Montana is a great state to settle down and start a company. With great views and plenty of things to do, Montana has a growing population with a need for innovation and new business options. That said, starting an LLC in Montana is easier said than done. Starting an LLC is challenging because you have to ensure you have everything you need in place to succeed. Plus, you need to make sure you have a registered agent to remain compliant with the state of Montana.
In Montana, companies are required to have a registered agent by law. The registered agent acts as a point of contact between the state of Montana and the LLC, which plays an important role. While registered agents are responsible for more than communication, that's something we'll touch on down below.
Read on to learn more about registered agents in Montana and how they can help your LLC.
What Is a Montana Registered Agent?
A registered agent (also sometimes referred to as a "resident agent") is an appointed person or entity that is responsible for communication between the LLC and the state of Montana. Registered agents are required by law and are necessary for LLCs to remain compliant within Montana. That said, registered agents also perform other tasks on behalf of companies.
These tasks and responsibilities include:
- Filing annual reports on behalf of the LLC
- Communication between the LLC and state
- Being available during normal business hours
- Handling the legal process
- Receiving legal documents
- Data storage
- Keeping the LLC in good standing
Registered agents are more than a middle man between your company and the state. These responsibilities make registered agents an important part of every company.
Can the Owner Be a Registered Agent?
Yes, a registered agent can be the owner of the LLC. Many LLC owners become the registered agent themselves because they believe it's easier than spending money on a registered agent service or worrying about a family member or friend sending in documents on time.
While this is perfectly legal, becoming your company's registered agent is not usually the best move. Working with a registered agent service makes life easier and allows you to focus on your LLC.
Still, anyone can be a company's registered agent as long as their primary address is in Montana and they are at least 18 years old.
Why Do Businesses Need a Registered Agent in Montana?
The state of Montana requires businesses to have a registered agent by law. While it is a state requirement to have one, it's not necessarily a bad thing, and there are unique benefits that apply when you work with registered agent services. We're going to take you through them.
Having privacy is one of the many benefits of working with a registered agent service. When the owner of an LLC becomes the registered agent, there is a lot of privacy lost. This is because the registered agent must list their home address and other personal information for the state to have on record.
Working with a service can help you get this privacy back. Services use their addresses instead and prevent the public from having access to your private information.
The legal process is something that every LLC owner needs to worry about. LLCs are made to avoid liability, but lawsuits and legal battles can still occur. Therefore, being prepared for the legal process is important. Working with a registered agent service can help you be more prepared and keep legal trouble away from your business.
Registered agent services can help by being the entity that receives paperwork for the legal process, lawsuits, liens, and other important documents. They will then forward it to you discreetly.
Working with registered agent services also provides you with flexibility. Being an LLC owner is a hard job, especially if you're just getting started. When starting a company, owners don't have much flexibility to begin with. If you add on the responsibility of being the registered agent, the lack of flexibility gets even worse.
In Montana, registered agents need to be available during normal business hours every week. The only days that are excluded are holidays, which makes it hard for registered agents to have time away from the company. The good news is that registered agent services understand this responsibility and can help.
Registered agent services can also help you remain compliant with the state of Montana. Compliance is important because it helps maintain your licensure within the state, prevents you from paying legal fees, and saves your LLC from being shut down.
Montana doesn't have a ton of requirements to keep your company compliant. In Montana, it's about keeping your company up-to-date with key information and making sure your annual report is filed each year. Registered agent services can handle all of this for you.
Data storage is a huge part of being a registered agent. Storing data from the state and keeping it separate from the LLC is important because it helps with organization. Plus, being organized makes it easier to efficiently provide the state with documents.
Working with registered agent services can help you with data storage. These companies offer cloud-based storage options that can help you keep your documents separate. Moreover, registered agent services can store your documents and hold them for years if needed.
It's tempting to become the registered agent of your LLC. That said, it's almost always best to work with a professional service because it can save you time, fees, and your reputation.
What To Look for When Choosing a Montana Registered Agent
Finding a registered agent in Montana is a challenge. This is because there are many options to choose from. You can choose yourself, someone within the company, and even an outside registered agent service. The good news is that we're here to help. We're going to help you narrow down your registered agent options to make the decision easier.
First and foremost, we'll begin with a professional service. Many people are tempted to become their own registered agent because it sounds easier and saves money. While many LLC owners go this route, it's almost always never the right idea. This is because professional registered agent services can do a better job than most LLC owners, friends, family members, and other people within the LLC.
Therefore, you should always look for a professional service. There are dozens of options to choose from in Montana but make sure the service has good ratings, reviews, and success across the country. You want to work with a service that knows what it's doing and one that won't go out of business.
When choosing a registered agent service, you want to consider the value. With so many options available to you, comparing each company based on value is one of the best ways to rank them. That said, understanding the value a registered agent service provides isn't always easy. For example, some services offer basic packages, while other companies will have several packages and add-ons for you to customize your experience.
The rule of thumb is to consider the cost and weigh it against the services offered. Prices for registered agent services vary, but they're typically within $50 to $500. You want to look for a service that provides the most features for the lowest cost. Still, sometimes it's worth it to pay extra for things like cloud-based storage, accounting, and tax filing.
Data management is one of the most important factors to consider when shopping for a registered agent in Montana. Data management can help you prevent late fees and ensure that the state has all of the information needed to keep your LLC compliant. The good news is that data management is easy when you work with a service.
The best registered agent services offer cloud-based data storage and help with filing the annual report for Montana. These organizations can send documents quickly and also store data for long periods. Overall, you want to work with a registered agent service that has affordable options for data storage and management.
How Much Do Montana Registered Agents Cost?
In Montana, the cost of registered agents varies. Several factors influence the cost, but the most common is if you appoint someone within your business or a seperate service; and if they offer additional services for your LLC.
For example, you can choose yourself, someone you know, or an employee within the company for free; these are affordable options, but they're not your only options.
Another option is to work with a registered agent service like ZenBusiness. These organizations provide you with a registered agent service that gives you peace of mind and it allows you to focus more on your company. These services cost between $50 and $500 annually, so you'll have to choose carefully. Cheaper packages will only offer you registered agent benefits, while more expensive options can handle things like taxes and accounting for your LLC.
Regardless of your needs, there are plenty of affordable registered agent options around.
What's the Best Registered Agent Service in Montana?
If you're looking for a registered agent service in Montana there are several options. While each option has unique benefits and packages, we've found that ZenBusiness
is the best all-around registered agent service. The company provides a complete package and provides users with more than a simple registered agent service. With ZenBusiness, you can take your LLC to the next level in many ways.
One of the ways that ZenBusiness helps your LLC is by offering more than a registered agent package. Their registered agent package is more affordable than competitors, but the true value comes from the add-ons. ZenBusiness can help you with taxes, accounting, cloud-based storage, and more. ZenBusiness can also help you start your LLC if you haven't started one yet.
If you want to get the most out of a registered agent service, start with ZenBusiness. Read our guide here
for more information about ZenBusiness and registered agent services.