How to Find Business Records in Maine
Maine Business Records
Searching for Business Records in Maine
In Maine, the duty of maintaining vital business records falls to the
Maine Secretary of State. Business records such as documentation of
incorporation and Uniform Commercial Code filings in the possession of
the Secretary of State may be viewed by members of the public. Here are
a few suggestions and tips for searching business records in Maine.
What Records Are Maintained by the Maine Secretary of State?
When a business incorporates, or forms a corporation, documentation must
be filed with the Secretary of State. This documentation is essential
because corporations are treated as separate entities, so the State of
Maine must keep track of which businesses have corporate status.
Additionally, the Maine Secretary of State must maintain UCC, or Uniform
Commercial Code, filings. These documents demonstrate the security
interest a secured party has obtained in collateral owned by a debtor in
exchange for a loan.
Why Would a Business Not Have Documents On File?
First, businesses do not always incorporate. Sometimes businesses
operate under a tradename without assuming the form of a corporation,
such that documentation of incorporation would not be on file.
Additionally, businesses sometimes elect to incorporate in states other
than where they maintain their offices, in order to take advantages of
the laws of another state. Therefore, if the Maine Secretary of State
does not have documentation of the incorporation of a business, it
should not immediately be assumed that the business is not incorporated.
How Can I Search for Records Maintained by the Maine Secretary of State?
The records maintained by the Maine Secretary of State may be accessed
either on site or in person. If you wish to visit the office of the
Maine Secretary of State, the location is: Bureau of Corporation,
Elections and Commissions, 101 State House Station, Burton Cross
Building, 111 Sewall Street, 4th Floor, Augusta, Maine, 04333.
To search for Maine business records online, go to the website for the
Maine Secretary of State, located at: www.state.me.us/sos/. Under the
heading “Online Service” at the left, click on “More Online Services.”
Then, under the heading “Business Services,” click on the link
“Interactive Corporate Services.” This will take you to a page where the
search functions are described with a notation of whether the type of
search is free or requires the payment of a fee or subscription. To
search for Maine business entities by name, click on the first blue link
near the top of the page, “Corporate Name Search and Related Services.”
From this page, you can search for businesses by name or a keyword from
the name, or the corporation’s charter number. You may also select the
type of corporation from a drop-down menu to narrow the search, or
select “All Categories” to make the search as broad as possible.
The search results will be returned in list form, including the name of
the business entity and the type of entity. Next to each item are the
words “Information Summary” in blue. Clicking this link next to the
business entity of interest will allow you to view additional
information about that entity, including the legal name, charter number,
filing type, status, filing date, expiration date, jurisdiction, other
names under which the entity does business, and the identity of the
clerk or registered agent. You can also click “View list of filings” to
review a list of the documents filed by that entity. This information is
all provided for free. In addition, you will be provided with a link to
obtain a certified copy of the record for a fee.
To search for UCC filing information, begin at the Maine Secretary of
State home page and select “UCC Online” from the blue “Online Services”
menu on the right. You can then click on “UCC Search” to perform a
search of the UCC database for a fee. Alternatively, you can select
“Debtor Name Index” which permits you to search for the name of a debtor
individual or organization. This will allow you to determine whether a
particular individual or organization is a debtor with a UCC filing.
However, to obtain any information beyond the debtor’s name, it is
necessary to pay a fee.
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