How Much Does an LLC Cost in Montana

Written by: Mary Gerardine

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How Much Does an LLC Cost in Montana

The minimum Montana LLC Cost is $35, which covers the cost of filing your LLC formation document (known as the Articles of Organization).

Having said that, the total cost of forming a Montana LLC will depend on several factors, including your personal preferences and business needs.

In our How Much Does an LLC Cost in Montana article, we’ve broken down everything you need to know about the different costs associated with launching and maintaining an LLC.

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LLC Cost in Montana

In the table below, you can find a summary of the main requirements of forming a Montana limited liability company (LLC) and their associated fees.

Articles of Organization$35-$70+
Registered Agent Fee$0-$130+
LLC Name$0-$30
Operating Agreement$0+

Montana LLC Filing Fee ($35-$70+)

In Montana, LLCs are registered with the Secretary of State by filing one of two unique formation documents.

For domestic entities the document you need to file is the Articles of Organization, while for foreign entities it’s the Certificate of Authority.

The cost for filing independently will depend on the document you submit, as well as on how you go about doing so:

  • Domestic LLCs: $35 for online filings and $70 for mail submissions
  • Foreign LLCs: $70 for online filings, with no mail option

It’s important to mention that if you choose to use an LLC formation service, the total cost will be a little higher as it will include a small service fee in addition to the state filing fees outlined above.

The typical cost of these LLC formation services can range significantly, but normally start from as low as $29, increasing if you decide to purchase any additional offerings.

Note: For more details on the formation process you can check out our Montana LLC Formation guide.

Montana Registered Agent ($0+)

As part of the process of filling out either your Montana LLC Articles of Organization or your Certificate of Authority, you’ll be required to appoint a registered agent. This is a person or entity that you must assign to receive tax, legal, and governmental correspondence on behalf of your Oklahoma LLC.

While you can act as your own registered agent at no cost, it’s often recommended to hire a professional service so you avoid any potential penalties or legal issues caused by non-compliance with state regulations.

This is an affordable alternative to hiring a business attorney, and also helps ensure that your personal information is kept off public records.

While the exact Montana registered agent fee you’ll be required to pay for one of these services can range significantly, it’ll typically cost you around $130 per year.

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Alternatively, you can find some of the top recommendations for professional RA services in our Best Registered Agent Services of 2024 article.

Naming Your Montana LLC ($0-$30)

When forming your Montana LLC, you’ll be required to pick a suitable name that’s available to use.

While registering a name in itself has no cost, there are two potential costs to be aware of when naming your LLC.

Reserving Name

If you have a desired name in mind for your LLC but don’t want to set up your business just yet, you can hold the name for future use by submitting a Reservation of Name form through the Online Business Services platform to the Montana Secretary of State.

This form, which will cost you $10 to file, reserves your name for a period of 120 days or until your business entity is registered. After this time, you’ll need to decide whether to renew this reservation (and pay another $10 filing fee) or proceed to create your LLC.

You’ll be able to file a renewal for a business name reservation you’ve previously filed up to 60 days before the date it’s set to expire.

Note: To make sure your desired name is available for you to use, we recommend you carry out a Business Search on the Montana Secretary of State website to confirm no other business has already taken it.

When choosing a name for your LLC, it’s important to select one that corresponds to an available domain. This is because a matching domain ensures consistency between your LLC’s name and its online presence, which helps to strengthen its brand recognition and credibility.

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Doing Business As (DBA) Name

If you want to operate your Montana business under a name other than the one it’s currently legally registered as, you’ll need to obtain a Doing Business As (DBA) name — which is also sometimes called an Assumed Business Name on the Montana Secretary of State’s website.

You’ll need to pay a $20 fee in order to register a DBA name for your LLC with the Montana Secretary of State, which is typically done electronically through the Online Business Services system.

Note: If your DBA name is successfully registered, your LLC will be issued a Certificate of Registration which will be valid for five years.

Montana LLC Operating Agreement ($0+)

While not mandatory, it’s good practice for Montana LLCs to have an operating agreement.

This document defines the roles and responsibilities of the members or managers in your LLC and will help prevent and solve any business disputes that may arise later on.

While you can opt to hire an online service or business attorney to draft this document for you (which typically costs at least a few hundred dollars), it’s actually quite straightforward to do it yourself at no extra cost.

It’s also important to note that this doesn’t actually need to be filed with the Montana Secretary of State — it’s purely an internal document.

Additional Montana LLC Formation Costs

On top of the more common fees outlined above, there are a number of potential additional formation costs that LLCs in Montana may encounter depending on their circumstances.

We’ve summarized some of these additional costs below:

Expedited Montana LLC Filing

Once your LLC filing is received by the Montana Secretary of State, it will take between seven and ten business days for standard processing to be completed.

You can request for your LLC’s documents to be processed more quickly with expedited filing by paying for one of the options below:

  • 24 Hour Processing: $20
  • 1 Hour Processing: $100

The cost of the above expedited processing options apply on top of the base fees of the document you’re filing with the Montana Secretary of State — whether it’s a name reservation, a DBA name registration, or your LLC’s formation documents.

Local Business Licenses

In order to comply with the local-level regulations of your city and county, your business may be required to obtain some local business licenses. While very few municipalities impose a general licensing requirement for businesses operating within their limits, your LLC might need a specific business license if it’s involved in certain activities.

For example, Columbia Falls is one of the few cities in which you would need a general business license to operate — this would cost you $40 and would need to be renewed annually.

Contrastingly, if your LLC was based from home in the City of Cut Bank, it would instead need to obtain a specific license that varies between $10 and $400 depending on the number of full-time employees you have.

Most local municipalities in Montana will have a similar approach to licensing, with prices that generally range between $25 and several hundred dollars. However, for a more exact estimation of how much your business may need to pay, you’ll need to contact your local county clerk’s office.

Note: You can use the Montana League of Cities and Towns’s Municipal Directory to find the contact information of these officials in your local area.

Certificate of Existence

A Certificate of Existence is an official document often required to open a business bank account, or by lenders in order to check that your LLC is properly registered and legally authorized to conduct business in the state.

You can obtain this document, which will also show that your LLC is currently in good standing with the Montana Secretary of State, by requesting it online through the Online Business Services system and paying a $5 fee.

Note: If your LLC is a foreign entity, you’ll need to obtain a document called a Certificate of Authorization instead, though you can apply for it in the same way.

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Cost to Maintain an LLC in Montana

In addition to the cost of forming an LLC in Montana, there are also several ongoing costs you’ll be responsible for paying each year.

We’ve outlined these recurring costs associated with maintaining a Montana LLC below.

Annual Report

In order to remain in good standing in Montana, your LLC must submit an Annual Report to the Secretary of State each year. This will detail certain core information that relates to the LLC, such as its business address, registered agent’s address, and details on its current Montana LLC members.

Starting 2024, you’ll be able to file this report for free if you submit it before the April 15 deadline. However, any submissions made after this due date must be accompanied by a $35 filing fee.

Note: In addition to any filing fees, your LLC may be administratively dissolved if you continuously fail to file an Annual Report.

Registered Agent Maintenance

If you decide to take advantage of a professional registered agent in order to handle your legal documents, you’ll be required to pay an annual fee in return for their services. This fee commonly ranges between $35 and $300 depending on the provider and features you select.

While you’re not required to use a professional registered agent service, it’s highly recommended for most small LLC owners.


In addition to the federal tax obligations your LLC owes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), there are a variety of state-specific Montana business taxes you need to be aware of, including:

  • State income tax
  • Sales tax
  • Employment taxes
  • Business privilege taxes
  • Property taxes

Additionally, an LLC pays taxes depending on the municipality or county in which it’s located. there are various local taxes your LLC may need to pay depending on the municipality or county it’s based in, such as:

  • Sales and use taxes
  • Property tax

Montana vs Other States

When it comes to the cost of forming and running your LLC, Montana is a very competitive state. In addition to an uncommonly low startup fee of only $35, you could also avoid any maintenance fees in this state by filing your Annual Report on time.

By contrast, if you decided to form your LLC in Delaware instead, you’d be required to pay $90 up front and an annual franchise tax of $300 each year.

Ultimately, however, the best state to form your LLC will be one in which you plan to primarily operate your business from.

This makes it far easier to stay legally compliant on a number of levels, including taxation, licensing, and filing requirements, as you’ll only need to deal with one state’s set of rules.

LLC Cost in Montana FAQ

How much does it cost to make an LLC in Montana?

While the cost to form an LLC in Montana will vary depending on your unique situation, it will typically cost a minimum of $35 for domestic entities and $70 for foreign entities. To find out more about the total LLC cost, Montana business owners can take a look at our article on How Much Does an LLC Cost in Montana.

What is the advantage of a Montana LLC?

One key advantage of choosing Montana to form your LLC is how cheap it is to both get your business started and keep it running. In addition to startup fees that can reach as low as $35, there are also no maintenance fees for LLCs (since there is no longer a Montana Annual Report fee as long as you submit it on time).

How hard is it to set up an LLC in Montana?

It’s quite straightforward to set up an LLC in Montana, and includes appointing your LLC’s registered agent and filing either your Articles of Organization or Certificate of Authority with the Secretary of State. You’ll additionally need to obtain any required business licenses.

How long does setting up a Montana LLC take?

The processing time for forming your own LLC in Montana varies, but it typically takes around seven to ten business days for LLC filings to be processed. However, this timeline may vary depending on whether you file online or mail, pay for expedited filing, or need a Montana business license. Check out our How to Start an LLC in Montana article for more information.

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