Do You Need a Registered Agent in Maine?


Most business owners are aware that having a registered agent in Maine is necessary for any registered business entity. What you may not know is that it’s also a smart investment.

Registered agents are such an integral part of the formation process that it’s nearly impossible to complete it without one. And they’re massively beneficial when it comes to meeting your company’s compliance requirements. They can issue compliance alerts to let you know about filing deadlines issued by the Maine Secretary of State!

But just what is a registered agent, how do you find one, and why are you required to have one? 

What Is a Registered Agent in Maine?

A registered agent is an individual or business entity that is physically present at your registered agent’s address during regular business hours. A registered agent receives service of process, legal documents, and mail from government agencies like the Maine Secretary of State and the IRS on behalf of your company. 

It may seem pointless to send your mail to a different physical street address and have someone else acting as your registered agent to receive it. Enter the other half of a registered agent’s services: document delivery. 

Through mail forwarding or online document management systems, Maine registered agents keep their clients informed about certified mail, legal documents, and service of process as they’re received, as well as their Maine annual report and other filing deadlines with the Maine Secretary of State.

As long as your company is a registered business entity (limited liability company, corporation, or sole proprietorship), it’s required to maintain a registered agent in every state it conducts business in. You’ll either have to designate someone already present at these locations to be your registered agent or hire a registered agent service. 

A Maine registered agent is also sometimes referred to as a resident agent or statutory agent, so if you come across these terms, just know that they’re all different names for the same service. 

What Is the Purpose of a Registered Agent in Maine?

Let me guess—you’ve concocted a plan to set up a PO box for your company to meet the requirements of a Maine registered agent. You can’t do this for three reasons. 

First, your statutory agent must be physically present at your mailing address during normal business hours to receive mail and service of process for your company. The key words there are physically present, which means you can’t just go check your box for this correspondence when it’s convenient to you. 

Second, the Secretary of State stipulates that you must use a physical street address, which disqualifies PO boxes. 

Finally, there are many other things your Maine registered agent can do! 


Remembering compliance filing deadlines is nigh impossible because many of them only come once a year. The good news is that your resident agent is in charge of keeping up with such things, and they do so by issuing compliance notifications or annual report reminders. 

Your registered agent acts as a sort of liaison between your limited liability company or business entity and the Secretary of State. When it’s time for your annual report filing deadline, your resident agent will send out a compliance alert so that you don’t lose your company’s good-standing status. 

Management of Important Documents

Your address is important for more reasons than simply meeting the Secretary of State’s physical address requirement. 

This address is where your mail, documents, and service of process are sent, and obviously you need to get your hands on these, read them, and store them properly.

Many Maine registered agents offer online document management systems for document delivery, storage, and management. Your registered agent in Maine will scan and upload your documents the day they’re received, and from there you can view them with an online account. 

You also have the option to store and manage them from this system, which is great because you won’t have to deal with mountainous stacks of documents or rooms full of filing cabinets. Plus, you get your mail a lot faster than you would with mail forwarding because you don’t have to wait around for it to go through snail mail twice. 

Who Can Be a Registered Agent in Maine?

There are some universal requirements for registered agents nationwide. Here are some of the requirements that your registered agent in Maine will need to satisfy. 

  • State laws. Some states have special regulations specifically for registered agents. To make sure you’re complying with the requirements for your registered agent in Maine, you should brush up on state laws. 
  • 18+. Every registered agent in Maine must be at least 18 years old. 
  • Physical address. Each registered agent in Maine must have a physical address, which means a PO box won’t suffice. 
  • Who you can designate. As long as they fulfill the rest of the requirements, you’re allowed to designate anyone as your registered agent in Maine. This could be a trusted employee, business associate, or even a family member. Just remember that whomever you designate needs to be available during business hours and reliable enough to show up to your business address when they’re supposed to be there. 

What Happens If My Business Operates Without a Registered Agent?

In the event that your registered agent isn’t present at your business’s address during business hours to receive a service of process when a process server attempts to deliver it, the process server will deliver the service of process to the Secretary of State. 

This is a bad situation for any business owner because you don’t have the notice that informs you you’re being sued. A court may proceed with legal actions against your company and issue a default judgment against it, and you won’t be able to provide a legal defense. 

If you don’t maintain a registered agent in Maine or keep up with compliance filing deadlines, your business isn’t meeting its legal obligations, and the Secretary of State might remove its good-standing status. This can be a crushing blow to your company. It can remove your business’s eligibility for business loans, disqualify it from expanding to other states, and even bar it from legally conducting business in Maine. 

When you lose your good-standing status, you lose your business’s name reservation. Other companies could pounce on it and take it for themselves. And even if you move quickly to resolve this situation in a timely manner, there’s a possibility that you’ll never be able to retain your business name. 

Limited liability companies are particularly devastated when their good-standing status is revoked. Without good standing, your company is vulnerable to what’s known as administrative dissolution, which means that the Secretary of State can take away your authority to legally operate due to non-compliance and failing to meet your company’s legal requirements. 

It’s dangerous to continue normal business operations without legal LLC status. Without the safety of limited liability protection, each business owner or LLC member is legally and financially responsible for the company. If the company is sued, your personal and financial assets are up for grabs, even if you’ve got a separate business bank account. 

The consequences of failing to maintain a registered agent in Maine don’t just affect LLCs, but all business entities. Many of the disastrous consequences mentioned here apply to corporations and sole proprietorships as well. 

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent in Maine? 

No law explicitly forbids you from being your own registered agent. First, though, read these pros and cons of being your own agent. You may decide hiring a registered agent service is a good idea. 

Cons of Being Your Own Registered Agent


One of the biggest disadvantages of being your own Maine registered agent is the serious consequences involved with missing a service of process. Some of these consequences are things like losing your company’s good-standing status and dealing with default judgments. Basically, it’s a headache you don’t need.

Lack of Privacy

If your business lacks a physical street address and you don’t hire a registered agent service, then you’re forced to list your home address on formation documents, on the public record. Your information will be made available to the public, including cybercriminals and hackers who can use it to steal your identity and tank your credit. 

Then there’s also the creepiness of everyone having access to your phone number and address. Yikes! 


Being a Maine registered agent is quite time-consuming. Business owners acting as their own registered agent must be present at their registered agent address and available during normal business hours to receive mail and service of process.  

Unless you’ve got your hands on some fantastic bit of technology that the rest of us don’t have, you can’t be in two places simultaneously and perform two jobs efficiently. 

Pros of Being Your Own Registered Agent

The sole benefit of being your own registered agent is not paying fees to a professional registered agent service. But to avoid the hassle and risk from doing it yourself, paying for a registered agent isn’t that bad.

At the end of the day, hiring a registered agent service or not is up to you. But I always recommend hiring a registered agent service to new business owners.

Should I Use a Registered Agent Service?

Here are just a few of the reasons to use a Maine registered agent service: 

  • With the added security of compliance notifications, you won’t miss important filing deadlines with the Maine Secretary of State. 
  • If you have a registered agent in Maine posted at your business address to receive mail and legal documents for your company, the probability of missing a service of process, losing your good-standing status, or having a default judgment issued against your company is drastically reduced. 
  • Rather than working two full time jobs—managing your business and acting as a registered agent in Maine—you’re free to manage your business effectively and (relatively) stress free. 
  • If your company conducts business in multiple states, choosing a national registered agent service can meet its obligation to maintain a registered agent in every state it operates in. 
  • Businesses that operate outside of normal business hours (pubs, restaurants, convenience stores, etc.) should hire a Maine registered agent service. The business owner won’t have to work into the wee hours of the morning and then stay up during the day, as well, to perform the duties of a registered agent in Maine. 
  • If your business doesn’t have a physical location, you won’t have to list your home address on the public record if you have a registered agent. 
  • A registered agent will receive and dispatch your junk mail. This may seem minor, but businesses actually get a ton of junk mail.
  • You can get premium registered agent services, like specialty business insurances and payment of state fees, if you choose a premium registered agent. 
  • If you choose a registered agent that also supplies formation services, you can take advantage of promotions like free registered agent services for a year when you sign up for their formation services. 

What Is the Best Registered Agent Service?

There are lots of factors that go into evaluating the best registered agent services. Here are some things you should think about when choosing your company’s registered agent: 

Service Features

Simply put, don’t spend money on a Maine registered agent service that doesn’t provide all the services you need. There are so many registered agent services on the market with comprehensive service catalogs that you don’t have to settle for less than what you want. Make sure you choose a Maine registered agent service that has the services you need


A good way to test the quality of a Maine registered agent service is to compare its service list against its price. If the registered agent offers a variety of quality services and an affordable price, it’s likely a good value. 

With that in mind, avoid “budget agents.” These registered agent companies lure in new clients with start-up prices as low as $39–$59 and then hit them with ridiculous amounts of additional fees for necessary registered agent services (like online document management systems or compliance alerts). 

Easy Sign-Up 

Nobody likes having their time wasted, and this is especially true during the business formation process, which is already so stressful. So to save yourself some time and frustration you should choose a Maine registered agent service with an easy sign-up process. 

User-Friendly Interface 

Have you ever downloaded a piece of software that was so buggy, slow, and confusing that even tech support couldn’t manage it? Some registered agent services have systems that are just as complicated. You’ll use your registered agent provider’s system frequently, so choose a Maine registered agent service that’s easy to use. 

Customer Service 

Even if you choose the best registered agent service on the planet and get all the registered agent services your company needs at a good price, you’ll eventually have a question or issue. And because your Maine registered agent is such a vital service, quality customer service is crucial. 

I used these rating factors, as well as my four-stage research process, to determine that Northwest Registered Agent is the best overall registered agent service. If you’d like to learn more about registered agent services, or how to choose the best registered agent service for your business, then read about the best registered agent services


New business owners are swamped with a ton of information, like cutting-edge software and equipment, new business management techniques, laws and regulations, and loads of legal and business terminology. 

On top of that, you’re expected to remember compliance filing deadlines, which only happen once a year and are practically impossible to keep track of. But Maine registered agent services exist to ease some of the burden. 

If you’ve yet to choose a business structure for your company and you’d like to learn more about the formation process, check out my guide on how to start an LLC. And if you’d like a bit of guidance in establishing your Maine LLC, then read my review of the best LLC formation services.

Maine Registered Agent FAQs

What’s the Difference Between a Commercial and a Noncommercial Registered Agent?

According to the Model Registered Agents Act, a commercial registered agent service (or commercial clerk, which is still just another name for a registered agent or statutory agent) is one that has registered with the Secretary of State as a commercial registered agent. Some states require that all professional registered agent services register as commercial agents. 

A noncommercial registered agent is a person or professional registered agent service that hasn’t registered as a commercial registered agent. If you’ve appointed a family member, like your mom, as a registered agent, she is technically a noncommercial registered agent. 

Again, make sure that she understands that she’s required by law to be present at your business address during regular business hours to receive service of process and other legal mail for your business!

How Do I Change the Registered Agent for My LLC?

Good news: you aren’t stuck with the same registered agent forever! It’s quite simple to change your registered agent in Maine. All you have to do is fill out a Statement of Appointment or Change form with your new registered agent information (be sure to include your registered agent’s name and registered agent’s address) and submit the completed form to the Maine Secretary of State. Expect $35 in filing fees. 

How Much Does a Registered Agent Cost? 

Your registered agent provider’s annual fee depends on a number of factors, like which services you require and which registered agent company you choose. In general, registered agent services cost somewhere between $39–$59 per state, per year (plus state fees). If you’d like to learn more about registered agent cost figures, read my article on the best registered agent services

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