How To Get a Registered Agent in Maine

Portland Maine coastal townscape

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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.

Alexis Konovodoff
Written by Alexis Konovodoff
Written byAlexis Konovodoff
Updated April 29, 2024
Edited by Carlos Serrano
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Forming a business entity like an LLC or corporation in Maine will come with certain strict requirements. In particular, a Maine LLC or corporation must have a way to receive legal documents and other business correspondence. That’s where a Maine registered agent comes in. 

This article will explain why your Maine company needs a registered agent and how you can choose the best registered agent service in the state.

Key Takeaways

  • A Maine registered agent is a business's point of contact for legal and government correspondence.

  • Registered agents help a business maintain its good standing by receiving and forwarding legal documents and sending timely compliance notifications.

  • Many business owners hire a third-party registered agent for additional advantages.

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What Is a Registered Agent?

A registered agent is the designated point of contact between a Maine LLC and the government and legal correspondence. The role of a registered agent may seem unnecessary since some business owners see it as nothing more than a go-between. However, registered agents are vital for several reasons.

A registered agent provides a reliable mailing address for a business, which is very important when receiving official correspondence. Hiring a professional registered agent service means your business filings and legal notices will always be handled in due time.

A registered agent can serve a business native to Maine or even a foreign LLC or corporation, i.e., one originating in a different state.

Registered agents are particularly crucial in cases of lawsuits. Without an agent, a business could not receive court correspondence in time, making the legal process go on without the company’s knowledge.

Registered Agent Responsibilities

Registered agents have the same essential responsibilities across all U.S. states:

  • Maintain a registered office in the state, which must be a physical street address

  • Stay available during regular business hours

  • Receive all LLC or corporate filing, legal documents, and other mail

  • Forward the received documentation to the company hiring the agent

In Maine, the legislature defines registered agent responsibilities.[1] The duties don’t include any specific requirements different from the rest of the country.

An agent can help you with important documents like your annual report. However, receiving a summons is among the most pivotal functions of a registered agent. 

Being served a summons is part of an elaborate process. The plaintiff first addresses their District Court and submits a Statement of Claim form. The court is in the same district where the defendant’s registered agent resides. Once the plaintiff files the statement and covers potential filing fees, they must file another form called Affidavit and Request for Service.

When this form is submitted, and the appropriate state fees are covered, the summons will be served to the defendant. The lengthy process won’t be repeated if the defendant cannot receive the summons. Instead, the case will likely be taken to court without the defendant’s knowledge.

This is why a registered agent is essential. They’ll be obligated to receive and forward any service of process to their clients in due time, avoiding potential legal complications. And since the agent must be available during regular business hours, they can provide same-day service.

Portland Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Portland Maine

Choosing Your Maine Registered Agent

Maine registered agents are subject to several requirements.

Maine Registered Agent Requirements

According to the Maine Secretary of State, registered agents may be individuals or businesses. In the case of individuals, they must be Maine residents. Companies may originate in Maine or be from another state but must be authorized to do business there.

A registered agent company must be in good standing and maintain a physical street address. PO Boxes and virtual mail addresses don’t count.

Specific agent information will be included in the public record to make official notifications and mail forwarding straightforward. Suppose the agent wishes to change their address. In that case, they must notify the Secretary of State with an appropriate Change of Address form.

Every Maine corporation, limited liability company, and nonprofit must state their chosen registered agents within the company’s Certificate of Formation. Your Maine business could face severe consequences if the registered agent service lapses.

As mentioned, the state will use your registered agent to serve court summons. If the agent isn’t available, two things may happen:

  • The court could proceed with the lawsuit even without your knowledge

  • The ensuing process might end up with a judgment against your business

Yet, these legal implications aren’t the only —  or even the worst — consequences of not having a registered agent. If your business doesn’t maintain a registered agent, it could lose good standing with Maine. In that case, the state will be able to order the official dissolution of your company.

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent in Maine?

If you meet the legal requirements for a registered agent, nothing stops you from becoming your own agent. Still, the question isn’t whether you can but whether you should.

There are certain advantages and disadvantages to being your own registered agent. The most significant advantage is that not hiring a third party means you’ll save some money in the short term. Additionally, you get more control over company documentation and learn the ins and outs of legal matters passively.

Unfortunately, the advantages are vastly outweighed by these disadvantages:

  • Your address will be included in the public record

  • You’ll need to be available, i.e., physically present during operating hours on business days

  • The money you’ll save won’t be a considerable amount on an annual level

  • You might lack experience or time to handle crucial incoming mail

Alternatively, you might keep your registered agent in-house. A colleague, family member, or friend could fill that role. However, choosing this option might have the same drawbacks as being your own registered agent.

In particular, the person you name as your registered agent might need more experience in the position. As a result, they may have a poor grasp of what they’re supposed to do as a registered agent. With everything at stake, having an unqualified registered agent would represent a massive risk.

On the other hand, you could choose someone more knowledgeable for the role. Your accountant or lawyer could become your registered agent. But, in that case, the costs could surpass hiring a regular third-party registered agent.

Benefits of a Third-Party Registered Agent

A professional registered agent service is the best solution for every business. Working with a third-party provider such as Swyft Filings gives you peace of mind, convenience, and affordability.

Professional services are made to serve your business exclusively as registered agents. This means they’ll have the required know-how and experience to handle all jobs related to the role. A quality third-party Maine registered agent will provide the following benefits:

  • Constant service during business days

  • Reliable reception of business documents, annual report reminders, court summons, and other vital mail

  • Swift mail forwarding or uploading to your online account

  • Helping your business remain in good standing with the state of Maine

With all these advantages, hiring a professional registered agent service is superior to doing the job yourself or keeping the position in-house. Going this route will mean your business can avoid any potential complications.

Portland Head Lighthouse Maine

How To Set Up Your Maine Registered Agent

Suppose you’re starting a new business in Maine. In that case, you might be wondering about the procedure for setting up a registered agent. And if you already have a registered agent and are thinking of changing them, the correct steps may be unclear.

This section will explain what you should do in either case.

Electing a Maine Registered Agent

Of course, the first step towards hiring a registered agent will be to find the right service for your business. Fortunately, this is easy to do in Maine. A list of commercial registered agents in Maine can be found on the site of the Maine Secretary of State.[2]

Some of the best services for registered agents include:

  • Swyft Filings

  • Northwest Registered Agent

  • Incfile

  • LegalZoom

Once you’ve found the service you like, you can appoint your registered agent. In Maine, the details of this process will depend on what type of business you own.

According to the state legislature, you must designate a registered agent within your company’s formation documents. The documents in question are different for LLCs and corporations.

Establishing an LLC in Maine requires completing the state’s Certificate of Formation. You’ll find the registered agent information under section five of the document.[3] You’ll need to enter the agent’s essential information, such as their name and address.

You’ll need to fill out the Articles of Incorporation document for a corporation. The registered agent info must be entered under section three in this form. As in the case of LLCs, you’ll need to enter all relevant information about the agent.

You shouldn’t be confused if you see a different term for the registered agent in these documents. It’s not uncommon for these agents to be referred to as “clerks” in formal correspondence. So, if you encounter the term “clerk” in your Certificate of Formation or Articles of Incorporation, remember that the word means the same as “registered agent.”

Before you submit your Articles of Incorporation or Certificate of Formation, having your designated registered agent sign the documents would be good. The signature isn’t mandatory, but it may prove helpful. By signing your formation documents, the agent will certify that they consent to be appointed.

Changing a Maine Registered Agent

Changing your Maine registered agent is relatively simple. All you’ll need to do is fill out a single form and cover a one-time state fee.

The required document you must submit is the Statement of Appointment of Change. This form comes in several variants. You’ll need to choose the right type based on whether your business is an LLC or a corporation and whether your agent is commercial or noncommercial.

All of the required forms can be found on the official site of Maine government:

Although the listed documents differ from one another, all business owners will fill them out in a similar way. You’ll need to enter the following:

  • Business name

  • Current registered agent name and address

  • New registered agent name and address

  • Confirmation of the new registered agent’s consent

  • The business owner’s or authorized person’s signature

Submitting any form to change your registered agent will have a $35 fee attached.[4] This state fee specific to Maine might differ from costs in other states.

Why Choose Swyft Filings as Your Maine Registered Agent
  • Avoid Penalties: Every business is legally required to have a registered agent in any state where it operates.

  • Prioritize Your Privacy: We go on record with the government so you don’t have to, meaning any legal actions come to us, not your home or office.

  • Stay Flexible: We are always available at a physical address during business hours, so you’ll never miss an official notice.

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Who can be a Maine registered agent?

According to the Maine Secretary of State, Maine residents and authorized businesses in good standing can be registered agents. The agent must have a physical address in Maine.

How much does a registered agent in Maine cost?

You can expect to pay up to $800 annually for Maine registered agent services, depending on the agent or third-party service provider you go with. Swyft Filings offers its registered agent service at $149/quarterly.

How can I change my registered agent in Maine?

Changing your registered agent in Maine is done by filling out a Statement of Appointment of Change. You must submit the appropriate document depending on whether your business is an LLC or a corporation. Also, different statements are used for commercial and noncommercial registered agents.

How can I find a registered agent in Maine?

The easiest way to find a Maine registered agent is to consult the Maine Secretary of State website. You can find a listing of commercial registered agents on the dedicated web page of the site.[5]

What is a Maine registered office?

A Maine registered office refers to a company’s official address in Maine. Company mailings and formal correspondence can be sent to that address, confirming that the organization has received the mail.

What’s the difference between a registered agent and a resident agent or statutory agent?

Resident agent and statutory agent are different terms for a registered agent. “Statutory agent” is an older term in certain corporate circles. On the other hand, some states like Michigan, Kansas, and Maryland still use the term “resident agent.”

What is a registered agent service?

A registered agent service is a third party that fulfills the registered agent requirements on behalf of the business. Swyft Filings offers a reliable registered agent service that maintains your privacy, provides immediate access to vital documents, and gives you more time to focus on your business.


  1. Maine Legislature. “Title 5: Administrative Procedures and Services; Chapter 6-A: Model Registered Agents Act.” Accessed January 10, 2023.

  2. Maine Secretary of State. “Commercial Clerk and Commercial Registered Agent Online Listing and Management Service.” Accessed January 10, 2023.

  3. Maine Secretary of State. “Certificate of Formation.” Accessed January 10, 2023.

  4. Maine Secretary of State. “Limited Liability Companies.” Accessed January 10, 2023.

  5. Maine Secretary of State. “Commercial Clerk & Commercial Registered Agent Online Listing & Management Service.” Accessed January 10, 2023.

Originally published on May 11, 2023, and last edited on April 29, 2024.
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