This guide will outline everything you need to know about reserving an LLC name in Montana and how to get started when you’re ready.
Your company name is important. It’s your first impression, and it’s how people will remember you. You don’t want to be the business with a forgettable name. So, when you’ve got that perfect name in mind, that clever alliteration or meaningful acronym, you might think about reserving it before someone else does.
Naming your company is one of the first official steps when starting an LLC in Montana. In certain situations, it may be beneficial to reserve a business name while you’re preparing to bring your business idea to life.
In this article, we’ll explain when reserving a business name can be helpful and guide you through all the steps involved.
No, although you have the opportunity to reserve your LLC name in Montana, you aren’t required to do so. Feel free to skip this step if you’re ready to register your business right away.
Maybe it took you sleepless nights of brainstorming, or maybe you thought of it while sitting at a traffic light. No matter how you came up with your memorable LLC name, you’ll want to make sure that it’s available and ready to use when you file your Montana LLC registration.
You have the option to reserve your LLC name, but it’ll cost you a $10 fee. Overall, it’s cheaper to skip this fee and simply start your business, which will lock in your name automatically.
However, there are cases where you may not be ready to officially start your business. Filing an application to reserve your business name gives you “dibs” and ensures that competitors aren’t able to snag it while you’re preparing for launch.
If your business name is unique, including unusual spellings or characters and/or family names, it may not be necessary to reserve a Montana business name ahead of time. Plus, paying the extra state fee to reserve your business name could be a waste of resources if you’re planning to launch your business soon after.
Got a name in mind? Perfect. Follow these steps to reserve it.
Before submitting your application to reserve your business name, you first need to check name availability by performing a Montana LLC name search. All you have to do is search for your desired name using the Secretary of State’s Business Search tool and see if it’s in use. Don’t forget that you also need to comply with other business entity name restrictions from the state of Montana (find them all here). All good? Then check to see if your LLC name is available. If it is, let out a sigh of relief — you’re ready to reserve it or form your LLC.
Alright, let’s lock down this name. Go to the Secretary of State’s Online Business Filing System. If you don’t have an account, you’ll need to create one. After you’re logged in, select the name reservation option from your dashboard and follow the instructions to enter your information.
Reserving a business name will cost you $10, and since you’ll be filing online, you can pay it with a debit or credit card.
While claiming a name takes you one more step toward forming your LLC, remember that it does not constitute any type of business registration. You’ll still need to file your Articles of Organization with the state before you can begin doing business. Need some help with that? Check out our comprehensive guide here.
Anyone planning to do business within the state of Montana can reserve an entity name, and you can keep that name reserved for as long as you please, just as long as you continue filing renewals and paying additional fees.
Filing your name reservation prevents another entity from using that name to conduct business in the state during the time of your hold. An entity name reservation in the state of Montana lasts 120 days, during which you have exclusive rights to that name. But say your time runs out and you’re not ready to start your business yet. No sweat! You can file another name reservation and pay an additional $10 for another 120 days, and you can do this as many times as necessary.
What if you have a stroke of genius and come up with something better? You can cancel your reservation, or transfer it to someone else, at no cost ($15 if you’re a foreign LLC). All of this is available through the Online Business Filing System.
Your LLC name is an important part of the business. If you’re not ready to launch your business, but you’ve got a perfect name and you think someone else might claim it, consider reserving it.
However, if your business is ready for takeoff, use our comprehensive guide to forming an LLC in Montana to get started instead. This way, rather than paying an additional $10 for the name reservation application, you’ll only pay the one-time $70 Montana LLC formation fee to claim your name and form the LLC at the same time. $10 isn’t a fortune by any means, but this will at least save you the hassle of reserving a name and registering an LLC separately.
As a business owner, you have a lot to think about. Pile on the responsibility of handling state correspondence, LLC tax information, and more while keeping your LLC compliant, and you’ve got yourself a pretty full plate.
Sometimes the best move is to let someone else take care of the paperwork for you. This way, you can sleep easy knowing you’ll never miss a deadline or compliance requirement with the state. While LegalZoom is by far the most well-known LLC formation service and has decent overall value, ZenBusiness is an entrepreneur favorite. Other than that, IncFile and Northwest are two other popular options with appeals of their own.
Montana doesn’t have too many restrictions regarding the terms you can use in your business name, but it does have a few. For instance, you can’t use terms that refer to other business entity types, and you need to avoid terms that imply an association with banking, insurance, or government entities as well.
No. In fact, Alabama is the only state that requires entrepreneurs to reserve a business name before forming an LLC. In Montana and the other 48 states, this is an optional and largely unnecessary step.
The state of Montana is home to more than 105,000 small businesses. Entrepreneurs of all backgrounds and business types find that Montana is a great place to own and operate a small business.
The Montana chapter of the Small Business Development Center is a great place to start, as they offer a wide variety of tools and resources for Montana LLCs. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Montana District Office is another valuable resource, and the state’s small business resource page also has plenty of good info.
The overall costs of operating a Montana LLC can vary considerably based on the specifics of your business. However, we created a helpful guide to help you identify and plan for every expense your LLC will face in this state.
The answer to this question lies in your personal preferences, but we can give some general pointers. An attorney will cost the most by a mile, but also provides expertise you won’t find with the other options. The DIY route is free of charge but can require quite a bit of legwork and provides no peace of mind that the process is being completed correctly.
Using an LLC service means your business will be formed by professionals who know what they’re doing, while also costing significantly less than a lawyer. This “best of both worlds” attribute is what makes LLC services our preferred option.
How to Reserve an LLC Name in all 50 States
We break down the LLC Name Reservation process for all 50 states. View all of our guides below.
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