When it comes to forming a business in the state of Montana, there are several different options. From a legal perspective, there are three main types of Montana for-profit business entities: LLCs, S Corporations or C Corporations. We believe an LLC provides just the right mix of liability protection and ease of administration for most entrepreneurs.
In order to form an LLC in the state of Montana, there are some minimum requirements you must meet. These are a completed set of Articles of Organization, a business name and a fee you pay to the Montana Secretary of State. We recommend taking some additional steps before officially forming your LLC:
- Research your target market to make sure there’s a demand for the products and services you provide.
- Read industry guides to give you a starting point in your niche.
- Create a comprehensive business plan that defines the most important aspects of your Montana business.
- Write an Operating Agreement that covers how you will run your LLC.
After you’ve created your Montana LLC, you will also need to review your business license requirements, understand ongoing filing needs, set up a separate business bank account and get an accountant.
In Montana, you register a business by completing and filing your Articles of Organization with the Montana Secretary of State via the online business portal. You will need to gather information about your business, fill out the form and send it to the Secretary of State along with your filing fee. This will formally create your LLC in Montana.
You can file your Articles of Organization via the state's online business portal or Incfile can guide you through every step of the process by getting details from you and filing the form on your behalf — for free! There’s no additional charge for our basic LLC filing service, so all you need to do is pay the Montana state filing fee.
At the time of writing the fee charged by the Montana Secretary of State is 35. You can always check the latest Montana filing fees here. You can also pay an additional $20 or $100 for expedited filing through Incfile, which will create your LLC faster. The amount of the expedited fee is dependent on how quickly you want your filing processed. Some LLC filing services do charge you extra to prepare and submit your filing documents, but at Incfile, we do this for free — so you only pay the state fee.
Once you’ve gathered all of your information together and filed your Articles of Organization (or had Incfile do it for you), it can take two to five days for the Montana Secretary of State to legally create your LLC. If you pay an additional $20 or $100 expedited fee, your LLC can be formed in as few as 24 hours, or one hour.
There are several ways to register your Montana LLC name.
- If you’re creating a new business and your business name is unique in Montana and meets the state naming rules, you simply include it in your Articles of Organization.
- If you want to change the legal name of your business, file Articles of Amendment with the MT Secretary of State.
- If you just want to do business under a different name, file a Registration of Assumed Business Name with the Montana Secretary of State, or we can do that on your behalf.
In order to prevent people from using your business name across the U.S., you should file a trademark for the name. When you're ready, we can help with the process.
In most other states, the official documents that you file to form a corporation or LLC might be known as Articles of Incorporation. In Montana, this document is called your Articles of Organization, and it performs the same functions as the Articles of Incorporation.
Yes, the State of Montana is one of the few states that offer Series LLC formation. A Series LLC is a special type of LLC where you create one “overall” business and then have individual, series LLCs within it, each counted as separate legal entities.
If you choose to form a Series LLC, the cost of filing your Articles of Organization is $35 for the parent LLC and $50 for each additional series member named in the Series LLC.
Yes, all legal business entities in Montana, including LLCs, are required to have a Registered Agent at all times. Here at Incfile, we provide a free Montana Registered Agent service for the first year if you file through us.
If you want to change your Montana Registered Agent you can do so by filing a Statement of Change with the Secretary of State. Here at Incfile, we provide a free Montana Registered Agent service for the first year if you file through us. If you’ve been using a different Registered Agent and want to switch to us, we’ll file the Statement of Change on your behalf.
If you need to know the Registered Agent of a specific Montana business, you can perform a Montana Registered Agent search within the state's online business portal.
As an LLC, any business profits you earn will be reported on your personal 1040 filing and reported and taxed as “pass-through” income. You will typically need to pay:
- Self-employment or payroll tax on all business profits
- Federal income tax on profits after you meet your tax-free allowance
- Sales tax for selling taxable products and services
Unlike many other states, Montana does not levy a sales tax on the sale of goods and services.
No businesses need to pay a tax on the sale of goods and services, as Montana doesn't have a sales tax.
Once your LLC’s sales tax application is approved, you will receive a letter with instructions on how often you must file a sales tax return and pay sales taxes. Returns and payments may be due monthly, quarterly or annually.
No. Unlike many other states, Montana does not levy a tax on the privilege of doing business within the state.
The types of business licenses you need will vary depending on your type of business, industry, location and various other factors. We can research the types of business licenses you might need for you.