IPCPR Legislative | Operating Your Business in Maine

Operating Your Business in Maine


Operating Your Business in Maine

Each tobacco products distributor must first register with Maine Revenue Services and obtain a Tobacco Distributor’s License by filing the Maine Revenue Services and Department of Labor Application for Tax Registration. There is no fee for this application. Tobacco Distributor Licenses expire on June 30th each year and must be renewed by filing the same form.


36 Me. Rev. Stat. § 4402


Tobacco product retailers are required to obtain a Retail Tobacco License from the Department of Health and Human Services by filing the Retail Tobacco License Application, available at http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/forms.shtml#application. There are three types of Retail Tobacco Licenses in Maine, distinguished by different sales requirements and application fees:

  • Retail Tobacco I
    • Less than 30% annual gross revenue from total cigarette or other tobacco product sales
    • $100 application fee
  • Retail Tobacco II
    • Greater than or equal to 30-50% of annual gross revenue from total cigarette or other tobacco product sales
    • $125 application fee
  • Retail Tobacco III
    • Greater than 50% of annual gross revenue from total cigarette or other tobacco product sales
    • $150 application fee


Retailers may also designate on the Retail Tobacco License Application that their establishment qualifies as a Tobacco Specialty Store, defined as a retail business under 2,000 square feet in which at least 60% of the business’s gross revenue for the last calendar year was derived from the sale of tobacco or tobacco-related products. This designation must be supported by documentation at the time the application is filed. Qualification as a Tobacco Specialty Store exempts the establishment from the ban on smoking. However, the on-premises service, preparation, or consumption of food or drink, if the tobacco specialty store is not licensed for such service or consumption prior to January 1, 2007, is prohibited. Smoking a waterpipe or hookah is also prohibited in a tobacco specialty store that is newly licensed or that requires a new license after January 1, 2007.


Retail Tobacco Licenses expire every March 31st and must be renewed annually. Renewal notices will be sent to the mailing address provided on the application.


22 Me. Rev. Stat. § 1551-A: Retail tobacco sales license required
22 Me. Rev. Stat. § 1541(7): Tobacco specialty store


Every licensed tobacco products distributor must file, on or before the last day of each month, a Tobacco Products Tax Return, along with payment for the taxes due. The return must report all tobacco products held, purchased, manufactured, brought in, or caused to be brought in from outside Maine, or shipped or transported to retailers within the state during the preceding calendar month.


A person who is not a licensed tobacco products distributor who imports, receives, or otherwise acquires tobacco products for use or consumption in Maine from a person other than a licensed distributor must file, on or before the last day of the month following each month in which tobacco products were acquired, an Other Tobacco Products Tax Declaration.


36 Me. Rev. Stat. § 4404


Localities may require additional business licenses.

Maine Revenue Services: General Forms


Application for Tax Registration


Tobacco Tax Forms


Main Revenue Services: Sales, Fuel, & Special Tax Division: Cigarette & Tobacco Products Instructional Bulletin


Tobacco Products Tax Return


Other Tobacco Products Tax Declaration

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