Register an Assumed Business Name in Montana
Registering a Montana assumed business name, also known as a DBA, is easy!
Learn How to File a DBA in Montana yourself in two steps:
Note: A DBA is only used for branding. We recommend forming an LLC to separate your business and personal assets.
Step 1. Start with a Montana Assumed Business Name Search
Montana assumed business names must be unique and must also meet Montana’s business name requirements.
First, visit the Montana Secretary of State's Business Search Website and search for your new DBA name to make sure it isn’t already in use.
Next, review the Montana naming requirements. In Montana, assumed business names should NOT include:
- Any business entity suffix, such as LLC, Incorporated, Corp, etc., unless the business is actually an LLC, corporation, or etc.
- Any terms given to financial institutions, including: "bank," "banc," "banco," 'banque," "banker, ''trust company," "savings and loan association," "savings bank," "credit union" or other similar words.
- Words that imply that the company is organized for a non-permitted purpose.
Need Help Choosing a DBA Name?
If you need help coming up with a DBA name, try our business name generator. You can use this tool to generate both business names and domain names.
We recommend checking if your name is available as a web domain (URL). You might not plan on starting a business website today, but you may want to prevent others from acquiring your URL.
Step 2. Register Your Montana DBA
Your Montana assumed business name can be filed online with the Secretary of State‘s ePass website.
The form includes the following information:
- Business description
- Applicant type (LLC, sole proprietorship, corporation, etc.)
- Mailing address and phone number
A DBA does not offer any legal protection for your personal assets in the event that your business is sued. For more information on setting up a limited liability company, visit our How to Form an LLC page and select your state.
Manage Your Montana Assumed Business Name
Call the Montana Secretary of State: 406-444-2034
Renew Your Assumed Business Name With the State
Your Montana DBA should be renewed every five years. The fee is $20, and you complete the renewal process online.
Change Your Assumed Business Name
You can amend your assumed business name registration online. The fee is $20.
Withdraw Your Assumed Business Name
You can cancel your Montana assumed business name online. There is no cancellation fee.
After Filing Your Montana DBA
If filing a DBA marks the beginning of your business journey, then there are a few more steps that you should take before getting started:
- Create your Business’s Website - Every business needs a website. Luckily, drag-and-drop builders like GoDaddy and Wix make the job quick and easy. Check out our Best Website Builder article to find the tool that’s best for you.
- Get your Business Finances in Order - You’ll need to separate your business finances from your personal ones. This is accomplished by opening a business bank account. If your business has long lead times or other cash flow irregularities, you can also look into a business credit card.
- Protect Your Business - While an LLC will help to protect your personal assets in the case of a lawsuit, your business’s assets also need protection. Having the right business insurance will ensure that you’re covered if the worst happens. Most businesses start with general liability insurance as their base coverage.
Need Help Filing Your Montana DBA?
Have a Professional Service File Your Montana DBA For You
A professional service will handle filing your DBA on your behalf, allowing you to focus on the other needs of your business.
Recommended: MyCompanyWorks ($99 + state fee)
DBA Montana FAQ
How many DBAs can I have?
You can have as many DBAs as you can afford to create and are able to keep track of. Each one comes with additional incremental expenses and paperwork, meaning more is not necessarily better.
Can a DBA get an EIN or Tax ID?
DBAs aren’t required to have a separate EIN because DBAs aren’t a business entity. The business entity that the DBA is under would have an EIN if an EIN is required.
To learn more about EINs and when you need one for your business, read our What is an EIN guide.
Can a DBA become an LLC?
No. An LLC is a business entity, while a DBA is just a name for a business.
Sole proprietorships are often confused with DBAs, but they are not the same: a sole proprietorship is a business entity, therefore it can choose to become an LLC.
To learn how to form an LLC, visit our Form an LLC state guides.
Can a DBA have Inc. in the name?
A DBA can only have Inc. in the name if the business entity the DBA is attached to is a corporation.
How do I set up a DBA for a rental property?
Holding a rental property in your name and with a DBA will not afford you any protection. The best option is to form an LLC to protect your personal assets in the event of an issue with the rental property. In any case, it is always best to consult an attorney.
When would it be good to get a DBA versus a legal name change?
Getting a DBA is often a better choice than changing your business’s legal name. If you want to rebrand your company or focus on another line of business, filing for a DBA is a simpler process than filing for a legal name change.
Is my DBA protected from being used in other places?
Some state-level laws prevent DBAs that are too similar to existing ones from being used, but this varies from state to state. It is possible to trademark a DBA, which would offer stronger protection across state lines.