To secure and register your brand name it should be unique, not too similar to another registered name, and shouldn’t contain any restricted wording. To check, conduct a Business Entity Search through the state, and if there are potential trademark issues conduct another quick search using the TESS System through the U.S. Patent Office.
Must contain the words “corporation”, “incorporated”, “company”, or “limited”. Abbreviations like “corp.”, “inc.”, “co.”, or “ltd.”; are also acceptable (in any language). If needed, a Business Name Reservation application can be submitted to the Montana Secretary of State for as well.
Filing Fee: $10 with Expedition Options
A Montana registered agent or an “Agent for Service of Process” acts as an intermediary who receives and helps to process all official documents on your brand’s behalf like state filings, tax forms, legal notices, and so on. The agent can either be an individual living in Montana, a Montana company, or a foreign company registered in Montana with a physical location/street address.
You can hire an outside professional service and expect to pay up to $160/year, or get a qualified agent free when incorporating with IncFile or CorpNet. They handle this and much more depending on your startup package.
To make your domestic Montana Corporation official, now that you’ve got a registered agent, download and file Articles of Incorporation with the state. It’s a declarative statement about your corporation for the public record disclosing basics including:
Filing fee: $70
Think of this as the hard copy record book where all critical corporate documents are kept like the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, meeting minutes, stock certificate ledger, stock certificates, stock certificate stubs, stock transfer documents, etc. It’s the ultimate company binder! They’re very common and while not necessary having one is highly recommended for all serious business entities.
Appoint at least 1 Director who among other things will oversee the Montana corporation until the first shareholder meeting where new directors will be voted in. Prepare an “Incorporator Statement” with complete names and addresses of each director and keep it in your records book. Once elected, an initial meeting should:
When you start a Corporation in Montana, it’s very important to keep all personal and business assets/accounts completely separate. So don’t take this lightly. Where should you start building the financial persona of your brand? Who is offering the best overall business services to corporate clients, relative to location and other conveniences?
If you think it’ll be helpful, look into this short breakdown of Business Checking Accounts to start brushing up if all this is unfamiliar territory. Where your corporation banks is an important move, which is why it should be discussed at length in your initial shareholder meeting.
When registering a Montana corporation, you’re required to be 100% compliant with all relevant local/state/federal agencies. Ideally you should have an attorney or at least be working with a professional filing service. Otherwise, here are four resources to get started:
What’s the first thing VC-types, investors, banks, incubation programs and business organizations want to see when you approach them for a serious partnership or funding? That’s right, your business plan. They want to know you’re a serious operation. They want to see your marketing approach, executive summary, pitch, etc. They want to see your numbers!
Will you need it on day 1? Perhaps, some corporations have deals waiting for when they go public. Most will need their plan polished and funding/presentation-ready within the first 6 months or so. Thankfully these days software is making the process simpler and less expensive.
QUICK LINKS TO BUSINESS PLANNING
If there’s already a web designer/developer on your team and your company website is already published, fantastic. However if you don’t have one yet, it’s time to get started.
Thankfully there are website-builder platforms like Wix, Weebly or Shopify (for ecommerce) that seriously simplify the process. These days you don’t necessarily need to spend as much or hire a full-time developer to get a basic, responsive agency-style site published.
Note that this article on how to form a corporation in Montana isn’t a legal document or legal advice. It’s for informational purposes and the information above is subject to change. For specific legal questions regarding how to form a corporation in Montana or business in general, please consult with a lawyer or other accredited professional.