Step-By-Step Instructions For LLC Articles Of Organization In The State Of Montana
If you want to create a legitimate Montana LLC, then you need a document known as Articles of Organization. This is something you must file, but you can only do so online. The online-only nature of this process started in 2017, as the Secretary of State office decided to go totally digital in order to simplify the process of forming an LLC. The process involves a single-time fee of $70, which you are free to pay using both debit cards and credit cards.
Approval Times: Expect your Montana LLC to get approved within 7 to 10 business days, after submittal. Once you have approval for your LLC, the Montana state government emails you the following:
-Your stamped, approved Articles of Organization
-Your Certificate of Filing
Using Expedited Processing: If you want your LLC review time to go faster, then that’s something you can pay for. You have two choices:
-Paying an extra $20 means the state processes your filing within 24 hours.
-Paying an extra $100 means the state processes your filing in just 1 hour.
Online Directions For Montana LLCs Doing Articles Of Organization Online
Registering your Montana ePass Account
What exactly is ePass? It’s a way of accessing all of the online filing services for the state of Montana.
1) Visit the Montana state website at this URL: https://app.mt.gov/epass/Authn/selectIDP.html
2) Look for the ‘ePass Montana Login’ link that’s on the left. Click on the button that says ‘Login’.
3) Now, to the right, look for the button that says ‘Create an Account’ and click on it.
4) Find the box saying ‘Personal Information’. Use it to enter both your first and last names. Enter a primary email address before confirming it in the box that says ‘verify primary email’.
5) To the right, you should see a box that says ‘ePass Montana ID Details’. Use it to come up with a username, password, and password hint. Be sure you record your login credentials and then keep them somewhere safe.
Notice: You must have a minimum of 6 characters in your username and 8 in your password. Both have to have a combination of letters and numbers. Keep in mind that passwords are case sensitive, although usernames are not.
6) Look for the ‘Security Info’ box, and then create three security questions along with their answers. Next, click on the button near the bottom of the page that says ‘Save Changes’ in order to proceed.
7) At this point, your browser should be directed by the website to your personal Montana ePass Dashboard. The top should display the message ‘Welcome to the ePass Montana Dashboard’ along the top. You won’t have to do anything on this particular page, so you can exit this window or tab right away.
The Next Steps Towards Finishing Your Online Account Setup
1) Visit https://www.mtsofilings.gov to load the homepage of the Montana Online Business Filing System.
2) Look in the lower-right corner for the box saying ‘Register/Login’. Find the button saying ‘Login with ePass’ and click on it.
3) Inside the left-side box for ‘Login with ePass Montana’, click on the button that says ‘Login’.
You probably won’t have to input your username/password, since the system typically realizes that you’re logged in already. On the other hand, if you have been kicked out, you can simply log back in using your recently created credentials.
4) Now, you’re going to be on the page titled ‘Complete Online Account Details’.
The initial box you’re likely to see is a checkbox saying ‘I also want to create an Organization’. Leave this particular box in an unchecked state. It’s more for businesses doing bulk filings, rather than those who are just forming an LLC.
5) You should see both your first name and last name already filled in. Look for ‘I use the following for navigation’ and then pick the ‘Standard’ option, which should be first. The exception is if you utilize a screen reader.
Next, you need to enter your email once more to confirm it, and then move to put in your mailing address a bit lower.
You can input your phone number, but this is optional, not mandatory.
Once you’re done putting all of your pertinent contact information in, you can scroll down to the bottom where you click on the button that says ‘Continue’.
This will redirect you to your online account. The top should say ‘Your dashboard’.
Now, you can start filing your Montana LLC over the Internet!
Look across the ‘Action Items’ towards the left, and then click on the option that says ‘Form a Domestic Limited Liability Company’. Typically, this is six links down from the very top.
Start Your Online Filing For Articles Of Organization Of A Montana LLC
The Section For Handling Options:
In this section, you can pick ‘Standard Process’ with no extra fee, giving you an approval in 7 to 10 business days. You also have options for ’24 Hour Priority Handling’ (additional $20) or ‘1 Hour Expedited Handling’ (additional $100).
The Delayed Effective Date Section:
This section is something you want to leave blank/empty if you intend your LLC to go effective as soon as you file. That means that your LLC will come into existence on the date of filing with Montana’s Secretary of State.
If you’d rather have your LLC come into existence at some later date in time, then put that date into your calendar. Just not that you can’t go further out than 90 days into the future.
Kinds of LLCs:
If you’re going to create a normal LLC, then check off the option for ‘Limited Liability Company’. If you want to form a PLLC, then check off the option for ‘Professional Limited Liability Company’.
PLLC status is necessary if you run a business providing services that need state licensing. These include but are certainly not limited to attorneys, dentists, optometrists, physicians, podiatrists, veterinarians, registered nurses, physician assistants, surgeons, osteopathic physicians, nurses, chiropractors, accountants, and more.
Business Entity Proposed Name:
Input the name of your LLC just like you want it. Include and capitalization preferences you have. Also include either ‘LLC’ or ‘L.L.C.’ If you’re not sure which to use, you should know that ‘LLC’ is the one used most frequently. Use ‘PLLC’ when forming a Professional LLC.
Your Montana LLC moniker can have a comma in it if you want, but you can also omit it. For example, you can be ‘XYZ Plumbing, LLC’ or ‘XYZ Plumbing, LLC’. Both are equally acceptable.
Next, you should click on the button saying ‘Validate Name’ to be sure that your preferred name is both available to use and distinguishable.
If you see a message along the top of the page saying that the name is technically available but possible subject to Secretary of State review, then you’re okay to move ahead.
You won’t be okay to move ahead if you get a message saying that your entity name has to be distinct across all business registers, as consent might be necessary from appropriately registered entities when you use a duplicate name. In short, your LLC name isn’t distinguishable in the state of Montana. You’ll have to create a variation or just come up with a different LLC name. If you need help with this, refer back to the Montana LLC Name lesson.
Montana Registerd Agent:
Notice: If you’re unsure who might serve as the Registered Agent of your Montana LLC, then you should refer back to the Montana Registered Agent lesson.
-If you hired a specific Commercial Registered Agent, then choose ‘Existing Agent’ and start putting their company name into the box labeled ‘Agent Name’. As you start typing in the company name, search results will start auto-populating the box underneath. Once you see your specific Commercial Registered Agent on the list, click that name once to select it.
Enter the email address of your Commercial Registered Agent.
Next, you need to find and check the box saying that the appointment of the above-listed registered agent is an affirmation by your represented entity that this agent has specifically consented to serve as your registered agent.
-If you have an individual, like yourself, a relative, or friend, for your Registered Agent, then you need to choose ‘New Agent’. To the right of the field saying ‘Agent Type’, choose ‘Individual’ when using the dropdown menu. Next, input the first name and last name of your Registered Agent.
Now, you put in their street address. Keep in mind that PO Boxes aren’t permissible. Underneath, you’ll have an option for ‘Same as Street Address’. Check this when the entered address is where your Registered Agent wants to get mail. If the Registered Agent you have would like to get mail at an address somewhere else (including PO Boxes), then leave this option unchecked so you can put the new address underneath.
Registered Agent Email Address:
Enter the Registered Agent’s email address within this field. It can possibly be an email address you own, but it might also be that of someone you are friends with or related to.
Next, you will check off a box indicating that the registered agent listed above is appointed as an affirmation of the represented entity that they can serve as your registered agent.
The Principal Office Business Mailing Address:
The Postal Address:
This is where you input the mailing address of the LLC you are creating. You can use either an office address or a home address. It can actually be located in the other 49 states, and it can also be a PO Box, when necessary.
LLC Physical Address:
There’s a link for ‘Add Physical Address’. It’s optional, but it can be useful if you have a different physical address than a mailing address.
This section is where you inform the Secretary of State of Montana how long your LLC will be in existence.
Choose ‘Perpetual’ if you prefer an ‘open-ended’ LLC without a determined closure date.
Most LLC creators go with this option since it allows them to choose up their LLC any future time they want by filing the appropriate dissolution paperwork.
If you’d rather have your LLC shut down automatically at a predetermined specific date, then choose either ‘Number of Years’ or ‘Future Date’ and choose the specifics.
This section is optional, so you can leave it blank if you want. Having said that, you can also list out the general intention for your business. You don’t have to get very detailed or specific, nor will you be forced to stick to this purpose for eternity. You can also change your business purpose any time you want, nor do you have to update the state when you do.
You can put in just a phrase like ‘plumbing services’ or ‘law office’ or just roll with the default language provided.
This optional section only applies if your LLC is connected to a specific tribe. If so, you can choose your particular tribal designation in the dropdown menu. If it doesn’t apply, then just leave it blank.
Click on the button saying ‘Next Step: Principals’ in order to move ahead.
LLC Managed By:
You’ll see a dropdown menu here. If your LLC is going to be manager-managed, then choose ‘Managers’. If your LLC is going to be member-managed, then choose ‘Members’.
Notice: The majority of LLCs are usually member-managed, which is where the actual owners run both the business and the daily operations. LLCs can also be specifically manager-managed, which is where one or a handful of designated individuals run things, while members serve more passive roles as investors.
Next, click on the button that says ‘Add’ and choose ‘Individual’. The exception would be is when a member of your own LLC is actually another business itself. Enter the contact information of the member and/or manager before clicking ‘Done’. You don’t need to input the email address of the member and/or manager unless you want to. This is optional and up to you.
Click the ‘Add’ button yet again to add more members or managers, if they are applicable. Or, you can proceed by clicking on the button saying ‘Next Step: Documents’.
This section is where you can upload additional Montana LLC documents. These might include the LLC Operating Agreement, the Members’ Liability Statement, and various Supporting Documents. This step is optional, so you’re not required to upload anything like these documents.
The majority of fliers just wind up clicking on the button saying ‘Next Step: Signature’ in order to move ahead without uploading anything.
There are two different authorization boxes at the top. Check them off. If not already there, enter both your first name and last name. The ‘Position’ dropdown menu should have an ‘Organizer’ option; select it. The date is likely to already be filled in. You need to input both your email address and phone number. Click on the button that says ‘Next Step: Review’.
You’ll only probably only need the blue button saying ‘Add’ if you have someone else doing the LLC organization. Even for LLCs with multiple members, you only have to have a single Organizer. The Operating Agreement is where you declare and then list every single LLC member, but that’s covered in our next lesson.
Look over all of your information for precision, accuracy, and typos. If any changes need to be made, look to the right of every section for an ‘Edit’ button that lest you make alterations.
Red warning symbols indicate missing or incorrect information requiring edits.
If all looks good, go to the bottom for the ‘Submit’ button in order to move ahead.
There’s a box saying ‘Client Reference’. Leave it blank.
Choose ‘Credit Card’ in the dropdown menu for payment methods, and then click on the button saying ‘Continue’.
You’ll get a popup message informing you of redirection to the TransFirst Payment System. To proceed, click on ‘OK’.
Notice: If you get a message saying ‘Pop-Up Blocker Detected’, follow the listed instructions to permit pop-ups from that site. If you’re not sure how to go about this, you can still move ahead with the filing.
Look to the right side of ‘Payment Type’ and choose ‘Credit Card’ to launch a form below.
Put your billing information into the left with your contact information to the right.
Put the right security characters into the section underneath the contact information.
When everything is done, click on the button that says ‘Submit‘.
Congratulations, because knowing your new Montana LLC is filed for processing.
The system has a quirk that gives you not one but two different receipts. You’ll automatically get the first receipt, which is for your credit card payment. You can save this as a PDF or print it out.
You’ll also get a ‘Sent for Review’ message. If you want to download your online LLC filing receipt, there’s a button for that.
Now, your LLC filing is on its way to the Secretary of State to undergo review. You just have to wait.
Your approval time will be based on whether or not you paid for any expedited options, so it can be an hour, a day, or 7 to 10 business days.
Once the state approves your LLC, they’ll email you the following:
-Stamped, approved Articles of Organization
-Your Certificate of Filing
These approved documents let you open bank accounts and conduct various business-related activities.