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How to Start an LLC in Montana – Know All it Takes

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A limited liability company is a legal way to structure a business.

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Moreover, any business owner who seeks to limit their liability for business debts and lawsuits should consider forming an LLC.

As a new LLC business owner in Montana, there are procedures and steps to setting up an LLC. 

These procedures include everything that will keep your business up and running. 

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So in this article, you will learn about the ultimate guide on how to start an LLC in Montana with ease. 

How To Start An LLC in Montana

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to start an LLC in Montana. 

Here are the most straightforward steps involved in forming your LLC in Montana: 

  • Choose a Name for Your LLC
  • Appoint a Registered Agent
  • File Certificate of Organization
  • Prepare an Operating Agreement
  • Get an EIN (Employer’s Identification Number) 
  • File Annual Reports

Choose a Name for Your LLC

An LLC formed in Montana must have a that contains the words “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Company,” or the abbreviations “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” “LC,” or “LLC.” 

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However, your LLC’s name must differ from other business entities already on file with the Montana Secretary of State

In addition, your LLC names may be checked for availability by searching the Montana Secretary of State’s business name database. Also, you may reserve a name for up to 120 days by filing a Reservation of Business Name online with the Montana Secretary of State for $10.

Meanwhile, you don’t have to use your LLC’s official legal name registered in your Articles of Organization when you do business. 

You can use an assumed name, a fictitious business name, name, “DBA” (short for doing business as), or a trading name. 

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However, you must register your assumed name with the Montana Secretary of State for a $20 filing fee.

Appoint a Registered Agent

Every LLC in Montana must have an agent to service the process in the state. 

An individual or business entity that agrees to accept legal papers on the LLC’s behalf if it is sued is called a registered agent. 

However, the registered agent may be a Montana resident or a Montana or foreign business entity authorized to do business in Montana. 

More so, the registered agent must have a physical street address in Montana. 

File Articles of Organization

An LLC created in Montana is established by filing Articles of Organization with the Montana Secretary of State. 

However, te articles must include:

  • the type of LLC–regular LLC, professional LLC, Series LLC, or Professional Series LLC
  • the LLC’s name
  • the LLC’s registered agent’s name
  • the mailing address of LLC’s principal office
  • whether the term of the LLC is perpetual or for a specific period
  • the LLC’s purpose (if a professional LLC, the professional service must be specified; for a professional limited liability company, at least half of the managers must be qualified persons concerning the limited liability company)
  • whether the LLC is a tribal business
  • whether the LLC will be member-managed or have a manager and the name and address of at least one member or manager
  • if one or more members are liable for the LLC’s debts and obligations, a list of liable members and written consent of each
  • the signature of the applicant.

More so, the articles must be filed online with the Montana Secretary of State for $70.

Prepare an Operating Agreement

Even though an LLC operating agreement is not required in Montana, but is highly recommended. 

This operating agreement is an internal document that establishes how your LLC will be run. 

Also, it sets out the rights and responsibilities of the members and managers, including how the LLC will be managed. 

Meanwhile, it can help preserve your limited liability by showing that your LLC is a separate business entity. 

However, state LLC law will govern how your LLC operates without an LLC. 

Obtain an EIN

If you have more than one member in your LLC,  it must obtain its own IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN), even if it has no employees. 

Also, if you form a one-member LLC, you must obtain an EIN for it only if it will have employees, or you elect to have it taxed as a corporation instead of a sole proprietorship (disregarded entity). 

Moreover, you may obtain an EIN by completing an online EIN application on the IRS website at no fee. 

File Annual Reports

Your LLC in Montana must file an annual report to stay in good standing with the Secretary of State’s Office. 

Moreover, the report is due each year by April 15 and must be accompanied by a $20 filing fee. 

Also, businesses that file after that date will be charged a $35 fee.

However, if you fail to file an annual report by December 1, your company will be involuntarily dissolved. 

More so, if you have a foreign LLC located outside Montana, you must file your annual report by November 1, or your Certificate of Authority will be involuntarily revoked with no possibility of reinstatement. 

Nevertheless, you would need to register again to do business in Montana.

The annual report must be filed online at the Montana Secretary of State’s website. 

How to Start A Foreign LLC in Montana

If you have an existing LLC and you want to extend the business to Montana, you need to register as a foreign LLC. 

This is because forming a foreign LLC allows your company to operate as one entity in multiple states. If you have an existing LLC and want to do business in Montana, you must register as a foreign LLC. This can be done online or by mail.

How to Obtain a Certificate of Good Standing in Montana

In Montana, the certificate of good standing is also called the certificate of legal status. 

With a certificate of good standing, your business is verified that it was legally formed and adequately maintained in Montana. 

Meanwhile, you can order a Montana LLC Certificate of Good Standing online for free. 

You might need to get your certificate of legal standing if: 

You will seek funding from banks or other lenders

You might form your business as a foreign LLC in another state

You will obtain or renew specific business licenses or permits

You can order a Certificate of Legal Existence online or by mail.

Online: Request a Certificate Online Through the Montana Secretary of State.

Conclusion

As simple as filing an LLC in Montana is, you will follow simple guides and requirements to get your LLC running in Montana. 

The steps have been simplified and explained in this guide on how to start an LLC in Montana. 

The first step to take on how to start an LLC in Montana is to do a name search and reserve your name.

However, you must note that another business must not have used the name you choose for your LLC and ensure that the domain name is also available.

Also, you must Appoint a registered agent, file an article about the organization, prepare an operating agreement, Get an EIN and file an annual report.

In addition, you must comply with all other additional tax and regulatory requirements as stated by LLC law in Montana. 

How to start an LLC in other states of the United States

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