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How to File an LLC in Montana: Setting up a Montana LLC

If you’re looking to open up a business of your own, Montana is a great state with many benefits for business owners. If you’re self-employed and are looking for ways to get the tax benefits that come with owning your own company, forming an LLC in Montana is a smart way to grow your business while benefiting from the personal protection of an LLC.

What Is an LLC?

An LLC, also known as a limited liability company, is a type of business entity that protects business owners in the case of a lawsuit, bankruptcy, or other major financial impacts that can happen while you operate your Montana LLC.

Liability refers to whether you can be held personally responsible for certain types of payments or debts. The benefits of operating your business under a Montana limited liability company means that your business and your personal assets are protected from creditors and lawsuits, which can save you a lot of hassle and headache in the future.

It isn’t difficult to form an LLC in Montana, but there is a lot of information you must include on the application for your Montana LLC. We’ll break it down so you can start on your Montana LLC formation in no time.

Should You Operate As A Montana LLC?

Any smart business owner would suggest operating under an LLC. As explained above, working under the entity of an LLC protects LLC owners from personal financial ruin if the company isn’t successful. When you go to form an LLC, Montana state requires you to include specific information and a filing fee. Then you are personally protected and kept separately from your Montana LLC even if things don’t go according to plan.

Operating under an LLC in Montana also provides business owners with a lot of flexibility when it comes to management and tax filings. Additionally, operating as a Montana LLC will allow you to open up a bank account for your business, which can open up many possibilities for the growth of your company.

If you’re looking to start an LLC, there is no downside to doing it in Montana, even if you aren’t a resident of the state. It only takes a few hours to set up a Montana limited liability company, and it can provide the peace of mind needed to make big business decisions. If you run into difficulty with any part of the process, you can always contact our team for fast, expert help regarding your LLC formation.

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The Benefits of Incorporating Your Business

When you choose to register as a Montana LLC, you will get several benefits that will help grow your business. The following sections includes important information for those looking to start an LLC in the state of Montana, or anywhere for that matter.

Protects Your Personal Assets

This is probably the biggest benefit that people think of when registering as an LLC in Montana. Operating as an LLC means that once you pay your filing fee and get approved for a Montana LLC, creditors can’t touch your personal money. A lawsuit against your business can only request payments from your corporation, not your personal account. That means you’re protecting your home, car, boat, real estate, and bank account.

If you ever file personal bankruptcy, a court could rule that you must liquidate your business to pay your creditors. If your business is Montana-registered as an LLC, you won’t have to do that regardless of what happens.

Increases Your Financing Opportunities

Once you incorporate your business as a Montana LLC, you can open a bank account in your business name. In fact, it’s highly suggested that you do so you can keep your professional finances separate from your personal finances.

You can also start building credit for your Montana business. This is separate from your personal credit. It’s very important to have access to credit as a small or medium-sized business so you can grow your business even more. Once you become a Montana LLC, you can start building that credit and open more financing opportunities. Check out so we can guide you on how to do so.

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Protects Your Branding

If you use a trademarked slogan or a logo for your business, operating as a Montana LLC means that other businesses can’t use your slogan or logo. You can protect your Montana business name, logo, slogans, and even your official colors from people who may want to copy some of your ideas.


Legitimizes Your Business

If you strongly believe in your business, you should be willing to take that extra step to legitimize it. Being incorporated as a Montana LLC makes your business stand out from regular, small sole-proprietorships and independent contractors. It shows that you take yourself seriously as a business-person. The filing fee is small, and you’ve got nothing to lose by becoming an LLC in the state of Montana. You’ll just need an applicable business license and then you’re ready to conduct business through your Montana LLC.

Makes Your Business Easier to Transfer or Sell

If you ever want to sell your LLC, whether in the state of Montana or elsewhere, people will be more attracted to an LLC that has been incorporated. If your business is a sole proprietorship, that means all your personal finances are mixed with the business finances.

Buyers are less interested in getting involved in a complicated financial transaction that might still leave you in charge. No one wants to deal with a complicated transaction, but they do want to buy a business that’s free and clear. Being incorporated as a Montana LLC makes this possible.

Similarly, if you ever want to transfer control of your business to a family member or one of your employees, being incorporated as an LLC makes this much easier. You can transfer the business without worries about involving your personal assets.

Allows for Business Tax Deductions

If your business is incorporated, you can take certain tax deductions for business-related expenses with your Montana LLC. A tax expert or registered agent can advise you about the expenses that you might be able to deduct when filing your taxes in Montana. This is important to keep in mind when you form an LLC as it can save you money that you can then invest back into your business.

It’s also easier for people to file taxes as an LLC. If you incorporate as an S or C corporation in Montana state, you’ll have to file two separate tax returns. With an LLC, you only have to file one tax return. You don’t have to file a separate return for profit on your Montana LLC.

The Benefits of Forming an LLC in Montana

There are a multitude of benefits that come with operating your business in Montana. Below are the following reasons why you should form an LLC in Montana:

Montana Is a Business-Friendly State

Montana ranks sixth in the country when it comes to low taxes. This ranking includes corporate taxes, individual taxes, sales taxes, unemployment insurance, and property taxes, which can be very beneficial for people wanting to form a Montana LLC.

Montana Makes Filing Taxes Easy for Corporations

Corporations in Montana must file two sets of taxes. They must file an individual income tax for the owner’s business profits and a corporate tax. However, you can choose which filing method you prefer for your Montana LLC.

It’s Suitable for a Business of Any Size

You might think that you don’t need an LLC for a small business. You may be a sole proprietor who occasionally sells things online or maybe you’re an independent contractor who picks up casual jobs.

The truth is that bad luck can happen to anyone. Even if your business is small, it deserves legal protection. As it grows, you’ll appreciate the benefits that becoming a Montana LLC will give you.

Sell Your Goods and Services Online

You can sell your business’ services or products anywhere in the world with an LLC. When you form an LLC, it makes it easier to get approval for online payments and credit card processing, so operating as a Montana LLC can help you to make more money more quickly through a website or marketing.

Should You Incorporate in Another State?

People might think that it makes sense to form your LLC in a low-tax state like Delaware or Wyoming. However, it makes a lot more sense to establish your company in the state where you live and operate. Here’s why:

You’ll pay taxes in both states.

If you incorporate in another state, you’ll have to file taxes in the state where you’re incorporated and the state where you live. You could end up paying a lot more, and it also means doing twice the paperwork at tax time. Foreign LLCs are responsible for paying more, which means less money invested back into your business.

You must be compliant in both states.

You will have to keep your business fillings, your annual reports, business licenses and other documents compliant in both states. You’ll have to send paperwork to two separate states and meet two separate deadlines if you open an out-of-state LLC instead of a Montana LLC. If you are a resident of Montana, then you’ll only have to worry about one state.

It’s hard to transfer a business.

If you decide to relocate your business from one state to another, the paperwork is lengthy and complicated, and the company name may not even be available because other LLCs may have taken it already. You will definitely need an attorney in addition to a registered agent to guide you on how to relocate. This is why it’s much easier to form an LLC in your home state.

The Steps to Forming Your Montana LLC

First, you’ll need to go through the Montana Secretary of State Business Search to make sure your ideal name is not already in use. Additionally, on the Montana Secretary of State website is where you’ll find the Montana LLC forms and other documents that you need to get your limited liability company started.

If you need help along the way, our legal team can take over the process for you. We do this regularly and we know how to make the process fast and easy. The Montana Secretary of State website has all of the information, but it can be overwhelming, and you want to have everything done correctly the first time.

Our guide provides all of the pertinent information about opening an LLC in Montana. Although the process seems long, it’s actually quite simple. In this section we’ve broken it down into seven easy steps, starting with step 1.

1. Get an EIN for Your Montana LLC

Before you can get your LLC, you must get a new tax identification number, known as an employer identification number, or EIN. You get this number from the IRS as long as all of your paperwork is filled out correctly. You need an EIN if you plan to have employees, if you are selling products, if you plan to buy real estate under the LLC, and it’s also necessary for opening your business bank account.

Your EIN will also work as the tax ID number when you form an LLC. This means that all transactions will be passed through this tax ID number, so it’s important to keep this number safe and available for future use.

Five Important Pointers About Your EIN

1. Be sure that the name on your EIN is spelled exactly like the business name you use to form your LLC. Even a minor mistake can result in hours of wasted efforts.

2. The IRS issues a letter with your new EIN number. Keep this letter safe. You will need it to open a bank account for your company.

3. You should use this EIN number for credit-related business transactions. Use the EIN to apply for business credit cards and loans. Doing this will build a separate credit line for your LLC.

4. Your company name must end with the designation “LLC.” No other business entity will be allowed.

5. If you need help with this process, ask our legal team. They do EIN applications every day and can get it done for you quickly and easily.

2. File Your Articles of Organization

Whether you are a multi member LLC or if you operate as a sole proprietorship, you’ll need to file your Articles of Organization with MT Secretary of State. Before you begin, search for the name of your LLC. Make sure there isn’t another company registered in Montana with the same LLC name.

The next step involves filing your Articles of Organization with the state. To get the correct Montana LLC Articles of Organization forms, go online to the Montana office.

Fill out your Montana LLC forms carefully. Remember to:

  • List all the members of the LLC
  • Name a designated representative
  • Use your EIN
  • Provide a Montana street address
  • Ask for a certified copy of your Articles of Incorporation

3. Choose a Registered Agent

In Montana, you must choose a registered agent for your LLC. The registered agent is responsible for all of the correspondence between the state regarding your paperwork. The registered agent can be anyone who is authorized to receive legal documents or items on behalf of your LLC, and your registered agent must be able to be reached by phone during normal working hours. You can name yourself or someone else as the registered agent, but your registered agent must have a physical address in Montana.

Some people choose to use a registered agent service. Registered agent service is a professional that handles all of your LLC’s needs. Instead of having a friend or family member act as your registered agent, a registered agent service offers trained professionals who deal with LLCs for their line of work. This means that you can feel more comfortable with trusting this person to be available and to handle the job correctly.

You don’t have to search too hard for this type of assistance. The LLC Formations team can provide you with the professional help you’re looking for.

4. Write an Operating Agreement

You should include an LLC Operating Agreement with your Montana LLC filing when you form your LLC. The LLC Operating Agreement is important if you are setting up a one-person LLC or a multi-member LLC. An Operating Agreement defines your corporation as a separate entity from your personal businesses and finances.

If your LLC has more than one member, your Operating Agreement will outline management and profit-sharing responsibilities. If you need help writing your Operating Agreement, our legal team will be glad to walk you through the process.

5. Pay the Montana State LLC Fees

Once you complete the paperwork to form your LLC, you will then pay the filing fees to the MT Secretary of State. The state will process your application and mail you the Articles of Organization to the listed mailing address for your LLC formation. You can expect to wait two weeks to receive your certified Articles of Organization when you form your LLC. Montana offers expedited processing for an additional fee.

6. Organize Specific Business Licenses

In Montana, you’ll need a business license to operate certain businesses. Once you have a registered LLC in Montana, work on getting the licenses you need to keep your LLC legally compliant. The team at LLC Formations is here to help you with the paperwork required to apply for licenses. Our professionals can guide you on how to properly fill out the forms so you can get started on growing your business.

7. File an Annual Report

Montana requires every business to file its annual report once you form an LLC. The annual report is due anytime between January 1st and April 15th of each year. April 15th is an important deadline to keep in mind if you want to stay in good standing. If you don’t file it by then, the state will dissolve your company and you may have to begin the LLC formation process from the beginning.

Your annual report does not need a lot of detail. You can write up one page of information detailing your profits and losses and you can also use this report to project your upcoming earnings. If you need help writing your annual report, our team is happy to assist you.

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What Are the Fees for Forming an LLC in Montana?

The Montana LLC registration fee is $70 for regular processing, and you can add $20 to get expedited processing to form your LLC. Your paperwork will be processed in 24 hours and you can expect to receive your documents in two or three days after paying the filing fee. Your total payment will be $90.

Montana has one-hour processing for an additional fee of $100. This makes the registration fee $170 total. You can only get one-hour processing if you visit the Secretary of State’s office in person during normal business hours. The address is Room 260, Montana Capitol Building, Helena.

Why You Need a Montana LLC

  • An LLC is the most flexible type of incorporation
  • An LLC offers the most protection
  • Forming an LLC is not complicated. If you need help, you can get it here
  • An LLC makes it easy to manage, transfer, and sell your business
  • Your LLC continues to protect your business no matter how much your business grows

How Can LLC Formations Help You?

If you run into any difficulty with your Montana LLC registration, we’re here to help. We specialize in helping small and medium-sized businesses get their EINs, get incorporated, and get started so you can start growing your company now.

We’ll take care of the LLC registration for you so you can take care of growing your business. If you’re considering opening up an LLC in another state, such as Nebraska, you can also review our Nebraska LLC formation guide.

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