How to Form a Montana LLC

Navigate the process of establishing an LLC in Montana with our detailed guide. Learn to select a unique business name, file Articles of Organization, appoint a Registered Agent, and acquire an EIN.

Get insights into Montana-specific regulations and requirements to ensure your business’s success.

Forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Montana is an easy process, but it involves a few steps. 

How to Form an LLC in Montana for $0 + state fee 

How to Form an LLC in Montana

To form an LLC in Montana for free + state fee, we have listed 3 options to consider: 

You can go online and visit the MontanaSecretary of State’s website and do it yourself or you can use the ‘free’ service from Incfile or ZenBusiness.

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  • Northwest $39 + state fee  ‘Privacy by Default’

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Forming an LLC in Montana for $0 (DIY Summary)

Here’s a brief step-by-step guide to help you form an LLC in Montana with the DIY process, along with relevant links to official resources:

Step 1: Choose a Name for Your LLC

The first step in forming an LLC in Montana is to choose a unique and recognizable name for your business. Ensure that the name complies with Montana’s naming requirements, which include using the words “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” or “L.L.C.”

Include a link to the Montana Secretary of State’s business name search tool, which allows you to check the availability of your desired LLC name: Montana Secretary of State Business Name Search.

Step 2: Appoint a Registered Agent

Montana law requires every LLC to have a registered agent who can accept legal documents on behalf of the company.

The registered agent must have a physical address in Montana. You can act as your own registered agent or hire a professional registered agent service.

Provide a link to a list of registered agent service providers in Montana, such as Incfile’s Montana Registered Agent Service.

Step 3: File Articles of Organization

To officially form your LLC in Montana, you need to file Articles of Organization with the Montana Secretary of State.

These articles provide basic information about your LLC, such as its name, address, registered agent, and the names of its members or managers.

Include a link to the Montana Secretary of State’s website, where you can find the necessary forms and filing instructions: Montana Secretary of State Business Services.

Step 4: Create an LLC Operating Agreement

While not required by Montana law, it is highly recommended to create an operating agreement for your LLC.

This agreement outlines the ownership and management structure of your company, as well as the rights and responsibilities of its members.

Including a link to a template or a guide on how to create an operating agreement can be helpful for readers.

Step 5: Obtain an EIN from the IRS

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a unique identifier for your LLC that is required for tax purposes.

You can obtain an EIN from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by completing an online application. Provide a link to the IRS website’s EIN application page: IRS EIN Online Application.

Step 6: Comply with Montana Tax and Regulatory Requirements

Depending on the nature of your LLC’s business activities, you may need to obtain additional licenses, permits, or registrations from Montana state agencies.

Include links to relevant resources, such as the Montana Department of Revenue’s website for tax-related information: Montana Department of Revenue Business Tax Information.

Step 7: Keep Your LLC in Good Standing

Once your LLC is formed, you must comply with ongoing requirements to maintain its good standing.

These requirements include filing an Annual Report with the Montana Secretary of State and keeping your LLC’s business records up to date.

Provide a link to the Montana Secretary of State’s Annual Report filing page: Montana Secretary of State Annual Report Filing.

Forming an LLC in Montana can be a straightforward process if you follow these steps carefully.

Remember to consult with a legal professional or a business advisor for personalized guidance based on your specific circumstances.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Always consult with a qualified professional before making any business decisions or taking any legal actions.

Additional Resources

In recent years, Montana has gained a solid reputation as a great place to start a business.

Montana has been named the best state for starting small businesses. In the same year, records were set for new ventures. For Montana LLCs, there are many options.

This guide will show you how to create an LLC in Montana and show you how to launch your business quickly and easily.

If you want to use an LLC service, visit our list of the best LLC services in Montana.

Before Starting Your Montana LLC

When establishing an LLC in Montana, you must first take care of some important details. For more information on submitting LLC documents, please read the following sections.

Register for an Online ePass account

It is important to remember that Montana’s business filing system is completely online. This means that you will need an email account to file with the state. Before you file any documents with the state, make sure that you have this set up.

Research and Reserve LLC Business Name

Double-checking the availability of your business name is a good idea. It would be a waste of time and resources to try to register an LLC only to find out that the name is already in use. This can be avoided by using a number of searches on the Montana Secretary of State website.

Once you have confirmed that your name is suitable for use, log into your ePass account to complete the online name reservation form. It is not mandatory, but it is a great way for you to ensure your chosen business name will be available once your LLC preparation and file are complete. Filing costs $10, and your name is reserved for 120 days. .

Register Your Own Web Domain

Before you form a Montana LLC, it is worth setting up and running your own website domain. In today’s business world, a professional website is essential. Potential customers are particularly savvy about researching products and companies. It is important to make it easy for potential customers to find you online as well as to learn more about the business.

Hire a Registered Agent

Any LLC in Montana must have a registered agent. This agent will be able to receive all necessary legal documents for the company. You can either act as the registered agent of your LLC or appoint another member. The agent must be at minimum of 18 years old and reside in Montana.

Hiring a registered agent can be a good alternative if you don’t meet these requirements or feel it is too difficult. Prices vary, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $300 annually.

File Your Montana LLC Documents

Once you are ready, you can go online and submit your LLC form. While domestic entities file Articles of Organization (for foreign entities), a Certificate of Authority is required. Flat processing fees of $70 are charged to both domestic and international LLCs. The processing of your documents can take between one and two weeks. Once your documents are processed, you can begin planning and operating your new business.

How do you grow your LLC?

A series of critical steps are required to maintain a successful LLC. These sections will discuss some key considerations that you should make for your Montana LLC’s future.

Annual Reports

Montana requires LLCs to file annual reports. Like other forms, your documents can be completed online via the Montana ePass system. To avoid any additional fees, the annual fee is $20. You must submit your report by April 15th.

Pay taxes as required

You don’t have to file additional taxes if your LLC is treated as a pass-through entity. If you treat your LLC like a corporation, you must file separate tax documents.

Register for an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

Even if your LLC is a single member, you can still get an EIN. An EIN is a better option to avoid any unnecessary risk or potential privacy concerns. You might also call it a Federal Employer Identification Number, (FEIN), or Federal Tax Identification Number(FTIN), but these terms all refer to the same thing. You can obtain an EIN for free from the IRS website.

Complete/Create an LLC Operating Contract

It is important to note that Montana doesn’t require LLCs to establish operating agreements. They are still an excellent idea. Operating agreements are a blueprint for your business. They set the tone and outline how it will operate, its financial obligations, and day-to-day operations. Operating agreements are great for avoiding future conflict or confusion since they clearly define the roles and expectations of each member.

You create a solid, legal foundation for your brand by creating an LLC operating arrangement. These agreements can make it easier for you to open a business account, or make your case for the good standing of your LLC.

Most Frequently Asked Questions

What is an LLC?

A limited liability company combines the flexibility and ease of a sole proprietorship or partnership structure with the greater risk protection offered by a corporate structure. LLC owners, also known as “members”, have limited liability. This means that their personal liability to the company is limited to what they have invested. It does not cover losses or debts beyond that amount.

Members of an LLC are subject to taxes by default. This is the same as for owners of a general partnership or sole proprietorship. This structure is commonly referred to as a “pass-through” tax structure. If the LLC meets certain criteria, it can choose to be taxed either as a C corporation Corp (S-corp), or S corporation (S-corp). Small business owners prefer LLCs because of their simplicity and flexibility.

What is the cost of a Montana LLC?

A $70 fee must be paid by domestic and international entities wishing to establish a Montana LLC.

What is the problem with finding forms that I can download for my Montana LLC business?

To quickly and easily submit LLC paperwork, you can use Montana ePass.

If the LLC has no income, do I need to file taxes?

Only if your LLC is treated as a corporation must corporations file annual corporate tax returns, regardless of whether they have earned income.

Do Montana LLCs file annual reports?

Yes, Montana requires LLCs to submit an annual report using the online system. A $20 annual fee is charged. However, you may be subject to additional penalties if your report is not filed by April 15.


author avatar
Brian Wilson Writer and Editor
Brian Wilson is the content manager and founder of LLC Radar. Brian grew up in North Texas, just outside of Dallas, and has a bachelor's degree in business from Southern Methodist University. Since graduating from SMU, Brian has gained over 10 years of experience in business writing for several online publications. Brian resides in Plano, Texas and he can be reached by email: Phone: 972-776-4050
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