Last Updated on March 16, 2023
How to do a Maine SOS Business Search
The Bureau of Corporations, under the Secretary of State of Maine – Business Services acts as the repository for all business records and files that are registered in the state. It acts as a registrar and recorder of the following types of business entities that are incorporated in the state:
- Business Corporations
- Non-Profit Corporations
- General Partnerships
- Limited Partnerships
- Limited Liability Companies
See: How to start an LLC in Maine
Search by Business Name
The online search tool of the Secretary of State of Maine enables you to search for business entities registered in the state absolutely free of cost. You can access documents and other records of business entities registered with the Maine Secretary of State.
To perform a business name search, you need to know one of the following:
- Corporate Name
- Charter Number
Read our guidelines below to make your search process easier (every step is illustrated by screenshots to make it easier to understand).
Step 1. Visit the Maine Secretary of State’s website. The page that appears will look like the screenshot below.
Step 2. Click on “Corporate Search”. You will arrive at a page that looks similar to the screenshot below.
Step 3. Let’s perform a sample search by business entity name. For example, let’s type “Renys” in the appropriate field. You can also perform your search by charter number (See the screenshot below for reference).
Step 4. Click on “Click Here to Search.” The Results page will show you the name of entities containing the word “Renys” in them. Let’s have a look at the screenshot below.
Step 5. Click on Information Summary beside each business entity to view further details.
The page will give you details about the entity:
- Legal name
- Charter Number
- Filing type (Corporation, Limited Liability Company, etc.)
- Status (Dissolved, Good Standing, etc.)
- Filing date
- Jurisdiction (domestic entity if Maine or foreign entity for a state outside of Maine)
- Registered Agent
From this page, a certified copy of the Certificate of Legal Existence can be ordered with a $30 fee. Additionally, copies of the Articles of Incorporation (Corporation), Certificate of Formation (Limited Liability Company), Annual Report, and more can be ordered as well.
Search by Charter Number
In addition to searching for the name of the business entity, you can search by the charter number. While not as common, the process is similar to the steps above.
In Maine, one of the requirements for a corporation or LLC is that a Registered Agent has to be named. This agent is a single point of contact in case the business needs to be served with legal papers or contacted by the state. One of the business owners often files as the entity's Registered Agent. When they file, their home address is often used (PO Boxes aren’t allowed), and the owner's name and address are now a public record that can be looked up by anyone. This can be a big concern, especially for home-based businesses. Using a commercial Registered Agent service like Northwest Registered Agent will keep their personal address from being public record.
Maine Business Licenses
The business name registration is different from business licensing in Maine. The Maine Department of Economic and Community Development has more information regarding Maine business licenses.
Also see: How to do a Maine UCC search
Information on the Maine (ME) SOS
Secretary of State Contact Information
148 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0148
The Secretary of State of Maine is elected by the legislature of the state. The current officeholder is Shenna Bellows.
The Secretary of State of Maine is the keeper of the state seal and the guardian of the public records and archives. Apart from these, Maine is also responsible for heading elections, administering vehicle licenses, and registering businesses in the state.