Maine Business Entity Search Techniques and Complete Process Explained

Planning to open a new LLC or Corporation in Maine? Then performing the Maine Business Entity Search is the primary step. You can do it by visiting the Maine Secretary of state’s website. Names always play an important role, in any business be it starting an LLC or Corporation. We will discuss in detail how we can do the Maine Business Entity Search.

Why Do Maine Business Entity Search?

The primary objective of performing the Maine business entity search is to ensure that your chosen name is unique and can be used legally to form a business in Maine. The Maine Naming Guideline set by Maine SOS applies to any form of business whether LLC or Corporation. The Maine name search results help you understand whether your chosen name matches any existing business entity or not.

maine secretary of state

Maine LLC Naming Guidelines

The Maine secretary of state has set certain norms and guidelines that must be maintained while you conduct the Maine LLC search.

  • Your business entity should also justify the business name you plan to form and must have the required term after your business name. Such as for LLC, it should have LLC or L.L.C or a Limited Liability Company at the end.
  • The business name must be similar to an existing LLC. 
  • Your LLC name must not contain any restricted words like “state department”, or “education” as they are commonly used by government agencies and needs additional permits.
  • You must refrain from using any indecent and offensive words.

Maine Corporation Naming Guidelines

The naming guidelines of an LLC do not differ much from that of a Corporation. Let’s take a look at the following guidelines.

  • The corporation name must be distinguishable from any existing corporation.
  • “company” “corporation”,  or “corp” must be present along with your entity name.
  • You must not use restricted words like, “education”, “school” etc.
  • Obscene or indecent words are strictly not allowed for usage.

Maine Business Entity Search Method

The Maine business name search can be easily done by visiting the Maine SOS Website. By performing a business entity search you will be able to know whether your desired name is being used by any other registered companies or not. The Maine SOS allows you to search in the following 2 ways:-

maine business entity search

1. Search by Business Name: You can either enter part of your business name or the whole business name and click on the search button.  If a similar or same name is registered or has the same keywords then it will appear in the result section. In case, the search result does not show your desired name, the n the name is available for you to register.

2. Search by Charter Number: Charter Number is very similar to Filing Number. If you want to know about some existing business form and you are aware of their charter number, you can simply enter and find out details like- Filing type, Filing Status, and Expiration Date.

Maine Business Entity Search Process

Only by visiting the Maine SOS website, you can complete the Maine business entity search. Lets take a look at the entity search process.

1. Choose Your Desired Name:  Moving ahead with one name can often be a time-consuming process as that name may not be available for registration. So, you can always plan out more than 1 name to save more time.

2. Perform a Business Search: The business name search tool at the official website of Maine SOS, helps you understand whether the chosen name can be used or not. Similarly, you get to know about other businesses too.

3. Analyse the result page: The search result generated can help you know the existing businesses and their types and if any other businesses exist with the same or similar name as yours. Accordingly, it will help you to select a unique name that has not been used previously.

4. Reserve your Maine LLC/Corporation name (Optional): After you have finalized the name, it is time for you to reserve your name in Maine for 120 days by paying a filing fee of $20. You can also choose to reserve multiple names.

5. Register your business:  Once you want to move ahead with the chosen name, you can get it registered with the Maine Secretary of State by visiting their online website.

Other Considerations Before Choosing a Name

In a business, a name goes a long way a. Thus there are a few other considerations that also need to be followed before choosing your business name. 

maine state seal

Trademark Search – It is important that along with registering your business you also do a state trademark search. Performing a trademark search helps you secure your business from any legal actions in the future.

Domain Name –Domain name helps customers reach your online profile. Thus, you need to check if your URL is available for use or not.

Social Media Name – Multiple brands often exist on social media platforms with similar names. Thus to avoid confusion it is always advisable to open accounts using your brand name on different social media platforms. This can help you with marketing promotions as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What's the cost of reserving a business name in Maine?

A business name reservation in Maine costs a filing fee of $20. This will secure your name for 120 days.

2. Can I reserve more than one name?

Yes, you can reserve more than 1 name for your business and then choose one. Remember the validity would be 120 days.

3. Is it necessary to register a trading name in Maine?

If you're running a business in Maine with a name that's different from your legal business name you'll have to register a trading name (DBA name) with the Maine secretary of state.

4. Will I need to renew my LLC or Corporation?

Yes, Maine SOS states that every LLC or Corporation must renew their business annually.


Though naming a business may seem an easy task, we recommend that you consider the broader vision while choosing your business name. Thus, performing the Maine Business Entity Search is a crucial step as it helps in choosing a name that is not only unique but also resembles your business. 

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