How to Form a Montana LLC

By Bazal Razzaq

Chief Editor

Updated: September 11, 2023, 12:30pm

Editorial Note: We earn a commission if you use the services recommended on this page. Commissions do not affect our opinions or recommendations.

Montana LLC

Looking for ways to form a Montana LLC? Well, you’re at the right place! Our guide discovers how you can create a Montana LLC in the best way possible.

First and foremost, one essential fact to understand about forming an LLC in Montana is that its business filing system is completely online. You’ll need to set up an ePass account with the state before you get anything done. Ensure you handle this before filing any legal or official documents with the state.

#1 Select a name for your Montana LLC

Before starting your formation process, you need to choose the perfect legally compliant name for your company. This name will also be included in your Articles of Organization document as well as other relevant paperwork.

Some general facts to keep in mind before picking a name for your Montana LLC are:

  • Pick a name that’s related to the products and services you’re offering. Having a clear, original, and unique name is always a plus one with LLCs.

  • Also, make sure that the name you choose is easy to remember and spell. Avoid using complex spellings or obscure words that may confuse or intimidate potential customers.

  • This one’s probably the most important, but make sure to include terms like “LLC” at the end of your LLC name. It should end with one of the following short forms to comply with Montana’s naming regulations:
  1. Limited Liability Company
  2. Limited Company
  3. L.L.C. 
  4. L.C.
  5. LC
  6. LLC(Most entrepreneurs stick with this one)
  • Avoid using words like “corporation,” “bank,” and “university” that may be restrictive in nature or require additional approvals and documentation. 

  • Similarly, refrain from using terms like “association,” “corporation,” “incorporated,” or any other abbreviations of either term (“assoc.” “corp.” or “inc.”)

  • It goes without saying, but avoid using any rude, obscene, or vulgar words that may negatively impact your brand image.

  • Make sure that your chosen business name isn’t the same as any other registered company’s domain name. If unsure, you can visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database and then make a decision accordingly. Or, do a quick name search on the Montana Secretary of State’s website. 

If you still don’t feel confident about your chosen LLC name, here’s a complete list of Montana naming rules and regulations

If you do have a legally compliant name in mind but aren’t ready to form your LLC just yet, there’s always an option to reserve it by filing a Reservation of Business Name online with the Montana Secretary of State. The filing fee is $10, and the form holds your name for up to 120 days. 

Also, always consider checking if your name’s URL is available. Even if you don’t think your company will ever need a webpage, fat chances are, it probably will. You should at least reserve the option of having one in the future by buying a domain name now. 

Lastly, if you don’t wish to use your official business name(one that’s listed in your formation documents) when doing business in the real world, you always have the option of using a Trade Name(more popularly known as an assumed name or DBA).

You simply need to register your DBA with the Montana Secretary of State. You have the option to file online mail by filing a Certification of Assumed Business Name. The filing fee is $20.

#2 Create a business plan for your company

A business plan is a written document that outlines the company’s goals, strategies, and operational details. It serves as a roadmap for the business and is typically used for internal planning and external communication with potential investors, lenders, or partners. While it isn’t a mandatory requirement in Montana, we’d still suggest drafting one. 

Here’s an idea of what you can include in your Montana LLC business plan,

  1. The name, address, and contact details of your LLC

  2. A brief summary outlining the mission and unique values of your LLC

  3. Financial forecasts, including income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow projections.

  4. Research analysis about your target market, competitors, and industry trends.
  5. Your Products or Services

  6. Funding Request, if any

  7. Marketing and Sales Strategy

  8. Appendices(any additional information)

#3 Appoint a registered agent

Your Montana LLC needs a registered agent to receive all important legal documentation and notifications, such as annual renewal forms or service of process notices, on behalf of you and your business. Like all other U.S. states, in Montana, it’s mandatory that you have an individual or entity authorized to receive government ordinances, tax forms, as well as lawsuit notices. 

Are you confused about who can be a registered agent for your Montana LLC?

Usually, you have the following options when it comes to choosing a statutory agent for your Montana LLC:

  • Be your own registered agent.

  • Another business entity.

  • Hire a registered agent service.

  • An individual within the company(manager/employee/member)

  • An Attorney, lawyer, or legal facility.

The list doesn’t end here; to be a registered agent in Montana, one should:

  1. Be an individual or business with a Montana street address.

  2. Be available during regular business hours(9:00 AM to 5 PM) to receive legal documents and notices

  3. Needs to give their consent to serve as the registered agent.

  4. Be at least 18 years of age.

  5. Have a physical address in Montana where they can receive legal and official documents on behalf of the business entity you represent.

  6. Have the legal authority to accept legal and official documentation on behalf of your LLC and forward it to the appropriate parties within the company.

When it comes to pricing, you can expect to spend anywhere from $50 to as much as $300 per year.

#4 Prepare and file your Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State

To officially register your LLC in Montana, you need to file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. You can do it yourself or hire an attorney to do it for you. Even though it sounds like a complicated and long process, it simply involves filing a basic form. 

To prepare your Articles of Organization form, you need the following details:

  1. The name and address of your Montana LLC

  2. Registered agent’s name, address, and contact details.

  3. The main purpose of your LLC

  4. The number of shares authorized

  5. The management structure of your company

  6. Check the boxes to indicate whether your business is a nonprofit, series, or professional LLC. 

  7. The signature of the organizer(person forming the LLC)

You have the option to file online. Here’s how you can do it with ease,

  1.  Select “Articles of Organization for Domestic Limited Liability Company,” 

  2. Log in or create an ePass account, 

  3. Fill out the required fields.

The filing fee is $35, payable to the Montana Secretary of State.

Once you’re done with your application, the state will review your filing, and once they’ve stamped their approval, your LLC will officially become a legal business entity.

#5 Apply for an EIN(Employer Identification Number) with the IRS

For the next step in this LLC formation process, you need to obtain a federal Employer Identification Number from the IRS(Internal Revenue Service) for free. This nine-digit number(formatted as XX-XXXXXXX) is quite similar to the Social Security Number(SSN) and identifies your LLC for taxation purposes. It also keeps track of your company’s tax reporting. 

The main purpose of a federal EIN is to help with the following purposes:

  1. Hire employees

  2. Apply for business licenses and permits

  3. Conduct daily business operations

  4. Meeting federal and state tax obligations

  5. Opening professional business bank accounts

You can get your EIN for free through the IRS website, either online, or you can download the form and then mail it to the IRS at the address listed below:

Internal Revenue Service

Attn: EIN Operation

Cincinnati, OH 45999 

Fax: (855) 641-6935

#6 Set an Operating Agreement

Even though it isn’t a legal requirement in Montana to have an operating agreement for your LLC, most successful ones do! An operating agreement is like a rulebook for your business that highlights financial projections, voting rights, roles and responsibilities, terms of dissolution, and more. A well-drafted agreement often comes in handy when there’s a fight, confusion, or misunderstanding between a member/owner of your LLC. 

In case of a lawsuit or any legal trouble, if you have a solid agreement in hand, the court judgment could rarely affect/alter the base of your LLC.

Here are some key elements to include in your Florida LLC operating agreement:

  1. Name and physical business location of the LLC

  2. Names, address, and contact details of members/owners 
  3. The intended duration of your Montana LLC

  4. Name, address, and contact details of the registered agent

  5. Details about the Articles of Organization

  6. Business values and mission

  7. Contributors to the LLC and their respective shares

  8. Ownership percentage, voting rights, and profit distribution for each member/owner

  9. Allocation of profits and losses

  10. Process for adding and removing members/owners

  11. LLC administration and decision-making

  12. Terms of dissolution

  13. Clauses related to indemnification and liability

#7 Submit your Statement of Information(annual report)

All LLCs in Montana need to file an annual report online with the Secretary of State by April 15 each year with a filing fee of $20.

Montana fines LLCs $15 for late filings. Additionally, the state may dissolve your LLC at any point of time after December 1 of each year if you fail to file an annual report.

Final Word

Forming an LLC is one thing, but maintaining it is another. Once your Montana LLC is up and running, you need to go ahead with the rest of the formalities, like, 

  1. Opening a business bank account.

  2. Getting a business credit card.

  3. Applying for business licenses and permits

  4. Buying business insurance.

  5. Safeguarding your name and logo with a trademark.

Also, if you plan on hiring employees for your business, you need to stay compliant and focus on doing the following,

  1. Obtain your EIN (Employee Identification Number).

  2. Ask your employees to fill out the Employee Eligibility Form

  3. Set up a process for the collection and payment of taxes.

  4. Make sure you have workers’ compensation insurance.

  5. Report to the state about new hires within 20 days of hiring them.

Well, for the bottom line, we’d just say: Just complete the correct paperwork, pay the right fee, and keep everything in good order. This way, your Montana LLC can thrive for a long time!

  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Frequently Asked Questions​

Yes, but you may need to register your Montana LLC as a foreign LLC in other states where you conduct business. Each state has its own rules and fees for foreign LLC registration.

While Montana doesn’t legally require an operating agreement, it’s highly recommended. An operating agreement outlines the management structure, member roles, and operational procedures of your LLC, providing clarity and protection.

Yes, business insurance can protect your LLC from liability and unexpected events. General liability, property, and professional liability insurance are common types to consider.

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