Whether you’re searching for the right business name or registering your LLC with the Montana Secretary of State, Incfile can help. We have all the information you need to know on how to conduct a Montana business search, plus LLC naming rules, assumed names and registering your business.
General Rules for LLC Names
These rules typically apply to all LLCs, regardless of what state they’re formed in.
Your preferred business name cannot be used by any other LLC or formed entity in the State of Montana. This is why it's imperative to perform a Montana business entity search before you begin the filing process.
Your LLC name should be original, but that’s not enough. It also cannot be similar to the name of a corporation or LLC in Montana. For example, you cannot use the following factors to say your name is different and distinguishable from the name of another business:
- Suffixes, such as Corporation, Company, Incorporated, Incorporation, Limited, Corp., Co., Inc., Ltd., LLC, etc.
- Definite articles, such as “A,” “An,” or “The”
- The conjunction "And," or “&"
- The singular, plural or possessive forms of words
- Abbreviations, punctuation, symbols, fonts, typefaces, etc.
All LLCs must have the words “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.” or “LLC” in their names, normally at the end of the name.
Most states will not allow you to form LLCs with names that:
- Are very similar to the name of a federal or state agency or organization (e.g., FBI, FDA, Montana Comptroller, Montana Police, Treasury, etc.)
- Suggest affiliation with a federal or state agency or organization
- Use the term “Olympic” or any terms that are trademarks of the International Olympic Committee
- Imply a purpose that would be illegal for your business to carry out
Specific Rules for Montana Business Names
As mentioned above, Montana requires LLCs to comply with the general naming rules. Unlike many other states, the state of Montana doesn't require further naming regulations to be met.
How to Come Up With Business Name
Finding the perfect business name can be elusive. We have a complete guide to choosing the right business name, but essentially, you'll want to choose a name that will:
Need help coming up with business name ideas? Try our free Business Name Generator.
Montana Business Search
Once you have an idea of your preferred business name, you’ll need to perform a Montana business entity search to make sure the name hasn’t been taken by another formed business. Incfile offers a fast, simple and convenient tool to look up your proposed business name. The Montana Secretary of State also has a tool that lets you search the State of Montana business name registry to see whether your desired name is available or if another business is using your preferred name.
Trademarks and Service Marks
You must be careful that your Montana LLC name doesn’t infringe on the trademark or service mark of another business. The easiest way to make sure your proposed business name doesn’t do that is to complete a trademark search through Incfile. If no one else is using it, you can even register it as a trademark yourself.
Montana DBA or Assumed Name
You may do business under a different name from your legal LLC name. In some states, this is called a DBA (doing business as), trade name or fictitious name. In Montana, it's referred to as an assumed name. You may decide to use a Montana assumed name for a variety of reasons.
For example, your business might be called Western Adventures, LLC, and under that company, you have a chain called Rocky Mountain Trails. You could file for an assumed name just for that company. You'll need to submit a Registration of Assumed Business Name to do business under an assumed or fictitious name with the Montana Secretary of State. Or you can have Incfile do it on your behalf through our DBA service.
Note: A trade name is not the same as a trademark. Learn more about trademark vs. DBA.
Register Your Business Name with the Montana Secretary of State (SOS)
Once you’ve completed a Montana business entity search, checked availability, followed the naming rules and decided whether you need a trade name, you can register your LLC name. There are a couple of ways to do this.