How to File the Articles of Incorporation for a Montana Nonprofit

Person submitting paperwork.

Starting a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in Montana is easy, just follow these easy steps to file the Montana Articles of Incorporation:

If you are starting a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in Montana, you have come to the right place. After reading the comprehensive guide for Montana nonprofit formation, follow this guide to file the Montana Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State.

What is covered in this guide:

  1. Information you will need to file the Montana Articles of Incorporation
  2. How to file the Montana Articles of Incorporation
  3. Montana Nonprofit Formation FAQ

Information you will need to file the Montana Articles of Incorporation

To become a nonprofit corporation in Montana you must file the Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State. This must be done online.

Here is some of the information you should have handy before you start to file online:

1: The name you selected for your organization.

For help with selecting a name for your nonprofit read our comprehensive guide on how to name Montana nonprofit.

2: Information on the registered agent you selected.

For more information read our guide: What is a registered agent? and The Montana Registered Agent Guide.

3: Information on the directors you selected.

For more information read our guide: How to Select Your Nonprofit's Board of Directors and Officers and Montana Board of Directors.

4: Information on the purpose of your organization

NOTE: In order to qualify for 501(c)(3) status, the organization’s purpose must explicitly be limited to one or more of the following:

  • Charitable
  • Religious
  • Scientific
  • Literary
  • Testing for public safety
  • Fostering national/international amateur sports competition
  • Preventing cruelty to animals/children

5: Information on dissolution

To be eligible for 501(c)(3) status, you must convince the IRS that the organization’s assets will always only be used for the purposes approved under 501(c)(3) rules. To this end, you must include provisions ensuring that in the event your organization is dissolved, the assets of the organization will be used towards tax-exempt purposes.

Section 5 of this sample document provides an example of these provisions required for 501(c)(3) eligibility.

How to file the Montana Articles of Incorporation

You can submit the Articles of Incorporation by selecting "Articles of Incorporation for Domestic Nonprofit Corporation" on the Secretary of State's online portal.

Montana Nonprofit Formation FAQ

How long does it take to process the Articles of Incorporation?

Filing online typically takes about 5-7 business days. You can choose to pay additional expedite fees for 24-hour or 1-hour processing.

How do I contact the Secretary of State for more information?

You can call for information at (406) 444-3665 or email them at sosbusiness@mt.gov.

State of Montana Nonprofit Resources