Starting an LLC in Maine is not for the faint of heart. Maintaining one isn’t, either. There’s a bunch of annual requirements: annual taxes, business licenses to renew, and of course, annual reports. A lot of the annual requirements can be pretty complicated, too.
Annual reports can be pretty complicated…but only if you don’t know what to expect. That’s what we’re here for. In this guide, we’ll cover all the essentials to annual reports in Maine: LLC filing fees, where to file, due dates, and if you want, where to go to get help filing. By the end, the annual report won’t feel so daunting anymore.
What is an annual report?
An annual report is a lot like an annual newsletter for your LLC—except you only send it to one place: the state government. Each year, the state needs updated information about your business. And this isn’t a requirement that’s unique to Maine. In fact, nearly every state requires some form of annual (or similar timeline) update.
That said, the newsletter analogy falls short because you don’t need to tell the state what you did each month. You don’t even have to tell them the highs and lows of your year. And thankfully, you don’t have to write it out as a letter. All you’ll have to do is fill out the requested information.
Here’s a quick glance at the information Maine will require from you:
- Stated purpose of your LLC
- Names and addresses of members or managers
- Primary address for the business
- Name and address of your registered agent
- Signature of person authorized to file the form
Sound overwhelming? Don’t panic. It’s actually a lot easier than you might think! In the rest of this guide, we’ll cover all the essentials to annual reporting—including a DIY approach and how to get help if you’d rather not file on your own.
Where do I start?
When the time comes to file your annual report, your gut might tell you to head to the Secretary of State’s website. And that’s a good instinct. More specifically, you’ll want to head to the state’s Annual Report Filing page. You can use this portal with or without an account; we recommend setting up an account since you’ll file every year.
Alternatively, if you’d rather file by mail, you can download one here. Please note that you must have your LLC’s charter number on hand to use this service. Once you input the information, you’ll be redirected to download a pdf of the report.
The annual report isn’t extremely difficult to fill out, honestly. But if you’re extremely busy (and who isn’t these days?), the report can seem overwhelming—it’s yet another thing you have to do. That said, you can hire a Maine LLC Service to handle the work for you. Not only will these services actually form your business for you (if you need it), but they’ll also help you handle annual requirements like the annual report.
How much does Maine’s Annual Report cost?
Some states have a pretty hefty price tag of several hundred dollars for their annual report. Other states charge more reasonable fees of less than $100. Maine charges a relatively manageable fee. If you’re a domestic LLC, the fee’s just $85; foreign LLCs pay $150.
How you file your annual report will affect how you pay, too. If you file online, you’ll pay using a credit or debit card. But if you opt to file by mail, you should make a check or money order payable to the Secretary of State and include it in your envelope you use to mail it in.
When is the Annual Report due?
In most states, the annual report is due, well, annually. In other states, entrepreneurs often refer to it as an annual report even though it’s due every other year. But in Maine, the annual report fits its name; you’ll file every year.
More specifically, Maine LLCs will need to file their annual reports by June 1st. That said, the filing window is pretty wide. You can file anytime between January 1st and June 1st. Basically, you can file anytime during the first half of the year. But you must file by June 1st. Some LLC owners find it’s easiest to file during tax season, when they’re already working with other annual filings. But you can pick which date works best for you.
If you don’t file on time, you’ll get hit with a $50 late fee.
What happens if you don’t file your annual report?
Sometimes annual check-ins are a pain, right? And we get it: with some things, like annual physicals, dental cleanings, and eye appointments are tempting to skip. Usually, there isn’t a big penalty if you skip them for a year or two (aside from a minor scolding from your doctor).
However, that isn’t the case with annual reports. You should never skip filing your annual report, and you should always do it on time. For one thing, filing on time ensures that you don’t spend any more than you have to.
More importantly, though, failing to file your annual report can cost you your good standing in the state. If you forget to file the report for 65 days past the due date, the state can administratively dissolve your LLC.
Long story short, they’ll shut down your business by force. If that happens, don’t panic; you can get reinstated. But it’s a hassle to do so. It’s much, much easier to file the report on time and avoid that hassle entirely.
Maintaining a Maine LLC is no laughing matter, and the annual report is without a doubt one of the most important annual filings. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be too complicated. Hopefully, this guide has helped take out some of the guesswork. And don’t forget: an LLC Service can make things even easier.