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Maine DBA / Assumed Name Registration In 4 Easy Steps

Maine DBA / Assumed Name Registration In 4 Easy Steps

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Maine DBA / Assumed Name Registration In 4 Easy Steps

If you’re planning to start a business in Maine using a specific name, you may need to register for a business name. Business name registration is commonly referred to as a Maine DBA, “Doing Business As,” Trade Name, or Fictitious Business Name but is officially called an Assumed Business Name. 

To see if you need to register for a Maine Assumed Name and steps on how to register, check out our guide.

Related: How to start a business in Maine

Who needs to register for a Maine Assumed Business Name?

The requirements and need to register for a DBA are found in Maine State Statute 31 MRSA§21 and vary depending on the type of business entity.

Sole proprietorships and general partnerships are the most common business structures to register for a Maine DBA. By default, the name of a sole proprietorship and general partnership is the owner(s) legal name, but if the small business owner wants to operate under a specific name, they will need to complete the Assumed Name registration. 

For example, if Amy Smith starts a house cleaning business but doesn’t operate with a specific business name, she doesn’t have to register.  If Amy decides to name her business Amy’s House Cleaning Service, she will need to register.

Related: How to start a Maine sole proprietorship

A corporation and Limited Liability Company won’t typically register for a Maine DBA since a unique entity name is created during the entity formation process. However, some will want to register for a DBA if they have another business or brand name they want to operate in addition to the legal name of the business. This can allow multiple businesses to operate with the liability protection of a Maine corporation or Limited Liability Company without having to form another entity.

What are the steps to file a DBA in Maine?

Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships

Step 1: Obtain the Assumed Business Name Form

Pick up the Assumed Business Name registration form from the Town Clerk or City Clerk’s office where the business will be located. Most have the form on their website, while others are available at the Clerks office.

Step 2: Fill out the Form

The required information on the form will vary by location, but typical information requested includes the owner’s contact information and the business name.

Step 3: Notarize the Form

Before signing and filing, the form will need to be notarized. Most Clerk’s offices will have a notary available.

Step 4: Submit the Form

Submit the form and payment.  An Assumed Name Certificate will be provided once filed.

If you would prefer to have a someone else research DBA name availability and file the required forms, Bizee and LegalZoom offer a DBA registration service for $99, plus state fees.

Corporations, Limited Partnership and Limited Liability Company

Step 1: Verify Name Availability

Assumed names for registered entities in Maine must be unique. To see if the name you want is available, do a Maine business name search through the Maine Business Name Database on the Maine Department of the Secretary of State’s website.

Step 2: Fill out the Form

There are different forms depending on the type of business entity.

For corporations and LLCs to operate under an assumed name, file the ASUM-5 form with the Maine Secretary of State – Division of Corporations.

Step 3: File the Form

Fill out the form and file it with the Secretary of State.

The mailing address is:
Secretary of State
Corporate Examining Section
101 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0101

If you have questions about the process, contact the Maine Secretary of State at 207-624-7752.

Maine DBA FAQs

How much does a DBA cost in Maine?

The fee to register an Assumed Name for a sole proprietor and general partnership varies by town and county, but expect the filing fee to be between $10 and $20.  This is a one-time fee.

The filing fee to register an Assumed Name for domestic corporations and LLCs is $125.  On the same form, there is the option to register a Fictitious Name. 

Fictitious Names are only for foreign entities, which refer to entities formed in another state.  

Names must be renewed every 10 years.

Are there any naming restrictions when filing a Maine DBA?

In addition to names being unique, DBAs can’t be registered using words related to banking, trust companies, or credit unions unless the business is licensed to provide those services. Names also can’t refer to unlawful activity or contain obscene language.

A DBA can’t use a business entity suffix that is different from the type of entity. For example, a sole proprietorship can’t use LLC or corporation in its name.

Last, words that potentially refer to your business as a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department) can’t be used.

Does a DBA need an EIN?

An EIN or Employer Identification Number is a unique nine-digit number that some businesses will register for through the Internal Revenue Department (IRS). An EIN is required for partnerships, corporations, multi-member LLCs, or any business that has employees.

Sole proprietorships and single-member LLCs without employees can use the owner’s social security number to identify the business.
There is no cost to get an EIN when registering directly from the IRS.

Related: How to register for an EIN in Maine

Does Maine require a business license?

The DBA registration isn’t a business license, so there may be additional requirements you have to complete before starting your business.

Most businesses will need some sort of license, but every business will have different requirements.

Check out what business licenses and permits are needed in Maine.

Sources

  1. 31 MRSA §2 ↩︎

Maine DBA / Assumed Name Registration In 4 Easy Steps

Maine DBA / Assumed Name Registration In 4 Easy Steps

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