How to Get a DBA Name in Montana | A Step-By-Step Guide

Steve Bennett
Business Formation Expert  |   Fact Checked by Editorial Team
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Get a DBA Name in Montana

Have you ever wondered how to get a DBA for your Limited Liability Company? If you have, then you are on the right page. Doing Business As (DBA) names, also known as trade names, fictitious names, or assumed names, are an essential aspect of businesses in Montana. A DBA name allows companies to operate under a name different from their legal business name since it is important for branding, marketing, and legal purposes. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to getting a DBA name in Montana.

Through thorough research and market study, Webinarcare Editorial Team will help you learn about the DBA name. It would be best to cross-check all the factors before obtaining one for your Montana business.

What is a DBA Name?

A DBA (Doing Business As) name in Montana is a name under which a business operates that is different from its legal name. It is also known as a trading, fictitious, or assumed name. A DBA name allows companies to start a limited liability company in Montana, and market themselves under a separate name from their legal business name. Registering a DBA name in Montana, provides businesses with branding, marketing, and legal benefits while also helping to prevent other businesses from using the same or a similar name within the state.

Example of a DBA

A DBA (Doing Business As) example can be illustrated through a fictional scenario involving a sole proprietor named John Smith. Let’s say John owns a bakery business and wants to operate it under a different name rather than using his name.

Legal Business Name: John Smith (sole proprietor)

DBA Name: Sweet Treats Bakery

In this case, John would register “Sweet Treats Bakery” as his DBA name. By doing so, he can legally conduct his bakery business using the name “Sweet Treats Bakery” for branding, marketing, and legal purposes, instead of using his name, John Smith. This allows John to establish a professional identity for his bakery and distinguish it from other businesses.

If you start an LLC in Montana, registering a DBA name is important when it comes to remembering your business. However, it is best to consult with a legal professional before you begin registering your DBA name. This is to ensure that your business name is available in Montana.

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How to Get a DBA Name in Montana

Starting a business in Montana can be exciting and challenging. One crucial step in establishing your business’s identity is choosing and registering a Doing Business As (DBA) name. Here are the steps to get a DBA in Montana.

Step 1: Choose a Unique and Appropriate Name

The first step in registering a DBA name is selecting a unique and appropriate name for your business. Your chosen name should be easy to remember and represent your business’s products or services. 

Consider the following tips when choosing a DBA name in Montana:

  • Avoid using names too similar to existing businesses, as this may lead to confusion and potential legal issues.
  • Stay away from names that may be considered offensive or misleading.
  • Research Montana naming requirements, as some have specific restrictions on what words and phrases can be included in a business name. 

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Step 2: Conduct a Name Search

Once you have chosen a suitable name for your business, conducting Montana Business Name Search is essential to ensure the name is not already used. In Montana, they have an online business name database that you can search, usually found on the Montana Secretary of State Business Search. Sometimes, you may also need to check with your local county clerk’s office to ensure the name is not already used at the county level.

If your chosen name is already in use, select a different name and repeat the search until you find an available name.

Step 3: Register the DBA Name

After confirming that your chosen name is available, the next step is registering your DBA name with the appropriate state or county agency. In Montana, you will need to complete a DBA registration form, which can often be found on Montana Secretary of State website. Montana may require additional documentation, such as proof of business ownership or a business license in Montana.

When filling out the registration form, provide accurate and complete information. Any errors or omissions may lead to delays in processing or even the rejection of your application.

Step 4: Pay the Registration Fee

A fee is typically associated with registering a DBA name. In Montana, there are one method, online. The cost of filing a DBA is $20. However, renewing your DBA every five years would be best. Sometimes, there may be separate fees for Montana DBA registrations. Be prepared to pay these fees when submitting your registration form.

Step 5: Publish a Notice of Your New DBA Name

Montana requires you to publish a notice of your new DBA name in a local newspaper. This step will inform the public of your intention to operate under a fictitious name. 

The notice must typically include your DBA name, legal business name, business address, and owner’s name. You may need to provide proof of publication to Montana or the county agency responsible for DBA registrations.

Step 6: Obtain Any Necessary Permits or Licenses

Depending on your Montana business’s nature and location, you may need additional permits or licenses to operate under your DBA name.

The permits and licenses required for your business will depend on your business’s nature, location, and local and state regulations. Here are some common types of permits and licenses that might be required when operating under a DBA:

  • Business License: A general business license may be required in Montana to operate your business legally. This license ensures your business meets local zoning, safety, and regulatory requirements. In Montana, the costs of obtaining a business license range from $50 – $300.
  • Sales Tax Permit: If your business sells taxable goods or services, you may need a Sales Tax Permit from Montana Department of Revenue.
  • Professional Licenses: Depending on your business type, you may need specific professional licenses or certifications. For example, if you are operating a restaurant, you may need a food handler’s permit; if you offer professional services such as accounting or legal services, you may need a professional license from Montana state board. DBA filing requires professional licenses if you operate under a General Partnership in Montana
  • Health and Safety Permits: Businesses in certain industries, such as food service, may require health and safety permits to ensure compliance with state and local regulations.
  • Zoning Permits: Depending on your business location and the type of business you are operating, you may need a zoning permit from your local planning or zoning department.
  • Environmental Permits: If your business involves activities that could impact the environment, you may need permits from Montana state or federal environmental agencies.

Step 7: Renew Your DBA Registration as Needed

In Montana, you are required to renew your DBA registration periodically. This renewal process may involve completing a renewal form, paying a renewal fee, and sometimes republishing the notice of your DBA name. Stay up-to-date with your state’s renewal requirements to maintain your DBA name and avoid penalties.

Maintaining the DBA Name

Once your DBA name is registered and published, it is essential to maintain it to remain in good standing with Montana. Here are some important aspects to consider:

  • Renewal or Expiration: Depending on Montana’s regulations, your DBA name registration may expire or need to be renewed periodically. Keep track of these deadlines to avoid losing your DBA name.
  • Updating Business Information: If your business undergoes significant changes (such as a change in ownership or address), you may need to update your DBA name registration with the appropriate agency.
  • Canceling or Discontinuing the DBA Name: If you decide to stop using your DBA name or close your business, notify the appropriate agency and follow any required procedures for canceling or discontinuing the name.

Is a DBA in Montana the same as a Trade Name?

Yes, in Montana, a DBA (Doing Business As) is the same as a trading name. Both terms refer to a name under which a business operates differently from its legal name. A DBA or trade name allows companies to conduct business and market themselves using a different name from their legal business name. Other terms for DBA or trade name include fictitious name and assumed name. Registering a DBA or trade name in Montana may vary depending on the type of business and the state’s specific regulations.

Do I need to register my Montana DBA in the Internal Revenue Service?

No, you do not need to register your DBA (Doing Business As) name in Montana with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The registration of a DBA is typically done at the state or local level, depending on the specific regulations of Montana. The IRS is not involved in the DBA registration process.

However, once your DBA is registered in Montana, you may need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) in Montana from the IRS if your business has employees, operates as a corporation or partnership, or meets certain tax-filing requirements.

Do I need to file for a DBA if I already have Montana Registered Business Name?

If you already have a registered business name in Montana and you plan to conduct business using that exact name, you do not need to file for a DBA (Doing Business As). A DBA is required when a business wants to operate under a name different from its legal business name. 

However, you must file for a DBA if you have a registered business name and wish to conduct business under a different name. This applies to sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), and corporations that intend to use a name other than their legally registered name.

FAQs

What is a DBA name in Montana?
A DBA (Doing Business As) name in Montana is a name you can use to represent your business, other than your legal business name.
Can I use a DBA name in Montana?
Yes, you can use a DBA name in Montana.
Why should I register a DBA name in Montana?
Registering a DBA name in Montana will allow you to conduct business using a name other than your personal name or the name you registered your business under.
Are there any restrictions on naming my business in Montana?
You cannot use a name that is already registered. Additionally, your business name must not be the same as, or similar to, a name used by another company, partner or Incorporator organized in Montana.
How can I register a DBA name in Montana?
You need to file a Declaration of Intent to Conduct or Transact Business Using an Assumed Business Name with the Secretary of State Corporations Division.
How much does it cost to register a DBA name in Montana?
Registering your DBA name in Montana costs approximately $20. (This fee may vary slightly.)
How long does it take to register a DBA name in Montana?
In most cases, it takes two to three weeks to get your DBA registration from the Montana Secretary of State’s office.
What documents do I need to register a DBA name in Montana?
You’ll need to file a Declaration of Intent with basic information about your business, such as your name and the type of business you operate.
Do I need to renew my DBA registration in Montana?
Every five years, you’ll need to renew your DBA Name registration, and file another Declaration of Intent.
Can you run multiple businesses under one DBA name in Montana?
You can register a DBA name if you want to associate more than one business with it.
How long does a DBA name last in Montana?
A DBA lasts up to five years in Montana, before a new filing is required.
Can I change the name or details on a DBA registration in Montana?
If you want to change any details of your DBA, you need to file another Declaration of Intent.
Can a DBA name be used across state lines?
A DBA registered in Montana is only valid in Montana. If you want to conduct business under the same name in any other states, you have to separately register your DBA in all those states.
If I get a DBA name in Montana, can anyone else in Montana use the same name?
No, another company or person cannot use your DBA name for their own business purposes.
Do I need a lawyer to register a DBA name in Montana?
No, you do not need an attorney to register a DBA name in Montana.
How do I check if a DBA name is available in Montana?
You need to Search the Montana Secretary of the State Business Entities database for checking DBA availability
How long does DBA name search take in Montana?
The search is instant which takes a few seconds to show results in Montana.
What is the penalty in case I don’t register a DBA name in Montana?
Failing to register your name could result in legal and tax problems.
How do I know if someone is using my DBA name in Montana?
You need to regularly monitor your business name on the database of Montana and keep an eye on social media handles to ensure that someone else is not using it.
How do I update my contact information in my Montana DBA name registration?
You can get a contact update form online at Montana Secretary of State site.
Can I change the purpose of my business while using a DBA in Montana?
Yes, Montana does allow a change in purpose while operating under a DBA.
In which counties do I need to register my DBA name in Montana?
Designated county registration depends upon your business, functional areas, and geographical operation –
Can foreign businesses file a DBA name registration in Montana?
Yes, foreign businesses can file a DBA name registration in Montana.
What entities may not need to file a DBA registration in Montana?
Sole inventors should not need to file DBAs in Montana unless necessary.
Can a LLC have multiple DBA in montana?
Limited Liability Company (LLC) registered unit in Montana can file multiple DBA (Doing Business As) names for distinct functional business purposes.
When should I ‘cancel my DBA registration in Montana?
When you close your business or no longer use the Certificate / named Assumed Business Name / DBA Name then you may consider cancelling DBA registation
Can I transfer my Montana DBA certificate of existence?
Montana does not allow for transfer of DBAs between entities or owners, so you’ll have to settle for cancellation of one and filing for a new one.
Can I use “Corp” in my DBA with an LLC registration in Montana?
With Valid LLC registration, you make use of limited name identifiers like LLC only for functional indication and at end without positioning PLLC etc additionally.
Can there be multiple active DBAs for the same entity in Montana?
Yes, you may file for several DBAs when establishing new markets, products, or locations in Montana and run each setup under its own assigned DBA.
What if a problem arises from me not registering my Montana DBA?
Failing to register DBA Name could result in legal and a penalty fee of $395.

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Conclusion

Getting a DBA name in Montana is crucial for many businesses, providing branding, marketing, and legal benefits. By following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can successfully register a DBA name in Montana and enhance your business’s credibility and recognition in the market. Remember to stay up-to-date with Montana’s rules and regulations surrounding DBA names, and maintain your registration to ensure your business remains compliant.

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