How to Start an LLC in Montana

Here are the 7 steps to start a limited liability company (LLC) in Montana

For more information on how to form an LLC in any state, see the article How to Form an LLC.

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Learn about Montana LLC formation, including information on Registered Agents, naming rules, business licenses, and more.

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Creating an LLC in Montana

A limited liability company (LLC) offers many benefits to small businesses, including liability protection and tax advantages.

An Limited Liability Company LLC must be formed in Montana by filing a Articles of Organization with the Montana Secretary of State and paying the $70 filing fee.

However, you’ll first need to choose a name and registered agent for your Montana LLC . The formation of an LLC may take up to 7-10 business days.

Montana has two expedited LLC options for online filing:

  • 24-hour processing for $20 extra (called Priority)
  • 1-hour processing service for $100 extra (called Expedited)

Note: Expedited fees are in addition to the LLC filing fee.

An LLC can be easily formed in Montana. Simply follow these seven steps, and you’re done. Find out more about LLCs and their benefits in our What is an LLC guide.

How to Start an LLC in Montana

Step 1. Choose a Name for Your Montana LLC 

Creating an LLC in Montana requires you to choose a business name before you can file a Articles of Organization. Be sure that your business name complies with the Montana naming requirements and can be searched by potential customers.

  • Montana law requires an LLC name to contain the words “Limited Liability Company” or “Limited Company,” or the abbreviations “Ltd.,” “LLC,” or “LC.” “Limited” may be abbreviated as “Ltd.” or “LTD,” and “Company” as “Co.”
  • It is not acceptable for your Montana LLC to have words associated with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
  • You should avoid using words or abbreviations that may make your LLC Montana appear to be a different type of entity, such as “LP” or “corporation”.
  • There may be additional documentation and licensure paperwork required for certain restricted words (bank, lawyer, attorney, credit union, etc.).
  • Check the state’s business name database to ensure the name you want is not already taken(including businesses no longer in operation)

See a complete list of Monta nanaming’ rules here.

Check URL availability: You are likely to need a web page even if you don’t think you do. Buying your domain name now will at least give you the option of having one in the future. It’s a good idea to check the URL availability before finalizing your Montana LLC name.

Recommended: Consider setting up a business phone service after securing a domain name for your Montana LLC to establish credibility and improve customer satisfaction.
 
Wise business plans offer a variety of features for businesses, including Toll-free numbers, Coverage in US and Canada, team messaging and more. Try our business phone services today.

You can reserve the name of your business if you don't want to form your LLC right now. A Reservation of Name form can be filed with the Montana Secretary of State. A name will be reserved for 120 days once the application is processed, and may not be renewed.

DBAs are not required for most LLCs. The name of the LLC can serve as your company's brand name, and you can accept payments under that name. It is possible to register a DBA, however, if you wish to conduct business under a different name. To learn more about DBAs, read our "What does DBA mean" Guide.

An LLC stands for a Limited Liability Company. A simple business structure that is more flexible and offers many of the same benefits as a traditional corporation. For more information, see "What is a Limited Liability Company?".

Step 2: Appoint Your Registered Agent in Montana

Your next step in forming an LLC in Montana is to appoint a Registered Agent, an individual or company authorized to receive legal and state mail on your behalf.

All Montana LLCs must have a registered agent. Please include your registered agent’s name and address on your Articles of Organization. You can find a list of registered agents in Montana.  

Registered Agent Requirements in Montana

To comply with Montana law, your LLC’s registered agent must be a resident or business entity that maintains a physical address in Montana. The “registered address” cannot be a P.O. box. It must be a real physical address that can be visited in person.

Although you do not have to submit this form to the Secretary of State, your business must record it. Learn more about Montana Registered Agents by reading our full guide.

Are You looking for a Registered Agent?

Wise Business Plans offers a free year of registered agent service when forming an LLC in Montana.

In Montana, there are two methods to change registered agents. You may either change your Annual Report or complete a Statement of Change form with the Secretary of State to do so.

You must designate a Montana resident as a Registered Agent who is either a corporation or an individual authorized to conduct business in Montana. You may select yourself if you are part of the company.

Step 3.Prepare and File Articles of Organization

To create a Montana LLC, you will need to file  Articles of Organization with the Montana Secretary of State. You may only apply online.

There is a $70 filing fee. You must send the original and a copy of your Articles of Organization if you file by mail.

There is a $20 Priority processing fee for 24-hour service and a $100 Expedited 1-hour processing service.

If you choose one of our business formation plans, we can handle this step for you.

The following information is typically required to create a Articles of Organization:

  • Your LLC name and principal place of business.
  • Name, address, and signature of the LLC’s registered agent
  • Decide whether your MontanaLLC will be member-managed or manager-managed. Indicate the names and addresses of each member and manager.
  • The reason for forming the LLC in Montana.
  • Name and address of the LLC’s organizer.
  • The effective date of the certificate,
  • The person forming the LLC must sign the Certificate.

Foreign LLCs: LLCs that are based in another state but intend to conduct business in Montana must complete a form called the Qualification of Foreign LLC.

A filing fee of $70 also applies to this form, and you need to attach your state’s certificate of good standing.

File the Articles of Organization

Online filing through the Montana Department of State.

Instructions: Select “Articles of Organization for Domestic Limited Liability Company,” log in or create an ePass account, and complete the required fields.

Fee: $70, payable to the Secretary of State (Nonrefundable)

Note: There is an additional $50 fee for each series member named in a series LLC.

In a member-managed LLC, the members (owners) take on the business's daily responsibilities. Manager-managed LLCs are managed by managers who are elected by the members. Those who manage your LLC will have the authority to do a wide range of tasks-from hiring staff to opening bank accounts.

A Montana-based LLC is a type of entity that has its headquarters in the state. A foreign LLC is a type of business with a physical presence in another state.

The Montana Secretary of State usually takes 7-10 business days to process formation paperwork. You may pay an additional $20 for 24-hour processing or $100 for one hour if you need your firm formed faster.

Step 4. Get a Certificate From the State

Upon filing your Articles of Organization, the secretary of state will review it. As soon as the Articles of Organization is approved, the LLC becomes a legal entity.

By obtaining this certificate, LLCs will be able to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN), licenses, and business accounts.

Step 5. Write an Montana LLC Operating Agreement

An operating agreement is a legally-binding document that sets out how your LLC will operate, from the voting process to mergers.

Operating agreements are not required in Montana, but they are an essential part of your business.

Written operating agreements are helpful for different reasons, including resolving disputes over financial agreements and other potential litigation.

The LLC declaration can prove that your LLC is a separate entity, which can help preserve your limited liability.

An operating agreement ensures that all business owners are on the same page and reduces the possibility of future conflict.

How should an operating agreement be drafted?

The operating agreement should detail the LLC’s overall business purpose and other important matters, such as how the company will be taxed and how new members will be accepted. Legal agreements can clarify several important concerns, such as:

  • Who makes decisions for the company, especially those who decide if partners disagree.
  • Who is responsible for different aspects of the business as well as for strategic decisions.
  • If a partner leaves the company, what will happen to their ownership interests in the corporation.
  • The members and their contributions
  • How profits and losses will be divided
  • Procedures for admitting new members and removing outgoing members

In Montana, you can include just about anything in your operating agreement, as long as it doesn’t violate the state law or the Articles of Organization.

Montana does not require LLCs to have operating agreements, but it is strongly advised that you do. An operating agreement will assist guarantee that your company maintains its limited liability status, avoids financial and managerial disputes, and allows you to make decisions about the business's rules rather than defaulting to state law.

Although an LLC operating agreement isn't require in Montana, it is strongly recommended. This is a document that describes the internal workings of your LLC. It clarifies the members' and managers' rights and duties, as well as how the LLC will be managed.

Step 6. Get an EIN for Your Montana LLC

Basically, an employer identification number (EIN) is a social security number for your LLC in Montana.

To identify your LLC for tax purposes, the Internal Revenue Service assigns a nine-digit Employer Identification Number (EIN). You can apply for your EIN either by mail or online.

An EIN is used for the following purposes:

  • Manage state and federal taxes
  • Create a business bank account
  • Hire employees

Get an EIN Number in Montana

Getting an EIN number is easy and free, There are two ways to get an EIN number in Montana.

The 1st option is:

Apply online for an EIN from the IRS

The 2nd option is:

Get an EIN by Mail or Fax

Address to Mail

Mail to:
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999

An EIN is necessary for LLCs that have employees. In order to open a business bank account, most banks demand an EIN. Identifier for state taxes. Montana does not need a tax identification number because it is a non-taxing state.

A tax classification will be discussed with you when you obtain an EIN. In most cases, LLCs choose the default status.
Some LLCs can reduce their federal tax obligation by electing S corporation status. Consult with a local accountant to find out which option is best for you.

Step 7. File Your Montana LLC Annual Report

The Secretary of State’s Office maintains an online form to submit your LLC’s annual report. The report is due every year by April 15 and must be accompanied by a $20 filing fee, which is non-refundable. After that date, businesses will be charged a $35 processing fee.

If you have a foreign LLC (located outside of Montana), you must submit your annual report by November 1 to keep your Certificate of Authority from being revoked. You would need to reapply to conduct business in Montana.

Late Filings:  For late filings, Montana fines LLCs $15. Montana may dissolve LLCs at any time after December 1 of each year if they don’t file an annual report.  

Are you Looking for Montana LLC Formation Service?

Get the easiest and fastest Montana LLC formation online with Wise Business Plans.

What to do After Forming Your Montana LLC

Keep your personal and business assets separate

Your personal assets (such as your home, car, and other valuables) may be at risk when your Montana LLC is sued if they are mixed with your business accounts.

Here are some steps you can take to protect your LLC in Montana:

1. Open a Bank Account

As soon as your LLC is officially formed, you should open a business bank account. Why? Keeping separate bank accounts will help you maintain the legal distinction between the LLC and you (the owner).

Because LLCs are limited liability companies, creditors and litigants can’t take your assets.

It is essential for small business owners to partner with the right bank. Find out which banks offer the best business checking accounts, have low or no fees, ATM accessibility, and interest-earning accounts as well as online or mobile banking tools. 

Recommended: Check out our business bank account page to learn which banks offer the best business check accounts, ATM access, interest-bearing accounts, and online and mobile banking options for businesses.

2. Obtaining a business credit card:
  • Allows you to separate personal and business expenses.
  • Develops your company’s credit history, which can be helpful to raise capital (e.g., small business loans) later.
3. Hiring a business accountant:
  • It prevents your business from overpaying taxes while preventing penalties, fines, and other costly tax mistakes.
  • Gives you more time to focus on your growing business by simplifying bookkeeping and payroll.
  • Manage your business’s funding more effectively. Find out where extra profit or loss can be made

Getting Business Insurance for Your LLC

You can manage risks and grow your LLC with business insurance. Here are the most common types:

  • General liability insurance protects your business from lawsuits. Most small businesses purchase general liability coverage.
  • Professional liability insurance protects professionals and businesses from claims of negligence from their clients or customers. Liability insurance typically covers negligence, copyright infringement, personal injury, and more.
  • Workers’ compensation insurance: Covers illnesses, injuries, and deaths resulting from a worker’s work.

Ready to Protect Your Business

Let us help you with your business insurance needs.

 

  • General business liability insurance
  • Medical insurance
  • Term life insurance
  • Workers’ Comp
  • Surety bonds
  • Commercial auto

Create Your Business Website

A website is an important step in legitimizing your business. It is essential for all businesses. You are missing out on a large percentage of potential customers and revenue if you don’t have a website, even if your business is too small or in an offline industry.

More than 90% of consumers begin their search for products and services online. If you don’t have a website that is ready to welcome your customers, then they will simply find your competitors.

Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:

  • Every respectable firm has a website. When it comes to getting your firm online, size or sector isn’t a concern.
  • Creating a basic website has never been easier, thanks to website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder. To design a website, you don’t need to hire a web designer or developer.

Recommended: If you want to enhance your conversion rates and maximize revenue in order to help expand your business and meet objectives, you should always hire a professional business website design company to build your business website.

Wise Business Plans is a leading web design company, We have created over 2000 + websites across 20 countries for our clients but we are physically based in 7 major cities in the United States including Alabama web design, Pennsylvania, Las Vegas, Colorado Springs, Iowa, Michigan and San Diego.

Montana LLC FAQs

The cost to form a Montana limited liability company (LLC) is $70. When submitting the LLC's Articles of Organization to the Montana Secretary of State, this fee is paid. To set up an LLC in Montana yourself, follow our free Form an LLC in Montana tutorial.

In Montana, the cost of creating a Limited Liability Company is $70. It has a low filing fee and an annual payment of only $20, yet it is still regarded as one of the finest jurisdictions to establish an LLC because to its method of submission.

We can file your paperwork with the Montana Secretary of State in four to five business days if you choose the Basic or Standard package, and you'll receive your completed LLC papers one week later.

To dissolve an LLC in Montana, simply follow these three steps: Follow the Operating Agreement. Close Your Business Tax Accounts.
 

Step 1: Follow Your Montana LLC Operating Agreement.

Step 2: Close Your Business Tax Accounts. ...

Step 3: File Articles of Dissolution.

To make amendments to your Montana Limited Liability Company, you must file the Articles of Amendment for Domestic Limited Liability Company form and the required filing fee with the Secretary of State by mail, fax, or in person.

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