Last updated January 15, 2021
Montana LLC Annual Report instructions
How to form an LLC in Montana
This Quick Start Guide is a brief overview of how to form an LLC in Montana.
Montana LLC costs:
LLC formation: $70 (one-time fee)
Annual report: $20 (every year)
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Montana LLCs must file an Annual Report each year
Every LLC in Montana is required to file an Annual Report each year. This is due regardless of business activity or income.
Said another way, even if your LLC does nothing and makes no money, it still must file an Annual Report each year.
You need to file the LLC Annual Report with the Montana Secretary of State.
The Annual Report keeps your LLC in compliance and in good standing with the state of Montana.
How to file your Montana LLC Annual Report:
The only method of filing your Montana LLC Annual Report is online.
The state stopped accepting mail filings back in 2017.
Montana LLC Annual Report Filing Fee:
$20 per year. This is paid once every year for the life of your Montana LLC.
Annual Report Processing/Approval Time:
Your Montana LLC Annual Report is processed instantly after you submit the filing online.
Annual Report Due Date:
Your Montana LLC Annual Report must be filed before April 15th every year.
How early can the Annual Report be filed?
You can file your Montana LLC Annual Report as early as January 1st in the year in which it’s due.
If you miss the April 15th deadline, you will be charged a $15 late fee (on top of the $20 filing fee).
If you still don’t file by September 1st, the state will mail you a warning notice that your LLC is about to be dissolved (shut down).
If you continue to ignore this requirement, and you do not file your LLC Annual Report by December 1st, the state will administratively dissolve your Montana LLC.
Not as scary as it seems (Reinstatement):
In reality, dissolution sounds scarier than it actually is. After a Montana LLC is dissolved, it can be reinstated (brought back to life) any time within 5 years of dissolution. In order to reinstate a Montana LLC, a $35 reinstatement fee must be paid in addition to filing all past-due Annual Reports. For more information, please see: MT Secretary of State: Instructions for getting your LLC reinstated.
Annual Report Reminders:
All Montana LLC Annual Report reminders are sent by email.
The state used to mail out postcard reminders, however, that is no longer the case as the Montana Secretary of State has been digitizing most of their processes.
Email reminders are sent out every 2 weeks between January and April until your Annual Report is filed.
- If an email address was listed for the Registered Agent during your Articles of Organization filing, an email reminder gets sent there.
- If an email address was listed for any Principal during your Articles of Organization filing, an email reminder also gets sent there.
- An email reminder will also be sent to the email address associated with your ePass login.
The #1 reason Montana LLCs are shut down
The #1 reason that LLCs are shut down by the Montana Secretary of State is for failure to file an Annual Report.
Even if you don’t receive the reminder notice that the state emails, it is still your responsibility to file your Montana LLC Annual Report on time every year.
For this reason, we strongly recommend putting a repeating reminder on your phone and your computer. Additionally, you can write out the due date and put it in some place where you’ll see it often.
You need to have an ePass account in order to file your LLC’s Annual Report.
If you filed your LLC yourself with the Montana Secretary of State, then you should already have an ePass account (it was created when you filed your Articles of Organization).
If someone else formed your LLC, then you’ll need to create an ePass account for yourself. Click the following link to create one: https://app.mt.gov/epass/Authn/selectIDP.html
(click “Login” on the left, then click “Create an Account” on the right)
Montana LLC Annual Report Instructions
- Visit the ePass login page and login. Then close the browser tab.
- Visit the Montana Secretary of State Business Services page.
- Scroll down and click the “File Annual Report” box.
- Search for your LLC by name or Business Identifier number.
- Click on your LLC name in the results below.
- Click the “File My Annual Report” button (at the top of the page).
What if I don’t see the “File My Annual Report” button?
If you don’t see the “File My Annual Report” button, but instead see a message (“If you want to maintain this entity you must obtain authority from an authorized person“), this likely means that another person or company filed your LLC for you. You’ll either be able to click a “request authority” link or you’ll need to contact the person/company that formed your LLC and have them login to their ePass account and grant authority to your email address. Once they grant authority to you, you will see the “File My Annual Report” button.
Alright, let’s get started completing the Montana LLC Annual Report:
Registered Agent in Montana
- Prior lesson: Make sure you have read the Montana Registered Agent lesson so that you understand your options.
No change to registered agent details
Select this option if your Montana Registered Agent has not changed and neither has their contact information.
Appoint a new registered agent
Select this option if there is a new person or company who will be your LLC’s Registered Agent.
If you hired a Commercial Registered Agent:
- Click “Existing Agent”
- Search their company name in the “Agent Name” box (results will appear below as you type)
- Select their name from the list
- Enter their email address (contact the Registered Agent and ask which email address should go here)
- Check the box off that states “The appointment of the registered agent listed above is an affirmation by the represented entity that the agent has consented to serve as a registered agent.”
Note: If you are planning on hiring a Commercial Registered Agent, you will need to hire them first before adding them here.
If you, a friend, or family member will be your LLC’s Registered Agent:
- Click “New Agent”
- Select “Individual”
- Enter their contact information
- Check the box off that states “The appointment of the registered agent listed above is an affirmation by the represented entity that the agent has consented to serve as a registered agent.”
Change current registered agent details
Select this option to keep the same person or company as your LLC’s Registered Agent, but you want to update their contact information.
You will only be able to make updates to the Registered Agent information if you, a friend, or family member are your LLC’s Registered Agent.
If you hired a Commercial Registered Agent, you won’t be able to update their contact information. That’s something they will need to take care of on their end.
Business Mailing Address of Principal Office
You may have one or two addresses listed. These are your LLC’s Mailing Address (also called Postal Address) and your LLC’s Physical Address.
Review your LLC’s Postal Address (aka mailing address) information. Leave it as-is if it’s up to date or click “Edit” if you need to make any changes.
Review your LLC’s Physical Address information. Leave it as-is if it’s up to date or click “Edit” if you need to make any changes.
If no address is listed here, you can leave it blank if you’d like. You’re not required to list a Physical Address for your Montana LLC.
Click “Next Step: Principals” to proceed.
Managers/Members (aka Principals)
- Related article: What’s the difference between an LLC Member and an LLC Manager?
If there have been any changes to your LLC’s Members and/or Managers, you can make those changes here by either adding and/or removing any necessary parties.
If no changes are needed, you can proceed to the next step.
Click “Next Step: Signature” to proceed.
Someone with authority must sign your Montana LLC’s Annual Report. Allowed persons are:
- LLC Member
- LLC Manager
- Someone with Power of Attorney
- Authorized Agent (someone hired or given authority by an LLC Member or LLC Manager)
If you are signing on behalf of an LLC you own, you need to check both boxes at the top agreeing to the terms and the accuracy of the information contained in your LLC’s Annual Report.
Enter your first and last name.
For Position, select “Member/Manager”.
The date will automatically be filled in with today’s date.
You don’t have to enter a phone number or email address, unless you want to. Both of these fields are optional.
Click “Next Step: Review” to proceed.
Review all the information you entered. Double-check for accuracy and keep an eye out for any typos.
If you need to make any changes, click any “Edit” button.
If all looks good, click “Submit” at the bottom.
On this page, you will see the total amount due to the state.
Under Transaction Details > Payment Method, select “Credit Card” from the drop down list.
Click “Continue” to proceed.
You’ll see a popup message that states “You will now be taken to the TransFirst Payment system“. Click “Ok” to proceed.
- If you see a “Pop-Up Blocker Detected” message in red at the top, make sure to disable your pop-up blocker or permit your web browser to allow popups for this page.
- It’s best to use Internet Explorer or Google Chrome.
Payment Type: Select “Credit Card” and then fields will appear below.
Enter your billing information.
You don’t have to enter your phone number or email address if you don’t want to. They are both optional.
Click “submit” at the bottom.
A pop-up window will appear with confirmation that your payment went through.
This means your Montana LLC Annual Report was successfully filed. You can print the page for your records if you’d like, however, the state will also email you a receipt.
You can close the pop-up window and go check your email for the approval documents.
Montana LLC Annual Report Verification/Approval
After submitting your Montana LLC Annual Report and payment online, your LLC’s Annual Report is processed and approved instantly by the state.
However, it can take a few minutes before your email confirmation arrives (at most, it can take up to an hour).
You will receive an email from the state which includes 3 attachments/documents:
- Stamped and approved Annual Report
- Certification Letter (certifying the Annual Report was property filed)
- and a Payment Receipt for your records
We recommend saving a copy of these documents on your computer. You can also print them out and save physical copies, too.
At this point, you’re all finished!
Just make sure to put a repeating reminder on your phone and your computer to file your Montana LLC Annual Report next year :)
Here is the free email notification system we created using Google Calendar:
Hey, it’s Matt from LLC University. In this video, I’m going to show you how to use Google Calendar to set up repeating reminders for your LLC Annual Report… and actually anything else that’s repeating in nature. So, this is a default, new, blank layout of a Google Calendar. I’m recording this video in April of 2020, so the layout, or the visual interface here may change a bit from time-to-time, but in general, it should be really, really similar to this process.Once you’re logged in, you’re going to click on… Well, let’s look at something first. So by default, they’ve thrown the name here, and then it says Birthdays, Reminders, and Tasks. This is the default out-of-the-box setup. So while Tasks and Reminders do sound beneficial, I don’t like to use them because they’re overly simplistic in nature, and can be hard to… basically keep track of important tasks. So, I’m going to show you a better way.
Click on Settings, or click on the gear, and then click on Settings. And, we’re going to, on the left, look for Add Calendar. We’re going to click Add Calendar. It’s also interesting to see because you can see Settings from my calendars, you can see that only Birthdays and LLC University are here. Those Tasks and Reminders are a different feature; they’re not inherently a Calendar feature. So, we want an inherent Calendar feature. We’re going to go ahead and create a new Calendar. Now, you don’t want to call it Reminders, and you don’t want to call it Tasks, because that can lead to confusion. I think I got this from David Allen’s book, called Getting Things Done. It’s a book about productivity. It’s kind of like this mindset of when I receive a reminder for a task, I have this energy, like I’m just going to bang it out. I’m going to take care of it really quickly. I’m going to close the open loop.
So I actually like to call my calendar, Bang It Out. Feel free to name it whatever you like. Again, I don’t recommend using reminders or tasks. It could be My To-Do List. I would use a general term, because even though I’m going to show you how to use this for your LLC Annual Report, I use this feature for all kinds of recurring tasks, or setting myself reminders of something as simple as taking the trash out every Sunday night. I have a repeating reminder on my calendar that then sends me an email. I guess that’s the feature I should have mentioned in the beginning. We’re using Google Calendar to send us email reminders. I use email as my central management and communication system. So we’re going to use Google Calendar, in order to trigger that email.
So call it whatever you like. You can leave the description blank, and set your time zone. Then hit Create Calendar. It says, “Bang It Out is successfully created.” We’re going to go back to Settings. Oh, I clicked back. We’re going to click on the gear icon again, and click Settings. Now, on the left, we will see Settings For My Calendars, and we’re going to click on Bang It Out. And the Auto Accept Invitations doesn’t matter, since we’re not going to be inviting people. We don’t want to make this public. We don’t need to share it. What we’re looking for here is Event Notifications. This is the big one here.
We’re going to add a notification. And these are the default notifications, meaning, when an event, in our case a task is placed, the default notification is to send us an email 1 minute before that task. This will make sense in a second. And you can see down here it’s set, it automatically, if I change that to 3, it says, “Settings were saved.” So I’m just going to change that to 1. Meaning, the time, 4:00pm doesn’t really matter. I’ll show you what that means in just a second. So, that’s done. We’re going to go back.
So, right now I just filed… We just updated a lesson for the Montana LLC Annual Report. Now those are due every year by April 15th; that’s the deadline. They can be filed as early as January. So, I don’t want to set my reminder for the 15th or the 14th (of April) and give myself no notice and no time, because life happens and I could be busy. So over here on the left, I’m actually, well let’s do some thinking, right? If I can file this anytime between January and April 15th, when do I want this reminder to get this done? Well, he earlier, the better, is my opinion. So, it could be done as early as January, but January tends to be a busy month. It’s the New Year; things just are a little bit busier that month. If we wait until the beginning of April, it’s tax season is starting, and it’s also overwhelming. So, hey, let’s just say March 1 is when I’m going to send myself the reminder.
So I’m going to go forward to March 1 of next year. I’m going to click on March 1, it’s going to bring up the calendar here. And the time is really the time that I’m going to receive that email, because once that event triggers or gets close to triggering, I’m going to get an email 1 minute before that. So, let’s see. All right, it’s Monday, it’s a workday, I’ll be doing other stuff. And let’s say after I do my important work, let’s say at 4:00pm, I am going to send myself an email. So I’m going to say, “File Montana LLC Annual Report.” The really important thing to do is not hit Save, but we want to go down here and we want to change the Calendar from the default one to the Bang It Out Calendar. And, instead of hitting Save, we want to hit More Options. And now it takes us into a more in-depth field. And you can see, so the default reminder, here it is. That setting that we placed in the Calendar is going to send us an email 1 minute before this event.
What I want to do here is not click the All Day thing, but right to the right, I want to make this repeat. And I want to repeat this reminder annually on March 1st. And, you could also click Custom, which will take up a popup box with more settings. So, sometimes I like to… Let’s see here, weekly, annually. There’s other examples for other types of reminders where you’ll just want to go to Custom and say, “Hey, repeat this every one, every couple of days, every other day, every week, month, etc. You can make it a little bit more easy to customize here, but in this case, repeating every year, and we don’t want to change the ending date, we don’t want to automatically disable this. We can just delete this reminder in the future, if necessary. So, we’re going to repeat this annually, on March 1st.
What’s also really nice is there’s this description box down here and sometimes depending on the task… this makes a lot of sense right now because it’s fresh in my mind, but I might want to say something like, “The due date is April 15th every year. Look in the hard drive under My LLCs folder.” Then we’re going to look at the company, ABC Widgets LLC.
So now, I’m helping my future self by saying, “Hey, by the way,” and you can even do some text formatting down here. Oh we can maybe take it a step further. So let’s say I went to Google and I typed “Montana LLC Annual Report LLC University”. Type in your state, and you can find the lesson here that walks you through how to file it. So I could take this URL, I could copy that, and then I could go ahead and place it here, and I could say, “Instructions.” So now, when I get this email, it’s going to be pretty rich in information. So I’m going to go ahead and click Save. Event Saved. So every single year on March 1, I’m going to get an email. Now, let me show you what that email is going to look like. So what I need to do is actually set up a task two minutes from now.
What I’m going to do is clone this. Let me see real quick. All right, got it. I’m going to click Edit. I’m going to copy this information here. I’m going to close out of this. So I’m going to leave my March 1 reminder set. What I’m going to do is, today it is 12:18pm. Let’s go ahead and set a reminder. So this is temporary. We’re going to file the Annual Report. I’m just showing you an example of what the email is going to look like. I’m making it, Bang It Out, go to More Options. And I’m including all of my notes. And, get my formatting correct. Now, I need to set this. Let’s see, I’m going to get this email at 12:20pm so I need to set this for 12:21pm. 12:21pm, so one minute before 12:21pm, I’m going to get an email.
Let’s go ahead and save this. I’m going to pause this recording, and show you what it looks like to get an email about this task.
All right. So that test email arrived. Here I am in the Gmail account, and this is what an email reminder from Google Calendar looks like. It says it’s from Google Calendar and notification. It just says “Temporary” here, but it would say “File the Annual Report”. So let’s say you get this email. And the nice thing about it is here’s my notes, top and center. Oh yeah, right, my Annual Report. I’ve got to do that by April 15th. And I’ve set myself this reminder on March 1, you know, 45 days ahead of time. Look on my hard drive. Maybe I have some notes in there. And, you can click the link and just go right to the instructions. So that can be really, really helpful. And this, you can put a lot of information in this Notes section.
Now, let’s say I received this email on March 1, and it’s telling me, “Hey, file the Annual Report.” And I’m like, “Oh great.” But let’s say today or this week is a very, very busy week. I can just leave this email here. Or, if I want to get it out of my mind for a little bit, I can actually go over here and click More Details. Close this tab first, just to show you what it does. When I click More Details, it’s going to bring me back into a Calendar and pop up this note. Then what I can do is click Edit the Event and I can say, “Hey, instead of,” this is just an example. So I set it for today. Let’s say I was getting this March 1, 2021, that’s what this would say. And I’d say, “Hey, this is a busy week. I know I have 45 days, but you know what? I’d probably rather do this next weekend.”
So I’m going to set this for Saturday, and I’m going to wake up a little early and take care of this. I’m going to set my reminder for 9:00am on Saturday. Still way ahead of the due date.” And then I’m just going to go ahead and click Save. And then down here it says, “Event Saved.” And then I can go back to my inbox and if I wanted to, I could delete that email, and I know that next Saturday I’m going to get another email that reminds me.
So, that’s the really nice feature of getting this is when you get a reminder, you can click More Details, and you can bump the task forward to a more ideal day. But that’s not going to change the settings. Every single year on March 1, I’m still going to get that repeating reminder.
So, that’s been a video of the Bang It Out Calendar using Google Calendar and Gmail. I hope this video has been helpful for you.
Next Step: Business Licenses & Permits
Once you’ve reviewed this lesson, or filed your Montana LLC’s Annual Report, you can then proceed to the next lesson: Montana Business Licenses & Permits.
Montana Secretary of State Contact Info
If you have any questions, you can contact the Montana Secretary of State at 406-444-3665.
Their hours are Monday through Friday, from 8am to 5pm Mountain Time.
Montana Secretary of State: Requesting Authority
Montana Secretary of State: File Your Annual Report
Montana Secretary of State: Business Services Filing Fees
Montana Code Annotated: 35-8-208 – Annual report for Secretary of State