The law in Montana works to protect small business owners from debts incurred by their businesses. If your business is ever sued, you could become personally liable for the debts you owe as a result of this lawsuit. This is dangerous for your personal assets, which is why Montana law offers you a change to register your business as an LLC to keep your personal assets safe and protected if this should ever occur. The formation of a Limited Liability Company in Montana is time-consuming, but it’s worth it. There aren’t many challenges associated with forming an LLC in Montana, but there are a number of laws you have to follow before you can officially register. All the paperwork you need to file is located on the Montana Secretary of State website, and it’s all easy to understand and file.
- Choose a name
- Choose a registered agent
- File Articles of Organization
- Apply for EIN if applicable
- Apply for business licenses
- Register with Montana Department of Revenue if applicable
- File annual reports
Forming an LLC in Montana
Montana law requires you follow very proper procedure to form an LLC in Montana, and it’s all for the best. These laws are not an option, and they must be done in a particular order unless you want to find issues with your applications in other departments. All of the paperwork you need to file is easily accessible online, and most of the forms can also be filed online to make the process faster and more efficient.
Choosing a name is simple. You then reserve the name you want. The law in Montana requires you register your business name with “LLC” behind it. The feel to file a reservation for a business is only $10, and it’s good for 120 days. You can only do this by mail, however. Once you receive confirmation your name is reserved, you find a registered agent. It doesn’t have to be an attorney or law firm, but it’s never a bad idea since this is the person or business handling all your legal needs in business. Your registered agent can be anyone who has a physical address in Montana.
Your Articles of Organization are the next step. This must include the following information:
- Business name and address
- Registered agent name and address
- Is your LLC member or manager managed?
- What type of services do you offer?
- Names and addresses of all members or managers
The filing fee is $70, and you can only file this paperwork by mail. Once you receive confirmation that your articles are received and correct, you then begin the next step. This is to obtain all the necessary business licenses required to operate a business of your nature in your county. If you have more than one member, you’ll then apply for an Employer Identification Number from the IRS, which is issued immediately. If your business collects sales tax with the sale of goods, you need to register your new LLC with the Montana Department of Revenue.
The last step is filing your annual reports and fees each year. These are always due by April 15. You’ll receive a form in the mail every year, and you only need to send it back to the address listed on it along with a check in the amount of $15. If you don’t file on time, you’ll incur a $15 late fee. If you don’t pay your report fee or file by December 1, your business is dissolved, and you’ll have to file paperwork to become reinstated afterward.
The biggest challenge forming an LLC in Montana is in the naming process. If you’re a new business, you might be mildly inconvenienced the name you want is already registered. Montana law does not allow two businesses to operate under the same name. You simply need to choose another name. If you are a business that’s been in business for a while, changing your name might be difficult for you to do and still maintain your reputation without confusing customers. However, it’s a requirement if you want to personally protect yourself from any legal liability.