The actual steps you take to form a Montana limited liability company are pretty simple. Instructions below walk you through what to file and where to get your LLC registered with the state. If you’d like a little more information, like examples of the forms you’ll be filling out, an article discussing the benefits and drawbacks of opting to be an LLC, and sample operating agreements, you may want to purchase our kit, available for $34.95.
1. Check if the LLC name you want is available
Once you have selected a name for your business, you need to find out whether you can use it. Under state law, you may not adopt a business name that is the same as or indistinguishable from that of another business. To find out whether a business name may be available, use the search form at
You can reserve a name for 120 days as you set up your business. Specifically, you need to file the Application for Reservation of a Business Name and pay a $10 filing fee. This is not required but may be a good idea if you are not going to immediately file as a business entity.
2. Download the LLC application from the Montana Secretary of State’s web site, then print this form
The URL, or web page address, for this form is as shown below.
3. Determine regular or professional LLC status
Indicate whether your LLC is a regular LLC or a professional LLC. Most LLCs will probably be regular LLCs. A professional limited liability company needs to be formed when your LLC will provide professional services (such as a doctor, lawyer or CPA does). Note that for a professional limited liability company, at least half of the managers must be qualified persons with respect to the limited liability company.
4. Identify the name you want to use for your new LLC
Enter your business or investment name onto the lines provided. (I used the example name, “Acme Explosives LLC.”) The business name of a limited liability company must contain the words or an abbreviation of “limited liability company” or “limited company” if the LLC is a regular LLC and the words or an abbreviation of “professional limited liability company” if the LLC is a professional LLC. For example, all of the following names should be acceptable:
- Acme Explosives Limited Liability Company
- Acme Explosives Limited Company
- Acme Explosives LLC
- Acme Explosives L.L.C.
- Acme Explosives LC
- Acme Explosives L.C.
- Acme Explosives Ltd. Liability Company
- Acme Explosives Limited Liability Co.
- Acme Explosives Ltd. Liability Co.
- Acme Explosives Ltd. Company
- Acme Explosives Limited Co.
- Acme Explosives Ltd. Co.
- Acme Professional Limited Liability Company
- Acme PLLC
5. Provide your name and address to the Secretary of State’s office
Montana wants to know the name and contact information for a real person within the state of Montana who the state can contact if it has questions or concerns about an LLC’s operation or if legal documents need to be served. Accordingly, enter your name and address information onto the lines that ask for this information. A PO Box is not sufficient. Be sure to sign your name after printing your name and address.
6. Indicate the address in which the LLC offices are located
Specify the address in which the LLC offices are located.
7. List date when company will dissolve
You have the choice to list a specific date to dissolve your LLC or to keep it as long as you like. If you choose “term” then you must list the latest date on which the LLC will dissolve. If you choose “at will” then your company will be dissolved at a time you later determine.
8. State how the LLC will be managed
If you have a manager or managers managing your LLC, check the first box. If you have a member or members managing your LLC, check the second box.
9. Name the manager(s) or members and their addresses
You need to provide your name and address as an LLC member. If you have checked the manager box, then you need to provide the name of the manager and his/her address instead.
10. List services if started a professional LLC
If you are starting a Professional LLC, then you are required to list the services you will provide, like accounting or legal.
11. Sign and date the form.
As the organizer of the LLC, you will need to sign and date the form. Under your signature, print your name and your title.
12. Submit the LLC Applications
After you complete the Articles of Organization document mail the document and a check for $70 to:
Secretary of State
P.O. Box 202801
Helena, MT 59620-2801
Processing lead times vary, but in general, it takes several weeks to get your LLC certificate back from the Secretary of State’s office.
You may request priority filing of your document. Simply mark the priority filing box and include an additional $20.00 with your filing fee. Priority filing ensures that your application will be handled within 24 hours of receipt of the document. The extra cost for expedited 1 hour filing is $100.