Business Law in Maine

Starting a business is a many-step process with a lot of variants involved. It's importat to understand business law in Maine prior to trying to set up a business, so you know the appropriate steps.

Registering Your Business With the State of Maine

One of the first things that may be necessary is to register your business with the state of Maine. Not all business types are required to do this. Sole proprietorships and general partnerships aren't required by business law in Maine to register. However, they may be responsible for obtaining certain permits that allow them to do business on state, county or town levels.

Corporations, limited partnerships and limited liability companies are required to register, according to business law in Maine. This can be done at the Bureau of Corporations, a branch of the Secretary of State's office.

"Doing Business As" Assumed Names

Business law in Maine requires that any businesses that operate under an assumed name (that is, name that is not the proper names of the owners) must register that name with the local government. This is known as a DBA, or "doing business as" license. It's important to ensure that you're not infringing on any trademarks before you choose a name for your business. Doing so risks legal problems with company that already has registered the name.

Obtaining Licenses

Some businesses require certain licenses according to business law in Maine. While in some cases you are not required to register with the state, you may still need to do so with the local county or town government. More information on the types of licenses that are needed for a specific business can be obtained by contacting the Maine Department of Economics and Community Development. This program will help you find and fill out the forms you need to become licensed.

Sales Tax on Tangible Goods

If your company sells tangible items, or provides rental services or a few other specific types of services, it is required by business law in Maine to get a sales tax identification number. This is also referred to as a seller's certificate. Once your business is registered, it is required that you must report all of your sales to the State of Maine's Sales Tax Division. Even in situations where you do not normally charge sales tax, such as with out-of-state buyers, sales must still be reported.

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