Start a Montana LLC

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LLC Montana Experts and 5 Steps to Your MT LLC

There’s nothing more satisfying than watching an idea grow into your dream business. And if you’re opening a business in Montana, you’ve likely considered an LLC. Montana LLCs offer personal asset protection and operational flexibility, so they’re a popular option for Montana entrepreneurs.

Of course, you may have questions about where to start and how to form your LLC. We’re here to help. We can simplify this process by helping you register your Montana LLC, or you can simply follow our step-by-step directions below.

How to Start an LLC in Montana

5 Steps to register a Montana LLC

In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to start your LLC, going through each step in detail. We’ll also how our services can help ease the burden of launching your LLC.

This guide aims to help you set up your new Montana LLC successfully and correctly. We’ll walk you through everything. Starting with registering your new business. Securing and reserving your name. Designating a registered agent, drafting an operating agreement, and setting up a tax account with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

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1. Name your Montana LLC

One of the first decisions you’ll need to make in any business is deciding on a name for your company. The name for your LLC should meet multiple criteria. It should help market and sell your brand, be memorable and distinct, and adhere to all Montana LLC naming regulations.

If you already have a name (or a few) in mind, that’s great! We suggest you compile a list of naming options before diving into this step. You’ll want to have a few options that you like before reviewing the Montana LLC naming guidelines.

When selecting a name for your LLC, you’ll need to make sure it’s unique. In other words, you have to ensure that no other company in Montana already has the name you want.

Search Your New Montana LLC name and availability

How do you find out if your name is available? You follow the instructions on our Montana business name search page. The search should bring up results for any companies with names that match your keywords. Continue with this search until you’ve found a name that’s available. Ensure that you (and all of your LLC members) agree on your new name.

Montana Requires an LLC Designator to a Company Name

Once you have your name, it’s time to add the required LLC designator to its end. In Montana, you must add an LLC designator to your name. This means you’ll add a suffix like “LLC” or “Limited Company” after your name.

Here’s a full list of all legal LLC designators:

The word “limited” may be abbreviated as “ltd.,” and the word “company” may be abbreviated as “co.”. Keep in mind there are certain words that can’t be used in your name like “corporation.”

Reserve a Business Name for Your Montana LLC

Now that you have your name and LLC designator, you have the option to reserve the name to prevent another company from scooping it up before your LLC is registered. If you’d rather not deal with this process yourself, we have a business name reservation service that can handle it for you. As part of the service, we also check to see if your desired name is available.

Reserve a domain for your new business

Something else to think about with your LLC name is the availability of website domains. Be sure to double-check through a domain name search on whether you’ll be able to use your business name through some sort of domain as well. We can help you reserve your website domain name once you’ve made your choice.

A few other things you want to think about are trademarks and a DBA.

Check your new Montana LLC name with the USPTO

To ensure you’re entirely in the clear with your business name, visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office website to see whether your business name or logo is federally trademarked. Trademarks can also happen at the state level.

To find out if your desired business name is already trademarked and/or apply for a trademark of your own, go to the trademark section of the Montana Secretary of State website.

File a DBA in Montana

If you want your company to do business under a name other than its original name, you can get a  “Doing Business As” (DBA) name. It’s often used when a business is unveiling a new store or product line and wants to differentiate it from the main name.

To apply for a DBA, you can use our Montana DBA page and we can handle applying for your DBA through our simplified DBA service.

2. Appoint a registered agent in Montana

Once your name is selected and reserved, you’re ready to decide on a registered agent for your LLC. A Montana registered agent is a person or business entity that will receive legal notices (such as subpoenas) and official correspondence from the Montana Secretary of State’s office.

Every LLC in Montana must appoint a registered agent to their company. This registered agent must have an operating (business) address in Montana and be available at this address during normal hours of operation (roughly 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. local time). This address must be a physical address since legal paperwork might be served here and cannot be a P.O. box.

Registered agent service for your Montana LLC

In Montana, you can serve as your registered agent. Many LLCs with few members or even one member opt to do this. However, there are some advantages to having a registered agent service in Montana, such as the freedom to leave the office.

A registered agent must be present at the office during all normal business hours, as well as the ability to move your office location without having to update your registered agent address with the state.

3. File Montana Articles of Organization

To officially start your LLC, you’ll need to file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. To complete your Articles, you’ll need the following details:

Let Professionals Help Your Filing

Filing official government documents like this can be intimidating, which is why we’re here. If you opt for one of our business formation plans, our team can handle the filing for you to make sure it’s done quickly and correctly the first time.

Keep Your MO LLC’s Paperwork Organized

If you have us file your Articles of Organization, once the state approves your LLC all of the relevant paperwork will be available from your ZenBusiness dashboard, where you can keep it and other important paperwork digitally organized. You’ll also want to keep your Articles in a safe location along with your other important documents, such as your operating agreement, member certificates, contracts, compliance checklists, transfer ledger, etc. We offer a customized business kit to help you keep these important documents organized and looking professional.

4. Create an Operating Agreement

Whenever you’re forming an LLC, it’s good to have an operating agreement in place. Your operating agreement is an internal document that can serve as a guidebook for your company. It details how your company should be run, how operations are managed, and how decisions and voting structures work. Operating agreements can be particularly important for LLCs with multiple members.

Although operating agreements are not required by Montana law, they’re strongly encouraged. Even if you’re the sole member of your LLC, an operating agreement can help legally demonstrate how your business should be run if you are incapacitated or unable to run your business for a set amount of time.

Benefits of a Montana LLC operating agreement

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the benefits creating an operating agreement can offer your LLC:

Montana LLC operating agreement template

If you’re unsure as to how to begin creating an operating agreement for your Montana LLC, we offer a customizable template to help get you started.

5. Apply for an EIN

The last step you’ll take to make your LLC official in Montana is to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN). What is an EIN? Your company’s EIN is essentially a Tax ID Number (also referred to as a Federal Tax Identification Number) for your business. It helps identify your LLC and allows you to file your taxes, apply for business bank accounts, and hire and pay your employees.

You can get your LLC’s Employer Identification Number through the IRS website, by mail, or by fax, but if you’re unfond of dealing with that particular government agency, we can get it for you. Our EIN service is quick and eliminates the hassle.

While most LLCs will want to secure an EIN, you may not have to complete this step if you’re the sole member of your LLC and have no employees. While not mandatory for all self-employed individuals, securing an EIN does have its benefits. For example, once you’ve secured an EIN, you’ll be able to open a business bank account.

Open a Business Bank Account for your Montana LLC

Having separate accounts for your business and your personal banking is critical for sorting out your finances at tax time and helps you avoid commingling funds. Commingling funds can not only make your taxes more difficult, but it could also be used against you if someone takes you to court to challenge whether you and your LLC members are truly separate entities.

Banking payments and invoicing for your new LLC business in Montana

We offer a discounted bank account for your business. This allows for unlimited transactions, online banking, a debit card, and more. When you want to authorize others in your business to use the account, we offer a banking resolution template to simplify the process.

Manage your new MT LLC’s finances and client payments

For further help managing your new business’s finances, try ZenBusiness Money. It can help you create invoices, receive payments, transfer money, and manage clients all in one place.

Montana LLC FAQs

Montana Business Resources

Start an LLC in Your State

When it comes to compliance, costs, and other factors, these are popular states for forming an LLC.