Form a Corporation in Montana
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How to Incorporate in Montana
In the following article, you will learn how to incorporate your business in the state of Montana. The process is not complicated, and SunDoc is here to assist you with everything.
Many people think that you need an attorney in order to file for incorporation, but this is not true. At the same time, we recommend talking with a licensed professional if you have certain concerns or questions about your own unique incorporation process. The following article is meant as a guide and should not be construed as legal, accounting, or tax advice.
To create the corporation you file Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State, for a filing fee. You'll need a company name that's available to use. You'll need to know which of several types of corporation you're choosing, your corporate address, and who's your Registered Agent. Also you'll need to state how many shares you're authorizing the corporation to issue, and perhaps the number of shareholders, depending on type of corporation chosen.
Other things you'll need for the incorporation process include your EIN, which can be obtained from the IRS. Your EIN is your Federal Tax ID number.
An initial Board of Directors meeting should be held as well. At this meeting, you will appoint your corporation’s officers and adopt corporate bylaws. Neither of these things need to be included in your articles of incorporation or filed with the state. They are for our own company's records.
Your Annual Report should be filed with Montana Secretary of State after the filing your Articles of incorporation. The Annual Report form will list your directors and officers, and it comes with a filing fee. For questions concerning Montana taxation, speak with a tax attorney or accountant.
One step in incorporating your company in Montana is choosing the type of corporation you want to form. Most companies go with the General Stock Corporation; although you can also choose between a Professional Corporation and a Close Corporation.
The General Stock Corporation does not have a limit on the potential number of corporate shareholders you can have. Close Corporations cannot have more than 35 shareholders. Professional Corporations are rarer as they are mandated by the state of Montana and only for specific types of professionals.
Either use downloadable forms from the State of Montana (which meet all minimum Montana Corporations Code requirements), or have your attorney draw up custom documents for your unique needs.
To illustrate: the default articles of incorporation limit the corporation to one class of shares. This can be changed in a custom document. Similarly, initial directors can be named in the articles if desired, provided that all directors are included and sign the document.
Generally speaking, corporations in Montana need to have at least three directors. Unique situations may change this — for example, if no shares have been issued by your corporation or you have fewer than three shareholders.
You also need three officer positions: Secretary, treasurer, and president. If you'd like one individual to be all of these positions, you can do this. As for directors, the limit and number needs to be outlined in your bylaws unless it is included in your articles.
Need your bylaws changed? You will have to hold a formal meeting with your directors and shareholders and hold a vote on the matter. To amend your articles, file an amendment with the state.
At all meetings, minutes must be kept. In your corporate bylaws, include information such as the methods and times of your meetings as well as the powers of your directors. All information has to be in accordance with relevant provisions of Montana law.
A Corporate Records Book is where a corporation stores bylaws, company documents, stock papers and meeting minutes. Corporate Kits are useful compilations of standard documents to run the corporation, customized to your state and including such things as stock certificates, a corporate seal embosser, meeting minutes and such. SunDoc can supply you one if you wish, see our Corporate Kit page.
Registered agents are another essential part of the incorporation process. You need to choose a registered agent. If you need help, we can help you outsource your routine by offering the service at SunDoc.
Understanding what a registered agent is and what they do can be slightly complicated, so use this article to learn more: What is a Registered Agent? Why Do I Need One?
In general, however, their role is to receive communications from the state at a reliably known address and during business hours. A registered agent can be an individual or a company.
The name you submit to the state in your articles of incorporation must be clearly available for you to use in the State of Montana according to the records of the Secretary of State. If not, your filing will be rejected. The name cannot be such as to mislead the public in some way, or resemble another so closely as to lead to deception. There are other statutory requirements also.
Both to comply with the law, and of course for your own best branding, you should spend some effort developing your company name. You can run searches yourself, or SunDoc is able to perform name searches or reserve your corporation name for you.
You can apply for your EIN by submitting Form SS4 to the IRS, at no charge. SunDoc can apply for this on your behalf also. See our EIN page.
If you plan to structure your company as an S Corporation, you may want to read our article on C Corporation vs. S Corporation. The article provides general information between the two corporate tax structures.
To talk to a live voice for immediate assistance call us toll-free during business hours at 1-888-595-2747.
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