Welcome to Montana, best known as the ‘Cowboy Capital’ and home to the nation’s largest elk migratory! When you think of Montana, you may not envision an entrepreneur wonderland but think again!

Every year, thousands of entrepreneurs incorporate in Montana. It’s not a surprise that this state is  leading in entrepreneurship with the second-best start-up activity score in the U.S. Along with having the third best business survival score nationwide, this state’s low living costs, national parks, quality of life and no sales tax are a great entrepreneurial attraction.

Although this state has a population of 1.05 million, 10% are business owners. Don’t let their small size  fool you. Montana’s business economy is booming! As the home state of Yellow Stone National Park, the U.S.’ first national park, Montana brings in millions of tourists and travelers every year. Visitors and locals help support the this state’s economy and business. In this state, entrepreneurs tend start up business in construction, professional, technical, and scientific services.

If you’re considering launching a business in the ‘Treasure State’, here’s what you need to know before you incorporate in Montana.

1. Choosing the right entity for your business

When choosing to incorporate in Montana, you’ll want to know the advantages and disadvantages that each business structure provides. Often times, comparing entities and deciding which one is right for you can be difficult. Use our entity comparison chart to help you decide which entity will help you meet your business goals. The chart features comparisons between sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), and limited partnerships.

2. Check for business name availability in Montana

Next, visit the Montana Secretary of State website, and head over to their business services center. Here, you can use their business name search tool to check for name availability. Business names are registered on a state by state basis, so if your business name is used in another state you may have to worry about intellectual property issues.

3. File a trademark and copyright for your business

Furthermore, you’ll want to protect your business by filing a trademark for your name or logo. This will prevent other owners from using your business name in Montana. Now that you’ve secured your business name, file a copyright to prevent duplication of your original work. A copyright will ensure that no individuals can take ownership of your books, videos, music and more.

4. Will you need a business license?

Next, depending on the business activity, you may need to register various permits and licenses. According to the Montana Department of Commerce, not every business in Montana requires a business license. You can figure out whether or not your business is a part of that group by visiting their website here. The Montana governor’s website includes a business checklist to inform business owners about extra requirements, taxes, licenses, and permits.

5. How to file an employer identification number (EIN)

Once you’re granted approval to open your business, apply for a federal tax id, employee identification number (EIN) with the IRS. All business owners opening business in Montana are required to have a valid Taxpayer Identification Number. Before submitting your forms, determine if you’re eligible for an EIN.  If your registration is approved, you’ll be given an EIN is a nine-digit number that is issued by the IRS and used for tax filings and reporting.

Connect with the Montana Secretary of State! Follow the Secretary of State on YouTube and Twitter for their latest small business updates.

Welcome back to the 50 States of Incorporation, Rebooted where we share what it takes to start a business in each of the 50 states. Join us bi-weekly for advice on how to start an LLC or corporation across the United States

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