How to Create a Montana LLC: A Step-by-Step Do It Yourself (DIY) Guide | Inc Authority
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How to Create a Montana LLC: A Step-by-Step Do It Yourself (DIY) Guide

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Creating an LLC in Montana offers various benefits like limited liability protection, potential tax advantages, and more. Below is a comprehensive guide to assist you in setting up an LLC in Montana:

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STEP 1: Choose a Name for Your LLC

Naming Requirements: Your desired LLC name must include “Limited Liability Company” or its abbreviations like “LLC” or “L.L.C.”

Distinctiveness: The name should be distinguishable from existing entities registered in Montana.

Name Search: Confirm the availability of your chosen name via the Montana Secretary of State’s online business name search.

Optional Name Reservation: If you aren’t ready to file right away, you can reserve your chosen LLC name for 120 days by filing an application and paying a nominal fee.

Time it Takes to name an LLC

Researching and deciding on a name: 1-2 hours

If opting for a name reservation: The act of filing can take about 10-15 minutes.

If opting for a name reservation: Filing can take minutes, but approval might take a few days to a week.

STEP 2: Appoint a Registered Agent

Your LLC needs a registered agent in Montana, responsible for receiving official correspondences.

The registered agent can be an individual or business entity but must have a physical address in Montana. P.O. Box addresses are not sufficient.

Time it Takes to be a Registered Agent

Registered Agents MUST BE at the Business Address everyday during business hours. This is why Home Addresses Are Not Accepted.

If you already have someone in mind (like an attorney or a service), this can be quick. If you need to find and appoint a registered agent: 1-3 hours.

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·       Legal Compliance: Avoid fines, penalties, and possible dissolution

·       Convenience: Serves as your public & legal business address

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STEP 3: File Articles of Organization

To create your LLC officially, you’ll need to file Articles of Organization with the Montana Secretary of State.

You can do this online, by mail, or in person. The document will ask for details like the LLC’s name, registered agent information, and management structure (whether it’s member-managed or manager-managed).

There’s a filing fee associated with this document.

Time it takes to write the Articles of Organization

Preparing the document: 1-2 hours

Filing online: 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Waiting for confirmation/approval: This can range widely, but typically, online filings can be processed in a few days to a couple of weeks.

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STEP 4: Create an Operating Agreement

This is an internal document detailing the roles, responsibilities, and operations of your LLC.

Although Montana doesn’t legally require an Operating Agreement, it’s highly advisable, especially for multi-member LLCs, to prevent future conflicts and offer clarity.

Time it takes to write an Operating Agreement

If using a template and making minimal changes: 1-3 hours

If drafting from scratch or having extensive negotiations among members: Several days to weeks.

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STEP 5: Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for tax purposes.

You can apply for an EIN online at no cost through the IRS website: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/apply-for-an-employer-identification-number-ein-online

The EIN will be used for tax filings, opening bank accounts, and hiring employees.

Time it takes to get an EIN / Tax ID

Filling out the online form and receiving the EIN: Approximately 0.5 to 1 hour (the online process is relatively quick if there are no complications).

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SO HOW MUCH TIME WILL IT TAKE TO FORM AN LLC MYSELF? DO IT MYSELF (DIY) an LLC?

Total Time Investment (Minimum): 5 hours (if you exclude the higher range estimates and name reservation)

Total Time Investment (Maximum): 11.5 hours (if you include the higher range estimates and name reservation)

This gives a ballpark range of 5 to 11.5 working hours for an individual, excluding all waiting times. It’s worth noting that these times can vary based on the person’s familiarity with the processes and any specific details or challenges related to the business being set up.

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