How to Start an LLC in Montana: If you’re interested in setting up a Montana LLC, you’ve come to the right place. Having an LLC not only protects your personal assets but also is less complicated than other business structures. Montana laws make it easy to establish your LLC in Montana. On this page, You’ll find all the steps that must be taken to ensure that your Montana LLC has been correctly established. We recommend you read the whole article very carefully word by word, don’t miss anything 🙂
On this page, you’ll learn about the following:
- How to Start an LLC in Montana
- After Starting Your Montana LLC
- Montana Foreign LLC
- Montana LLC Formation Review
How to Start an LLC in Montana
An LLC or a Limited Liability Company is a hybrid business entity combining a corporation’s characteristics with a partnership or sole proprietorship. It separates your personal assets from your business assets, thus giving you personal asset protection.
If you wish to start an LLC in Montana, you mainly have to file your Certificate of Formation with the State and pay a filing fee of $70. There are some more steps to follow to get your LLC established in Montana. The following steps explain everything you need to create your LLC in Montana in 2022. Let’s get started! It is always recommended to hire a professional LLC formation service in Montana to set up your LLC.
Step 1: Decide a Name for Your Montana LLC
The very first step while forming an LLC in Montana is to give a proper name to your LLC. Before you name your business, you must know that the name should be easy to remember, available in the state, and follows all the LLC naming guidelines.
Montana LLC Naming Guidelines
There are a few specific requirements all the LLCs in Montana have to follow while naming their Company. Some of the most important requirements are as follows:
- Your business name should be available and no other existing business in Montana can have the same name. Perform a name search from the below-mentioned source to be sure your name isn’t taken already.
- “Limited Liability Company”, “Limited Liability”, “LC”, “L.C.”, “Ltd”, “LLC”, and “L.L.C.” – any one of these has to be used as a suffix in your business name.
- You cannot use any name for your business that is confusing or misleading. Terms such as “Treasury”, “State Department”, “FBI”, “CIA”, etc. shouldn’t be included.
- Terms like “Bank“, “University“, “Attorney“, “Doctor“, etc can be added only after the additional requirements by Montana State Government are fulfilled.
- (Optional) It’s better to name your business something for which your desired domain is available.
|Important Links –|
|Montana Business Entity Search – Online Name Search|
Name Reservation Form – Online
Montana LLC Name Search – Instructions
Reserve Business Name for Future
If you do not wish to file your LLC right now but want to hold the name you have decided then you can reserve your LLC name for 120 days. To keep the name, you have to file a name reservation application and pay $10 (Expedited Fee: $20 within 24 hours filing, $100 within 1-hour filing) to reserve your name with the Montana Secretary of State.
Doing Business As (DBA) or Trade Name
Once you have a legal name for your LLC, you can register it. However, it is not mandatory. You can, instead, use DBA, Fictitious Name, or Trade Name. In that case, you must register your name with the Montana Secretary of State by submitting an Application to Register Assumed Business Name in Montana along with the filing fee of $20.
Recommended: You can do name search, get company logo, business domain, website, emails, and a lot more in one place by hiring a professional service. We recommend using –
Tailor Brands – ($49 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup
Tailor Brands offer DIY website templates and incredible logo designs. If you plan to get a website then it is wise to have a “.com” domain for your business but these days you can also use other TLDs like “.company”, “.xyz” etc. With Tailor Brands, you can get everything you need at an affordable price.
It is not legally mandatory to use the word LLC in your domain name or email. If you want you can use it. However, it is recommended not to use LLC in the domain name. A domain name should be short and easy to remember.
Step 2: Assign a Registered Agent in Montana
The second step to forming a Montana LLC is to appoint a Registered Agent. A registered agent is a person or business entity that will act or work on your LLC’s behalf. This person or business will receive important tax forms, legal documents, all notices of lawsuits, and other official government correspondence in Montana. Hence, hiring a competent Montana Registered Agent for your LLC is necessary.
Make sure your registered agent is a resident of Montana or has a physical street address. Their business address or the principal address should be in Montana. Most LLC formation companies also provide registered agent services. Below are two great LLC setup services, even if you buy their cheapest plan (normally $49/year) you also get registered agent service and other services at a reasonable price.
These LLC formation services are recommended registered agent services as they are authorized to conduct business in Montana. Some LLC formation services offer standalone Montana registered agent services. You can purchase only Registered Agent services from them without purchasing any other LLC formation services.
A person who is above 18 years of age and has a physical address in the state of Montana can be a Registered Agent. A Registered Agent can be an independent person or can be a business entity. One who is responsible for handling all the legal documents.
Yes, you can be your own registered agent if you are a resident of the state of Montana and you are above 18 years of age. To become a registered agent you must have the authority to conduct any type of business in Montana.
Step 3: File Articles of Organization in Montana
The third and most important step in forming a Montana LLC is to file the Certificate of Formation. This Montana Articles of Organization is a legal document needed to officially register your business with the Secretary of State. It costs $70 to file your formation certificate in Montana. (Read more on LLC cost in Montana).
The Certificate of Formation includes details like the name of the LLC, registered agent’s name, address, employees’ details, and structure of the company (member-managed or manager-managed). Before hiring employees in Montana LLC, one should know about the rules and regulations thoroughly. Also if you are expanding your existing business (an LLC) to Montana then you need to register as a Montana Foreign LLC.
How to File Online
Go to the Secretary of State Online Service. You will get the online service page. If you are already a subscriber then click on the “log in to EPass Account” option and log in with your credentials. If you’re not subscribed, then you can create your account by clicking on the “Online Filing” button below. Read more about the Montana Articles of Organization for online registration.
Processing Time: It takes around 1 to 5 hours to form an LLC in Montana online. By paying an additional fee, it can be expedited.
Recommended: Online LLC Formation service can provide all these documents in lesser time along with lifetime customer support and 100% accuracy. We recommend using –
Tailor Brands – ($49 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup
Step 4: Create Your Montana LLC Operating Agreement
Moving on to the fourth step, filing your operating agreement. An operating agreement is a document that legally outlines the proprietorship and operating procedures of your LLC. This document is vital as it ensures that all business owners are on the same page regarding how they operate, thus reducing future conflicts.
When it comes to filing a Montana LLC Operating Agreement, the state does not require you to have a comprehensive operating agreement, but it is ideal to have one that contains all the details of your business operation. Like Montana, there are other states that do not have a mandatory rule to file operating agreements. But, this document would be useful if you decide to dissolve Montana LLC later. Hence, having an operating agreement may not be necessary but it is definitely ideal.
Recommended: You can get operating agreement templates at only $29 with TailorBrands. You don’t need to worry about drafting it as they will take care of it on your behalf. We recommend using –
Tailor Brands – ($49 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup
Step 5: Filing a Montana LLC EIN
The Employer Identification Number or, simply, the E.I.N. is a nine-digit number given by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to make it easier to identify the type of business for tax purposes and taxes in general. The EIN is necessary for any active business or any form of business for that matter.
EIN is needed when the LLC hires employees. Hiring employees in Montana LLC requires following specific rules and regulations. On the other side, EIN for Montana foreign LLC should be obtained if your LLC is based in other states.
To obtain EIN (aka FEIN) one has to fill up a form (Online or by mail) and submit it to the IRS. Enter details of your LLC, and finally complete the form and send it to the address given. You can also get an EIN Assistant who can help you with the process.
Mail to: Internal Revenue Service, Attn: EIN Operation, Cincinnati, OH 45999
Fax: (855) 641-6935 | Fee: Free
Recommended: This hassle will be reduced when you hire an LLC formation service. They take care of obtaining EIN and all other things for your LLC. We recommend using –
Tailor Brands – ($49 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup
Note: You don’t need a Social Security number when getting an EIN. You can proceed to fill out I.R.S. Form SS-4 and leave section 7b blank. You must then call the IRS at (267) 941-1099 to complete your application. Agents or employees will help you with that.
Congratulation, you are now done with all the necessary steps to form your Montana LLC. If you do it yourself it should take you a long time to properly understand and do all the steps.
However, if you use TailorBrands it should take fewer hours and you always have live chat with expert support for any help you need.
After Starting Your Montana LLC
After forming your LLC, there are still some things that you will need. Take note of the following:
- Get a company business bank account
- File Montana business permits & licenses
- Get general liability insurance and professional liability insurance with coverage for employees
- File a Montana LLC annual report or biennial report
This page has provided you with steps to LLC formation and filing processes. You now have to remember upcoming filing deadlines and filing fees or filing costs, including fees for late filings to make sure your LLC is up-to-date.
Cost of Montana LLC
Forming an LLC in Montana is no doubt more cost-effective than other structures of a business. There are some fees and charges one has to bear to form a Montana LLC. LLCs have pass-through taxation. Hence, your Montana LLC won’t bring you a massive tax burden. Here are some of the fees and taxes are needed to be paid while forming an LLC in Montana,
|Fees/Tax||Amount to be Paid|
|Name Reservation Fee (online)||$10|
|Articles of Organization Fee||$70|
|LLC Annual Fee||$20|
In Montana, an LLC name reservation is not mandatory. You can register your LLC name at the time of registering your LLC. If you wish to hold the name for some time without registering your LLC, then you can do that online. Your LLC name will be reserved for 120 days without registering your LLC. It can be done by paying $10. It cannot be renewed.
In Montana, an Annual Report has to be produced every year. It costs $20. Also, the State of Montana does not require to pay any sales tax. Read our guide on LLC costs in Montana for more information.
Montana Foreign LLC
If you are interested in forming a Foreign LLC in Montana then you need to file the Certificate of Foreign LLC to the Montana Secretary of State. Foreign LLCs allow you to operate your business in more than one state. Along with the Certificate of Foreign LLC, you need to submit some more documents like the Certificate of Good Standing, etc. to the Montana SOS to form your foreign LLC in Montana. To know more in detail, check out our guide on Montana Foreign LLC.
Reasons to Start an LLC in Montana
Montana is one of the most demanding states when it comes to setting up an LLC. Especially for startups and self-employed individuals, there are various business funding options and fewer tax liabilities. Business owners do not have to pay any additional taxes to start an LLC. Owners/members are liable to pay federal taxes and personal taxes. Read more on Montana’s classification of LLC tax. Other than tax benefits, a few types of businesses like tribal businesses, or woman-owned businesses get incentives to encourage their successful business in Montana.
New industrial property benefit programs
Under this scheme, the new LLCs that are thinking of starting a Montana LLC in the business will be given a discount of around three percent on the industrial property they want to buy. This will continue for three years which will help in the proper establishment of the company. Companies based in a niche like mining or warehousing in which land requirement is more have been added to the list of industries that are about to benefit from this scheme.
Montana State Small Business Credit Initiative
The MT SSBCI is a credit and lending program that is particularly made for those who want to start an LLC in Montana. All the small businesses that want investment or take a loan for a small period of time will be covered under this scheme by the government of Montana. According to the records under this scheme, a loan of more than $1 million has been given to small business LLCs that have started up in the state.
New Industry Credit
When a new industry is opened up in Montana, it is sure that new job opportunities are also credited. Now when you hire new staff, it will directly devote to the better economic status of the state. That is why as a rebate, the government offers back credit of 1 percent to all the new industries of the amount they pay as salary to the employees.
For example, if the employee’s wholesome salary is $500,000, then a return of $5,000 will be given to the industry. This scheme is valid for 3 years after the incorporation or start of operations in the state.
Empowerment Zone Credit
There is some special empowerment zone that is available in Montana LLC. If a person goes and establishes their business in such zones, they are provided with a credit of $500 against the income tax of employees that they have to pay for their employees.
Best Businesses in Montana
Are you willing to form an LLC in Montana? If yes, you must have complete knowledge of Montana’s top industries and their contribution to the state. If you don’t have it, then you must go through the below-mentioned information.
Construction Business and Real Estate Business
The increasing demand and population have also raised the demand for property and construction businesses. With 11.8% of the contribution to the GDP of Montana State, the construction business is considered the best business. This industry is employing around 101,868 jobs in the state. This sector’s revenue generation is $9.1 billion, which is enormous for a small state like Montana.
The fertile land present in Montana State is considered the best agriculture. There are large-sized farms in the state on which barley and wheat are grown. The agricultural products that are exported by the state are wheat, hay, barley, and cattle. Out of 59.7 million acre farms in the state, half are owned by the state.
The agricultural sector generates more than 141,600 jobs in the state, which is the maximum for any other industry. With the help of huge jobs and export businesses, the turnover of the agriculture sector is $6.9 billion.
Health Care Sector
The healthcare sector of the Montana state is providing jobs to around 68,000 people, out of which 1,300 are medical professionals. With the increasing population of the state, the demand for the healthcare sector is increasing continuously. The healthcare sector’s contribution to the industry is around $6.8 billion, which is about 9% of the state’s total GDP.
The small businesses which are most liked and opted by the new-age entrepreneurs in Montana are:-
- Coal exporting business
- Selling medical equipment
- Hotel Business
- Oil and gas-based business
Montana LLC Formation Review
Time needed: 5 minutes.
Just to recap, here are the easy steps again when forming an LLC in Montana. Click on the steps in this list to read the full detail.
- Name your Montana LLC
The first thing you must do is to choose a company name, which should be unique, easy to find, and available in the state.
- Choose a Registered Agent
In Montana, it is mandatory to select a registered agent for your LLC. Get a professional Registered Agent from LLC formation services like NorthWest Registered Agent to get things done hassle-free.
- File a Formation Certificate
Filing a formation certificate is necessary when forming an LLC in Montana. Depending on the state, it could be called any of the following: Certificate of Formation, Articles of Organization, or Certificate of Organization.
- Create an Operating Agreement
An operating agreement is not a strict requirement in Montana but something encouraged when you start an LLC to avoid future conflicts.
- Get an EIN
The Employer Identification Number (EIN), also called Federal Tax Identification Number, serves to identify a business entity like a social security number but for a company.
How Fast Can I Form an LLC in Montana
Montana LLC filings can be completed online within 5 hours once the payment is done. Filing through mail is not available in Montana.
How fast can I form an LLC in Montana? The process is simple and will only require two major investments: your time and money. You’ll need to pay approximately $70 to file the Articles of Organization, which takes approximately one week to complete. If you’re eager to save time, you can pay an additional $20 or $100 to expedite the process. This can reduce the turnaround time from one week to as little as one day.
First, choose a registered agent. The registered agent will act as the point of contact between the business and the secretary of state. In Montana, the registered agent can be the owner or another member of the LLC. In the Northwest, the company that provides the service includes registered agent services as part of the package. However, in Montana, a business needs a registered agent who is available to receive legal mail and other important documents on behalf of the company.
The filing process can be quick. Once you select your state and type of business, you’ll be taken to a website to file your application. There, you’ll select a domain name for your website, which will be the address for the company’s website. You’ll also need to decide on a unique name for the company. Remember to include the words “Limited Liability Company” in the name of the company. If you’re unsure of the legal requirements for your company, consider an abbreviation.
Once you’ve decided on a business name, you can start filing the Articles of Organization. You’ll also need to wait for the secretary of state’s approval. Typically, the process will take five to eight business days, although in some states, Rush Processing will cut your application time down to just a few days. You can also elect to pay an extra fee for rush processing. Northwest Accounting will provide you with an electronic copy of your LLC’s certificate of formation. This is necessary for obtaining an EIN, a business bank account, and other licenses.
During this time, you should also file an Annual Report. This document, known as an Annual Report, is filed with the Secretary of State every year and costs $15. You must file this report online in order to avoid the $15 late fee. This filing is mandatory, and if you fail to file the report, the state will dissolve the LLC and charge you a fine of up to $200. You may want to consider using a registered agent service.
In order to operate an LLC in Montana, you must designate a person to run the company. The name of the company must be unique and not taken by any other business or formed entity. To brainstorm names, Incfile’s Business Name Generator will help you come up with a few possibilities. Choosing a name should meet your business’ needs and fit the requirements set forth by the state. Lastly, your LLC must follow Montana’s naming rules.
If you are a resident of Montana, then you can file your LLC by yourself. However, it is always worth having a professional than doing it yourself to handle legal complexities, paperwork, and other documentation.
Apart from the formation fee of $70 (domestic LLC) and $70 (foreign LLC), LLC costs in Montana include $20 for Annual Reports every year. LLCs are liable to pay sales tax of 0% every year.
It takes 1 to 5 hours to get a Montana LLC if you file it online. If you hire a professional LLC service, then it might take less than that. We recommend Tailor Brands which has impeccable turnaround time.
Every year all the LLCs have to submit an Annual Report and pay $20 to the Montana Secretary of State and renew the LLC. It is mandatory to renew your LLC every year.
Generally, for the LLCs, it is a default tax structure. Once you will obtain the EIN, you will get the various tax structure options to select. Sometimes LLCs choose S Corp to reduce federal tax burdens. Read more on the Montana Classification of LLC Tax.
LLCs are easier to establish than other business structures. Small businesses, especially start-ups can easily start their LLCs in Montana at a bare minimum cost. LLCs have a ‘pass-through taxation’ advantage for which they are excluded from certain taxes. The formation of limited liability companies requires much lesser documents and legal processes. Share your queries with us, and leave a comment below.