Step 1) Pick a Business Name for Your Montana Non-Profit

Choose a Business NameWhen forming a Non-Profit in Montana, the first step to complete is to pick a valid Montana Non-Profit name for your business.

This name should be a unique business name that does not closely resemble any existing business entity registered with the Montana Secretary of State. To verify if the name is valid and available, check the name on the Montana database search tool.


Step 2) Elect the Initial Directors for Your Montana Non-Profit

Choose the Initial DirectorsTo comply with state policies when starting a Montana Non-Profit, the incorporator must elect an initial set of Montana Non-Profit directors.

These initial directors will serve on the board until the first shareholder’s meeting.


Step 3) Hire a Registered Agent for Your Montana Non-Profit

Choose a Registered AgentFor the Montana Registered Agent for your Non-Profit, there are a few state regulations that you should observe to become compliant.

The Registered Agent can be an individual resident of Montana, a Montana business entity or a foreign business entity registered to operate in Montana.

A physical street address in Montana should also be provided. Lastly, the Registered Agent in Montana should consent to accept service of process on behalf of your business before the formal designation.

For quick and convenient compliance of this state requirement, you can hire a competent and reliable Registered Agent through Rocket Lawyer.


Step 4) File a Montana Non-Profit Articles of Incorporation

Register an LLCNon-Profit Articles of Incorporation has to be filed to the Montana Secretary of State Office to obtain recognition as a legal business entity in the state. When a Non-Profit Articles of Incorporation is filed, there are several things you need to provide, these include:

In addition to the standard information listed above, there are additional languages that must be added to your application to be tax exempted with the IRS. These languages include:


Step 5) Schedule an Initial Meeting with the Board of Directors

Hold a Meeting with Your Board of DirectorsAt this initial meeting, you and your board of directors will have to decide on a number of important matters regarding your Non-Profit:

A minutes of the meeting should be prepared at this initial convention.


Step 6) Maintain a Corporate Records Binder

File Annual Reports & Publication RequirementsA Corporate Records Binder is a folder where you can keep important documents such as your Montana Non-Profit registration paperwork, copy of business licenses and permits, business tax reports, corporate bylaws, and more.

You can get a Corporate Records Binder at the local office supply shop in your area, or you can order directly via Amazon.


Step 7) Get an Employer Identification Number for Your Montana Non-Profit

Get an EIN for Your LLCAn Employer Identification Number is required for your Montana Non-Profit because it is required in basically all transactions involving your organization.

From opening a bank account to completing permits and licenses, these activities all require an EIN. The easiest way to get a Montana Non-Profit EIN is through online application at the IRS website.


Step 8) Open a Business Bank Account

Best Business Bank AccountTo avoid any tax, asset, or financial confusion as a Non-Profit, you should open a separate checking account for your business. This will keep all personal and business assets separate for when it is time to pay your taxes.

From CitiBank to Chase, there are many options for you to choose from. For a quick look at some of our favorites, see this review.


Step 9) File for Montana Federal and State Tax Exemptions

Small Business TaxesFor your Montana Non-Profit tax registration exemption, you must always refer to the Montana Secretary of State and the Department of Revenue of Montana.

Know that even if you’re a 501(c)(3) organization, you might still be registering for Non-Profit taxes depending on state policies. When applying for federal and state tax exemptions, do the following:

1) File Form 1023 for Federal Tax Exemptions

To benefit from federal tax exemptions from the IRS, you must file Form 1023, or the Application for the Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

This form is lengthy, and requires a good number of details so that you are greatly advised to fill out each entry carefully and to refer to general instructions to filling out the form to ensure that everything is clear and correct.

For smaller Non-Profits, an alternative form can be used – Form 1023-EZ, or the Streamlined Application for the Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. This form can only be used for smaller Non-Profits that meet the following requirement: (1) a forecasted yearly gross receipt of not more than $50,000; (2) total assets lesser than $250,000.

2) Obtain Montana State Tax Exemptions

Once you have obtained your federal tax exemptions, it’s now time to apply for Montana tax exemptions. To avail of Montana state tax exemptions, you have to file for a state tax-exemption request at the Department of Revenue of Montana. All instructions and forms as to how to file for these exemptions should only be taken from the state website as well.

3) Additional State Reports and Registration Obligations

Depending on the size of your Non-Profit and the gravity of its activities, you may also be required for additional reports and registration documents especially for fundraising activities done outside of Montana.


Step 10) Handle Your Montana Business Licenses & Regulations

Business LicensesAside from Montana business taxes, another important requirement to take care of when starting a business is the filing of business licenses. Complying with business licenses and regulations are important for your business to legally operate.

Recommended Resource: Visit to learn more or have professionals handle all the research for you through this reliable service.


To-Do After Starting a

Montana Non-Profit

Now that you have followed the steps above, you are an official Non-Profit organization in the state of Montana. Other than those 10 steps that are based on state guidelines, here are 2 additional steps based on best practices for starting a successful organization. Not required, but highly recommended.

1) Plan Your Montana Non-Profit for Success

Write a Business PlanEven a Non-Profit organization has a clear set of goals that it wants to achieve. Through a solid business plan, these goals can be outlined and steps and proven business practices can be implemented to achieve favorable results for these goals.

There are many more benefits to a solid business plan that it is vital to a business’ success. If you haven’t written a plan for your Non-Profit, you can refer to the links below to get you started.

Quick Links to Writing a Business Plan


2) Build a Business Website

Build a Business WebsiteAs you start a Non-Profit in Montana, the next step is to build a professional website. This earns the trust and business from your potential customers.

If you don’t want to get too technical and are looking for the easiest solution, look into WordPress. It is free, customizable, and easy to use. Learn how to start a website for your business through this helpful tutorial.

This guide is intended for informational purposes only. It should never be used as a legal document. For the legalities involved in starting a Non-Profit organization in Montana or Montana Non-Profit organizations in general, you should speak with a professional business lawyer.

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