Starting an LLC in Montana
Located in the northwest of the United States, Montana is one of the largest states in the union. Defined by the Rocky Mountains, Big Sky Country has industries dominated by agriculture, natural resources, brewing, tourism and healthcare.
If you want to start your own business in Montana, one of the best ways to do so is by forming a Montana LLC. Limited liability companies (LLCs) are a business entity designed for startups and small- and medium-sized businesses. Montana LLCs give you many of the protections and advantages of larger corporations without all the rules, regulations and compliance issues common to larger business entities.
Briefly, the benefits of starting a Montana LLC include:
- Separating and limiting your personal liability from your business liability and debts
- Quick and simple filing, management, compliance, regulation and administration of your Montana LLC
- Easy tax filing and potential advantages for your tax treatment
Learn more about the benefits of the LLC business structure here.
Six Quick Steps to Forming Your Montana LLC
This guide has plenty of information on how to form your Montana LLC, but you can break down the basics of forming a business in MT into just a few simple steps.
STEP 1: Gather Information for Your Members
First, you need to gather basic information about your LLC, including the names and addresses of the managers or members. The LLC members are typically the people who own and run the business. They are also the ones who can take profits out of the business to pay themselves.
STEP 2: Choose a Unique Business Name for Your Montana LLC
You will need a distinctive and original name for your LLC that’s not used by any other business in MT. To find out if another company is using your chosen business name, carry out a business entity name search on the MT Secretary of State website.
There are a few rules you’ll need to follow when choosing an LLC name. You can find out more in our guide to naming your Montana LLC.
Learn about Montana LLC business naming rules.
STEP 3: Provide an Official Address for Your MT LLC
Every Montana LLC must have a designated street address. That could be your home address (if you’re running the company from your residence), your company’s office building or any physical address of your preference. The address must be inside the state of Montana, but it cannot be a P.O. Box.
STEP 4: Assign a Montana Registered Agent
Every MT LLC must have a “Registered Agent.” This is an official position; the Registered Agent is someone who receives official legal and tax correspondence and has responsibility for filing reports with the Montana Secretary of State.
This position can be filled by you, another manager in the business or a dedicated Registered Agent service. Your Registered Agent must have a physical street address in Montana and must be present to receive important documents for your company during business hours.
At Incfile, all of our packages include a Montana Registered Agent service that is free for the first year and just $119 per year afterward. We also have a dashboard where you can log in and easily view any document your Registered Agent has received on your behalf.
Learn more about Montana Registered Agents.
STEP 5: Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service
You will need an EIN to identify your business with the IRS. You use this number when filing and paying taxes or when submitting payroll information and payments for your employees. You can obtain one directly from the IRS, or we can get one for you as part of the Montana LLC business formation process.
STEP 6: File Articles of Organization with the Montana Secretary of State
Once you've gathered all the information for your LLC, you’ll need to file a formal document with the MT Secretary of State. This document is known as your “Articles of Organization,” and filing the document creates your Montana LLC. Here’s what is typically included:
- Your business name and address
- Details of your Registered Agent
- Names of managers or members of the LLC at the time of filing
- Addresses of managers or members of the LLC at the time of filing
- Name of the incorporator
You can file your Montana Articles of Organization online, mail in a form or have Incfile do it on your behalf. There is a fee to file and start an LLC in Montana, but you only need to file your Articles of Organization once.
Form Your LLC Now
Review Information from the Montana Secretary of State
The MT Secretary of State has plenty of information on forming and running a business in Montana.
These are all the basic steps for forming an LLC in Montana. You’ll find other useful information below.
Special Types of Montana LLCs
A regular Montana LLC is suitable for most business needs, but you also have a few other options to incorporate a special type of LLC.
Form a Montana Series LLC
In Montana, you also have the option to set up a “Series LLC” — these are specialized LLCs designed to allow you to manage multiple separate LLCs under one master, umbrella LLC. These can be very useful if you don’t want to set up a separate LLC for every individual business you run.
Decide if a Series LLC is right for your new business.
Professional Montana LLCs
Some states, including Montana, allow certain occupations to form “Professional LLCs.” These types of businesses typically have special requirements and licensing. The MT Secretary of State does not list the professions that can form professional LLCs.
Form a Foreign LLC in Montana
If your business is already operating in another state and expanding to Montana, you’ll need to form a foreign LLC.
More information on Montana filing and licensing requirements here
What to Do After Forming Your Montana LLC
Want to know your next steps after creating a new LLC in Montana? We’ve got you covered. Here’s our guide to understanding your ongoing requirements, setting up new bank accounts, protecting your business name, getting accounting in place and more.
Other 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 of the Secretary of State and find the right name. Includes information on naming rules, fictitious names, reserving a Montana LLC name and more.
How to appoint a Registered Agent to your new LLC or change to a different Registered Agent. Includes information on Registered Agent rules and searching forMontana Registered Agents.
How to understand the various fees you’ll need to pay and the requirements you’ll need to meet for both federal and Montana rules. Includes details of Employer Identification Numbers (EINs), Montana and federal business licenses, annual reports and more.
How to understand the various taxes you will need to pay to the federal and Montana government. Includes details of federal taxes like income and self-employment, and Montana taxes like sales tax and income tax.