How to Get a DBA Name in Maine 2023: A Complete Guide

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How to Get a DBA Name in Maine

If you want to use a different name other than the legal name for your business in Maine, you must file a DBA (Doing Business As) name. The public, specifically your potential customers, will recognize your business by its registered legal name. Using a trade name or DBA in marketing and sales can help your Maine LLC reach a wider audience.

Maine, also known as The Pine Tree State, has specific regulations for filing a DBA name. However, these regulations can vary depending on your business structure. At LLCBase, we understand that forming a business can be an overwhelming experience, so we are here to help you every step of the way. This article will provide the essential steps to obtain a DBA Name in Maine.

What is a DBA

A DBA, which stands for “Doing Business As,” is a name under which a business operates that differs from its legal name. It is also known as a trade, assumed, or fictitious name. A DBA allows business owners, such as sole proprietors, general partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), and corporations, to conduct business under a separate name without creating a new legal entity.

Registering a DBA is important for several reasons, including legal compliance, branding, and customer recognition. The process for obtaining a DBA varies by jurisdiction and may require filing with a state or county government office. Researching local regulations and following the steps to register your DBA name properly is essential.

Understanding DBA Names in Maine

You must choose a name when you form an LLC or any business structure. Every company has a legal name. For example, a partnership or sole proprietorship might operate under the legal name of the company’s owner or owners. The name specified in the Articles of Incorporation or Certificate of Formation can be used by any business entity, including corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), and others.

There are situations when you may decide not to use your company’s registered legal name in Maine for various reasons. Your company’s legal name might not be relevant to your business or no longer accurately describe it. Alternatively, you might want a new name without changing your incorporation or registration documents.

If you plan to start your business in Maine under a name other than your personal name or an existing corporate name, you must file a DBA name with Maine state, regardless of the type of business entity you have incorporated as (sole proprietor, partnership, corporation, or LLC).

There are no restrictions on how many DBA names you can use for your business. However, each DBA name must be filed with the state where you conduct business. This is necessary because the general public has a legal right to know whether a specific individual or company is operating under a name other than their legal name.

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How to Obtain a DBA Name in Maine

Want to obtain a DBA name in Maine? Simply follow these easy-peasy steps, and you’ll be well on your way to securing that perfect “doing business as” name in no time!

Step 1: Check Name Availability

Before filing a DBA in Maine, ensuring that no other business is already using your chosen name is crucial. To confirm name availability in Maine, search the Maine Secretary of State Corporate Name Search database provided by the Maine Secretary of State. This step is important to avoid potential legal issues and confusion for customers.

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Step 2: Choose a DBA Name

In Maine, fictitious names cannot be identical or too similar. A DBA should avoid deceiving the public by appearing confusingly similar to any other business name. When choosing a DBA name, ensure it follows the guidelines and restrictions the Maine government sets. These guidelines may include avoiding certain words or phrases, such as those related to banking, insurance, or professional designations, without proper authorization.

Step 3: Register the Maine DBA Name

Once you have determined that the name is available for registration, complete the required forms provided by your county or the Maine Secretary of State. You must register your DBA name in the county where you intend to conduct business. In most Maine counties, specific information is required, such as the company’s name, organization type, and description of the products or services to be provided under the Fictitious Name. Carefully complete the necessary forms and ensure all information is accurate and complete.

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Step 4: Submit the Application

To file the Maine DBA Name, you must apply to the Maine Secretary of State or the appropriate county office. In Maine, you can file the DBA name using various methods, such as (two methods, by mail and in person.). The cost of filing the Fictitious Name (DBA name) in Maine is $125 for Assumed Name filing and $40 for Fictitious Name filing. This fee may vary depending on the method of filing or the specific county where you are registering your DBA name.

  • Online: There is no online filing available
  • Offline: For filing offline, you must send the downloaded PDF form or drop it off in person at the Secretary of State, Division of Corporations, UCC, and Commissions, 101 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0101

Step 5: Use the Maine DBA Name

Once your DBA name is registered and approved, you can use it in your business operations. Be prepared to provide three “specimens” demonstrating the Trade Name used, such as business cards, booklets, flyers, labels, or stickers. These specimens may be requested by the Maine Secretary of State or the county office as proof of usage. Properly displaying your DBA name in your marketing materials, signage, and other business documents is essential to ensure customers and clients know your new trade name.

Following these steps, you can obtain a DBA name in Maine and use it to enhance your business’s visibility and reach.

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DBA Name in Maine: A Detailed Guide

Read the comprehensive guide to renewing and changing a DBA name in Maine:

Renewing a DBA Name in Maine

It is essential to renew your DBA name periodically to maintain its validity. In most states, renewing a DBA name follows the same process as filing a new DBA name. Every Indefinite, you should renew your Maine DBA to ensure continued compliance with state regulations.

To renew your DBA name in Maine, follow these steps:

  1. Check the renewal deadline: Be aware of the renewal deadline for your DBA name, typically every Indefinite. Missing the deadline may result in penalties or loss of your trade name rights.
  2. Complete the renewal application: Obtain the renewal application from the Maine Secretary of State or the appropriate county office. Fill out the required information, including updates on your business address, contact information, and a description of the products or services provided under the Fictitious Name.
  3. Submit the renewal application: Submit the completed renewal application to the Maine Secretary of State or the appropriate county office by the deadline. Be prepared to pay the renewal fee, which may vary depending on the method of submission or the specific county where you are renewing your DBA name.
  4. Receive confirmation: Once your renewal has been processed and approved, you will receive confirmation from the Maine Secretary of State or the county office. Keep this documentation for your records.

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Changing a DBA Name in Maine

If you need to change your Trade Name (DBA or Fictitious Name), apply to the Maine Secretary of State (SOS) or the appropriate county office. The process for changing a trading name is similar to registering a new DBA. You can reserve your DBA name for Indefinite.

To change your trade name in Maine, follow these steps:

  1. Check name availability: Before applying for a new trade name, ensure that another business still needs to use the desired name. Search the Maine Government Records Inquiry System or the Maine Secretary of State Corporate Name Search database provided by the Maine Secretary of State to confirm business name availability in Maine.
  2. Complete the change application: Obtain the trade name change application from the Maine Secretary of State or the appropriate county office. Fill out the required information, including the current and new trade names you wish to use.
  3. Submit the change application: Submit the completed change application to the Maine Secretary of State or the appropriate county office. Be prepared to pay the change fee, which may vary depending on the submission method or the county where you change your DBA name.
  4. Receive confirmation: Once your trade name change has been processed and approved, you will receive confirmation from the Maine Secretary of State or the county office. Keep this documentation for your records and update all relevant business materials with the new trade name.

FAQs

What is a DBA name?
“DBA” stands for “Doing Business As”. It is a name that a business may use for operating purposes instead of using their legal name.
What do I need to do to register for a DBA name in Maine?
To register for a DBA name in Maine, you need to fill out an Assumed Name Certificate and file it with the Secretary of State.
How much does it cost to file for a DBA name in Maine?
The cost to file for a DBA name in Maine is $70.
Can I file for a DBA name online in Maine?
Yes, you can file for a DBA name online in Maine through the Maine Secretary of State website.
Do I need a DBA name if I own a sole proprietorship in Maine?
No, a sole proprietorship does not need to register for a DBA name in Maine if they are using their own name for their business.
Is a DBA name necessary for a partnership in Maine?
Yes, a partnership in Maine needs to register for a DBA name if they are not using their own names for their business.
How long is a DBA name registration valid in Maine?
A DBA name registration in Maine is valid for 5 years.
What information do I need to include in the Assumed Name Certificate when registering for a DBA name in Maine?
The Assumed Name Certificate in Maine requires you to provide the DBA name, your real name and address, and the address of your business.
Can I use a DBA name that someone else is already using in Maine?
No, a DBA name must be unique in Maine, so you cannot use a name that someone else is already using.
Can I reserve a DBA name in Maine before registering for it?
No, in Maine, you cannot reserve a DBA name before registering it.
What happens if I don’t register my DBA name in Maine?
If you do not register your DBA name in Maine, you may face fines, legal fees, and penalties.
Can I change my DBA name in Maine?
Yes, you can change your DBA name in Maine by submitting a new Assumed Name Certificate.
How long does it take to process a DBA name registration in Maine?
It typically takes 3-5 business days for Maine to process a DBA name registration.
Can I use my DBA name in marketing materials?
Yes, once you have registered your DBA name in Maine, you can use it in your marketing materials.
Do I need to renew my DBA name registration in Maine?
Yes, you need to renew your DBA name registration in Maine every 5 years.
Are there any restrictions on what I can use as a DBA name in Maine?
Yes, in Maine, you cannot use a DBA name that suggests a connection to a government organization.
What is the purpose of a DBA name?
The purpose of a DBA name is to allow businesses to operate using a different name than their legal name.
Do I need a separate tax ID number for my DBA name in Maine?
No, you can use your existing tax ID number for your DBA name in Maine.
How can I find out if a DBA name is available in Maine?
You can search the Maine Secretary of State’s online database to see if a DBA name is available.
Can I register multiple DBA names for the same business in Maine?
Yes, you can register multiple DBA names for the same business in Maine.
How do I know if a DBA name is already registered in Maine?
You can search the Maine Secretary of State’s online database to see if a DBA name is already registered.
Can I register a DBA name for a non-profit organization in Maine?
Yes, non-profit organizations in Maine can register for a DBA name.
Are there any DBA name requirements in Maine related to security or bonding?
No, there are no DBA name requirements in Maine related to security or bonding.
Can I cancel a Maine DBA name registration?
Yes, you can cancel your Maine DBA name registration by filing a Statement of Cancellation of Assumed Name.
What happens to my Maine DBA name when I close my business?
When you close your business in Maine, you should file a Statement of Cancellation of Assumed Name to cancel your DBA name registration.
Can I register a DBA name for a foreign entity in Maine?
Yes, foreign entities can register for a DBA name in Maine.
Do I need to publish my DBA name in Maine?
No, there is no requirement to publish your DBA name in Maine.
Can I use a DBA name in multiple states?
No, you must register for a DBA name in each state where you want to do business.
Is a DBA name different from a trademark?
Yes, a DBA name is different from a trademark because it is simply a name under which you conduct business, whereas a trademark is a symbol, phrase, or design that identifies and distinguishes your business’s products or services from those of others.
Is it necessary to register a DBA name in Maine?
Yes, it is necessary to register a DBA name in Maine if the business does not want to operate under its legal name.
How do I begin the process of getting a DBA name in Maine?
To begin the process of getting a DBA name in Maine, you need to file a Certificate of Assumed Name with the Maine Secretary of State.
What is the fee for filing a Certificate of Assumed Name in Maine?
The fee for filing a Certificate of Assumed Name in Maine is $35.
What information do I need to provide on the Certificate of Assumed Name form in Maine?
You will need to provide the name you are assuming, the business owner’s name and address, the date the assumed name will go into effect, and the type of business.
Where can I get a copy of the Certificate of Assumed Name form in Maine?
You can get a copy of the Certificate of Assumed Name form in Maine from the Secretary of State’s office or online on their website.
Can I register a DBA name online in Maine?
Yes, you can register a DBA name online in Maine using the Secretary of State’s website.
How long does it take to get a DBA name registered in Maine?
It takes two business days for the Secretary of State to process a completed Certificate of Assumed Name.
Can I reserve a DBA name in Maine?
No, you cannot reserve a DBA name in Maine.
How long is a DBA name valid in Maine?
A DBA name is valid for five years in Maine.
What should I do if my business changes its address or the owner’s name after getting a DBA in Maine?
If your business changes its address or the owner’s name after getting a DBA in Maine, you will need to file an amended assumed name certificate to update the records.
Can I apply for a DBA name for more than one business in Maine?
Yes, you can apply for a DBA name for more than one business in Maine, but it requires separate applications and fees for each business.
Can a business have more than one DBA name in Maine?
Yes, a business can have more than one DBA name in Maine.
What happens if someone else uses my registered DBA name in Maine?
If someone else uses your registered DBA name in Maine, you may take legal action against the infringer to protect your rights.
What if my DBA name is already registered in Maine by someone else?
If your preferred DBA name is already registered by someone else in Maine, you will need to choose a different name.
Can I use the registered DBA name to incorporate my business in Maine?
No, registering a DBA name does not equate to incorporating a business in Maine.
Who needs to complete Certificate of Assumed Name form in Maine?
Business owners who want their company to do business under another name needs to complete the Certificate of Assumed Name form in Maine.
What type of businesses need to get a DBA name registered in Maine?
Sole proprietorships and partnerships operating under a name other than the legal name must register a DBA name in Maine.
Is a DBA name in Maine the same as a trademark?
No, a DBA name in Maine is not the same as a trademark.
Will registering a DBA name in Maine prevent others from using the same name?
No, registering a DBA name in Maine does not prevent others from using the same name in other states or under a different trademark.
How often do I need to renew my DBA name in Maine?
You will need to renew your DBA name in Maine every five years.
Can I change my DBA name in Maine if I want to rebrand my business?
Yes, you can change your DBA name in Maine if you want to rebrand your business by filing a new Certificate of Assumed Name.
Is a DBA name required for home-based businesses in Maine?
Yes, home-based businesses that operate under a name other than the owner’s legal name must register a DBA name in Maine.
How can I find out if my chosen DBA name is already taken in Maine?
You can check the Maine Secretary of State’s business name database to see if your chosen DBA name is already taken or reserved.
Should I register my DBA name in Maine if it’s the same as my personal name?
No, if your business is operating under your legal name, you do not need to register a DBA name in Maine.
How do I find the Maine Secretary of State’s office to register a DBA name?
You can visit the Maine Secretary of State’s website to find their main office location and contact information.
Can I get a DBA name for a non-profit organization in Maine?
Yes, non-profit organizations operating under a name other than the legal name must register a DBA name in Maine.
Will getting a DBA name in Maine affect my taxes or legal status?
No, getting a DBA name in Maine will not affect your taxes or legal status.

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Conclusion

Navigating obtaining, renewing, or changing a DBA name in Maine is essential to managing your business’s identity and growth. Following the outlined steps and adhering to state regulations ensures your business remains compliant and continues to thrive. Remember, a well-chosen trade name reflects your brand identity and helps you connect with your target audience more effectively. As your business evolves, it’s crucial to stay adaptable and responsive to the ever-changing market conditions, and having a suitable DBA name is a significant part of that journey.

So, embrace the opportunity to create a professional and friendly image for your business, and let your DBA name be the catalyst for success. Visit LLCBase today to access valuable resources and guidance tailored to your business needs.

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