Sole proprietors and general partnerships operating under a trade -- or "assumed" -- name are required by Maine law to file that name with the municipal clerk where the business is located (Title 31 M.R.S.A. §§1 & 2). (If you have a corporation and file with the Secretary of State, then this requirement does not apply.)
Licenses for sole proprietors doing business as something other than the owner’s name – are often called “DBA” forms. Licenses for those associated as partners engaging in a mercantile enterprise – a business to do with trade or commerce or the buying and selling of merchandise – are called Certificate for Association for Purpose of Engaging in Mercantile Enterprise.
The primary purpose of this filing requirement is to protect the public against fraud and deceit in extending credit. The filings enable people dealing with merchants transacting business under a partnership or assumed name to ascertain from public records the names of the individuals and the nature of the business.
As a general guidance, businesses should file a permit application if they:
- employ more than 2 people not in residence in the home
- store materials outside the building, or have a sign for the business outside the building, indicating a non-residential use of the building.
- generate automobile traffice from visitation to their business
- require parking for visitors to their business
- employ any chemicals not commonly used in a home, or use quantities of any chemicals in excess of what is comon for a residence
- has an impact on water resources in excess of a residence, either from water use or waste water discharge
- or the business has the potential of producing offensive noise, vibration, smoke, dust, odors, heat, glare, radiation, fumes, or electrical interference detectable to the normal senses or which interferes with normal operation of electronic apparatus such as computers, entertainment equipment, home appliances, multimedia communications, internet services, or security systems which extend beyond the limits of the subject property.
The forms are available in the Clerk’s office; and there is a one-time registration fee of $10 for registering your official business name with the Town Clerk.