Updated November 27, 2020:

The Montana LLC cost, the fee you will need to pay to file your formation documents, is $70. Limited liability companies (LLCs) in Montana must also reserve their name, which costs $10, and file an Annual Report each year, which costs $15.

Naming Your LLC

If you want to form an LLC in Montana, the first step that you need to take is choosing a name for your company. Your LLC's name should be unique and should not conflict with another entity's registered name. You should also be sure that your company's name includes one of the following phrases or abbreviations:

  • Limited Liability Company
  • Limited Company
  • LLC, L.L.C., or LC

Before you attempt to register your LLC name, you should check the business name database maintained by the Montana Secretary of State to make sure it's available. If it is, you can mail a Reservation of Business Name form to reserve your name for a 120-period. You must pay a $10 filing fee when mailing this form.

Submit Articles of Organization

Filing your Articles of Organization is the second step to forming your Montana LLC. You should mail this document to the Secretary of State after supplying the following information:

  • The address of your LLC and your company's name.
  • A signature from your registered agent, and their name and address.
  • Whether you will hire a professional manager or your company will be member-managed.
  • Contact information for managers and members.
  • Description of the services your company will offer.

When incorporating a professional LLC, half of your company managers must be licensed in their field. Once completed, you may file your Articles of Organization by mail. Filing your Articles of Organization incurs a $70 filing fee.

Finding a Montana Registered Agent

LLCs formed in Montana have to appoint a registered agent to accept service of process on the company's behalf. Registered agents can be business entities or individuals, and their role is to accept any legal documents mailed to the LLC.

Individuals can serve as a registered agent as long as they are a resident of Montana. Both foreign and domestic business entities legally allowed to conduct business in Montana can also serve as registered agents. All registered agents must have a Montana street address.

Drafting an Operating Agreement

Operating agreements are not required by the State of Montana, although drafting one of these agreements is advisable. Even if you decide to write an operating agreement for your company, you do not need to file it.

Writing an operating agreement can help you outline several facts that will be important to the success of your company, like:

  • Members' rights and duties, as well as their ownership stakes.
  • Voting rights of each member.
  • Rules for distribution of profits and losses.

The benefit of forming a limited liability company is that you are not required to base distributions on a member's capital contribution, although you can use this method if you wish.

Additional Formation Steps

In Montana, you are not required to fulfill any publication requirements when forming your LLC. There are, however, numerous regulatory and tax requirements with which you'll need to comply, including some requirements that apply only to LLCs.

If you are forming a multi-member LLC, you will need to request an Employer Identification Number (EIN). You will need one of these numbers even if your company doesn't have any employees. However, single-member LLCs are only required to obtain an EIN if it hires employees or elects corporate tax status.

You can request an EIN online with the IRS, and your identification number will be issued immediately. There is no fee to obtain an EIN. Your company may also have to apply for a business license, depending on your industry. Licenses may be mandatory at both the state and local levels.

Many LLCs, particularly those with employees, must register with the Department of Revenue. You can complete your registration either online or by mail. If you want to maintain your company's good standing, you will need to submit an Annual Report with the Secretary of State. Your Annual Report will be due on April 15 every year and carries a filing fee of $15. An additional $15 will be charged for late filings.

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