Do you own a business operating in the state of Maine? If so, you may need to acquire licenses and permits to ensure that your company operates in a compliant fashion.
But how do you determine which permits and licenses you need (if any), and where do you acquire them? In this guide to Maine business licenses and permits, we’ll answer all the tough questions about this process.
Are There Federal Licenses That My Business Needs?
First off, let’s discuss the matter of federal licenses and permits. There are many business activities that are regulated by various federal agencies, from agriculture to transportation and logistics. We recommend taking a look at the U.S. Small Business Administration’s guide to federal licenses and permits to make sure you’ve got your bases covered.
In addition, most businesses should acquire a federal tax ID number, also known as an EIN (employer identification number). This is essentially a social security number for your business, and it enables you to hire employees, pay business taxes, open business bank accounts, and more. You can acquire an EIN from the IRS for free.
What State-Level Licenses and Permits Apply in Maine?
According to Maine.gov, “general licenses to operate a business are managed at the town/city level in Maine.” You can contact your local town office for further information. To find the relevant contact information, visit the Maine.gov Local Government portal.
There are a variety of licenses that your business may need to acquire, and you can consult the Maine.gov Licensing Page to determine your specific licensing needs. Here you can learn about industry-specific or environmental permits, from lodging establishment requirements to gaming licenses.
Professional Licenses and Permits
Maine also has licensing requirements for specific occupations and professions. For example, you may need to acquire a professional license for business activities related to accounting, massage therapy, plumbing, and dozens of other occupations. You can learn more about these requirements right here.
Which Tax Registrations are Required for Maine Businesses?
In addition to occupational licenses and permits, there are a number of state-level tax registrations, which are based on the industry you operate in and which business structure your company uses.
In Maine, new businesses will need to create a tax account with the Department of Revenue in order to register for Sales & Use Tax, Service Provider Tax, and/or Income Withholding Tax. You can create a business tax account here.
However, in order to register for tax types beyond those listed above, you will need to file paper applications. You can find the necessary applications on the Department of Revenue website.
Are There Local Licenses, Permits, or Registrations in Maine?
The answer to this question obviously depends on where in Maine you’re operating your business, but there are indeed quite a few licenses, permits, and tax registrations required by Maine localities.
In order to find out if your business requires one or more local permits, you can contact Business Answers, a program of the Maine Department of Economics and Community Development. You can learn more about this program here.
You may also need to contact your city or county clerk for more information on business licensing requirements in your area. Thankfully, many cities throughout Maine provide business resource websites for small business owners, including Portland, Lewiston, Bangor, and Auburn.
If we were to break down the exact rules and regulations regarding permitting in every locality in the state of Maine, this article would become excessively lengthy. With that in mind, we’ll simply say that every business owner should check with their local government to determine whether there are licenses, permits, or tax registrations required to operate in compliant fashion.
Can I Hire Someone to Research Licenses and Permits for My Business?
If this process sounds like a bit of a hassle, that’s because it certainly can be. If you would rather hire a reputable business services provider to handle this for you, that is always an option.
Companies like Incfile can research the necessary licenses and permits for your company on the federal, state, county, and municipal levels. They will then send you the applications you need to acquire these permits and licenses, meaning all you need to do is fill them out and mail them in.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer for the question of which licenses and permits your business might require to operate in the state of Maine. Instead, it’s important that you know how to access the resources to determine which permits your company needs to operate in a compliant fashion.
We hope this article helped you to do just that, and we wish you good fortune in your business future!