How to Check Corporation Name Availability in Montana

Woman doing a Montana corporation name search on her computer.

Before you form a corporation, you’ll need to complete a business name search with the Montana Business Search tool to check if your corporation name is available.

We'll show you how to check corporation name availability in Montana in this guide.

Or, use a professional service:

4.7 out of 5 stars ZenBusiness ($49 + state fee)

Montana Corporation Name Search

The Montana Secretary of State requires all business names to be distinguishable from other business entities in the state. So, you’ll want to search and make sure no other businesses in the state are already using your name.

It is also useful to see if your corporation name is available as a web domain (URL).

SKIP AHEAD:

  1. How to Register a Corporation Name in Montana
  2. Montana Corporation Name Requirements
  3. Montana Corporation Name Search FAQ

How to Search Available Montana Corporation Names

Once you know your corporation name meets Montana business name guidelines, make sure it’s available by using the Montana Business Search tool.

Want to learn more about corporations? Check out our What Is a Corporation guide to get started.

How to Check Available Domain Names

When deciding on a name for your corporation, you should make sure that a similar or exact domain name is available. A matching URL will help potential customers find your corporation faster.

Find a Domain Now

How to Register a Corporation Name in Montana

Register Your Name

A corporation name is officially registered when you file your Montana Articles of Incorporation. You can hire a professional service to form a corporation for you or start a corporation yourself.

Ready to register your corporation name? Use our Form a Corporation guide to get started.

If you want to register a DBA in Montana, known as an assumed name, that’s a separate process that requires filing a separate form with the Secretary of State.

Reserve Your Name

While not required, you have the option to reserve your corporation name in Montana for up to four months before you register it. This prevents other businesses from registering your name until you are ready to register it yourself. 

Name reservations can be filed online with the Montana Secretary of State. The filing fee is $10.

Need Help Forming Your Corporation? ZenBusiness will get you started.

Montana Corporation Name Requirements

Key Guidelines

Montana has official requirements for its corporation names.

The name must contain the word “corporation,” “company,” “incorporated,” or “limited;” an abbreviation of one of these terms; or words or abbreviations of similar meaning in another language.

There are also restricted words, such as “FBI” or “Treasury,” that you cannot use in order to keep your LLC from sounding like an official institution.

Montana also has the following restrictions for corporation names:

  • The name cannot include identifiers (e.g., Limited Partnership, LLC) that imply the company is anything other than a corporation.
  • The name cannot imply that the corporation is organized for a non-permitted purpose or one not outlined in its Articles of Incorporation.

For more information, check out the Montana state statute on corporation names.

Distinguishability

Your name must be distinguishable from all other Montana business names. In Montana, a distinguishable name is one that is substantively different from all other existing or reserved business names in the state.

The following differences make a name distinguishable in Montana:

  • Different key words (a key word is defined as any word that isn’t an article, conjunction, preposition, or business type identifier)
  • Different order of key words
  • Use of geographic designations
  • Phonetic similarities
  • Abbreviations
  • Different spellings of proper names
  • Unique or improper spellings

The following differences do NOT make a name distinguishable in Montana:

  • Punctuation
  • Special characters
  • Articles
  • Business structure identifiers
  • Substitution of numerals for spelled out numbers
  • Letter case
  • Internet domain suffixes
  • Contractions
  • Variations of word endings
  • Adding “s” to make a word plural or possessive
  • Different spacing

If your corporation name isn’t distinguishable, your Articles of Incorporation filing will likely be rejected.

What if my corporation name is already taken? Our AI-powered corporation name generator will give you thousands of new ideas. 

For a list of brainstorming tips, check out our guide to naming your business.

Montana Corporation Name Search FAQ

How do I check if a corporation name is taken in Montana?

You can use the Montana Business Search tool to see if your business name is available.

Learn more about business entity name availability in the Montana Corporation Name Search section.

Should I name my corporation after myself?

While there’s no rule against naming a corporation after yourself, most experts advise against doing this. 

One of the benefits of starting a corporation is the ability to choose a different name for your business, which can make it sound more professional.

To explore other naming options, use our free AI-powered business name generator.

What words can’t be used in a Montana corporation name?

Business names generally can’t include words that imply the company is a banking or financial institution or that it’s affiliated with a local, state, or federal government agency.

Additionally, Montana corporation names cannot include identifiers (e.g., Limited Partnership, LLC) that imply the company is anything other than a corporation and cannot imply that the corporation is organized for a non-permitted purpose or one not outlined in its Articles of Incorporation.

Learn more about corporation naming requirements in the Montana Corporation Name Requirements section.

Should I use a business name generator?

If you’re having trouble choosing a name for your corporation, a corporation name generator can help you come up with some ideas.

Do I have to include ‘corporation’ in my name?

Montana corporation names must contain the word “corporation,” “company,” “incorporated,” or “limited;” an abbreviation of one of these terms; or words or abbreviations of similar meaning in another language.

Learn more about corporation naming requirements in the Montana Corporation Name Requirements section.

Do I need to renew my business name in Montana?

Montana doesn't require corporations to renew their legal name, but assumed names must be renewed every five years with the Secretary of State.

Can my business name be different from my corporation name in Montana?

Some companies choose to operate under a name that’s different from their legal name. This can either be called a “doing business as” (DBA) name or an assumed name in Montana. 

In Montana, assumed names for corporations are filed with the Secretary of State.

Learn more about assumed names with our Montana DBA guide.

Does my corporation need a DBA name?

Your corporation doesn’t need a DBA name unless it plans to do business under a name other than its legal name. Learn more with our Montana DBA guide.