Why Create a Montana LLC?
Within the state of Montana, business owners can take advantage of several tax incentives and credits made available by the Montana Department of Revenue, provided your LLC meets the specific criteria. For example, an Empowerment Zone Credit is offered to businesses in empowerment zones.This enables businesses to claim tax credits of up to $3,000 for each qualified employee that meets the specified criteria.
For entrepreneurs looking to start a business in Montana, creating a Montana limited liability company (LLC) is generally the fastest and easiest way. With more simplified rules and regulations, an LLC is an ideal business entity for startups and small to medium-sized businesses, granting you the advantages and protections that larger Montana corporations benefit from.
Benefits of starting a Montana LLC:
Easily file your taxes and discover potential advantages for tax treatment
Create, manage, regulate, administer and stay in compliance easily
Protect your personal assets from your business liability and debts
Low cost to file ($70)
Learn more about the benefits of the LLC business structure.
In this guide, you’ll find information on naming your LLC, getting a Registered Agent, the fees you’ll need to pay, Montana business taxes and much more. We also cover your registration needs, filing your Montana LLC and how you'll correspond with the Montana Secretary of State (SOS).
How to Form an LLC in Montana Yourself in 6 Steps
Step 1 - Complete a Montana LLC Search and Choose a Unique Business Name
Step 2 - Provide an Official Business Address for Your LLC
Step 3 - Assign a Registered Agent
Step 4 - File Your Articles of Organization with the Montana Secretary of State (SOS)
Step 5 - Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service
Step 6 - Create an Operating Agreement
Complete a Montana LLC Search and Choose a Unique Business Name
To start the process, you’ll need a name for your LLC that’s unique and stands out, but one that’s not used by any other business or formed entity in the state. If you’re having trouble coming up with a name, try using Incfile’s Business Name Generator to brainstorm ideas. You'll also need to follow a few naming rules, which you can read about in detail on the Montana Business Names page.
Once you’ve chosen a name, you’ll need to make sure it’s available in Montana. To find out whether another company in the state is already using your preferred business name, use our tool to do a business name search. You can also carry out a name search on the Montana Secretary of State's business name search.
Provide an Official Business Address for Your LLC
Regardless of whether your business is in an office building, a home (if the company is run from a residence) or any other physical location, every Montana LLC must have a designated street address. It can be located outside the state of Montana, but it cannot be a P.O. Box.
Assign a Registered Agent
A Registered Agent is someone who receives official legal and tax correspondence and is responsible for filing reports with the Montana Secretary of State (SOS). Every LLC in Montana is required to have a Registered Agent.
This position can be filled by you, another manager in your business or a dedicated Registered Agent service. If your Montana Registered Agent is a person, they must have a physical street address in Montana and must be present during business hours to receive important documents on behalf of your business. In Montana, you appoint your Registered Agent when you file your Articles of Organization and formally create your business.
All of Incfile’s packages include Registered Agent service. It’s free for the first year and just $119 per year after that. You can also log in to our dashboard and easily view any document we've received on your behalf.
File Your Articles of Organization with the Montana Secretary of State
Once you've gathered all the information for your Montana LLC, you’ll need to file your Articles of Organization with the Montana SOS using their online business portal.
Your Articles of Organization should be filed online with Montana Secretary of State business portal. The Montana LLC filing fee is $70. You only need to file your Articles of Organization once, but you must file an annual report every year by searching for your business name in the Montana SOS online database, and completing the necessary steps. The periodic report can be filed online, and the filing fee for an annual report, set by the Montana Secretary of State is $20. Incfile can either remind you to do it, or we can do it for you.
What are the fees and requirements to form a business in Montana?
Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service
You’ll need an EIN to identify your business to the IRS. You use this number when filing and paying taxes or when submitting payroll information and payments for your employees. An EIN is also required to open a business bank account. You can obtain one directly from the IRS, or you can have Incfile obtain one for you as part of the Montana LLC formation process.
Create an Operating Agreement
A kind of "instruction manual" that explains how you'll run your business, an LLC Operating Agreement details key components of your business - how decisions will be made, how the business is divided among members and what will happen if a member leaves the company.
Although some states require businesses to have this document in place, you're not legally required to have a Montana LLC Operating Agreement. We do however think that it's a good idea to have one regardless.
Other Montana LLC Types
Professional Limited Liability Companies (PLLCs) are different from professional corporations in that they typically have licensing requirements applicable to certain fields, such as law and medicine. In order to form a PLLC, you may need a state license to practice.
Learn more about PLLC vs. LLC and which one is right for your business.
If your business is already operating in another state and expanding to Montana—or vice versa—you’ll need to form a Foreign LLC.
Learn more about Montana Foreign LLC registration.
Helpful Resources from the State of Montana
More Information in This Guide
You’ll find plenty more insight and guidance on the other pages of this guide, including:
How to search the Montana business registry and find the right name. Includes information on naming rules, fictitious names, reserving a Montana LLC name and more.
How to appoint, change and search for Registered Agents. Also includes the rules they’re required to follow.
How to understand the various fees you’ll need to pay and the state and federal requirements you’ll need to meet. Includes details of Employer Identification Numbers (EINs), state and federal business licenses, annual reports and more.
How to understand the various taxes you will need to pay to the state and federal governments. Includes details of state taxes such as sales and income, and federal taxes such as income and self-employment.