A Montana LLC offers tax benefits on that many people aren’t aware of. Even if you live in another state, you can own a Montana LLC and take advantage of all the perks that come with it. Learn more about how to start a Montana LLC by reading our comprehensive guide below.
How Do I Start an LLC in Montana?
LLC Montana requirements include several basic steps. First, you’ll need to come up with a company name. Many people have fun with this step because they can get pretty creative with it! Others decide to use their first and last name followed by “enterprises.”
Whatever name you choose is up to you, but there’s one caveat; the name cannot already be in use. To find out if someone else is using a company name, you can do an online search and reserve your business name using Montana’s official state website. You’ll need to first create an ePass Montana account in order to access to their name search and other services.
Alternatively, you can search for existing businesses in the annual reports area of their site without having to create a user account (but you won’t be able to reserve your name using this function). Once you’ve decided on a company name, you can reserve your name for 120 days so that no one else can take it.
Business name reservation is available by mail using a simple form and costs just $10 to file. The paperwork you’ll need to print out & mail is available to ePass Montana account holders, so creating your ePass account (as described above) has lots of convenient benefits.
Once you’ve reserved your company name, your next steps include filing your Articles of Organization with the Montana Secretary of State’s office and assigning a Registered Agent to manage your Montana LLC forms. Some prospective LLC owners choose to use this handy business checklist offered by the Montana Governor’s Office of Economic Development. You’ll need an ePass account to use this online tool.
In order to fill out your paperwork, many LLC owners choose a Registered Agent that does paperwork filing as part of their services. This makes it super easy because an experienced team will file everything for you from start to finish (and get it done right the first time). You don’t have to learn how to start an LLC in Montana or do all of the work by yourself.
Do I Need an EIN Number to Start an LLC in Montana?
One of the fields on your LLC paperwork is for filling in an EIN, or Employer Identification Number. This number is also called a “tax ID number” and serves to identify your LLC as its own entity. Similar to a social security number for individuals, a tax ID number helps the IRS identify your business entity by its specific 9-digit EIN. Your Registered Agent can guide you through the process of applying for an EIN with the IRS. It’s a very easy process when you have help!
Which Montana LLC Forms Are Required?
Aside from the business name reservation form and EIN application, you will need to file your LLC’s Articles of Organization (AOO) forms with the MT Secretary of State. The purpose of this form is to let the state government know how your business will be structured and operated.
One example of this would be stating who is managing your business. Your LLC will need a management team assigned, and most times this includes board members and/or managers. The names of these individuals should be included in your AOO paperwork.
Your business location will need to be stated as well, and often times, out-of-state LLC owners choose to list their Registered Agent’s address because the agency has a physical office in MT.
Why Make Purchases Using My Montana LLC?
For many individuals who start LLCs in Montana, they use their business entity as a funnel through which purchases can be made (such as vehicles) because Montana is a sales-tax-free state. LLC owners can save hundreds of even thousands on sales tax by purchasing their vehicles and big-ticket items under their LLC (instead of buying it in their home state as an individual).
Your Registered Agent can tell you more about how this works and discuss tax implications (if applicable) if you live outside of Montana.
How Much Does it Cost to Start a Montana LLC?
The Montana LLC cost is $70 to file your AOO paperwork with the Montana Secretary of State. However, many people opt to get professional help with their paperwork. You’ll also have to secure the services of a Registered Agent (this is one of the LLC Montana requirements). The price for hiring a Registered Agent varies by agency.
Many agencies can help you file your LLC paperwork, but most of them don’t offer an easy, flat fee for services or include vehicle registration with their fees. This is why thousands of LLC owners have chosen MT Vehicles. We charge one flat fee, which includes your AOO filing, Registered Agent services, and Montana car registration for one vehicle.
Why Do I Need a Montana Registered Agent?
In order for your LLC filing to be accepted, you must appoint a Registered Agent. First, this agency must be a person or business entity that is allowed to do business in the state of Montana. Registered Agents should have a current business license and a Montana street address. You can search for qualified Registered Agents online through Montana’s official state website.
Montana requires an RA because they want someone who can physically receive lawsuits on the LLC’s behalf, should they get sued. This is especially relevant for out-of-state LLC owners who cannot be in Montana to receive the court paperwork.
Business insurance and other protection is always advised for LLC owners. If you have questions about what type of protections you need to have in place, a corporate lawyer can advise you.
What is the Montana Limited Liability Company Act?
There is a lot to know as a Montana LLC owner, but one thing to be very familiar with is the Montana Limited Liability Company Act (MLLCA). This Act contains the rules and laws for LLCs registered in the state. Within this document are 13 chapters, each with specific information on the following topics:
- General Provisions
- LLC Formation
- Relations of Members & Managers to LLC Owners
- Rights & Duties of Members/Managers
- Ownership and Transfer of Property
- Admission and Withdrawal of Members
- Foreign LLCs
- How Lawsuits are Handled
- Professional LLCs
You should familiarize yourself with this document because all LLC owners are required to abide by the rules and requirements listed within. If you have questions about the MLLCA, ask your Registered Agent or the office of the Montana Secretary of State. If they can’t answer your specific questions, they can point you to someone who can.
How Do I Handle Montana LLC Vehicle Registration?
Once you own an LLC and the paperwork has been filed and accepted, you can start making purchases under your LLC’s name. This requires you to have a business bank account where your LLC funds come from (a requirement when you file your annual tax reports).
Buying a vehicle, boat, or RV is a common type of purchase that many LLC owners make. Especially for those who call another state “home,” buying an expensive item through their LLC means they don’t have to pay sales tax upfront. This can equate to huge savings for people who live in states like CA where sales tax can be as high as 10% of the purchase price. Additionally, Montana does not charge a “use tax” on vehicle registration…yet another way to save money.
Montana car registration is even easier with help from an experienced Registered Agent service. Your RA has the paperwork you’ll need to get your vehicle registered in Montana, even if you drive it in another state. There are certain rules about the amount of time (or number of times) you’ll need to take the vehicle to Montana, and your RA can fill you in on all of those details.
Again, if you choose a Registered Agent such as MT Vehicles, your flat fee covers the cost of vehicle registration, LLC filing, and RA services (filling out and filing paperwork & using our MT office address on your filing papers). This makes it simple and hassle-free to start an LLC and register your vehicle in Montana.
How Do I Register a Car in Montana?
Vehicle registration can be done for an existing vehicle you own (a transfer) or for a new/used vehicle you have just purchased. There are different rules and forms for each type of vehicle, but Montana has provisions for registering many different types of vehicles such as:
- Boats & Watercrafts
- Luxury Vehicles
- Passenger Vehicles
- Antique & Classic Cars
If you’re wondering how to register a car in Montana, first you’ll need to provide documentation to prove that you own the vehicle. Along with your title, you’ll need to provide proof of Montana residency. On the form, in the place where the owner is listed, your LLC should be listed there (not your individual name). In your registration paperwork, your business’s tax ID number (or EIN) is also required.
Vehicle registration is done at a local county treasurer’s office. For individuals, the treasurer’s office usually needs to see something like a utility bill or mortgage statement. For LLC owners, your filing paperwork with your Registered Agent’s address is sufficient.
If you have questions about how to fill everything out properly, your Registered Agent is an excellent source of assistance.
How Much Does it Cost to Register a Car in Montana?
Montana does not charge a “use tax” on vehicle registration, so that’s another way you save money by registering your vehicle in this state. The annual costs for vehicle registration are as follows:
- Boats & Personal Watercraft:
- Less than 16 feet: $65.50
- Between 16 and 19 feet: $125.50
- 19 feet or longer: $295.50
- Light Vehicles (cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs):
- Registration rate is based on the age of the vehicle
- Fees range from $28 for older vehicles to $217 for vehicles aged 4 years and under
- $10 Montana Highway Patrol Salary & Retention Fee
- County tax & other optional fees
- $5 insurance verification fee
- Registration options include 12 months, 24 months or as a permanently registered vehicle
Note: If you have an airplane, motorcycle, motor home, RV, snowmobile or trailer, registration fees will be different based on the type of vehicle you’re registering.
How Do I Register a Vehicle in Montana if I Don’t Live There?
As an LLC owner, your Registered Agent can help you fill out your registration paperwork and file it for you for a nominal fee. Documents of proof (i.e., a title) may need to be provided in person to the local county treasurer’s office. Your agent can take care of that for you. Often times, however, these dealings can be done through the mail or online by your Registered Agent on your behalf.
Most Montana LLC owners who live out of state don’t know the rules and requirements for registering vehicles in Montana, so they feel more comfortable having their agent handle it for them. Simply Google “register car in Montana” and you’ll see how foreign the process will probably seem to you.
Why Own a Montana LLC?
The benefits of llc in montana range from tax benefits (no sales tax on purchases and no use tax on vehicle registration) to being able to itemize your deductions on annual tax returns.
If you have questions about how to start an LLC in Montana or how to register a car, you can trust MT Vehicles to be there for you. We are veterans in this business, having proudly served thousands of clients for the last 20 years.
Get in touch with one of our expert Registered Agents today by calling us at (877) 913-5100.