How to Start an LLC in Montana by Michael H. Cohen, Esq.

How to Start an LLC in Montana

Ready to form an LLC in Montana but not sure how to get started? Get an easy-to-follow explanation about which forms you’ll need, how much it costs, and more.

by Michael H. Cohen, Esq.
updated June 20, 2017 · 5 min read

LLCs in Montana are affordable and easy to form. And as with the states, the State of Montana has some specific requirements that are unique to the state.

Interested parties must register with the Secretary of State by filing the necessary forms, paying the necessary fees and meeting all naming and formation requirements.

The specifications required of a Montana LLC are:

Registration. Registrants must file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. The articles must include pertinent information such as:

  • LLC name and principal office address
  • Name and address of registered agent
  • Duration of the LLC, if not perpetual
  • Type of management (member-managed or manager-managed)
  • Names and addresses of members and managers
  • List of liable members
  • Organizer’s name, title, address, daytime contact number, email and dated signature

All documents submitted must be accompanied by the payment for the filing fee.

Forms and fees. LLC registrants are required to file Articles of Organization accompanied by the necessary filing fee of $70. Expedited processing services are available for additional fees. For 24-hour priority handling, there is an additional $20 fee. For one-hour processing, there is an additional $100 fee. Fees can change, check with the Secretary of State for the most recent fees.

Timeline. Processing time for documents with the Secretary of State is usually within ten business days upon receipt of the documents and/or forms. Processing can be expedited as quickly as one hour, for an additional fee.

Naming requirements. LLC naming requirements can be confusing. However, the easiest way to ensure that your LLC name will be approved is to make it distinguishable from other LLCs and include specific words required of LLCs. You may opt to have a preferred name checked for availability before filing your LLC formation documents with the Secretary of State.

Formation requirements. To form an LLC, a registrant must first file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State.

An LLC with more than one member is also strongly advised to have a limited liability operating agreement among its members.

Should your LLC offer professional services, you may have to obtain certain licenses and permits from the state’s professional licensing boards.

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Starting an LLC in Montana

Before you begin the registration process for an LLC in Montana, it’s important to know what an LLC is and whether or not it is a viable business structure for your company, so be certain to read up on the definition and benefits of an LLC.

These steps will guide you through the LLC registration process with the Montana Secretary of State:

1. Decide on a name for your business. You can choose any name for your LLC as long as it ends with “Limited Liability Company” or any variation of its abbreviation—e.g., LLC, L.L.C., LC or L.C.

A name may be reserved for up to 120 days. You must file a name reservation application with the Secretary of State. All requests must be accompanied by the $10 filing fee. Be sure to include the name to be reserved, the date the applicant intends to commence business and the name, address and dated signature of the applicant.

A preferred name may be checked for availability by accessing the Secretary of State’s website.

2. Assign an agent for service of process. Registered agents are individuals or corporations authorized to do business in the state and which have permanent addresses in Montana. Registered agents accept legal documents on behalf of the LLC and make sure its members are notified.

3. Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. If there are two or more members in your LLC, your company will need to obtain an EIN from the IRS, for tax purposes.

4. Create an operating agreement. Although LLCs in Montana are not required to have a limited liability company operating agreement, it is wise to have one in place with other members should your LLC have more than one member. The State of Montana recognizes limited liability company operating agreements as governing documents.

5. Familiarize yourself with the LLC’s continuing legal obligations, specifically annual reports. Reports are filed with the Secretary of State on or before April 15 every year. Notices for reports are sent to the registered agent. There is a $15 filing fee that must be paid upon filing. Should you submit a late report, the filing fee is doubled.

Make sure that your LLC, should it offer professional services, meets state legal requirements.

Please note that other continuing legal obligations may include, but are not limited to, state taxes, annual or biennial reports and so on.

Filing an LLC and Fees

Following are the forms and fees that are required when starting an LLC in Montana:

1. Forms. Complete and submit Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. All documents submitted must be accompanied with the payment for the necessary filing fee.

2. Fees. The filing fee for Articles of Organization is about $70. This must be paid upon submission of the documents to the Secretary of State. You may opt to avail of expedited processing services for an additional fee. Fees can change, check with the Secretary of State for the most recent fees.

3. Limited liability company operating agreement. Although the LLC operating agreement will not be submitted to the Secretary of State, it is a good idea to have one in place for LLCs with more than one member. This document should be kept on file by the registered agent.

4. Taxes. LLCs in Montana are treated as corporations, limited liability partnerships or single-member LLCs and are subject to federal income tax classifications. Depending on the type of taxation you opt to have for your LLC, you will have different federal tax responsibilities.

You should always make sure to acquaint yourself with the state laws regarding taxation. Your LLC may be subject to other taxes depending on the kind of services your LLC may offer.

Ready to start an LLC in Montana? LegalZoom provides online LLC formation and filing services and registered agent services in Montana.

Ready to start your LLC? START AN LLC ONLINE NOW
Michael H. Cohen, Esq.

About the Author

Michael H. Cohen, Esq.

Healthcare and FDA lawyer Michael H. Cohen is Founder & President of the Michael H. Cohen Law Group. The Michael H. Cohe… Read more