Maine Franchise Registration

Maine Franchise Registration

If you are looking to start a business in the Northeast region of the United States, Maine is the place. The state offers reasonable regulations for businesses, which has attracted companies with fewer than 500 employees. Despite the sparse population distribution, entrepreneurs enjoy a collaborative environment. The state offers businesses sufficient capital and simple regulation compliance making it easy to operate your business. With more than a dozen development centers for companies in Maine, businesses get the assistance they need in designing business plans to familiarize themselves with the state’s tax code.

The state of Maine is a non-registration state for franchisors, meaning you are not required to file your Franchise Disclosure Document(FDD) with the state. However, businesses that lack a federally registered trademark must file their FDD and register their business opportunity. In addition, although Maine has not enacted specific franchise laws, the state requires has issued regulations for the sale or offering of business opportunities. Therefore, franchisors are also required to give a Franchise Disclosure Document before the sale of business opportunities.

All business opportunities are registered under Maine’s Business Opportunity Registrations. This applies to franchisees since they also fall in the category of business opportunities. Franchises with a federally registered principal trademark are exempted from the state’s filing requirements. However, if a franchise system’s leading brand is not reported at the federal level, the franchisor must file a Franchise Disclosure Document with Maine’s Office of Securities. The state requires a filing fee of $25 and places funds in escrow or posts a bond at the state’s discretion. The state requires Business Opportunities to renew their filing annually. 

Since the state has not enacted specific franchise laws, the Business Opportunities laws put in place are promulgated by the Office of Securities of Maine’s Department of Professional and Financial Regulation. The securities department enforces and oversees the state’s business opportunity regulations and requires all franchises and business opportunities to adhere to them. If you have not registered your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, you are then required to file your Franchise Disclosure Document with the securities office. 

According to section 4695 of Maine’s Business Opportunity Regulations, if you intend to sell your business opportunity or franchise, you must acquire a surety bond issued by a company authorized to operate in the state.  The law stipulates that if a surety bond is not accessible, then you must have an escrow account with a licensed bank or saving institute located in the state. The surety bond is usually set at $30,000. In addition, franchises that have maintained a registered trademark are exempted from filing with the state.

The Office of Securities recommends filling in the form of a notice, where you inform them if you intend to sell a franchise in Maine. You are also required to provide the Office of Securities with a USPTO registered trademark number in the form of a letter addressed by examiners.

For more information on how to register your franchise in Maine, visit the Franchise Marketing Systems site:  www.FMSFranchise.com/about-franchising/guidelines/stateregulations

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