Articles of Incorporation in the State of Maine

By Phil M. Fowler

Entrepreneurs can organize and officially create corporations, both business (for-profit) and nonprofit, in the State of Maine, by filing articles of incorporation with the Maine Department of the Secretary of State. Articles of incorporation provide basic information about the corporation, including whether it is for-profit or nonprofit, and identification of the individuals or entities involved with the corporation. Articles of incorporation are fairly short and standardized, so preparing and filing the articles does not require much technical or legal competency.

Required Information

Maine statutory law requires certain basic information to be included in articles of incorporation. Significantly, the Maine Department of the Secretary of State has made it easy to prepare and file articles of incorporation by simply filling out Form MBCA-6. The basic information required in the articles includes, among other things, the name of the corporation, the name and contact information of the corporation's clerk, the type and number of authorized shares (stock), whether a board of directors will manage the corporation, and the name and signature of each of the incorporators. Before filing the articles of incorporation, you should check to make sure your proposed corporate name is available, and you can even reserve the name by filing an application with the secretary of state.

Options

Maine state law allows each corporation to choose among various options regarding the structure and management of the corporation. For example, each corporation can determine for itself whether to be managed by the shareholders or by a board of directors. Each corporation can determine how many classes of shares (stock) the corporation will issue. For example, a corporation might have voting stock, nonvoting stock, common stock, preferred stock, or some variation that includes any or all of those options. The important thing is to identify the corporation's election of these options in the articles of incorporation.

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Filing Fee

You will be required to pay a fee when you file your articles of incorporation. So long as you pay the filing fee and fill in all of the required information in the articles of incorporation, the Maine secretary of state is legally obligated to accept the articles and issue a certificate of incorporation.

Annual Renewal

Articles of incorporation lapse unless the corporation renews them annually by filing a report with the Department of the Secretary of the State. Again, the Department of the Secretary of State has made it easy for corporations by allowing corporations to file their annual reports online through the secretary's website.

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