BUSINESS START-UP CHECKLIST
The following is a
list of steps which provide a general guideline to anyone who is starting
a business in Maine.
- Prepare a written business plan, complete with pro-forma financial
statements. This can serve as an operating guide as well as a financing
- Decide whether you wish to operate as a sole proprietorship, partnership,
limited liability company or corporation.
- If you decide to incorporate, form a limited liability company,
or a partnership, you should consult an attorney. However, you can obtain
incorporation papers from the Maine Secretary of State, Bureau of Corporations,
State House Station #101, Augusta, ME 04333. Telephone: (207) 624-7740. Forms and information are also available from their .
If already incorporated in another state, obtain an application to do business
in Maine as a foreign corporation from the same office.
- 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) 624-7740 or go to the above website.
- 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.
- Determine whether you need to obtain any state licenses or permits
to operate your business. They also offer a business licensing service
- Maine Business Answers - which can provide you with the required license applications. This service
can be reached at 1-800-872-3838. You should also inquire about local licenses
or permits at your local town office or city hall.
- Check with the local code enforcement officer to determine if your
business will be in compliance with local zoning ordinances.
If you decide to incorporate, or if your partnership or proprietorship has employees, you will need to:
If you plan to sell a taxable product or service, you must obtain a State Sales Tax Number by filing the Application for Tax Registration with the Maine Revenue Services. Telephone: (207) 287-2336. This form is also used to register for State of Maine income tax withholding.
If necessary, contact the Maine Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Standards to determine compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Telephone: (207) 623-7900.
Contact an insurance agent regarding the necessary insurance coverage your business will require.