- What Is a Maine Registered Agent?
- Who Can Be a Registered Agent?
- Why You Need a Registered Agent Service In Maine
- What To Look For When Choosing a Maine Registered Agent?
- How Much Do Maine Registered Agents Cost?
- What’s the Best Registered Agent Service in Maine?
In Maine, a registered agent is required for any business that is operating in the state. This can be a confusing notion, especially if you are a first-time business owner and unsure of what you need to do to appoint a registered agent. Fortunately, we’re here to help you out when it comes to learning all about Maine registered agents.
In this article, we will be helping you to understand the specifics of what a Maine registered agent is. We will also be discussing why you need to appoint one and what to look for whether you are choosing a separate individual as a registered agent or investing in a registered agent service for your business.
What Is a Maine Registered Agent?
A registered agent in Maine is an individual or a business that is legally operating in the state that is designated to act as a contact point between your business and the state or federal government. Any registered agent that you appoint in Maine will be responsible for receiving official notices on behalf of your business. This includes notices of lawsuits, notices from courts, and general state or federal government-related business.
Your registered agent may also be responsible for filing (or at least notifying you that it is time to file) ongoing compliance forms. Whether or not your agent does this depends on the type of agent you appoint (some registered agent services may do this, but some individual registered agents may also help with compliance).
Who Can Be a Registered Agent?
In Maine, your registered agent can be any individual that is at least 18 years old and has a valid state street address (this address cannot be a P.O. box). It is possible to appoint yourself, a close friend or family member, or another outside individual as your business’s registered agent. However, it is important to remember that your registered agent should be available during all regular business hours, something that can make appointing yourself or a close individual slightly more difficult to navigate.
On the other hand, you may also appoint a registered agent service to accept any state or federal notices on your business’s behalf. Any business or registered agent service that is legally authorized to run in Maine can act as your registered agent; many business owners find this a convenient option, as it allows you to meet the requirement of a registered agent without too much stress or worry on your part.
Our recommended provider ZenBusiness is a fantastic option for a registered agent service in Maine and can keep your business compliant in addition to notifying you about all documents received for your business in real-time.
If you fail or neglect to appoint a registered agent for your business, the state will likely refuse to allow your business to operate. You may also receive fines or a drop in good standing should you not have a registered agent or neglect to keep your agent’s information up to date as part of ongoing state compliance.
Why You Need a Registered Agent Service In Maine
A registered agent service is something that can highly benefit your Maine business. Review the below advantages that you could gain by using a registered agent service in the state.
Most registered agent services will help you ensure that your business stays compliant. This is incredibly helpful as it can be hard to keep track of each filing deadline and state requirement or fee for compliance by yourself. If you act as your own registered agent, this can be a difficult process and may result in your missing an important deadline.
A registered agent service will generally provide you with a calendar of deadlines and either notify you to file important compliance documents or will file the necessary paperwork on your behalf when the time comes.
The registered agent that you appoint will be required to be available during all regular business hours in order to accept documents on time. When you appoint yourself, a close friend, or a family member as a registered agent, this can create issues as they will need to ensure that they are available most hours during the week. Over time, this can lead to a lack of flexibility in schedules and extra stress for you as you try to run your business and ensure that your registered agent’s availability is maintained.
If you do elect to use a registered agent service, you can achieve more flexibility as the service will have employees available at all regular business hours. This meets the Maine requirement and frees up your schedule to properly run your business without worrying about ongoing availability.
A registered agent service is highly likely to offer online document storage or another system of keeping your important documents in order. This can be preferred over storing paper documents when you or a close individual acts as your registered agent.
In most cases, a registered agent service will upload any important notice, mail, or document in real-time so you can access it as soon as possible from an online portal. This makes filing, printing, and referring to documents much easier.
Any registered agent you appoint in Maine will be required to put down their name and address as part of your business’s Certificate of Formation. This can be a problem if you appoint yourself or a close individual, as personal names and addresses will most likely need to be used. These addresses can also become public record, resulting in a lack of privacy.
If you want to increase privacy and ensure that your or a close individual’s address is not accessible by others, you can use a registered agent service. Using the address and name of the service will put a layer of privacy between the public and your business, taking a bit of stress off your shoulders.
From time to time, your business may receive notice of a lawsuit or other sensitive documents. If you or a family member are acting as your registered agent, these documents may arrive in front of customers or give away your business’s private information to people you may not want to involve.
A registered agent service can prevent these problems by accepting all the notices on your behalf away from customers, friends, and family members. You will be notified about the document privately and able to review them as subtly as possible, something that increases the discretion of the entire matter.
When you decide to start growing your business, you will likely want to expand your operations across state lines. The method for this usually involves registering your business as a foreign LLC in a different state, but this does require you to appoint a local registered agent. This can be a problem when you are acting as your own registered agent, as you won’t be able to perform registered agent services in different states.
A registered agent service is a perfect solution for this as most services have offices in different states and can provide you with easy expansion help or assistance when your business is ready to grow.
What To Look For When Choosing a Maine Registered Agent?
Whether you choose a registered agent service or an individual, you can keep a lookout for these key elements to help you decide whether or not to designate them as your agent.
You should always keep professionalism in mind regardless of who you are appointing. A friend, family member, registered agent service, or even yourself should have a good idea of the responsibilities of the job and understand every aspect of the role.
You will also want to look and determine if they have friendly customer service and how they deal with customers, as this can help you determine how professional they are when it comes to assisting your business.
Cost and Value
The cost of a registered agent service and your business’s budget is incredibly important to keep in mind. You should choose a registered agent service that fits into your budget and gives you the value or help that you need in keeping your business compliant. It can be more money annually to keep a registered agent service, but it might be less stressful than appointing yourself or a close individual that costs you nothing upon appointing.
This item applies only to registered agent services. It is important to look for a service that does have a national presence, as this will more easily allow you to expand your business into other states. Also, companies that hold a national presence may be more reputable and likely to offer you good value and professional treatment.
How Much Do Maine Registered Agents Cost?
How much your specific registered agent will cost you in Maine depends on the type of registered agent that you decide to appoint. Appointing yourself, a friend, family member, or another close individual will cost you likely nothing, or a small amount. Utilizing a registered agent service will typically cost a yearly fee that ranges from $99 to $300 depending on the company you use and which services are included.
What’s the Best Registered Agent Service in Maine?
The best registered agent service in Maine will be one that meets all of your business’s needs while fitting into your budget. Our most recommended choice for this is ZenBusiness. This service will provide you with access to expert support, an online document management system, worry-free compliance tracking, and friendly customer support. Plus, the annual cost is low so you can be sure you’re getting the best value for your business.
Check out our detailed guide for more information about ZenBusiness and other top registered agent services.