Last updated May 30, 2020
Maine LLC Name Search
How to form an LLC in Maine
This Quick Start Guide is a brief overview of how to form an LLC in Maine.
Maine LLC costs:
LLC formation cost: $175 (one-time fee)
Annual report: $85 (every year)
★ Check out Northwest vs LegalZoom
The first step to forming an LLC in Maine is to search your desired LLC name and make sure it is available for use.
Your Maine LLC name must be unique and must follow certain state requirements.
Maine LLC Name Requirements
Before searching your LLC name in Maine, there are a few requirements you need to know:
1. The abbreviations “LLC” or “L.L.C.” must be used at the end of your Maine LLC name. The abbreviation “LLC” is the most common.
2. Because a Maine LLC is not a Corporation, your desired LLC name cannot use the word “Corporation”, “Incorporated,” or their abbreviations (“Corp.”, “Inc.”).
3. Your desired LLC name must be distinguishable. This means it must be different and unique from all other businesses registered in Maine.
Differences in designators (the identifiers at the end of a business name) and differences in grammar do not create distinguishability.
• LLC, L.L.C, Inc., Corp.
• singular, plural, and possessive
• A, An, The
• and, or, &
• hyphens, slashes, periods, commas
• three vs. 3
The following examples are NOT distinguishable:
– Smith Investments, LLC vs. Smith Investments, Inc.
– Apple Farm, LLC vs. Apple Farms, LLC
– Print Shop, LLC vs. The Print Shop, LLC
– Night & Day, LLC vs. Night and Day, LLC
– Peter Paul & Mary Studios, LLC vs. Peter-Paul-Mary Studios, Inc
– Three Teachers Consulting, LLC vs. 3 Teachers Consulting, LLC
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)
(check out Northwest vs LegalZoom)
Searching the Maine Name Database
1. Visit the Database
Go to the Corporate Name Search page:
2. Search your LLC
Enter your desired LLC name in the search box.
• Leave out the ending “LLC” and any punctuation.
• Capitalization doesn’t matter.
• To be thorough, just enter the first word or two of your LLC name to ensure you see everything that is potentially similar. (Ex: if your desired Maine LLC name is “Johnny Apple Farm LLC”, just enter “johnny apple”).
• To be even more thorough, just enter a part of the first word. (Ex: if your desired Maine LLC name is “Printing Solutions LLC”, just enter “print”).
3. Browse the Results
Click the “Search” button and browse the list of existing Maine businesses:
• If a “Found 0 entities for query” message appears in the Maine database, that means your desired LLC name is unique and available for use.
• If the results show names that are not too similar to yours (meaning yours is distinguishable), then your desired LLC name is available for use.
• If your desired LLC name appears in the list exactly as you want it, your desired Maine LLC name is not available for use. You’ll need to think of a new name or use some creativity and come up with a unique variation.
• If the results show a name that is deceptively similar to your desired LLC name, your desired Maine LLC name is not available for use. You’ll need to think of a new name or use some creativity and come up with a unique variation.
Tip: And don’t worry, if you’re not 100% sure that your desired Maine LLC name is distinguishable, just file your paperwork with the state. If your name is not available, the state of Maine will send back your filing and let you know that the name needs to be changed.
Once you find a Maine LLC name that is unique and distinguishable, you’re ready to select your LLC’s Registered Agent. We’ll discuss this in the next lesson: Maine LLC Registered Agent.
Maine Secretary of State Contact Info
If you have any questions, you can contact the Maine Secretary of State by phone at 207-624-7752 or by email at [email protected]