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Montana LLC Name ReservationYour company name is important. It’s your first impression, and it’s how people will remember you.

You don’t want to be the business with a forgettable name. So, when you’ve got that perfect name in mind, that clever alliteration or meaningful acronym, you might think about reserving it before someone else does.

Naming your company is one of the first official steps when starting an LLC in Montana. In certain situations, it may be necessary to reserve a business name while you’re preparing to bring your business idea to life.

In this article, we’ll explain when reserving a business name is necessary and guide you through all the steps involved.

Are You Required to Reserve a Business Name?

No, although you have the opportunity to reserve your LLC name in Montana, you aren’t required to do so. Feel free to skip this step if you’re ready to register your business right away.

Should You Reserve Your LLC Name?

Maybe it took you sleepless nights of brainstorming, or maybe you thought of it while sitting at a traffic light. No matter how you came up with your memorable LLC name, you’ll want to make sure that it’s available and ready to use when you file your Montana LLC registration.

You have the option to reserve your LLC name, but it’ll cost you a $10 fee. Overall, it’s cheaper to skip this fee and simply start your business, which will lock in your name.

However, there are cases where you may not be ready to officially start your business. Filing an application to reserve your business name gives you “dibs” and ensures that competitors aren’t able to snag it while you’re preparing for launch.

If your business name is unique, including unusual spellings or characters and/or family names, it may not be necessary to reserve a Montana business name ahead of time. Plus, paying the extra state fee to reserve your business name could be a waste of resources if you’re planning to launch your business soon after.

How Long Does a Montana Business Name Reservation Last?

Anyone planning to do business within the state of Montana can reserve an entity name, and you can keep that name reserved for as long as you please, just as long as you continue filing renewals and paying additional fees.

Filing your name registration prevents another entity from using that name to conduct business in the state during the time of your hold. An entity name registration in the state of Montana lasts 120 days, during which you have exclusive rights to that name. But say your time runs out and you’re not ready to start your business yet. No sweat! You can file another name reservation and pay an additional $10 for another 120 days, and you can do this as many times as necessary.

What if you have a stroke of genius and come up with something better? You can cancel your reservation, or transfer it to someone else, at no cost ($15 if you’re a foreign LLC). All of this is available through the Online Business Filing System.

How do I Reserve a Business Name in Montana?

Got a name in mind? Perfect. Follow these steps to reserve it.

Before submitting your application to reserve your business name, you first need to check name availability. All you have to do is search for your desired name using the Secretary of State’s Business Search tool and see if it’s in use. Don’t forget that you also need to comply with other business entity name restrictions from the state of Montana (find them all here). All good? Then check to see if your LLC name is available. If it is, let out a sigh of relief—you’re ready to reserve it.

Alright, let’s lock down this name. Go to the Secretary of State’s Online Business Filing System. If you don’t have an account, you’ll need to create one. After you’re logged in, select the name resevation option from your dashboard and follow the instructions to enter your information.

Reserving a business name will cost you $10, and since you’ll be filing online, you can pay it with a debit or credit card.

While claiming a name takes you one more step toward forming your LLC, remember that it does not constitute any type of business registration. You’ll still need to file your Articles of Organization with the state before you can begin doing business. Need some help with that? Check out our comprehensive guide here.

Wrapping up and Choosing the Best Route

Your LLC name is an important part of the business. If you’re not ready to launch your business, but you’ve got a perfect name and you think someone else might claim it, consider reserving it.

However if your business is ready for takeoff, use our comprehensive guide to forming an LLC in Montana to get started instead. This way, rather than paying an additional $10 for the name reservation application, you’ll only pay the one-time $70 Montana LLC formation fee to claim your name and form the LLC at the same time. $10 isn’t a fortune by any means, but this will at least save you the hassle of reserving a name and registering an LLC separately.

Save Time by Using a Professional LLC Service

As a business owner, you have a lot to think about. Pile on the responsibility of handling state correspondence, tax information, and more while keeping your LLC compliant, and you’ve got yourself a pretty full plate. Sometimes the best move is to let someone else take care of the paperwork for you. This way, you can sleep easy knowing you’ll never miss a deadline or compliance requirement with the state of Wyoming.

While LegalZoom is by far the most well-known LLC formation service and has decent overall value, we highly recommend looking into ZenBusiness or Northwest Registered Agent. We’ve done the research so you don’t have to, and these two are reliable, professional, and efficient.