Last Updated: February 16, 2024, 1:14 pm by TRUiC Team


How Much Does It Cost to Start an LLC in Montana?

The cost to start an LLC (limited liability company) online in Montana is $35. This fee is paid to the Montana Secretary of State when filing the LLC’s Articles of Organization.

We recommend Northwest ($29 + State Fees) to help form your LLC.

How Much Does an LLC Cost in Montana?

Montana LLC Online Filing Fee: $35

The main cost to start an LLC in Montana is the $35 fee to file your LLC's Articles of Organization online with the Montana Secretary of State.

For a look at LLC costs in every state, read our other Cost to Start an LLC and How to Form an LLC guides.

Cost to Form a Foreign LLC in Montana

If you already have an LLC that is registered in another state and you’d like to expand your business into Montana, you’ll need to register your LLC as a foreign LLC in Montana.

The cost for registering a Montana foreign LLC is $70. You can register a foreign LLC in Montana by filling out the online registration.

Optional LLC Formation Costs

There are optional fees associated with LLC formation:

LLC Name Reservation

Reserve your name for up to 120 days prior to LLC formation by filing a Reservation of Name form and paying the $10 filing fee.

Foreign LLC Name Registration

If a foreign LLC wants to register an entity name but not transact business in Montana, they can file a Registration of Foreign Business Name online for $10.

Assumed Business Name

File a Registration of Assumed Business Name and pay the $20 filing fee to create a name other than your legal LLC business name.

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Ready to Start Your Montana LLC?

Read our top LLC formation services review to choose the right service for you.

Montana LLC Annual Fees and Ongoing Compliance

Establishing and maintaining a limited liability company (LLC) in Montana involves ongoing costs that are important to consider when managing your LLC's finances. 

Here are the primary ongoing fees for a Montana LLC:

  • Annual Report: LLCs in Montana are required to file an annual report. The fee for filing the annual report is $20 if filed prior to April 15, and $35 if filed after April 15.
  • Assumed Business Name Renewal: If your LLC has an ABN, you will need to renew it every five years with the Secretary of State. The renewal fee is $20 and can be filed online.
  • Registered Agent Fee: Montana requires every LLC to appoint and maintain a registered agent. Yearly fees for a third-party registered agent services typically range between $100 and $200.

By understanding these expenses, you can effectively plan your budget and ensure the financial stability of your LLC.

How to Register a Montana LLC Yourself

By following the seven steps outlined below, you can register your Montana LLC yourself.

Recommended: Using an LLC formation service like Northwest ($29 + State Fees) saves time and ensures compliance. Besides the low cost, we like their streamlined approach and excellent customer service.

Seven Basic Steps to Start an LLC in Montana

Step 1: Name Your Montana LLC
Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent
Step 3: File the Articles of Organization
Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement
Step 5: Get an EIN
Step 6: File the Annual Report
Step 7: Keep Your Company Compliant

Step 1: Name Your Montana LLC

When you name your Montana LLC, you’ll need to choose a name that:

  1. Is available for use in the state of Montana
  2. Meets Montana naming requirements
  3. Is available as a web domain

Recommended: Visit our Start an LLC in Montana guide for detailed naming rules and instructions for registering a business name in Montana.

Not sure what to name your business? Check out our How to Name a Business guide and free LLC Name Generator.

We recommend that you check online to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don't plan to create a business website today, you may want to buy the URL in order to prevent others from acquiring it.

Find a Domain Now

Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent

All LLCs in Montana must appoint a registered agent. A registered agent primarily acts as your LLC’s main point of contact with the state. But most importantly, they are responsible for accepting service of process in the event your business is sued.

Your Montana registered agent must:

  • Be at least 18 years or older
  • Have a physical address in Montana
  • Be available during normal business hours to accept service of process

Get Free Registered Agent Services

Form an LLC with Northwest Registered Agent to get one year of registered agent services free of charge.

Step 3: File the Articles of Organization

The Montana Articles of Organization is a document that is filed with the Minnesota Secretary of State to form an LLC. The fee for filing the Articles of Organization is $35 online.

For detailed instructions for completing the Articles of Organization, visit our How to File the Montana Articles of Organization guide.

File the Montana Articles of Organization

File Online With the Montana Secretary of State

File Online

State Filing Cost: $35, payable to the Secretary of State

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement

An operating agreement isn't required for Montana LLCs, but it's a good practice to have one.

What is an operating agreement? An operating agreement is a legal document outlining the ownership and operating procedures of an LLC.

Why are operating agreements important? A comprehensive operating agreement ensures that all business owners are on the same page and reduces the risk of future conflict.

For more information on operating agreements, read our Montana LLC operating agreement guide.

Step 5: Get an EIN

What is an EIN? An EIN or Employer Identification Number is a nine-digit number issued by the Internal Revenue System (IRS) to identify a business for tax reporting purposes. An EIN is essentially a Social Security number (SSN) for your company.

Why do I need an EIN? An EIN number is required for the following:

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Free EIN: You can get an EIN from the IRS website (free of charge) after forming your business.

Step 6: File the Annual Report

Montana requires LLCs to file an annual report with the Secretary of State by April 15 each year. The filing fee is $20.

Montana fines LLCs $15 for late filings. In addition, Montana may dissolve LLCs at any time after December 1 of each year for failure to file an annual report.

Step 7: Keep Your Company Compliant

Ensuring you have the necessary permits and licenses, staying up to date with tax obligations, and observing employment laws are essential. 

  • Acquire all relevant business licenses and permits. These may vary depending on your specific business activities and may involve federal, state, and local regulations.
  • Keep up with Montana LLC tax obligations. Note that Montana does not impose sales tax, but you may have other tax responsibilities, such as:
    • Employer taxes if you have employees.
  • File federal and state income tax returns annually.
  • If you're hiring employees, remember to:
    • Verify their eligibility to work in the US.
    • Report them as “new hires” to the state.
    • Provide workers' compensation insurance.
    • Withhold employee taxes.
    • Display workplace compliance posters in visible locations.
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Steps After LLC Formation

Read all the steps you’ll need to maintain your LLC’s personal liability protection, open a business bank account, get business insurance, and stay up to date with state reporting requirements.

Visit our After Forming an LLC guide to learn more.

Montana LLC Cost FAQ

To form an LLC in Montana, you need to file the Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. This can be done online and comes with a filing cost of $35. The Articles of Organization is a foundational document that includes information about your LLC such as its name, purpose, and the name and address of its registered agent.

Your Montana LLC's registered agent can be an individual resident of Montana or a business entity authorized to do business in Montana. The role of the registered agent is to accept legal papers and other official documents on behalf of your LLC.

In Montana, you can verify the availability of your desired LLC name through the Business Search on the Secretary of State's website. This is important to ensure your chosen name is not already in use by another business entity in the state.

In Montana, an “assumed business name” is the state’s term for a “doing business as” (DBA) name. This allows your LLC to operate under a name other than its legal name. Remember, to use an assumed business name, it must be registered with the state.

Every year, Montana LLCs must file an annual report with the Secretary of State. The fee for this is $20 if filed prior to April 15, and $35 if filed after April 15. The annual report helps the state maintain updated records about your business.

Using an LLC formation service in Montana can save you time and hassle. Such services handle all the necessary paperwork and ensure that all steps of the LLC formation process are completed correctly. Many LLC formation services also offer additional benefits such as compliance alerts, registered agent services, and ongoing business support, which can be particularly beneficial for first-time business owners.

A Certificate of Existence, also known as a Certificate of Good Standing in some states, is an official document from the Secretary of State. It attests that your Montana LLC is legally registered and compliant with all state requirements. This document can be necessary when dealing with banks, investors, or in situations where you need to prove your business is in good standing.

Article Sources

Montana Department of Revenue:
https://mtrevenue.gov/

IRS - Employer ID Numbers:
https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/employer-id-numbers

Montana Secretary of State:
https://biz.sosmt.gov/

SBA - Apply for licenses and permits:
https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/launch-your-business/apply-licenses-permits

Chamber of Commerce - Montana Chamber of Commerce List:
https://www.officialusa.com/stateguides/chambers/Montana.html