Montana LLC Costs

Last updated: May 14th, 2024
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An LLC, or limited liability company, is a business structure that gives business owners access to liability protection, special tax breaks, state-specific incentives, and a flexible management structure. Some entrepreneurs and small business owners think that forming an LLC in Montana is expensive and overly complicated. But, it is actually a straightforward process that is worth the cost in the long run.

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Costs to start an LLC in Montana

1
LLC Articles of Organization ($70)

  • You must file your Articles of Organization with the Montana Secretary of State.
  • The LLC cost to file Montana Articles of Organization is $70.
  • Montana offers expedited LLC service for online filings. It is $20 for a 1-day turnaround and $100 for 1-hour processing.

2
Montana annual report fee ($20)

  • In Montana, you will have to file an annual report with the Secretary of State.
  • You must file the LLC’s annual report online using the Montana Secretary of State Online Business Services.
  • Your Montana annual fee is $20 and is due on the 15th of April every year.
  • The penalty for not filing your annual report on time is $15, and you could face dissolution.

3
Montana registered agent fee (varies between $50 to $300)

  • In Montana, you must appoint a registered agent to form an LLC in the state.
  • By appointing one, you are alerting the Montana Secretary of State that someone is available during business hours to accept documents, subpoenas, and tax notices.
  • Per Montana law, you can appoint anyone as a registered agent if they meet the state requirements. While you can appoint yourself, your company cannot serve as its own registered agent.
  • The cost of a registered agent in Montana will depend on the commercial service you appoint, the needs of your LLC, and the state filing fees.

4
Fees to form a foreign LLC in Montana ($70)

  • In Montana, you must register as a foreign LLC if you have an existing LLC in another state and are looking to expand.
  • You will register as a foreign LLC using the Montana Secretary of State Online Business Filing Portal.
  • The filing fee to register a Montana foreign LLC is $70.

5
LLC name reservation fee ($10)

  • Montana does not require you to reserve an LLC name before formation.
  • Reserving an LLC name in Montana does ensure that no one else can use it before you can form your LLC.
  • An LLC name must be unique and meet the state requirements.
  • In Montana, you can reserve your LLC name for up to 120 days prior to formation.
  • You will reserve your LLC name online using the Montana Secretary of State Online Filing Portal.
  • The cost to reserve your company name in Montana is $10.

6
DBA filing fees in Montana ($20)

  • The business term DBA in Montana means ‘doing business as.’ A DBA, or an assumed name, is any registered name that an individual or company uses to operate that is not the company’s legal name.
  • Montana requires you to register a DBA if your business name differs from the LLC’s.
  • You will register your DBA online using the Montana Secretary of State Online Filing Portal.
  • The cost to file a Montana DBA is $20.

7
Cost of certified document copies ($10)

8
Certificate of existence ($5)

  • Financial institutions and money lenders will require you to submit a certificate of existence before allowing you to open a business bank account.
  • You will order your Montana certificate of existence online using the Montana Secretary of State Online Filing Portal.
  • The filing cost for a Montana certificate of existence is $5.

9
Foreign LLC name reservation fee ($10)

Steps to start an LLC in Montana

1
Choose a business name

In Montana, you will want to consider a few things before deciding on an LLC name.

  • LLC names must be unique and available for sure in Montana.
  • Your LLC name must meet all Montana LLC naming requirements.
  • By checking for web domain availability, you keep naming your LLC simple.

You will use the Montana Secretary of State Business Search to conduct a name search.

LLC name reservation fee

Montana does not require you to reserve an LLC name before formation.

You can reserve your LLC name online for up to 120 days before formation.

The cost to reserve a company name in Montana is $10. An LLC name is good for up to 120 days. Montana does not require you to reserve an LLC name.

2
Appoint a Montana registered agent

In Montana, you must appoint a registered agent when forming an LLC in the state.

The price for a Montana registered agent or service varies between $50 and $100 a year. The cost depends on the state and your LLC needs.

A registered agent in Montana is an individual or business entity that receives tax forms, legal documents, subpoenas, civil notices, service of process, and other official government correspondence on behalf of a sole proprietorship, corporation, or LLC.

The registered agent you choose must be a Montana resident or a registered agent service authorized to conduct business in the state.

Northwest

  • Total Out The Door State LLC Formation Service Package – $42 a month and includes:
    • State fee
    • Filing service fee
    • Registered Agent
    • Tax ID
  • Annual Plan – $225 plus state fees a year

ZenBusiness

  • Starter Plan – $39 a year plus state fees
  • Pro Plan – $149 a year plus state fees
  • Premium Plan – $249 a year plus state fees

ZenBusiness has a stand-alone registered agent service. The price is $99 per year.

LegalZoom

  • Economy – $79 plus $153 state filing fees
  • Standard – $329 plus $153 state filing fees
  • Express Gold – $349 plus $255 state filing fees

3
File Montana Articles of Organization

In Montana, you must file your Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State.

You will file your Articles of Organization online using the Montana Secretary of State Online Filing Portal.

The cost to file Montana Articles of Organization is $70.

Montana does offer expedited LLC services – 24-hour – $20, 1-day – $100.

Mailing address:
Montana Capitol Building
Room 260
PO Box 202801
Helena, MT 59620-2801

The Articles of Organization form will ask for specific information about a Montana LLC.

  • LLC name and address
  • Registered agent information

The fee in Montana for filing your LLC Articles of Organization is $70.

4
Get a Montana LLC EIN

An Employer Identification Number, or EIN, can also be referred to as a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or Federal Tax ID Number (FTIN).

An EIN is a 9-digit number that your LLC is assigned for free by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It works as a Social Security Number for companies for income tax purposes.

In Montana, an LLC must apply for an EIN if you are converting a sole proprietorship into an LLC.

Applying for an EIN is a simple process online through the IRS website.

Business banking for a Montana LLC

When banking in Montana, you will be required to open a business banking account that is separate from your personal one.

Most banks in Montana will require you to submit a copy of your Articles of Organization, operating agreement, and EIN.

Business banking accounts are generally free, and do not have additional charges or fees.

Business attorney fees in Montana

When forming an LLC in Montana, you can keep the process simple by retaining a business attorney. A lawyer will help keep formation on track and are available if any other business-related issues arise.

Most business attorneys will offer a free consultation to first-time clients.

Professional services such as LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer offer LLC formation packages that include comprehensive legal services.

On average, a business lawyer in Montana will cost $300 per hour.

LLC taxes in Montana

  • A limited liability company is considered a pass-through entity in Montana. You will file your personal tax returns rather than the company’s tax returns.
  • An LLC in Montana does not have to register for a seller’s permit.
  • The state of Montana does not impose state or federal sales taxes on products or services.
  • You must register for Unemployment Insurance Tax through the Montana Department of Labor and Industry.
  • In Montana, you must enroll in Employee Withholding Tax through the Montana Department of Revenue.
  • State taxes and federal taxes can often get complicated. By hiring a tax expert, you help to ensure that you avoid late fees, penalties, and possible dissolution.

Business licenses and permits in Montana

Business licenses and permit costs in Montana will vary depending on where your LLC is located and the type of business you do.

You will use the Montana.gov website to search for the business license you require for your LLC.

A business licence in Montana varies between $50 to $500. The total cost of permits and licences will depend on where your LLC is, and the type of LLC.

Montana city and county government agencies will have different rules and processes. You will need to contact the local office for questions about the process, price, and office hours.

Notary public

Some Montana LLC documents may require a notarization from a notary public.

If you cannot find one, most government agencies have a notary public in the office.

According to Montana law, a notary public can only charge a max of $10 per notorial act.

Employer obligations in Montana

Benefits of a Montana LLC

  • You keep business banking seamless when you form an LLC. A bank will require you to open a business bank account that is separate from your personal one. It reduces your future liability.
  • An LLC has different compliance requirements than other business structures. For example, incorporation must answer to shareholders and board members when making business decisions.
  • An LLC is considered a pass-through entity in Montana. An LLC’s earnings are only taxed once through your personal tax return.
  • When you form an LLC in Montana, you help to ensure you are not double-taxed in other ways. C-corporations are typically double-taxed, while LLCs are not.
  • Montana LLC formation filing fees are some of the most affordable. The cost to file Articles of Organization is only $70.
  • Montana has incentives that are available to LLCs. The Enterprise Zone and Montana State Small Business Credit Initiative (MT SSBCI) Program are incentives available for an LLC in the state.

FAQs

How long does it take to register an LLC in Montana?

In Montana, you can only file your LLC formation documents online using the Montana Secretary of State Online Business Filing Portal. It takes 7 to 10 business to process an online registration.

Montana offers expedited LLC services. 24-hour – $20, 1-hour – $100.

How do I dissolve my Montana LLC?

You will want to dissolve your LLC in Montana to avoid ongoing costs and fees. You will file your Articles of Dissolution online using the Montana Secretary of State Online Business Filing Portal.

The LLC filing fee for cancellation is $15.

Are there publishing requirements for Montana LLCs?

Unlike Arizona and New York, Montana has no additional publishing requirements.

Does Montana have an annual franchise tax?

Unlike most states, Montana does not have a biennial or annual franchise tax.

Do I need a business operating agreement for my LLC in Montana?

Montana Secretary of State does not require that you file an operating agreement. However, an LLC benefits from having one on file in order to avoid future misunderstandings.

An operating agreement can be written or oral as long as it is in the company’s files.

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