A limited liability company (LLC) is formed under the laws of a particular state. In Montana, the state Limited Liability Company Act governs the formation of new LLCs and grants authority to the secretary of state's office to accept articles of organization and to maintain the record of businesses that have authority to operate within the state. The secretary of state maintains a business services website that contains all of the information needed to quickly and efficiently form an LLC that complies with the state statute.
Go to the Business Services Division of the Montana secretary of state website. The website provides all of the information needed to file articles of organization for a new LLC under state law, including a fill-in-the-blank template and a schedule of fees.
Check the availability of the business name you want to use for your LLC. Montana law requires that all businesses operate under a name that is unique and distinguishable from other businesses already registered with the state. Select the "Business Entity Search" link in the sidebar menu. Search for an exact name match and any similar name that seems likely to confuse the public. By law, the official business name of the LLC must also append to the end the words "limited liability company" or the abbreviations "LLC" or "L.L.C."
Download the Montana articles of organization template. Select the "Start a Business" link in the "Business How-Tos" section of the sidebar menu, and scroll down to "Step Three: File Organizational Documents." The template is a state-approved fill-in-the-blank form that requests the minimum amount of information required by law for the articles to be acceptable. You are not required to use this template. You or your attorney can draft your own articles and include any provision that is allowable under the Montana Limited Liability Company Act. However, if you use the form and follow the instructions, you are assured that the filing will be accepted with minimal hassle.
Complete the articles of organization. The articles request basic business information, including the business name and address, the name and address of a registered agent, the names and addresses of the manager or members, and the signature of the person filing the paperwork.
File the articles of organization with the state. The secretary of state's office accepts filings by mail to the address provided in the instructions to the form. A fee of $70, as of 2010, must accompany the filing. It generally takes the state 10 business days to process the filing; however, you can pay an additional fee for expedited filing, if necessary. The state returns a letter by mail, certifying the filing of the document.
- Once the state accepts your filing, it will send you a certified letter. However, you need an actual stamped copy of the articles for your business records, to complete such procedures as opening a bank account or applying for a loan. If you send the state a second copy of the articles along with the original for filing, the state will return the copy to you "field stamped" along with the certified letter. Both documents are necessary for an LLC to effectively conduct business.
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