How to Register an LLC in Montana: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re thinking about starting a business in the big sky state, a limited liability company (LLC) is a great structure to choose. By following these six steps, you can register your LLC in Montana and get your business off the ground. 

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Montana LLC Quick Facts 

  • Forming an LLC in Montana provides tax flexibility and personal liability protection. 
  • In order to register an LLC in Montana, you will need to file Articles of Organization.
  • The filing fee for starting an LLC in Montana is $35.
  • After forming your LLC in Montana, you will be required to submit an Annual Report.

6 Steps to Register an LLC in Montana

Forming an LLC in Montana is a straightforward process, just follow these six essential steps to get your business up and running.

Ready to start your Montana LLC? Follow these steps: 

  1. Name Your Montana LLC
  2. Appoint a Registered Agent
  3. Submit Your Articles of Organization
  4. Create an Operating Agreement
  5. Obtain an EIN and Handle Taxes
  6. File a Beneficial Ownership Information Report

Step 1: Name Your Montana LLC

To get started with registering your LLC in Montana, the first step is to choose a name for your LLC. 

Montana requires that your business name: 

  • Includes the words “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” or “Limited Company”
  • Be unique and distinguishable from any other business entity registered in the state. 
  • Does not include terms that imply government affiliation or falsify your business’s purpose.

For more detailed information on naming requirements for LLCs in Montana, you can refer to the state’s official guidelines.

To ensure that your chosen name is available, you can conduct a business name search on the Montana Secretary of State’s website

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Step 2: Appoint a Registered Agent

In Montana, selecting a registered agent is a required step in registering an LLC. 

A registered agent is a designated individual or business entity that will receive important legal and tax documents on behalf of your company. 

When choosing a registered agent for your LLC in Montana, it is important to consider the following requirements:

  • The registered agent must be a business entity or a full-time resident of Montana with a physical address in the state.
  • The registered agent cannot be the LLC itself, but can be an LLC owner or an employee of the LLC. 
  • The registered agent must be present at the designated location during normal business hours. 

Who is Eligible to Serve as a Registered Agent?

The registered agent can be the LLC owner, an employee of the company, a friend, a family member, or a professional registered agent service. It is crucial to choose a reliable and responsible registered agent who can fulfill the duties required by the state of Montana.

Step 3: Submit Your Articles of Organization

To register an LLC in Montana, you must submit your Articles of Organization to the Montana Secretary of State. This filing can be done online.

The filing fee is $35.

When completing the Articles of Organization, be sure to have the following information ready:

  • Your LLC’s name and address
  • The name and address of your registered agent 
  • Your LLC management structure (manager-managed vs. member-managed) 

Quick Note: If your LLC was previously established in another state, you will need to register as a foreign LLC in Montana. You can do so by submitting a Certificate of Authority online along with a $70 filing fee. 

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement

When registering an LLC in Montana, it is important to create and finalize your LLC operating agreement. An operating agreement is a crucial document that outlines internal procedures and ownership details of the company. 

This helps ensure that LLC members are on the same page and can help prevent future conflicts. While this document does not need to be filed with the state, it is important for your LLC to keep an updated operating agreement on file.

Step 5: Obtain an EIN and Handle Taxes

Obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a crucial step in registering your LLC in Montana. An EIN allows the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to track your business for tax reporting purposes. Plus, an EIN is necessary for various purposes, including tax filing, hiring employees, and opening a business bank account.

You can obtain your EIN for free on the IRS website

In addition to obtaining an EIN, it is important to address any tax obligations specific to your business in Montana. This may include state taxes, sales taxes, or other regulatory requirements. You can learn more about the state’s business tax requirements on the Business and Income Tax Division website

Step 6: File a Beneficial Ownership Information Report 

LLCs in Montana are required to file a Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) report with the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). 

New LLCs are expected to file this report within 90 days of formation, while existing LLCs must complete the filing between January 1st, 2024, and January 1st, 2025. Failure to submit this report on time will result in a $500 per day fine.

Filing can be done online for free on the FinCEN website

Next Steps

  • Open a business bank account to manage your LLC’s finances separately from your personal assets. Lili is a great business banking option for LLCs to gain access to financial tools in just minutes. 
Sign up for Lili Banking and Accounting Services

Lili is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by Sunrise Banks N.A., Member FDIC.

  • Identify and obtain any necessary licenses and permits for your LLC’s operations. Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to obtain federal or state-specific licenses and permits to legally operate.
  • File an annual report with the Montana Secretary of State to maintain your LLC’s good standing. The annual report can be filed online along with a $20 filing fee. 
  • Secure business insurance coverage for your LLC to protect your business assets and mitigate potential risks. General liability, workers’ compensation, and property insurance are common types of coverage that many LLCs opt for. With Next Insurance, you can secure insurance coverage quickly and easily.  
Request an online quote with NEXT Insurance

Additional Tips for Success 

  • Build a Strong Network: Connecting with other entrepreneurs, mentors, advisors, and industry leaders can provide valuable support and opportunities for your LLC.
  • Keep Track of Your Compliance Requirements: Stay informed of Montana’s reporting and fee obligations to ensure your LLC remains in good standing and compliant with state regulations.
  • Plan for the Future: Establish clear goals and milestones to guide the growth and success of your LLC in Montana. Having a well-defined strategy can help you navigate challenges and seize opportunities as they arise.

Conclusion

After following the necessary steps to register an LLC in Montana, it is important to ensure that all the paperwork and fees have been submitted accurately and on time. By completing these steps diligently, you can set your business up for success in the state of Montana. Additionally, it is recommended to consult with a legal professional or business advisor to ensure compliance with Montana state laws and regulations regarding LLC formation. Completing the registration process properly will establish your LLC as a legitimate and legal entity in the state, allowing your business to operate and grow effectively.