How to Apply for an LLC in Montana (for Free)

In this article, we'll show you step-by-step how to apply for an LLC in Montana by giving you links to all of the forms, with advice on how to save money by doing it yourself!

It's a lot easier to apply for an LLC in Montana than you might think, and if you have the time to spend learning how to do it, you can avoid using a third-party service.

By free, we mean filing the application forms yourself without an LLC formation company. State filing fees may still apply.

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How to Start an LLC in Montana

As the world is becoming more and more digital, the process of applying for an LLC in Montana is not as daunting as it once was.

That said, we are still talking about the U.S. government so there will be a fair amount of process and paperwork to complete.

Make you that you take the time to really read this article a couple of times to fully understand everything you need to do. Any mistakes can delay your application and your company will have to wait before you can start trading.

Do I Need to Apply for an LLC?

Applying for an LLC for your business is not a requirement, and you can start trading without one as a sole proprietor if you want to.

For most businesses, though, the Limited Liability Company (LLC) company entity provides a lot of benefits that will protect you.

The most obvious one is that you have liability protection (the clue is in the name Limited Liability) against business debts, lawsuits, or other unforeseen issues.

As an LLC, your personal assets would be protected against these events, where as a sole proprietor, you could potentially lose those assets in a lawsuit or as part of a debt repayment to creditors.

Another benefit down the road might be that you can purchase assets in the business, such as real estate, which keeps them separate from your personal assets. This allows you to reduce tax liability through investment.

The bottom line is that, while you don't need to form an LLC, it's very much advised for the protections and benefits it provides you.

Choosing your Montana LLC Name

The first step when applying for an LLC is actually having something to name your LLC. To do this, you'll need to perform something called a "business entity search".

What this means is that you need to check whether or not the name you want to use for your Montana LLC is available and not being used by another business.

Montana Business Entity Search

The abbreviations “LLC” or “L.L.C.” must be used at the end of your name. Your desired LLC name must be distinguishable.

Click the button below to check your LLC name with the Montana Secretary of State.

Check your LLC name Naming rules

LLC Name Designator

Once you have an LLC name for your business that you're sure isn't being used by anybody else, you need to pick a designator to be added to the end of it.

The rules vary by state, so to make sure you're covered by Montana laws, the best option here is to pick something from the list below:

  • Your Company LLC
  • Your Company L.L.C.
  • Your Company LC
  • Your Company L.C.
  • Your Company Limited Liability Company

To ensure you fully follow Montana state law, make sure the click the naming rules link above.

Make sure you do not use a designator that makes it look like your LLC is a different type of business entity. If you try to use designators like Inc, Incorporated, LP, LLP etc, your application will be rejected.

Choosing Your Registered Agent

When applying for an LLC in Montana, you will need to have a Registered Agent listed on your Certification of Formation.

A Registered Agent is a person or company that is legally responsible for receiving legal and tax documents on behalf of your business.

Our recommended LLC formation services, Incfile and ZenBusiness, will provide you with a Registered Agent for your LLC. In most cases, this is free for the first year of service.

Montana LLC Certificate of Formation

At this point, you're ready to actually file your Certificate of Formation form with the state of Montana and get your LLC officially formed.

Let's take a look at the mandatory filing fees for applying for an LLC in Montana, and the methods you can use to file your form.

Montana LLC Filing Fees

The fees you will pay when applying for an LLC in Montana are: LLC formation cost fee of $70 and Annual report fee of $20.

The table below shows the primary state filing fees for applying for an LLC in Montana.

Filing fee Renewal fee Renewal period (years)
$35 $20 1

Every LLC in Montana is required to file an Annual Report each year.

Filing Methods for a Montana LLC

The easiest and most popular way to apply for an LLC in Montana is to file online.

When you file online in Montana, your application will usually be approved within hours.

File Online

You can file your LLC online with the Montana Secretary of State. This is a great way to speed up the process and avoid any long waiting times.

Alternatively, you can save hours of your time by using a formation service like ZenBusiness.

Use ZenBusiness File online

Approval times for your LLC formation will vary depending on the state and the current workload of the Secretary of State. The above times are an estimate and are not guaranteed.

Creating your Montana LLC Operating Agreement

An Operating Agreement is a legal document that sets out the rules and regulations for a business, including who owns it, how much each member owns, how profits are split, and more.

When you apply for an LLC in Montana, an Operating Agreement is required as part of your application.

There are many free Operating Agreement templates you can use, and if you use an LLC formation service like Incfile or ZenBusiness, one will be provided for you.

Bottom line, you need an Operating Agreement to apply for an LLC in Montana. You can use a template, or have one provided by an LLC formation service.

Apply for an EIN

At this point, you should have your new LLC formed in the state of Montana. You can now apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your business.

This is sometimes known as a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), and it's what your business will use to file taxes with the IRS. You also need this EIN in order to open a bank account for your LLC.

To get your EIN in Montana, you will need to complete an application with the state. This can be done either online, or by mailing in form SS-4 to the IRS.

Montana EIN Application

You can apply for your EIN online with the IRS. This is a great way to speed up the process and avoid any long waiting times.

File EIN online

You can also apply for your EIN by mail with the IRS. This is the traditional way to apply for an EIN in Montana.

File EIN by mail

Filing Your Annual Report in Montana

Your LLC is required to file an annual report in Montana every 1 year.

The deadline for the Montana annual report is July 23.

How to Contact Montana State Agencies

If you need to get in touch with any Montana state agencies, for help with applying for your LLC, you can use the details below:

Montana Department of Revenue

Address: Montana Department of Revenue P.O. Box 8021 Helena, MT 59604-8021

Phone: (406) 444-6900

Hours: 9am - 4pm M-F

Website: https://mtrevenue.gov/

Montana Secretary of State

Address: Business Services Montana Secretary of State Montana Capitol Building P.O. Box 202801 Helena MT 59620-2801

Physical Address: State Capitol, Room 260 1301 6th Avenue Helena, MT 59620

Phone: (406) 444-3665

Website: https://sosmt.gov/

Email: [email protected]

You Successfully Applied for an LLC in Montana

If you made it this far down the tutorial and followed all of the previous steps...

Congratulations! You successfully applied for your LLC in Montana.

At this point, you are now completely ready to start trading through your shiny new company.

Hopefully this article has been able to help you make the application process as smooth and painless as possible.

If you need more help with your LLC (like choosing a Registered Agent), don't forget to check out ZenBusiness or Incfile.

These are the companies we recommend to our clients who need high-quality, easy-to-use business services from a reputable business with a solid track record.

Recommended Formation Service

Save hours of your valuable time by using a formation service to form your company.

It's hard to pick just one service that will be suitable for every business formation need.

However, in our experience, ZenBusiness offer the best and most reliable service for the majority of LLC and company formations.

ZenBusiness has a fantastic track record, and offers 100% error free LLC formation.

Try ZenBusiness Now →

Compare Montana LLC Formation to Other States

If you are trying to decide between two states for your company formation, we have prepared side-by-side comparisons of each state to help you see, at a glance, which one might be best for your needs.