming the credit.