One of the first and most important steps of any new business is finding the perfect name for your Maine LLC.
Checking the LLC name availability in Maine is an important step in the business formation process. It ensures your business name is distinguishable from the names of other Maine businesses so that you do not violate anyone’s intellectual property rights.
Our Maine LLC Name Search guide will show you how you can find available business names in Maine, and how to reserve and register your business name.
How to Search for a Maine LLC Name
Below are the four steps that you need to follow in order to conduct an LLC name search in Maine.
Step 1: Follow the Maine LLC Naming Guidelines
The first step to complete is to be sure your LLC’s name is in compliance with Maine’s laws. Here are some things you’ll need to keep in mind while you come up with a name.
- Your name needs to include LLC, limited liability company, or L.L.C.
- You need to choose a name that won’t be easily confused with a government agency like the Treasury or the FBI.
- You should choose a name that is distinguishable from other corporations, limited partnerships or limited liability partnerships within Maine.
- You should avoid using restricted words, like “bank” or “attorney,” unless you have done the paperwork to include them as a part of your LLC.
For more details, you can check this page to learn more about the rules for naming an LLC in Maine.
Selecting a name is just one of the several requirements when forming an LLC. To avoid improper or incomplete LLC formation documents, we recommend using the assistance of an LLC formation service.
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Step 2: Look Up Maine LLC Name Search Availability
The next step is to conduct a Maine LLC name search. Below are a few ways to do a business name search in Maine.
- LLC Name Search: Search the Maine Secretary of State Corporate Name database to see if the name you want is available. It’s free to use this service. You may also try typing your business or trademark on any search engine to check businesses with similar names. This will also ensure your trademark is unique, meets the state’s requirements, and frees you from any legal hassles in the future.
- Domain Name Search: If your business name is still available, you must register for a domain name. Having a URL that matches your business name is important since this is how your potential and existing clients can find your business.
To determine the availability of your chosen URL, use a domain registrar, such as GoDaddy.
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Note: While you can use social media to search for business names to determine your desired name, the search results might not give you useful insight if your desired business name is available and exclusive for use.
Step 3: Reserve Your Maine LLC Name
When you’re ready to choose your name, you should reserve your business name. You can do so through the Maine Secretary of State’s Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions. Keep in mind that your reservation only lasts 120 days and cannot be renewed, so you’ll need to get your business entity set up within that time.
Fill out the Application for Reservation of Name to get started. There is a $20 fee for your application.
Using a Maine DBA for Your LLC
In Maine, a DBA, or your “doing business as,” name, is your assumed name. It lets you operate your business under a name other than its legal name. Any company can register for a DBA in Maine, but keep in mind that this is only an alias.
Use the Statement of Intention to Transact Business Under an Assumed Business Name form. The fee for doing business under an assumed or fictitious name is $125 for assumed or $40 for fictitious.
LLC owners sometimes choose to brand their businesses with a DBA. Most sole proprietors and general partnerships use a DBA to create a brand other than their surnames.
Step 4: Register a Maine LLC Trade or Service Mark
When you’re ready to register your business and need to set up trademarks or service marks, you’ll need to check the federal trademark database. This service will let you know if another business has already “marked” the trade or service mark you want to use.
Check to be sure your LLC’s preferred name is available and registered. Then, you can go forward with registering your LLC’s “mark.” This mark will distinguish your services or goods from others and provides a statewide notice to others that they cannot use it. You can have more than one business “mark,” such as slogans, your brand name, logos, and others.
To file for a mark in Maine, you will pay a minimum of $60. Fill out the Application for Registration of a Mark to get started.
Registering a trade or service mark is not the same as filing a formation document. If you’re registering a business in Maine, check out the steps on how to form a Maine LLC.
Maine Secretary of State Contact Information
Maine Secretary of State
Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions
101 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
Burton Cross Building
111 Sewall St., 4th Floor
Augusta, ME 04330
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Phone: (207) 624-7736
Maine LLC Name Search FAQ
Why do I need to do a Maine LLC name search?
When forming a Maine LLC, you will be required to choose a name.. This name must be unique and available for use, and should not already be registered with the Maine Secretary of State. To search for available LLC names, you can use the Maine Corporate Name Search tool. Make sure you are specific in your search to avoid browsing up to 100 names at a time. There is no fee for using this service, so make sure to try a few variations of your business name.
How do I check if an LLC name is taken in Maine?
You can use the Maine Corporate Name Search tool to check if your business name is available. You may also contact the Maine Secretary of State by phone at (207) 624-7736 or reach out by email at email@example.com if you have questions about your business name or need help with a name search.
Can I renew a Maine LLC name reservation?
No. You need to complete your name registration or finalize your business entity within the 120-day window to keep the name you’ve reserved. If it’s still available, you can use it, but you won’t be able to reserve it any longer.
Is the Maine Secretary of State LLC name search reservation tool free to use?
Yes. You can use the name search tool for free.