The actual steps you take to form a Montana limited liability company are pretty simple. You can, if you want, follow the instructions below. (These instructions are up-to-date as of July 27, 2020.)
We’ve also got a free, downloadable “do it yourself” kit you can use. In other words, the price you pay to purchase equals “zero.” That kit provides more information about LLCs and includes a couple of free LLC operating agreements. (We used to sell the kit but since the Covid 19 pandemic have simply given the kit away.)
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. Open Montana’s LLC online application form
Starting in 2017, Montana has gone digital. Any form you want to file has to be filed online.
Login or create an account using the link above. You’ll be taken to the Online Business Filing system dashboard.
From there click on Form a Domestic Limited Liability Company.
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. List the registered agent
Select new agent and choose individual in the new drop down that appears. List the name and address of the registered agent. A PO Box for address is not sufficient.
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 the business is intended to exist for an indefinite amount of time, select perpetual. If you want the business to dissolve at some point, select Future Date or Number of Years.
8. State how the LLC will be managed
Select whether you want the LLC to be managed by members or managers.
9. Name the manager(s) or members and their addresses
You need to provide your name and address as an LLC member. Click add an individual and provide the name and of address of the member/manager.
11. Electronically sign and date the form.
Click the two boxes at the top that states you’ve been authorized by the business entity to file the articles and that all the information included in the filing is true. You’ll also need to add your name, position, and the date.
12. Click submit
Processing lead times vary, but in general, it takes several weeks to get your corporation certificate back from the secretary of state’s office.
Other Resources You Might Find Useful
Steps to apply for an employer identification number
How to complete a 2553 “S Election” form