Step 1) Name Your Montana Corporation

Choose a Business NameA business name is important when starting a business in Montana to uniquely identify your Corporation. A few state rules should be observed when naming a Montana Corporation.

The Corporate name should include any of these words: ‘Corporation’, ‘Incorporated’, ‘Limited’, or ‘Company’. Its corresponding abbreviations can also be used. In addition, any word or abbreviation in another language as long as it has the same definition as those listed words above can also be used.

Another thing to keep in mind when naming a Corporation is that it should be different or distinguishably unique to any existing business entity registered with the Montana Secretary of State’s Office. To check if the name selected is available, use the Montana business name search tool. If the name is available, an Application for Reservation of Name can be filed, reserving the name for 60 days. A $25 filing fee is required.


Step 2) File the Articles of Incorporation

Register an LLCLegally incorporating in Montana requires that an Articles of Incorporation be filed.

When filing a Corporation in Montana, the following information is necessary: name and complete address of the Corporation, name and address of the Montana Registered Agent, the name and complete address of each of the incorporators, and the authorized number of shares for issuance. A postal mail filing is required for the submission of the form.

Filing fee: $70


Step 3) Find a Montana Registered Agent

Choose a Registered AgentA Montana Registered Agent is required for compliance. When hiring a Registered Agent, this individual/entity should adhere to some state rules.

A Registered Agent in Montana should be an individual who is a resident of Montana, a Montana business, or a foreign Corporation sanctioned to do business in Montana. A physical address in Montana should be provided by the designated Registered Agent as well since all legal notifications are to be sent to this address.

Most importantly, the Registered Agent should assent to receive these legal notifications prior to actual designation. Rocket Lawyer’s Registered Agent Services provides entrepreneurs with an efficient and competent agent for Montana Corporations.


Step 4) Keep a Corporate Records Book

File Annual Reports & Publication RequirementsIn order to keep all corporate documents, like a copy of the Articles of Incorporation, Montana Corporation registration documents, business licenses and permits, etc., in one single file safely, a Corporate Records Book should be maintained.

This Corporate Records Book can be purchased at the local office supply shop or an order can be made through Amazon.


Step 5) Elect the Initial Directors for Your Montana Corporation

Choose the Initial DirectorsAs part of the requisites for forming a Corporation in Montana, the incorporator should elect the initial directors of the Corporation.

As soon as the Montana Corporation directors are elected, an Incorporator’s Statement should be created by the incorporator with the complete name and address of the elected directors with the incorporator’s signature. This document should be kept in the Corporate Records Book.


Step 6) Hold the First Meeting with the Board of Directors

Hold a Meeting with Your Board of DirectorsWhen starting a Montana Corporation, the first meeting with the elected initial directors is crucial. At this time, the following agenda has to be discussed:

A minutes of the meeting has to be prepared and signed by all participants of the meeting. A copy should be placed in the Corporate Record Book.


Step 7) Take Care of Your Montana Business Tax and Corporate Licensing Requirements

Business LicensesTaking care of Montana business taxes is not just part of compliance requirements, but it is also required for Montana Corporation maintenance.  Follow the necessary steps to take care of these deliverables.

  1. Obtain an Employer Identification Number through an online application from the IRS website.
  2. Have a good understanding of the Montana business tax system and comply with all requirements. (Check Startup Savant’s Montana Business Taxes guide for further details)
  3. File Form 2553 Election if Corporation will apply for an S Corp status. This form should be signed by all shareholders. (optional)

The next order of things to be compliant with and fulfill maintenance requirements is to take care of Montana business licenses and permits.

Each business in the state has different sets of requirements when it comes to business licenses, so a good working knowledge of the complexities of this task is required. Startup Savant’s Montana Business Licenses and Regulations guide should give entrepreneurs insights on how to accomplish this task.


Step 8) Open a Business Bank Account

Best Business Bank AccountBy opening a business bank account you will be able to keep all financial assets separate. Not only does it protect your personal assets, but it makes paying taxes a lot more simple.

There are many options including Chase and Bank of America, so do your research to find out which is right for your Montana Corporation. Here are our top 3 options.


To-Do After Starting a Montana Corporation

Now that you have followed the steps above, you are officially a Montana Corporation. Other than those 8 steps that are based on state guidelines, here are a few additional steps based on best practices for starting a successful Corporation. Not required, but highly recommended.

1) Compose a Funding-Ready Business Plan

Write a Business PlanBusiness plans are effective tools to obtain the required startup capital for a Montana Corporation. But more than that, it is an overall strong blueprint to a business’ continuous long-term growth if created the right way.

To begin composing a funding-ready and strong business plan, a few resources have been provided below.

Quick Links to Writing a Business Plan


2) Build a Business Website

Build a Business WebsiteTo be able to compete with existing businesses, you need to have a business website to build trust with your customers. The best alternative to hiring an expensive designer is to start a website on WordPress.

Bluehost has one-click-to-install option that a non-tech savvy entrepreneur can do themselves. Learn how to get started with this simple guide.


3) Prepare Corporate Bylaws

Prepare Corporate BylawsCorporate bylaws are not required to be submitted to the state; however, its importance in the internal operations of a business should be strongly emphasized.

For some semblance of order and organization, Montana Corporation bylaws should be drafted. Aside from providing some basic framework for internal business operations, it also shows bankers, creditors, and government agencies that the Corporation is a legitimate organization.

Please note that this guide on Montana Corporation formation is simply just that – a guide for informational purposes. This article should never be used as a legal document or advice. For questions on the particulars of how to form a Corporation in Montana or starting a new business, consult a business lawyer’s expertise.

Need Help Forming Your Corporation?

Have a reliable LLC filing service like IncFile or LegalZoom do the work for you. Just answer a few questions about your business and they’ll take care of the paperwork.

Although both offer virtually the same service, IncFile is $100 less and our top pick. Enjoy!

Visit IncFile Or Visit LegalZoom