You did it. Your Maine LLC is officially up and running, ready to take on challenges, roll in the profits, and change the world.
There’s no doubt that this is an exciting time in your business journey. After starting your LLC, it’s easy to get carried away in all the excitement and expectations. After all, as a new business owner, you’ve got a lot on your plate.
But the state does too. They need to keep updated records on thousands of businesses so that they can effectively reach out with any important tax or legal communications down the road. How do they do it? With your cooperation, of course.
In Maine, an LLC’s annual report consists of two parts: a Franchise Tax and a Public Information Report. Each LLC must submit these filings to the Maine Comptroller every year to keep their information current. Unsure how to go about it? Never even heard of it? No worries at all. That’s why we’re here. Keep reading for everything you need to know.
For brevity’s sake, we’ll refer to these two combined filings as the “Annual Report” in this guide.
What is a Maine Annual Report? Why is it Important?
Consider an Annual Report the state’s yearly checkup on your LLC. It’s similar to a census in that its purpose is to collect the necessary contact and structural information about each Maine business.
Each state has its own annual reporting requirements, and some don’t even require them. But in most states, you’re required to submit one per year that includes your LLC name, principal office address, registered agent information, and member/manager names and addresses. Whether you run a domestic or foreign LLC, you should plan on submitting an Annual Report.
Don’t be intimidated, but it’s not something you want to take lightly. This is how the state updates your LLC’s record with the most recent information. They need to know how to reach you with important information about your business status, upcoming filings, taxes, and service of process.
For example, if you change your registered agent, or your current agent resigns, you’ll need to keep the state informed so they can update their contact information. Miss one of their communications and your LLC in Maine might end up falling out of good standing or, even worse, administratively dissolved.
Moreover, keeping your information current will help other businesses and potential customers find you. Since your LLC information is part of the public record, anyone can find it by performing a business name search, including future customers and business partners.
How Much Does the Maine LLC Annual Report Fee Cost?
If you’re putting together a budget for all your LLC’s costs – like formation costs, name reservation fees, and initial operating expenses – it’s important to include annual filings like this one, just so that there are no surprises.
Costs vary from state to state. Some are free while others can be several hundred dollars. In Maine, Annual Reports cost $85 for domestic LLCs and $150 for foreign ones. You’ll be paying this fee every year, so be sure to include it in your budget.
Due Date and Frequency for an Annual Report in Maine
Plan on filing an Annual Report with the Maine Secretary of State once per year. The due date is June 1 but if you’re an early bird and want to submit it ASAP, you can do so as soon as January 1st.
Your first Annual Report is due the year after you form your LLC. So, if you filed your Certificate of Formation on March 10, 2020, you’ll file your first report between January 1 and June 1 of 2021.
What Happens if You Don’t File?
You might be thinking, “that sounds like a pain. How bad could it be if I just fly under the radar?” The short answer: don’t try it. Failing to file your Annual Report can yield some serious consequences.
Fail to file your Annual Report by June 1 and you will incur a $50 late fee, raising the total filing fee to $135. And if you still haven’t filed 65 days after that, the state will administratively dissolve your LLC.
When January 1 rolls around, you’ll want to begin preparing to file your Annual Report. The good news is that there’s not a whole lot to prepare. It’s just a matter of gathering the necessary information, which includes:
- Business Purpose
- Names and Addresses of each member or manager
- Principal address
- Registered agent name and address
- Signature of authorized person
All of this is pretty accessible. You might even have it memorized. Whether you’re filing online or completing a hard copy, it likely won’t take you longer than a few minutes.
Ready to file your Annual Report? You have three different methods: online, by mail, or in-person.
Online Filings: Start by going to Maine’s Annual Reports Online filing portal and click the “File a Single Annual Report” button. Enter your LLC’s charter number to pull up your electronic Annual Report form. If you don’t know your Charter Number, you can find it on your Certificate of Formation or by searching your LLC’s name here. Then, follow the onscreen instructions to complete the report, enter your payment information. This is the fastest way to file – your report will be processed immediately.
Filing by Mail: If you’d rather file a paper form, you can create a preprinted one on this page. Just enter your LLC’s charter number. Print the form, fill it out, and mail it (with the appropriate payment) to:
Secretary of State
Division of Corporations, UCC, and Commissions
101 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0101
In-Person Filing: Live near Augusta? You also have the option to hand-deliver your form to the same address.
Does the State Send Reminders?
Reminders are always nice. They help you stay on top of your business requirements and ensure that you won’t fall out of good standing.
Unfortunately, the Secretary of State doesn’t mail out Annual Report reminders, but they will send email reminders to the email address on file from your LLC formation documents or past Annual Reports. To ensure that you don’t forget, we recommend marking it on your calendar, setting an alarm on your phone, or using other personal reminders as well.
Can I Hire a Service to Handle it?
You probably have a full plate as it is, and the thought of adding one more responsibility to your to-do list might make you shudder. You’re not alone.
Plenty of other LLC owners have outsourced their reporting duties to LLC services. These companies will take the entire process off your hands, handling your Annual Report each year. If that piques your interest, we recommend ZenBusiness, which is an experienced and trustworthy LLC company.
But their services aren’t restricted to forming an LLC or managing Annual Reports. They can also help you form your business, draft an operating agreement, handle registered agent responsibilities, and much more, all for a reasonably low price.
If thinking about your LLC responsibilities ties your stomach in knots, let ZenBusiness take some of those worries off your plate.
There you have it, everything you need to know about Maine’s reporting requirements. Follow this guide to a T and your LLC will be prepared to operate smoothly and in good standing long into the future.
And remember, if at any point it seems overwhelming, you’re not alone. A good LLC service like ZenBusiness (or LegalZoom) can be a valuable resource, taking care of all the little details, so you can focus on growing your business.