How Much Is A Business License In Montana?

Montana requires all businesses who want to operate in the state to register for a basic business license before they can be considered legal and tax compliant. Without a business license, Montana businesses face potential fines or even closure for not complying by state authorities.

How much is a business license in Montana? Montana business license applications cost $25 and up for a basic application. Administration fees might apply, and special licenses like LLCs carry higher rates. Business licenses are an important requirement for businesses in Montana, who cannot operate without one by law.

Without a business license in Montana, a business is considered to operate outside of the state’s legal framework and might be closed by the authorities. Montana requires registration from all businesses, but not at state level like most areas: most Montana business licenses are granted by the individual town where the business operates.

Montana Business Licenses

All companies, corporations and small businesses require a license to operate and pay tax in the state of Montana. It’s true even for Montana businesses who deal only in online sales, or ones that might need additional licenses – all will need the basic license first.

There are some differences that sets Montana apart from business license registration in other states. There is no general business license for the whole state of Montana, but instead individual licenses issued by each city.

Business license registration in Montana starts at $25 for a simple business license, though other permits could increase this cost. Administration fees might apply in some jurisdictions.

A business license application is immediate, though in Montana will take time to process through the system. Allow up to 2 weeks for online applications, and longer for any applications that were made at a physical state office.

All business application fees are non-refundable.

Business licenses in Montana last for a period of one year after their application date. Renewals must be made either before or on the stated deadline, or the business could face late fees or fines for not complying with Montana law.

Additional licenses could be required for specialized businesses, like LLCs, food or liquor retailers and others.

The easiest way to apply for a Montana business license is with the office or online portal of the Montana city where the business intends to be based. Because Montana lacks a general state sales license, individual registration is required instead.

The online business license application process in Montana has been made flawless and fast. Applications that are filled out online must be accompanied by the relevant fees to be valid – though rejected applications will not be refunded, and applicants must be sure of the information.

Business licenses are a requirement for any business within Montana,whether they want to operate a main office or a representative branch. 

Without a business license in Montana, businesses could be forced to close until their licenses have been obtained. Additional fines can be brought against companies who operate without the right licenses in Montana.

How long does a business license in Montana take?

Montana business licenses applications are immediate, though take time to process. A business application in Montana can take anything from 2 to 4 weeks, with online applications faster.

When does a business license in Montana expire?

Most Montana city business licenses are valid for 1 year after their application date. There are exceptions. After this period, businesses have to register for a renewal. Unlike some other states, Montana city licenses will not renew automatically.

How do I register for a nonprofit license in Montana?

Nonprofit licenses apply to any not-for-profit businesses or charities in Montana. These have to register for a specific license that can be registered through the same office or website, but that will require a different form.

Where can I apply for a business license in Montana?

Business licenses in Montana are applied for at city-level instead of with the state. Online applications are faster, but in person applications can be made at the relevant city or municipal office in Montana.

What if my business license is delayed?

Delays can be normal at busy times of the year, but might also happen when applications have been made in person rather than through the online city portal. Delays should be followed up if a license takes longer than 4 weeks.

Types of Business Licenses

An LLC or CompanyLimited Liability Corporations require a specific type of business license for Montana, and this might cost a little more to register than a standard business license. 
A General Operating LicenseA general operating license is the other name for a general business license. Most businesses who want to operate in or from Montana will need to get one from their city.
A Food LicenseFood licenses are required for any businesses who sell or process food-related items. Montana still requires a basic business license first.
A Nonprofit Nonprofit licenses are for charities and not-for-profit companies. This is separate from a regular business license, and does not require fees to register. 

Montana Business Facts

• Montana has no state-wide business license that covers business within the entire state. Instead, Montana businesses have to register with their city.

• All businesses who want to operate within the borders of Montana require a basic business license.

• Small businesses make up more than 80% of total registered businesses in Montana state. 

Business License Registration in Montana

Montana has specific requirements for each type of business, though most that sell or trade will require the basic business license or sales tax permit from their Montana city. 

Business license registration in Montana is one of the most important steps.

Here are the business license costs in other states: