Maine Foreign Qualification

Foreign qualification is the process by which a business entity that was formed in another state seeks permission to operate in Maine. This involves registering with the Secretary of State in Maine and complying with the state's regulations to ensure legal and authorized business activities within its jurisdiction.

There are 2 different ways to foreign qualify in Maine depending on your legal entity type and tax classification. Follow the guide below to help you register with the Secretary of State in Maine or use Mosey to do it.

Use Mosey to register with the Secretary of State in Maine.

Maine Foreign Qualification for C Corporation

If you are "transacting business" in Maine, you must file a Foreign Corporation Application for Authority to Do Business Statement with the Secretary of State. Maine, like most states, provides a list of activities considered not "transacting business" in lieu of defining "transacting business."

  1. Acquire a Certificate of Good Standing

    The application must be accompanied by a certificate of existence authenticated by the Secretary of State from the company's home incorporation state issued in the last 90 days.

  2. Establish a Registered Agent

    You must have a registered agent in Maine designated to accept service of process. Your registered agent can be an individual who resides in Maine or a corporation authorized by the Secretary of State to act as an agent.

  3. Fill out the Authority to Do Business Application

    Fill out the Foreign Corporation Application for Authority to Do Business (Form MBCA-12).

  4. File the Authority to Do Business Application

    File the Foreign Corporation Application for Authority to Do Business (Form MBCA-12) with the Maine Secretary of State. The form must be sent via mail.

Maine Foreign Qualification for LLC

To transact business in Maine, you must file a Statement of Foreign Qualification to Conduct Activities with the Secretary of State. Maine, like most states, provides a list of activities not constituting "transacting business" instead of defining "transacting business."

  1. Acquire a Certificate of Existence

    You must obtain a certificate of existence or similar document issued in the last 90 days by your home Secretary of State.

  2. Establish a Registered Agent

    You must have a registered agent in Maine designated to accept service of process. Your registered agent can be an individual who resides in Maine or a corporation authorized by the Secretary of State to act as an agent.

  3. Fill Out the Statement of Foreign Qualification

    Complete the Statement of Foreign Qualification (Form MLLC - 12).

  4. Submit the Statement of Foreign Qualification

    Attach your certificate of existence to the completed statement of foreign qualification and mail the documents to the Maine Secretary of State.

What else do I need to know?

Once you are registered with the Secretary of State, you may have additional requirements to maintain your "good standing" in the state. Failing to do so can result in fines, back taxes, and forfeiting certain priveleges within the state.

Maintaining a Registered Agent

Most states require that you have a registered agent that can receive important mail from the Secretary of State should they need to contact you. There are many commercial options available or you can use Mosey to be your registered agent and keep your information private in Maine.

Annual Reports and Taxes

In addition to maintaining a registered agent, most states require you to file a report annually. Registration can also trigger state taxes such as a franchise tax or income tax. You can use Mosey to identify these additional requirements to maintain good standing in Maine.

Review your compliance risks, free.

More from the blog

Learn how to keep your business compliant in all 50 states across payroll, HR, Secretary of State, and tax.

How To Pay Yourself From an LLC

Navigating the nuances of paying yourself from a limited liability company (LLC) can be challenging. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of the different approaches and tax implications that LLC owners need to be aware of. Whether you operate a single-member LLC, are part of a multi-member setup, or fall under the corporate LLC umbrella, you need the right information to make an informed decision. How Do You Pay Yourself From an LLC?

Gabrielle Sinacola | Jan 7, 2024

What Is Local Tax? States with Local Income Taxes in 2023

Business tax planning can be complicated. It’s particularly involved for employers with multi-state payroll, who need to figure out withholding obligations in every state where they employ workers. If you do business or employ workers in one of the 15 states that allow local jurisdictions to impose income taxes, you might also need to withhold and remit local income taxes where your employees live, work, or both. What is local income tax?

Gabrielle Sinacola | Aug 11, 2023

Certificate of Good Standing: What Is It & How It Works

Consider the following scenario: You’re the founder of a new startup, which you incorporated in Delaware, but you live in California. You need to register your company as a foreign entity to do business there. But before you can register in California, you’ll need to obtain a Certificate of Good Standing from your incorporated state of Delaware. Essentially, a Certificate of Good Standing validates the legitimacy of your business. Business owners might use a Certificate to register to do business in another state, apply for a business loan or insurance, seek financing from investors, or lease commercial space.

Alex Kehayias | Apr 3, 2023

Ready to get started?

Sign up now or schedule a free consultation to see how Mosey transforms business compliance.