Filing the Montana Articles of Organization is Easy!
Step 1: Get Your Articles of Organization Forms
You must file your Montana Articles of Organization online.
Get Your Montana Articles of Organization
Create an ePass Montana account by selecting "Login with ePass" and filling out the required fields. You will be redirected back to the SOS Online Business Services page. Select "Forms" from the left menu and select "Articles of Organization for Domestic Limited Liability Company."
Step 2: Fill Out the Articles of Organization
In this step, we will help you complete the Montana Articles of Organization.
You will need to know the following information to complete the form:
- Entity Name and Type
- Registered Agent Name and Registered Office Address
- Business Purpose
- LLC Term
- Governing Authority Type
Entity Name and Type
Having a creative and smart business name is important but not as important as having a legally correct name.
When you choose a name for your business, you have to make sure the name:
- meets Montana naming guidelines.
- is not already in use by another business in Montana.
Follow the Montana Naming Guidelines:
- Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or “limited company” or one of their abbreviations (LLC, L.L.C., LC, or L.C.). The word "limited" may be abbreviated as "ltd.," and the word "company" may be abbreviated as "co.”
- Your name cannot include identifiers (e.g., Limited Partnership, Inc., Corp.) that imply the company is anything other than an LLC
- Your name cannot include words that could confuse your LLC with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
- In some states, certain restricted words (e.g., Bank, Attorney, University) may require additional paperwork and a licensed individual to be part of your LLC.
- Your name must be distinguishable from any existing business in the state. This includes Montana reserved names.
Check Name Availability:
Is your name available in Montana? Make sure the name you want isn't already taken by doing a name search on the Montana Secretary of State website.
To learn more about naming your business, including best practices and creative branding, visit our How to Name a Business in Montana guide.
Not sure what to name your business? Check out our Business Name Generator.
Select the Type of LLC:
You will need to select your LLC type:
- Limited Liability Company
- Professional Limited Liability Company (PLLC)
- Series Limited Liability Company
- Professional Series Limited Liability Company
The PLLC designation is sometimes required for businesses that include licensed individuals like attorneys, doctors, architects, etc.
Series LLCs are available in certain states, including Montana, and are basically designed to allow for separate LLCs to branch off of one main LLC. Check out our What Is a Series LLC? guide to learn more.
Register Your Domain Name:
We recommend checking to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don't plan to make a business website today, you may want to buy the URL to prevent others from acquiring it.
Registered Agent and Registered Office
A registered agent accepts and sends legal documents on your LLC’s behalf. When you register your Montana LLC, you are required to list your registered agent and your registered office.
Your registered agent can be anyone 18 years or older that lives in Montana. Your registered agent must always be available at the registered office during regular business hours.
To learn more about choosing a Montana registered agent, read our How to Choose a Montana Registered Agent guide.
To learn more about what a registered agent does and how to choose one, read our What is a Registered Agent guide.
In Montana, you can form a limited liability company for any legal or non-prohibited activity. Include a brief description of your business here.
Keep in mind that a business purpose that involves licensing, tax-exemption, or tax-deductible status requires specific language from the IRS or a professional license.
Select whether your LLC will exist in perpetuity or if you have a planned future date when the LLC will dissolve.
You must state whether or not your LLC will be managed by managers or by its members. You must also list at least one member or manager and their information.
To learn everything you need to know about choosing your management structure, read our Management by Members or Managers guide.
Step 3: File the Articles of Organization
To register your LLC, you will need to file the Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. This must be done online.
File Your Montana Articles of Organization
Select "File Online" under "Articles of Organization for Domestic Limited Liability Company" and log into your ePass account. Then, fill out the required fields.
State Filing Cost: $70
Create an Operating Agreement
A Montana LLC operating agreement is a legal document that outlines the ownership structure and member roles of your LLC.
In Montana, you aren’t required to have an Operating Agreement to officially form an LLC, but it's still a good idea to have one. You can start your operating agreement before, during, or after you file your Articles of Organization.
Your operating agreement will be kept in your LLC’s private business records; you do not file it with the state.
Use our free Operating Agreement Tool to draft a customized operating agreement for your LLC.
Get an EIN
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is like a social security number for your LLC. You will need an EIN if you want to hire employees or open business bank accounts.
You can get your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our What is an EIN article.
Open a Business Bank Account
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential to protect your business' corporate veil. When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your LLC is sued.
For reviews on some of our most trusted business banks, visit our Best Banks for Small Business review.
Get Licenses and Permits
When you are registering an LLC, you need to determine if your business needs any licenses or permits to remain compliant. On the federal level, there are a handful of business activities that require licenses or permits.
Find out how to obtain necessary licenses and permits for your business or have a professional service do it for you:
- Federal: Use the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) guide to federal business licenses and permits.
- State: Apply for or learn more about licenses, permits, and registration with Montana's Small Business Development Center Network website.
- Local: Contact your local county clerk and ask about local licenses and permits.
Brand Your Business
The strongest and most memorable businesses are built on a solid brand. When developing your brand, think about what your business stands for. Customers and clients are looking for companies that have a compelling brand, as much as they are shopping for high-quality products and services.
Creating a logo for your business is vital for increasing brand awareness. You can design your own unique logo using our Free Logo Generator. Our free tool can help you design your own unique logo for your new business idea.