How to Start an LLC in Montana

Last Updated on February 4, 2022

Cost to Form a Montana LLC

To form a Limited Liability Company in Montana, file the Articles of Organization with the Montana Secretary of State.  The LLC filing fee is $70, and approval typically takes less than 2 weeks.  An additional $20 gets 24-hour priority handling if expedited processing is desired, and an additional $100 gets 1-hour processing.

If you have questions, contact the Montana Secretary of State at 406-444-3665

Steps to Form a Montana LLC

Step 1: Account Registration

Begin by creating a login with ePass Montana.  ePass Montana allows you to access authorized government services using a single username and password.

Sign up for an ePass Montana Account LLC

Next, visit the Montana Secretary of State’s website and login with ePass.

How to form an LLC in Montana

Next, select form a Domestic Limited Liability Company

Form a Domestic Limited Liability Company in Montana

Step 2: General Details

Handling Options
Standard processing is 7-10 business days and costs $70.
24-hour priority handling is $90
1-hour expedited handling is $170

Select your preferred handling option.

Montana LLC Handling Option

Delayed Effective Date
If you want the LLC to start on today’s date, don’t enter a date in the box; otherwise, enter a date less than 90 days in the future to start.

Some will delay the LLC start date if they aren’t ready to go but want the filing out of the way, or if they are close to the end of a calendar year and want to delay until the following year so they won’t have to file business taxes.

Montana LLC Delayed Effective Date

Type of Limited Liability Company
If forming a regular LLC (that’s what most businesses will choose), select “Limited Liability Company.”

If the business activities require a professional license from the state, you will want to select “Professional Limited Liability Company.” Common licenses for professionals include accountants, attorneys, veterinarians.  See what licenses and permits are needed in Montana for more information on what businesses need professional licensing.

A “Series Limited Liability Company” provides liability protection across multiple asset groups or businesses, each of which would be protected from liabilities from the other series. The Series LLC is not a common choice and most common with real estate investment companies.  Click on the box if you want to form a Series LLC.

A “Professional Series Limited Liability Company” is a Series LLC that provides services that are licensed by the state.

Montana LLC Type of Limited Liability Company

An out-of-state LLC wanting to do business in Montana will have to register as a foreign LLC by filing the Application for Certificate of Authority with the Montana Secretary of State.

Name of Business Entity
Enter the company name you want for the LLC.  The LLC’s name also has to differ from other entity names registered with the Secretary of State.  You can do a Montana business entity search before filing to be sure the one you want is available, or just enter the name you prefer and click “Validate Name.”

Additionally, naming guidelines state the name of the LLC must include one of the following phrases or abbreviations at the end of the business name:

  • Limited Liability Company
  • Limited Liability Co.
  • Ltd. Liability Company
  • Ltd. Liability Co.
  • Limited Company
  • L.L.C.
  • LLC
  • L.C.
  • LC
Montana LLC Name Registration

Enter the proposed name and click “Validate Name.”  A message will show up at the top of the screen indicated whether the name is available.

Step 3: Select a Registered Agent

A Montana Registered Agent must be identified when forming the LLC for service of process.  The Registered Agent can either be a resident of Montana (Select “New Agent”)or a registered Resident Agent service (Select “Existing Agent”).   The Registered Agent must have a physical address in the state (PO Boxes are not allowed), be available during normal business hours, and act as a point of contact to receive legal documents, tax notices, summons, subpoenas, etc. on behalf of the LLC.

Should you want a different mailing address for the registered agent, enter that address under mailing address.

After the Registered Agent consent to being an agent for the LLC, click on the box for the statement “The appointment of the registered agent listed above is an affirmation by the represented entity that the agent has consented to serve as a registered agent.”

Montana LLC Registered Agent

Step 4: Business Mailing Address of Principal Office

Postal Address – In this section, enter the mailing address of the principal office. This address can be the business’s physical address, the address where the business records are kept, such as your home address, or even a PO Box.

Physical Address – If you would like to add a physical address, open up the area for a physical address, and enter it there.

Term – In this section, you can indicate how long it will remain in existence.  Most LLCs will choose a “Perpetual” duration as there is no predetermined close date.  Some businesses (usually investment-related) will have a specific closure date.

Purpose – Unless this filing is for a Professional LLC, this box is optional.  Here you provide some basic information about what the business does.  You can also use “engage in any lawful business activity for which a Limited Liability Company may be organized in Montana” in addition to the original purpose statement to keep the purpose open-ended.

Tribal Designation – Another optional section, select your tribal designation from the drop-down menu.

Step 5: Add Managers & Members

This section asks if Members or Managers manage the LLC.

Member-Managed LLCs have an active involvement in the day-to-day operations of the business.  Most LLCs are Member-Managed.
Manager-Managed LLCs have managers hired by the members to run the LLC, similar to a CEO of a corporation.

Montana LLC Member Managed Manager

Click the “Add” button to add the names and contact information for members and managers.   Selections include “Individual,” which is most commonly used.  Other options include “Registered Business Entity” and “Non-registered Organization.”

Step 6: Upload Documents

Upload any additional documents that some LLCs will file, including:

Member’s Liability Statement – If one or more members of the company are liable for the LLC’s debts and obligations.
LLC Operating Agreement – While not required, an Operating Agreement is recommended in many cases.  An Operating Agreement is a legal document outlining the roles and responsibilities of the members of the LLC.  Read more about when an LLC needs an Operating Agreement.
Supporting Documents – Any additional documents regarding the operations of the LLC.

This is an optional section, as none of these documents are required.

Montana LLC Additional Documents

Step 7: Signature(s)

Read and click on the two terms and conditions boxes if you agree to them.  Then have at least one of the LLC organizers sign the Articles.  Enter this person’s name, title, date.

Montana LLC Signatures

Add a daytime contact number and email, so if the Secretary of State has any questions regarding the application, they can contact you to solve any issues quickly.

Step 8: Review

Review that all of the information is correct.  If there are no corrections, click “Save and Exit.”

Step 9: Pay and File

Pay and file the Articles of Organization.

If mailing, send to:
MT Secretary of State
P.O. Box 202801
Helena, MT 59620