How To Incorporate In Montana

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1. Choose a Name for Your Montana Corporation

Check on Available Names in Montana: Before you can incorporate your small business in the state of Montana, you need to choose a name for your corporation. You need to choose a name that is unique from names that are used by other corporations. Before you can file to incorporate your small business, you need to do a search of online and other records to make sure that the name that you would like to use for your corporation is not already in use by another corporation. You can search an online database of corporations registered in Montana at Montana Corporation.

Reserve a Corporate Name: You do not need to reserve a name before you file Articles of Incorporation in Montana, but if you want to you can apply to reserve a particular name before you file. The application to reserve a corporate name is available online at Reserve a Montana Corporation. There is a filing fee of $10.00. The name that you indicate will be reserved for 120 days.

Filing Trademarks and Doing a Corporate Name Search: Even if the name that you choose for your corporation is unique in the state of Montana, you should be aware that a corporation in another state could be using the same name. There could be restrictions on your use of the name that you have chosen for your corporation. You should consult an attorney to find out what these restrictions are and how you can begin to take steps to trademark the name that you have chosen for your corporation.

Montana Corporate Name Requirements: When you are choosing a name for your corporation, keep in mind that in Montana the name that you choose for your corporation needs to include the word “corporation,” “incorporated,” “limited,” “company” or an abbreviation of one of these words.

2. Find a Registered Agent in Montana 

Before you can incorporate your small business in the state of Montana, you need to choose a registered agent for your corporation. Your registered agent will act as an agent for service of process and will be responsible for receiving legal and tax documents for your corporation.  You can choose an adult resident of Montana or a corporation as your registered agent, but be aware that your corporation cannot act as its own registered agent. You can find a list of companies that provide registered agent services online at Register a Montana Corporation.

3. File Articles of Incorporation with the Montana Secretary of State

Minimum Requirements: To incorporate your small business, you need to file Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State. This document needs to include the name of your corporation, the name and address of your registered agent, the number of shares that your corporation is authorized to issue, and the name and address of each incorporator. Each incorporator needs to sign the Articles of Incorporation. You can download the Articles of Incorporation form on the website of the Secretary of State: File a Montana Corporation.

Other Montana Legal Provisions: You may want to include additional articles in the Articles of Incorporation document that you file with the Secretary of State. You should consult an attorney when you are preparing this document so that you can be sure to include any additional legal provisions that are relevant to your corporation.

Where to Submit Form: When you have completed the Articles of Incorporation document for your corporation, mail the document and payment to Secretary of State, PO Box 202801, Helena, MT 59620-2801. Make checks payable to the Secretary of State.

Filing Fee: The filing fee is $70.00 for Articles of Incorporation in Montana.

4. Create Other Montana Incorporation Documents (Corporate Kits)

After filing Articles of Incorporation, you should begin to think about the next actions that you will take in your corporation, such as appointing officers and directors, adopting corporation bylaws, issuing stock certificates, obtaining a tax ID number, and acquiring a business license. When you are beginning to take these actions, you should also consider creating other types of corporate documents such as buy-sell agreements, shareholders agreements that determine when stock can be sold, and documents that describe what happens if an owner decides to leave the company. These types of corporate documents can prove to be very useful, especially if a corporation has multiple owners. You should talk to an attorney when it is time to draft these documents. An attorney can help you to comply with legal requirements. You should be aware that there are also various corporate service companies that exist to help with the preparation of these corporate documents.

5. Qualify Your Montana Corporation to Do Business in Other States

Another thing that you need to do after filing Articles of Incorporation is to find out how you can qualify your corporation to do business in other states. If the main office of your corporation is located in another state, you need to qualify your corporation to do business in that state and pay taxes in your home state. You can learn more about how you can qualify your corporation to do business in other states here: Doing Business in other states.

6. Make Annual Filings and Pay Annual Fees and Taxes in Montana

Once your corporation is registered in the state of Montana, you will need to file an annual report. This report asks you to update information about your corporation, your registered agent, and your officers and directors. The fee to file this report online is $15.00. You must file by April 15th. If you file after April 15th, the fee is $30.00. You can file your annual report online at Montana Corporation Fee.

Your corporation will be subject to Montana state income taxes. You need to file a corporate income tax form with the state and pay the required taxes. You can download tax forms and learn more about the corporate tax in Montana online at the official website of the Montana Department of Revenue at Montana Corporation Tax. It is best to have a professional accountant prepare the tax documents for your corporation so that you avoid costly mistakes in the preparation of your tax documents.

There are many decisions that you need to make when you are incorporating your small business, especially if your corporation has multiple owners. It is best to seek the counsel of an attorney and an accountant during this process. With the help of an attorney and an accountant, you can feel more confident that the paperwork for your corporation will be processed correctly.

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This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.


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