You formed your Maine LLC. You did the paperwork. You started operating your business. And now, for one reason or another, you need to change your registered agent. No worries, we’ve got you covered.
There are a number of reasons you might need to change your Maine LLC’s registered agent. Maybe your designated registered agent moved out of state, left the company, or no longer wants the responsibility. Maybe you had assigned the job to yourself, and you no longer want your address on public record. Maybe (hopefully) your business has expanded so much that you no longer have time to handle the registered agent responsibilities.
Whatever your reason may be, changing a registered agent in Maine might seem like a daunting task, with a mountain of paperwork and legal proceedings involved. However it’s actually quite simple, and this guide will help make the process quick and painless.
Two quick notes on terminology to avoid confusion:
- On the Maine Bureau of Corporations, Elections & Commissions (BCEC) website, there are references to both registered agents and clerks. These terms are synonymous. The only difference is that clerks are for corporations and registered agents for LLCs, LPs, and LLPs.
- There are forms on the BCEC for both commercial and non-commercial registered agents. The only difference is that commercial agents have registered with the state and non-commercial ones have not. Still, you’ll need to confirm that you’re filling out the correct form. If you’re unsure, speak to your current registered agent about their status.
Time Saving Hack: You can change registered agent, get all state paperwork taken care of and have a replacement agent when you hire an online registered agent service.
What the State of Maine Says about changing a Registered Agent
The state of Maine has certain requirements for changing your LLC’s registered agent. Any business entity may change its registered agent, as long as it files a “Statement of Appointment or Change” with the Secretary of State, including information for both the current and new agents.
The Maine Revised Statutes provide some background on the state’s policies regarding registered agent changes. See here for more information.
Who can be a Maine Registered Agent
You can’t pick just anyone to be a registered agent for your LLC. The state of Maine puts certain restrictions on who can serve as one. If you’re choosing or changing your registered agent, keep these requirements in mind. The registered agent in Maine must:
- Be an individual Maine resident or a business entity located in Maine
- Have a Maine street address (P.O. boxes are not allowed)
* If your registered agent is a foreign business entity, it must be authorized to transact business in Maine
How to Change Your Maine Registered Agent
In order to change your registered agent in Maine, you will need to file a “Statement of Appointment or Change” with the Secretary of State’s office. The tricky part is making sure you’re using the correct form, as there are separate ones for different entity types, as well as commercial and non-commercial registered agents. For LLC commercial agents, see here, and for LLC non-commercial, here. You can peruse all the LLC business forms on the BCEC Forms and Fees page. Both forms require similar information:
- Your LLC name (must be identical to the name on record with the Secretary of State)
- The name of your current registered agent
- The name of your new registered agent (plus the agent’s address, if non-commercial)
- The state of your LLC’s jurisdiction and date authorized to do business in Maine (if a foreign LLC)
- Your signature
Both forms come with a cover letter where you’ll include information about the filing and your own contact info. Also, both forms require a $35 fee, payable by check made out to “Maine Secretary of State.” The S.O.S. also accepts payment by card, but only if you complete and include a “Credit Card Payment Voucher.”
If you were hoping to file online, unfortunately, that isn’t an option. You’ll need to file by mail or in person at:
Secretary of State
Division of Corporations, UCC, and Commissions
101 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0101
You can also change your registered agent on an LLC Certificate of Amendment, but since this form costs $80, you shouldn’t use it for agent changes unless you already need to file it for something else. While other states also allow agent changes on annual reports, Maine does not.
If you’re too busy, or if you’d feel more comfortable letting someone else take the reins, you have the option of hiring a company or individual to file your paperwork for you. It’s a great way to save time and stress.
Submit your form? Pay your fee? Your registered agent change is in progress. Processing time is typically 5-10 business days, but if you need it done sooner, there are two options for expedited processing: $50 for 24-hour service and $100 for immediate service.
Consider a Registered Agent Service
Think of your registered agent as a mediator between you and the state of Maine, the person or business entity that handles some of your most important paperwork.
In case you thought the registered agent was just a formality, look at the documents they handle:
- service of process notices
- tax information
- and other Secretary of State correspondence.
A lot of important stuff. Which is why a reliable registered agent is essential to every Maine business owner.
By handling high-priority and sensitive documents on your behalf, your registered agent takes care of your communications with the state, so you can spend more time building your business.
Plus, if you operate a Maine small business from out of state, a trustworthy registered agent is especially important, as the state requires a local contact for your LLC. Having this contact ensures your company will receive and respond to time-sensitive documents, so you won’t miss filings and get hit with penalties.
If you’re unsure where to find a good Maine registered agent, consider using a registered agent service. These companies provide you a reliable, professional registered agent so you can have peace of mind knowing you won’t ever miss a filing, tax deadline, or state correspondence.
Sure, you can jump online, search “registered agent service,” and get a ton of results. But the truth is that not all of these services are trustworthy. So, we’ve done some research for you. If you want to know you’re getting a top-quality registered agent, take a look at our comparison guide on the top five registered agent services.