How to Get a Maine DBA Name

Although filing for a DBA is similar nationwide, there are specific rules to follow when getting a Maine DBA. Read on to learn more.
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Swyft Filings is committed to providing accurate, reliable information to help you make informed decisions for your business. That's why our content is written and edited by professional editors, writers, and subject matter experts. Learn more about how Swyft Filings works, our editorial team and standards, what our customers think of us, and more on our trust page.

Carlos Serrano
Written by Carlos Serrano
Written byCarlos Serrano
Updated January 17, 2024
Edited by Alexis Konovodoff
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A DBA, or “doing business as” name, is an alternative or assumed name under which a business can operate. There are many reasons to acquire a DBA or fictitious business name. But, if you haven’t done it before, this Maine DBA guide will cover all you need to know.

DBA in Maine: Key Takeaways

  • A DBA, often called an assumed name, is an alternative name or alias for a business.

  • To file for a DBA in Maine, business owners must file relevant paperwork with the Maine Department of State.

  • The DBA filing process in Maine varies depending on your business type.

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What Is a DBA?

Before we dig into the steps of acquiring a Maine DBA, business owners must clearly understand what a DBA is. A “doing business as” name is simply an alternate name for a business to operate under, differing from its legal name.

Other terms for DBA include “fictitious business name” or “assumed name,” with the latter being preferred in Maine. And there are many reasons to acquire a fictitious name for your business. You might want a DBA if, for example, you wish to market your brand under a more descriptive, engaging name than its legal one. 

A DBA can also protect your privacy. For example, imagine a sole proprietor named Jennifer Richards who runs her own arts and crafts company. Because it’s a sole proprietorship, she has to use her own personal name as the business name. So, to protect her privacy and market her brand more effectively, she files for a DBA so she can use the name “Jen’s Cute Crafts” instead.

A DBA is not a business entity, like LLCs or limited liability partnerships. It doesn’t affect the structure or type of your Maine business or your taxes. It’s also not a trademark and won’t offer exclusive rights or ownership over your chosen corporate name.

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How to File a DBA in Maine

The DBA filing process varies slightly, depending on what type of business you’re running.[1] Below, we’ll cover all the steps entrepreneurs must follow for DBA name registration.

The first step is always the same, no matter what type of business you’re running. You need to begin with a business name search. This is so that you can find a unique name, rather than using any existing business names already operating elsewhere within the state of Maine.

Not only will your “doing business as” name need to be unique, but it’ll also need to meet the state’s naming requirements. For example, it shouldn’t include any words that could cause confusion with governmental agencies or entities, like the FBI, State Department, or Maine Secretary of State.

There are a couple of different options available to help with your Maine DBA name search. An easy way to get started is with our business name search tool. It’s completely free to use and super simple for business owners looking to find the ideal assumed name. Alternatively, you can use the Maine Secretary of State’s online name search tool.

Free Maine Business Name Search

Enter your desired Maine company name to see if it is available with our free business name search.

Don’t forget: a DBA does not provide exclusive ownership rights over your chosen assumed name. In other words, it’s not the same as a trademark. You must file for trademark protection if you want to enjoy exclusivity over your Maine DBA name.

Step 2 — File Your DBA Paperwork

With a name selected, the next part of DBA filing is to fill out the necessary paperwork, depending on what type of business entity you’re running.

For sole proprietors and partnerships, there’s no need to register at the state level. Instead, you’ll have to file your DBA Maine with the city clerk’s office in the local area where you do business. 

You must get your application notarized before filing it at the city clerk’s office. That involves finding a local public notary and requesting their notarization services. Finally, you’ll need to pay a filing fee of $10 to register your Maine DBA name.

The process is different for other types of business entities, like an LLC (limited liability company), corporation, limited partnership, or limited liability partnership. Rather than registering your DBA locally with the city or county clerk’s office, you must register with the Maine Department of State.

Again, there are different forms for different business structures. You’ll need to find the appropriate form for your business, fill it in, and file with the Secretary of State at the address below. 

Division of Corporations, UCC, and Commissions 

101 State House Station 

Augusta, ME 04333-0101

There are also state fees to pay, totaling $125 for businesses based in Maine and $40 if you want a fictitious name for a company that isn’t based in Maine. Note that “fictitious name” is only used for foreign corporations.[2]

Step 3 — Follow Up

In Maine, your DBA name doesn’t need renewing, so there’s no extra DBA paperwork to worry about. You will, however, have to fill in a Statement of Termination of an Assumed or Fictitious Name certificate if you want to stop using your DBA.

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Maine DBA Name Restrictions

Like other states, Maine has certain rules and restrictions for business owners to remember when picking out their assumed name. For example, a Maine DBA name should not include any words that may cause confusion with governmental agencies, like the FBI or Treasury.

Words related to banks and financial institutions are prohibited from being used in a DBA Maine. That includes words such as “bank” or “credit union,” unless you have approval from the Maine Bureau of Financial Institutions. 

Obscene language is also not allowed, along with any words that could suggest your company has unlawful operations.

DBA Maine Tax Considerations

You might be wondering whether or not a DBA name impacts your business’s tax obligations or even affects your personal assets. 

It’s important to remember that a DBA is not a business structure like a limited liability company or a non-profit organization. Since a DBA name is not the same as a business entity and doesn’t affect your business structure, it doesn’t impact taxes. 

A DBA gives you an alternate “doing business as” name to run your business under. You won’t need to worry about extra tax payments or obligations.

Why Should You Get a DBA?

So, why would you want to go through with DBA registration in the first place? Here’s a quick list of the key reasons and benefits that come along with a DBA name.

  • Privacy Protection: Many business owners acquire a DBA name to protect their privacy. If you have a sole proprietorship or partnership, for instance, a “doing business as” name lets you hide your personal details.

  • Marketing Appeal: Your business’s legal name might be a little bland or unnecessarily complex, or it might not accurately describe what you do. Switching to a Maine DBA name could help market your company more effectively.

  • Multiple Brands: If you plan to open multiple businesses without going through complex registration processes for each separate business entity, you can use DBA names. DBAs are also vital for franchises to preserve the brand name.

  • Banking Benefits: Sole proprietors require a “doing business as” name to set up their business bank accounts and separate their business and personal assets. This is key for managing your finances effectively.

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  • Gain Privacy: Hide your personal name and details when marketing your business.

  • Improve Branding: Choose a DBA that easily informs your audience about what you have to offer.

  • Expand Services: Operate multiple businesses without creating separate entities for each one.

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What’s the difference between an LLC and a DBA?

An LLC is a business entity known as a limited liability company. A DBA, meanwhile, is not a business entity at all. Instead, it stands for “doing business as” and refers to an alternate name you use to run your business.

How much does getting a DBA cost?

In Maine, the filing fee for a DBA will be either $10 or $125, depending on your business type.

Do I need a DBA for my Maine business?

No, you don't need a Maine DBA to run your business. However, if you intend to operate your brand under a different name than its legal name, it will come in handy.

What’s the difference between a trade name, assumed name, and a DBA name?

All these terms refer to an alternate name you can use to run and market your business. The term “assumed name” is most commonly used in Maine, but other terms, like trade name, are also viable.

How long does a DBA last?

In Maine, DBAs last for as long as you need them, so you don’t have to worry about renewing them each year or dealing with expiry dates.

Is there a limit to the number of DBA names I can have?

No, there are no limits on the number of DBA names you can register. But, for each name you want, you must complete the necessary paperwork and pay the filing fees.

Is a DBA the same as a trademark?

No, a DBA is not the same as a trademark. Trademarks give you exclusive legal rights and protections for your name, so you can take legal action if anyone tries to copy it. A DBA name doesn’t give you those same protections.

Does a DBA affect my business’s tax status?

No, a DBA is just an alias or alternate business name. It doesn’t affect your business’s tax status or obligations.


  1. Department of the Secretary of State. “Trade Name Protection.” Accessed October 31, 2023.

  2. Maine Legislature. “§308-A. Assumed or fictitious name of corporation.” Accessed October 31, 2023.

Originally published on January 17, 2024, and last edited on January 17, 2024.
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