Start a Business in Montana
Starting a business in Montana is easy. All you need to do is file a few forms with the Montana Secretary of State and start running your business. Below, we show you how to get started and walk you through some of your options.
One option is, of course, to stop reading and just hire us to start your business for you. At Northwest, we form businesses and provide registered agent service throughout the US. That’s our business, and obviously we recommend starting your business in a certain way. We call it “Starting a Business the Right Way."
Starting your business the right way means hiring a registered agent to form your LLC or corporation so you can protect your privacy and receive the care your business needs to stay active. If you hire us to start your Montana business, we’ll be your registered agent, provide Privacy by Default®, a business address, mail forwarding and local Corporate Guide® service for life.
How to Start a Business in Montana
You file articles of incorporation for a Montana corporation or articles of organization for a Montana LLC with the MT Secretary of State.
You obtain a federal tax ID number (FEIN or EIN) with the IRS after you have confirmation and filed articles from the State of Montana showing your approved Montana business.
Opening a business banking account under your new Montana business name should be easy with these two items.
If you’re going to have employees or need to withhold sales tax, you will probably need to register with the MT Department of Revenue and the MT Unemployment Insurance Division. We provide all these links in your online account.
If your business trade requires a license, you’ll have to apply for a license with the Montana licensing board. Most businesses don’t, but if you do, quick links and information for Montana’s One-Stop Business Licensing system are in your online account.
Some local cities or counties have a general license, but most don’t.
You obtain a local trade license if the city or county you’re going to be working in requires it.
If you’re going to have an office or shop you might need an approval from the city zoning for your type of business in that location.
If you get overwhelmed, just get your business pulling in money and worry about regulations later.
Are You A Do-It-Yourselfer? You Can Save Some Money:
If you want to start a business in Montana yourself, you can just hire us as your Montana registered agent, and you’ll instantly have the Montana LLC or corporation forms to file along with filing instructions on the quickest, cheapest, and most efficient way to incorporate a Montana corporation or form a Montana LLC. You’ll get the ongoing support of our online tools, reminders and the support of a professional Montana registered agent service.
Montana LLC vs Corporation
LLCs are great for small business owners because they’re easier to maintain and offer flexible management structures. Plus, LLCs have fewer annual requirements. Many large business owners like corporations because they offer the option of selling stock, which helps attract top investors.
But, what about Montana? Any pros and cons for a Montana LLC vs a Montana corporation?
In terms of initial and maintenance fees, there aren’t any significant advantages to starting a Montana LLC versus a Montana corporation. Both entities cost $70 to file the Articles of Incorporation OR Articles of Organization. In addition, LLCs and corporations are required to submit annual reports ($20) each year.
During tax season, being the owner of a Montana LLC definitely has its perks. Staying true to tradition, Montana C corporations are subject to double taxation—first on the state level, then through shareholder returns. The corporate tax rate is fixed at 6.75%. Personal income rates range between 1% and 6.9%, often resulting in lower tax burdens for LLCs that keep their default tax status.
In addition to paying taxes on annual revenues, Montana also assesses personal and commercial property taxes for corporations and LLCs. Personal property (such as equipment and furniture) is based on the total property value. Commercial fees (i.e.: offices and retail stores) are based on the anticipated income benefits of the property, costs of necessary improvements, OR the value of other similar properties. However, the state offers a few incentives to help reduce annual costs. For example, businesses that remodel might be eligible for reduced taxes during the first five years AFTER construction.
Montana also offers great privacy benefits for LLCs. When you form a Montana LLC, the secretary of state will only release the business name, your registered agent information, and primary business address. All personal information such as names and addresses will remain confidential. If someone wanted additional information, the interested party would need to subpoena your registered agent.
If you want a corporation, you file Montana Articles of Incorporation:
- An incorporating Montana ending such as Inc, corporation, or incorporated
- Number of Montana corporation shares you would like to authorize
- The name, address, and signature of the Montana incorporator
- The registered agent of the proposed Montana corporation
- If you do not specify a delayed effective date, the incorporation is effective when the articles are filed
- You must list a contact phone number and email on the MT articles of incorporation.
Montana does not require original signatures on new MT corporation filings. The filed document will be sent to the address on the check used to pay the fee.
Start Your Montana Business!GET STARTED
If you want a LLC, you file Montana Articles of Organization:
- The business name must have a limited liability company ending or variation of it.
- New Montana LLCs name must be different than already registered Montana companies.
- Duration of the Montana LLC may be perpetual or limited.
- The purpose of the Montana limited liability company.
- The Montana registered agent and the physical address.
- The LLCs principal address
- The name, title, and signature of the Montana LLC organizer.
- If the limited liability company is to be managed by one or more managers or members. List the members or managers names and addresses.
- If the members are liable for the LLCs debts and obligations, attach a list of the liable members and their written consent.
- If you are professional LLC, list the services you provide.
Montana does not require original signatures on filings. The Montana SOS will return the filing to the address on the check after processing.