How to Start an LLC in Montana (MT LLC 2022)


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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. On this page, You’ll find all the steps that must be taken to ensure that your LLC has been correctly established. We recommend you read the whole article very carefully, word by word, don’t miss anything 🙂

montana llc

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, 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 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

Montana name your llc

The very first step while forming an LLC in the state of 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.

LLC Naming Guidelines in Montana

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.

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TailorBrands 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 TailorBrands, you can get everything you need at an affordable price.

Do I have to include LLC in my company email/domain?

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

Montana registered agent

The second step to forming an LLC in the state of Montana 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 for service of process 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.

LLC Service

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$299 + State Fees

  • Turnaround in a few days

  • EIN & Website Included

  • Operating Agreement Included

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.

Who Can Be a Registered Agent?

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.

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent?

Yes, you can be your own registered agent for service of process 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

Montana certificate of formation

The third and most important step in forming an 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 the state of Montana online. By paying an additional fee, it can be expedited.

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Step 4: Create Your LLC Operating Agreement in Montana

Montana operating agreement

Moving on to the fourth step, filing your operating agreement. An operating agreement is an internal 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 –

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Step 5: Filing an LLC EIN in Montana

Montana file EIN for llc

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 –

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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 LLC in the state of Montana. 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 a 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:

This page has provided you with basic 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 Starting an LLC in the State of Montana

Forming an LLC in the state of 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 an LLC in the state of Montana. LLCs have pass-through taxation. Hence, your 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 the state of Montana,

Fees/TaxAmount to be Paid
Name Reservation Fee (online)$10
Articles of Organization Fee$70
LLC Annual Fee$20
Sales Tax0%

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 the state of 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 the state of 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 an 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 in Montana that is particularly made for those who want to start an LLC. 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 for an 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 

If you’re starting your LLC in the state of Montana, 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.

Agriculture Sector 

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.

  1. 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.
    name your llc

  2. 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.
    registered agent

  3. File a Formation Certificate

    Filing a formation certificate is necessary when forming a Limited Liability Company in Montana. Depending on the state, it could be called any of the following: Certificate of Formation, Articles of Organization, or Certificate of Organization.
    articles of organization

  4. 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.
    operating agreement

  5. 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.
    file EIN for llc

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.

There are several things to keep in mind before filing for an LLC in Montana. You need to have an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This nine-digit number is essential for the IRS to identify the type of business it is. Even if you’re only going to be a single-member LLC, you’ll need an EIN if you hire employees. Additionally, there are specific rules for foreign-based LLCs in Montana, so you will need an EIN for that too.

When choosing the name of your LLC, it’s best to choose a name that isn’t too common and does not suggest the name of a government agency. Words like “attorney,” “doctors,” and “bank” are all common examples of words that aren’t permitted. Choosing a name for your LLC is essential, and it should be one you can remember.

If you’re interested in forming your LLC in Montana, the Secretary of State offers online services. To use these services, you’ll need a valid email address and epass, and you’ll also need a credit card. These services are widely used because they offer low cost, convenience, and accuracy.

The fastest way to form an LLC in Montana is to hire an LLC formation service. The cost of an LLC formation service in Montana is generally under $40 plus state fees. Once you’ve hired a service provider, you’ll have to contact the state and file your paperwork. The state will provide you with instructions and a copy of the paperwork you need to complete.

You’ll also need to choose a business name. You’ll need a name that’s easy to remember and is available in the state. The name you choose should also be distinct from other businesses. Try to avoid using words that are restricted in naming a business.

A registered agent is another important part of your LLC process. They’ll act as the central point of contact for the LLC. The person or business you choose should be a resident of Montana or a service authorized to do business in the state. In addition, the agent must be available during normal business hours.

There are many important documents that must be filed for an LLC in Montana. If you’re a foreign LLC, you’ll need to file a Certificate of Authority of Foreign Limited Liability Corporation and a Certificate of Good Standing from a domestic state. These documents must be filed with the Secretary of State before your LLC can start operating. Once filed, an LLC in Montana takes about seven to ten days to process. Multi-member LLCs will also need to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which is a type of Social Security number that allows you to file federal taxes and pay workers.

F.A.Qs

Can I file an LLC in Montana by myself?

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.

What is the cost of forming an LLC in the state of Montana in a year?

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.

How long does it take to get an LLC in the state of Montana?

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 TailorBrands, which has an impeccable turnaround time.

How to renew my LLC in the state of Montana?

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.

What is the tax structure for an LLC in the state of Montana?

Generally, for LLCs, it is a default tax structure. Once you 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.

In Conclusion

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.

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