Our work is reader-supported, meaning that we may earn a commission from the products and services mentioned.

How To Do A Maine Business Name Search

How To Do A Maine Business Name Search

Advertising Disclosure


How To Do A Maine Business Name Search

How To Do A Maine Business Name Search

The first step in forming an LLC or corporation in Maine is to check and see whether the name is available to use. Each business entity that is registered with the Maine Secretary of State must use a unique name. See our step-by-step guide to learn how to quickly search available names by using the Maine Business Entity Database.

The Secretary of State Business Entity Database provides information for corporations and LLCs registered in Maine.  The names of sole proprietorships or general partnerships are not centralized. Instead, they are registered with the Municipal or Town Clerk where the business is located. 

Also See: Guide to Starting a Business in Maine

Steps For Searching Corporation and LLC Names In Maine

Before forming an LLC, be sure to check for business name availability as each business entity must not already be registered with the state.  Here’s how to search:

Step 1: Visit the Maine Entity Name Database

Visit the Maine Secretary of State website.

Step 2: Search the Business Name

Enter the name you would like to use in the “Keyword from name to be searched” field.  In this example, we will look up “American Made.”

How to do a Maine Business Name Search

Step 3: Review Results


When we search for a business name, we get a list of all the businesses with the words that we searched that are somewhere in the name. To be able to register a corporation or LLC name in Maine, the name must be distinguishable from the other names registered. If you were looking to form an LLC with this name, you wouldn’t be able to since there is already one registered.

Maine Business Name Search Results

To find more information about each of the registered business names, click on the link in the “Information Summary” column to view a detailed report. 

While the name “American Made” by itself may not be available, other variants are such as “American Made Furniture” or “American Made in Maine,” is.  Searching for those business names brings a result that says, “Found 0 entities for query”.  While final approval is still with the Secretary of State, it is likely available to register. 


These are the basics of searching for a business name in Maine.  Even when the name of the business you want is available, the Secretary of State will make a final determination at the time of filing to ensure the name you picked isn’t too similar to other registered names. 

What information can be found on the Maine business entity database?

The database search can find several pieces of information about the business. Some of the highlights include:

  • Legal Name
  • Filing Type – Corporation, Limited Liability Company. Etc.
  • Status – Good standing means all reports and filing fees are up to date. Suspended means the business may not be in operation. In some cases, the name of a suspended business may be available to register.
  • Filing Date – Date the entity was filed with the Secretary of State
  • Registered Agent’s information – A Registered Agent in Maine is the singular point of contact for the entity should a legal, or tax notice need to be sent to the business.  This is often one of the owners, and if their home address is used, that address becomes public information.  Many people find this concerning and use a Registered Agent service like Northwest Registered Agent, so their home address isn’t listed.  
  • Names of the officers and their title

Something to keep in mind is that even though each Corporation and LLC name must be unique, it may not stop someone else from using that name since business names for a sole proprietorship or partnership are not registered by the Secretary of State and are not required to be unique.  To protect your business name, consider getting a trademark.

Related: Should I trademark my business name?

How do I register for an Assumed Business Name in Maine?

An Assumed Name, also known as “Doing Business As,” DBA, Trade Name, or Fictitious Name is a name used by a sole proprietorship or partnership and is different from the owner’s legal name.  

Related: How to register an Assumed Name in Maine

How do I form an LLC in Maine?

Before starting your business and forming an LLC, be sure to do the business entity search first to make sure the name is available to use.  Once you know the LLC name is available, learn how to form a Maine LLC by reading our step-by-step guide on filing the Articles of Organization.

While not required in Maine, an Operating Agreement, which basically are the rules for how the LLC operates, is a document worth considering, especially for multi-member LLCs.

After forming a Limited Liability Company, be sure to get register for Maine business licenses and obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) so the business is legal to operate.

What are the requirements to name an LLC in Maine?

In addition to the name being unique, the name of the LLC must include a special designator such as Limited Liability Company, Liability Company, L.L.C., etc., in addition to not using restricted words such as bank or insurance, unless the entity is licensed to operate as such.

Can an LLC name be reserved in Maine?

If there is a name you want to use but aren’t ready to form the LLC, the Application for Reservation of Name (Form MLLC-1) can be filed to hold the name for up to 120 days. The state filing fee for a name reservation is $20, paid to the Secretary of State.

How To Do A Maine Business Name Search

How To Do A Maine Business Name Search

Greg Bouhl

Greg Bouhl

Welcome! My name is Greg Bouhl, and I am a serial entrepreneur, educator, business advisor, and investor.

StartingYourBusiness.com is here because of the many clients I worked with who made decisions based on inaccurate and outdated information.

Starting a business is hard, but here you will find the practical tools, resources, and insider tips to help you successfully start a business.

If there is a question about starting a business or help finding a resource, I'm here to help!

Follow on LinkedIn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Many (but not all) of the links on StartingYourBusiness.com are affiliate links. This means that a special tracking code is used and that we may make a small commission on the sale of an item if you purchase through one of these links. The price of the item is the same for you whether it is an affiliate link or not, and using affiliate links helps us to maintain this website.

StartingYourBusiness.com is also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Our mission is to help businesses start and promoting inferior products and services doesn’t serve that mission. We keep the opinions fair and balanced and not let the commissions influence our opinions.