Starting Your Business in Montana | A Step-by-Step Guide

Start a Business in Montana

If you want to start an LLC in Montana, there are numerous factors to consider. Starting your own business is one of the most exciting and profitable things you can do in Montana. But where do you start? Follow our comprehensive guide on How to Start a Business in Montana. We will assist you in removing doubt from the process and investigate your success chances. It will begin with defining your business idea and progress to establishing, launching, and expanding your business. Webinarcare Editorial Team will help you every step of the way!

What Business to Start in Montana?

If you’re looking to start a business in Montana, consider starting a limited liability company (LLC). LLCs offer personal liability protection for their owners while also providing the flexibility of a partnership or sole proprietorship. Beyond that, here is the list of businesses to consider in Montana.

  1. Travel Agency
  2. Tour Guide Service
  3. Car Detailing Business
  4. Dog Breeding Business
  5. Towing Company

Whatever business you choose to start, it’s important to conduct thorough market research and create a solid business plan before diving in. We reviewed some of the Best LLC Services and provided features as an add-on with their packages for you to check out.

LLC Service

Rating & Pricing

Top Features

Learn More

#1 Recommendation

$0 + State fee

  • Free LLC Formation

  • 100% accuracy

  • Best Customer Service

$0 + State fee

  • Free LLC formation

  • Costly Ad-on services

  • Other Business services

Starting a business can be a challenging but highly rewarding endeavor. By taking the time to research and plan, you can increase your chances of success. Whether you choose to form a corporation or start an LLC in Montana, it’s important to surround yourself with a strong team that will guide you. Don’t let fear hold you back, take that first step towards turning your business dreams into a reality.


How to Start a Business in Montana?

To form a business in Montana, you must follow a few steps that include creating a business plan, choosing a business entity type, determining your business costs, naming your business, registering a business, and lastly, marketing your business.

Please continue reading to learn more about the overall procedure and what new small business owners should keep in mind as they complete each step.

Step 1: Creating a Business Plan

When developing a business plan, many factors should be considered during the decision-making process. Your business plan in Montana serves as a road map for your company’s success.

A business plan should take into account the specific goals of your company. You should know the product or service you will provide in Montana. A well-thought-out business plan is essential for determining how your company will make a profit. If the purpose of the business plan is ambiguous and unrelated to the service you provide, it will impact the business you are forming. Make sure your business goals are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound). Also, researching your competitors’ services will help you determine your strategy for your state business. Finally, you should consider your company’s funding.

With this article’s assistance, you can better comprehend your business’s essential components and success strategy. You can apply for Montana Small Business Loans from banks and investor funding to help support your company in Montana.

Once you have the entire plan in your hands, you can work on the legal framework of your company. Legally, you can form an LLC for your ideal business.

Step 2: Choose a Business Entity in Montana

Selecting a business entity for your Montana company. When starting your own business, you must choose a business structure. How well your personal assets are secured, how much tax you pay, and how much paperwork you have to deal with will all be significantly impacted by the type of corporate entity you choose. Consider setting up a corporation, LLC, LLP, or sole proprietorship as your business entity in Montana.

Sole Proprietorships

Consider a sole proprietorship if you want to start a business in Montana by yourself. A sole proprietorship is the simplest business structure in which a single individual owns and operates the entire business. The owner and the business are considered the same legal entity in a sole proprietorship. There is no legal distinction between the owner and the business, meaning that the owner has complete control over the business operations, profits, and losses.

Sole proprietorships are best suited for Montana small businesses with low risks and for individuals who want to maintain complete control over their business without the complexities of establishing a separate legal entity.

Limited Liability Company

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a business structure that combines features of both partnerships and corporations, offering limited liability protection to its owners (called members) while allowing flexibility in management and taxation. An LLC is a separate legal entity from its owners, meaning the members are not personally liable for the business’s debts, obligations, or liabilities.

It is a popular choice for small to medium-sized businesses that want the liability protection of a corporation while maintaining management flexibility and simpler tax treatment. It’s essential to consult with a legal or financial professional to determine if an LLC is the best choice for your specific business situation.

Limited Liability Partnership

A limited liability partnership (LLP) is comparable to an LLC. However, it is usually used by licensed business professionals like attorneys or accountants. A partnership agreement is necessary for this kind of business entity. You can form an LLP in Montana if you are planning to.


Forming a Corporation in Montana reduces your personal liability for business debts as an LLC does. A corporation is a legal entity that is separate and distinct from its owners, known as shareholders. It is created under the laws of the state it is incorporated in and is considered a separate “person” under the law. The corporation can enter into contracts, own property, sue and be sued, and pay taxes separately from its owners.

A corporation can be taxed as an S-corporation (S-Corp) or a C-corporation (C-Corp). If a small corporation satisfies certain Internal Revenue Service (IRS) standards, then S-corporation status is available, providing pass-through taxation. However, most larger businesses and startups seeking venture financing are taxed as C-corps.

To choose the right business structure in Montana, consider personal liability protection, taxation, management flexibility, administrative requirements, and setup costs. Consult a legal or financial professional to help you make the best decision.

Recommended: Incorporating a business has never been easier that’s why Legalzoom’s corporation formation provide a comprehensive and streamlined approach for your business. Whether you have plans to crowdfund or go public, get help from LegalZoom every step of the way. We recommend using –

LegalZoom Starts at $149 + filing fees

Step 3: Determine your Montana Business Cost

In Montana, you should determine the cost of your business. You should consider paying the Articles of Organization fee, business licenses fee, office supplies and equipment, payroll, rent, utilities, transportation, and taxes.

Usually, filing an initial Montana Articles of Organization fee costs $70, while the LLC annual fee costs $20 in Montana. In terms of filing Montana Articles of Incorporation, the costs usually range up to $70 for filing online..

If forming an LLC is your ideal business, consider knowing the LLC Cost in Montana.

Step 4: Name your Business in Montana

Naming your business doesn’t take a lot of time. With the help of Montana Business Name Search, you can acquire a name for your business. If you form an LLC in Montana, you must follow the below rules while naming your business-

  • The name should not be confused with a government entity.
  • The name should be unique.
  • The name should be available to use.
  • Any other business does not use the name.
  • The new name must include “LLC” if it is a limited liability company.

In Montana, if you do not wish to file your business right away but want to hold the name that you have decided on, then you can reserve your business name. You must file a name reservation application in the Montana Secretary of State to keep the name.

If the business name is available, you may choose to reserve it for a specific period of 120 days. The online name reservation fee is $10 and the mail name reservation fee is $10. If your business plans to operate under a name other than its legal name, you may also need to register a fictitious or “doing business as” (DBA) name.

The DBA filing can be done in one method, online, which you can file in Montana Secretary of State. You can check out how to file a DBA in Montana for clearer understanding.

Recommended: Unlock your business’s full potential with LegalZoom’s DBA service, providing a hassle-free experience that allows you to focus on what matters most – turning your passion into profit. We recommend –

LegalZoom – Starts at $99 + filing fees

Step 5: Register Montana Business

To register a business in Montana, you need to file it with the Montana Secretary of State. Before that, you must have a Montana Registered Agent for your business. The Registered Agent is a person who is responsible for receiving important legal documents on your behalf.

You can serve as your own Registered Agent, or you can appoint a friend or family member, or you can check the Best Registered Agent Services in Montana.

Apply For Articles of Organization

After you have a Registered Agent, you need to file the Montana Articles of Organization, if you want to have an LLC structure, or you need to file the Montana Articles of Incorporation if you want to have a Corporation.

Request For an EIN

In addition to the paperwork, your Registered Agent should apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) in Montana. An EIN will serve as the tax ID for your professional corporation. EIN can be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It is a 9-digit number similar to Social Security Number. EIN, however, is distinct from SSN. It is only used for business-related activities, particularly for submitting general taxes. The form must be completed and uploaded to the IRS website. You can obtain the EIN for free from the IRS.

The application of an EIN in Montana can be through the following:

  • Apply Online- The online EIN application is the preferred method for customers to apply for and obtain an EIN.
  • Apply by Fax- Taxpayers can fax the completed Form SS-4 application to the appropriate fax number), after ensuring that Form SS-4 contains all of the required information.
  • Apply by Mail- The EIN application Form SS-4 can be filed via mail. The processing time frame to receive the mail is four weeks.
  • Apply by Telephone (for International Applicants)– International applicants may call 267-941-1099 (not a toll-free number) from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday to obtain their EIN.

After you have your EIN number, you can benefit in several ways. It will give your LLC the absolute advantage necessary to operate at full capacity without encountering legal or judicial issues.

Recommended: Professional services have the EIN included in their LLC formation package. We recommend using –

LegalZoom($0 + State Fee for LLC formation)

Step 6: Apply for Business License and Permit

Business licenses and operating permits are necessary to run any business in Montana. Before launching your new business, request any required business license or permission. Most Montana businesses need licenses or permits to operate. Federal, state, and local governments may all require businesses to have licenses and permits. The business license fee depends on the type of license you are applying for. It can start from $25 till going up to $100+. However, in Montana, the business license fee ranges from $50 – $300.

Step 7: Obtain a Bank Account

Your business dealings in Montana might be simpler with a US business bank account because it boosts your company’s legitimacy and liquidity. Opening a separate bank account for your Montana business is essential for maintaining a clear separation between your personal and business finances.

You can check out the Best Banks in Montana, which offers the best fees, services, and convenience for your business needs.

Step 8: Market your Business in Montana

Now that your Montana business is registered, you can market it with an ideal marketing plan. An ideal marketing plan can help a start-up business to become known. Making a comprehensive social media network like META, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube falls within this category. While creating an SEO campaign for your company website, you may also look at specialized communities on Facebook and LinkedIn.


What are some small business ideas that work well in Montana?
Agriculture, tourism and hospitality, energy, fishing and hunting, and technology.
Do I need to register my business in Montana?
Yes, you need to register your business with the Montana Secretary of State’s office.
How do I register my business in Montana?
You can start by filing articles of organization or incorporation with the Montana Secretary of State.
Can I register my business as an LLC in Montana?
Yes, you can register your business as an LLC in Montana.
How much does it cost to register a business in Montana?
The cost to register a business in Montana varies depending on the type of business and the filing fee.
Do I need to obtain a business license in Montana?
Yes, some businesses in Montana may require a business license or permit.
What is the sales tax rate in Montana?
Montana is one of the few states without a statewide sales tax.
Can I operate a home-based business in Montana?
Yes, you can operate a home-based business in Montana as long as you comply with local zoning and licensing regulations.
What are the advantages of starting a business in Montana?
Montana has a low tax burden and a strong sense of community, making it an ideal place for small business owners.
What are the best cities to start a business in Montana?
Billings, Bozeman, Missoula, and Helena are some of the best cities to start a business in Montana.
How can I get funding to start a business in Montana?
You can apply for loans through the Small Business Administration, banks, or credit unions in Montana.
Does Montana provide any grants, loans, or other financial assistance to small businesses?
Yes, Montana has various grant and loan programs to support small businesses.
Can I get a grant to start a small business in Montana?
Yes, Montana provides grants to small businesses through various programs.
What are some resources for entrepreneurs in Montana?
Montana Small Business Development Centers, SCORE, and Montana Women’s Business Center are some resources for entrepreneurs in Montana.
Do I need to purchase business insurance for my business in Montana?
Yes, it is important to purchase business insurance to protect your business assets and interests in Montana.
Is there a minimum wage in Montana?
Yes, Montana’s current minimum wage is more than $8 per hour, which adjusts for inflation each year.
What workplace safety regulations apply to businesses in Montana?
Montana has its own workplace safety regulations that businesses must comply with.
How do I protect my business name in Montana?
File a trade name or trademark through the Montana Secretary of State to legally protect your business name.
How long does it take to register a business in Montana?
It usually takes between three and 10 business days to register a business in Montana.
What types of taxes do businesses in Montana need to pay?
Businesses in Montana need to pay income tax, employee tax, and property tax.
Do I need to have a registered agent for my business in Montana?
Yes, a registered agent must be designated for the Montana Secretary of State to send legal documents.
What is a registered agent for a business in Montana?
A registered agent accepts legal documents and official government communications on behalf of a business in Montana.
Is Montana business-friendly for small businesses?
Yes, Montana is considered to be business-friendly, due to its positive tax environment, low startup costs, and supportive officials.
How do I market my new business to locals in Montana?
Network, maximize your social media presence, attend community events and craft fairs, and engage with the local business community.
Can I deduct my expenses on taxes in Montana as a small-business owner?
Yes, you may qualify for various tax deductions and credits in Montana.
What is Montana’s economy based on?
Montana’s economy is based on agriculture, natural resources, energy, manufacturing, and tourism.
What should I include in a business plan to start a small business in Montana?
Executive summary, business description, market analysis, management plan, financial plan, and marketing plan are the components of a basic business plan.
Are there any state or federal grants for businesses in Montana during COVID-19?
You may be eligible for various grants through the Montana Business Stabilization Fund due to COVID-19.
How many small businesses are there in Montana?
As of 2020, there were approximately 117,000 small businesses registered in Montana.
What is the first step to start a business in Montana?
The first step is to register your business with the Montana Secretary of State.
Do I need to obtain any licenses or permits to start a business in Montana?
Yes, you may need to obtain certain licenses or permits depending on the type of business you are starting and its location.
How long does it usually take to register a business in Montana?
The registration process for a business in Montana typically takes about 5-10 business days.
What are some of the challenges of starting a business in Montana?
Some of the challenges include small population and slow economic growth in some areas, harsh winters and other severe weather conditions, and access to funding.
Are there any tax benefits for starting a business in Montana?
Yes, Montana offers a number of tax incentives and benefits to businesses in the state.
What industries are prominent in Montana?
Montana is known for its mining, agriculture, and tourism industries.
How can I find resources to help me start my business in Montana?
You can find resources through the Montana Small Business Development Center, the Montana Department of Commerce, and local economic development organizations.
Can I start a business in Montana remotely or do I need to be physically present in the state?
You can start a business in Montana remotely, but you will need to have a registered agent with a physical presence in the state.
Is there a requirement for minimum capital to register a business in Montana?
No, Montana does not have a minimum capital requirement to register a business.
What types of business structures are available in Montana?
Montana offers several business structures including sole proprietorship, partnerships, LLCs, and corporations.
How do I determine what type of business structure is right for me in Montana?
You should consult with an attorney or a business advisor to determine which structure is best for your business.
What is the process for getting a business license in Montana?
The process for getting a business license in Montana varies depending on the location and type of business.
Do I need to collect sales tax if I start a business in Montana?
Yes, if your business sells goods or services, you will likely need to collect and pay sales tax.
What is the cost of starting a business in Montana?
The cost of starting a business in Montana varies depending on the type and location of the business.
What funding options are available for small businesses in Montana?
Montana offers several funding options including grants, loans, and tax credits through its economic development agencies.
Do I have to live in Montana to start a business there?
No, you do not have to live in Montana to start a business there.
What are some of the popular small business opportunities in Montana?
Some popular small business opportunities in Montana include tourism, outdoor recreation, specialty agriculture products, and artisanal food and craft products.
How do I choose the right location for my business in Montana?
You should consider factors such as proximity to target customers and suppliers, available workforce, business incubation opportunities, and taxation rates.
How can I network with other small business owners in Montana?
You can network with other small business owners in Montana through local chambers of commerce, trade associations, and networking events.
What is the cost of living like for entrepreneurs in Montana?
Montanan’s cost of living is lower than the national average with cheap accommodations, less expensive food rates.
Does Montana have a minimum wage requirement?
Yes, Montana has a state minimum wage requirement.
Is Montana business-friendly?
Montana is generally considered a business-friendly state with its low tax rates and easy process of its incorporation
What financial assistance programs are available to entrepreneurs in Montana?
Montana offers various financial assistance programs such as microloans and community development financial institutions.
Are there any grants for small business owners in Montana?
Yes, Montana Department of Commerce has Small Wire Grants in place plus banks host some programs.
What is the Montana Business Navigator?
The Montana Business Navigator is a tool for entrepreneurs to guide them to available resources and programs.
What initial legal steps could I take in Montana before coming up with a business idea?
Registering and conducting formalities can help protect your idea in the state patent and copyright law but beyond legal steps exercise ones’ creativity while avoiding infringing upon someone else’s intellectual property.
How can I create a workforce pipeline in Montana?
You can engage with educational community leaders to attract students potentially being a long term addition to your workforce.
How do I protect my business idea to avoid theft or replication?
Depending on your type of idea consult with a trademark or patent attorney early in the process to create a viable ownership strategy and protect your brand identity.

Also Read

Why You Should Start Business in Montana

One of the biggest draws of Montana is its stunning natural beauty. With picturesque mountains, glistening lakes, and wide-open plains, the state offers a one-of-a-kind backdrop for any business. Whether you’re starting a tourism company, a photography studio, or an outdoor adventure business, Montana’s natural beauty can serve as a unique selling point for your brand.

In addition to its natural attractions, Montana also boasts a business-friendly environment. The state has a low corporate tax rate, making it an attractive destination for businesses looking to maximize their profits. Moreover, Montana offers a range of incentives and tax breaks for businesses, making it easier to get your venture off the ground.

Montana’s low cost of living is another major advantage for aspiring entrepreneurs. With affordable housing, utilities, and groceries, Montana offers a high quality of life at a fraction of the cost of big-city living. This means that you can stretch your startup funds further in Montana, giving your business a better chance at success.

Another benefit of starting a business in Montana is the supportive community of fellow entrepreneurs and business owners. The state has a strong network of startup hubs, incubators, and accelerators that can provide guidance, resources, and mentorship to help your business thrive. Whether you need advice on marketing strategies, access to funding, or connections to potential customers, Montana’s business community is there to support you every step of the way.

Furthermore, Montana’s central location in the heart of the American West makes it an ideal base for businesses looking to expand into new markets. With easy access to major cities like Denver, Seattle, and Minneapolis, Montana provides a strategic hub for businesses looking to reach customers across the region.

Finally, Montana offers a high quality of life for entrepreneurs and their employees. With clean air, low crime rates, and a strong sense of community, Montana provides a welcoming environment for business owners and their families. Whether you enjoy hiking, fishing, skiing, or simply enjoying a quiet evening under the stars, Montana offers a wide range of recreational opportunities for your downtime.

In conclusion, starting a business in Montana offers a host of benefits for entrepreneurs looking to make their mark in the business world. From its natural beauty and business-friendly environment to its supportive community and central location, Montana provides the perfect backdrop for your venture to flourish. So why wait? Take the plunge and start your business in Montana today.


Starting a business in Montana has unique advantages and challenges since it offers a large and diverse market, access to skilled talent, and numerous networking opportunities, making it an attractive location for entrepreneurs. However, business owners must also contend with a high cost of living, intense competition, and potentially complex regulations.

Ultimately, whether starting a business in Montana is the right decision depends on the entrepreneur’s specific needs, goals, and industry. It is crucial to conduct thorough research and consider factors such as taxes, regulations, workforce availability, and target market when choosing a location for a new business. By carefully weighing the pros and cons, entrepreneurs can make informed decisions and set themselves up for success in the competitive Montana business landscape.

Leave a Comment