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How to Incorporate in Montana

Montana has a quick and easy incorporation system. So it is straightforward to establish and run a small business or operation. 

You’ve come to the right place if you are a potential entrepreneur or part of a research team trying to incorporate themselves into Montana’s legal environment. This short guide details the steps you must follow to incorporate in Montana.

Steps for Incorporating In Montana

Although it’s a relatively straightforward process, a few crucial steps ensure that your operations can be counted as a legitimate corporation in Montana.

By following this step-by-step explanation, you can easily incorporate yourself in Montana.

Select your Corporate Structure

Incorporating in Montana boils down to opening a corporation within Montana. Before you can do that, you need to figure out what kind of corporation you will run.

When incorporating into Montana, you need to keep two things in mind. First of all, if the new project is going to be an LLC.

Then you’ll need to decide further if your company will be a non-profit or a full-profit corporation.

Check for Name Availability

In Montana, no two corporations can have the same name. So you’ll need to decide on a unique name for your corporation.

After you’ve decided upon a name for your operations, you’ll need to check Montana Business Database to ensure that the business name isn’t already taken.

Appointing a Montana Registered Agent

Before doing any business in Montana, it’s essential to have a Montana registered agent represent your corporation.

To be considered a Montana registered agent, they must be a resident citizen of Montana or operate under a Legal Business entity with the authorization to offer different kinds of service within the state.

File Montana Articles of Incorporation

Regardless of what kind of corporation you’ll be running, you’ll need to file an article of incorporation.

Suppose you are looking to operate a full-profit domestic business. In that case, you’ll need to provide some important information about your operations by filling up the “Montana Articles of Incorporation for Domestic Profit Corporation” from the Montana Secretary of state website.

You can find this form and any other necessary forms on the Montana SOS (Secretary of state) website. To access them, you’ll need to open a new account or log into a pre-existing one.

Establish Bylaws & Corporate Records

It is essential to have complete and untampered records of your company affairs to run a legitimate business.

You will also need to draft your corporation bylaws, which will count as the governance documentation for operations. The bylaws may contain any exceptions for managing the business and regulating the corporate affairs that may have inconsistency with state laws or common practices.

These bylaws must also be ratified and reviewed at your corporation’s first board of directors meeting.

Appointment of Initial Directors

Generally, a board of directors is elected during the first shareholder meeting, but you need an existing set of directors to incorporate in Montana.

These people are known as the initial directors and are generally selected based on personal judgment and previous professional relations.

If the initial board isn’t finalized, it is up to the incorporator to input a placeholder council until the directors are elected.

Hold Organizational Meeting

To start and run the business properly, you’ll need to conduct an organizational meeting to determine all the small details of operations.

These meetings are usually between the incorporator and the initial directors. But the participants may vary from case to case.

You can also conduct this meeting off state, but it is highly recommended to keep meeting minutes.

Issuing of Stock Certificates

As the owner of a corporation, you can issue stock certificates that will serve as ownership documentation for the corporation.

If you are working on behalf of the owner, you should insist on getting those stock certificates issued if possible.

Getting A Federal EIN

Regardless of the type of organization, you’ll need to file for EIN (Employer Identification Number) to get all the functional and legal benefits.

EIN is a 9-digit number that the IRS issues to firms so that they can identify as a legal entity.

You can get your EIN for free by submitting a simple application to the IRS.

Get Montana State Tax Identification Numbers/Accounts

Depending on what kind of corporation you’ll be incorporating in Montana, you’ll need to register for a state tax identification (or multiple identifications) account.

Obtain Business Licenses & Permits

To run your legal business, you will need to get the state-issued business licenses and permits which directly apply to your business.

The easiest way to get the necessary permits is to take advice from your registered agents. You can also do it yourself by looking up the Small Business Administration Business License & Permit.

Ongoing Filings to Maintain Your Corporation

Once you incorporate in Montana, it is equally important to maintain your corporation to ensure a healthy business. This maintenance also includes filing federal and state tax returns.

Many states may also require business entities to file annual reports to maintain good standing with the secretary of state.


Incorporating in Montana can seem like a daunting task in hindsight. But if you break it down into simple steps, the entire process becomes much more straightforward.

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