How to obtain business license in Montana

Updated on December 21, 2023


Obtaining the appropriate business license is essential for legal operation in Montana. This guide provides insights into licensing requirements, application processes, costs, necessary documents, compliance, and industry-specific considerations in Montana.

Who Needs a Business License in Montana

Nearly all commercial business entities require licensing in MT including retailers, restaurants, service providers, rental property owners, contractors, skilled tradespeople, and independent professionals.

Penalties for non-compliance include potential fines, civil actions, charges for operating without a license, or closure after multiple violations.

Understanding Montana Business Licenses

Common Montana licenses needed:

  • State business licenses – Depending on trade activities and locations
  • Local city/county licenses – Check municipal licensing bylaws
  • Sales & use tax licenses – To charge and collect sales taxes
  • Professional licenses – For occupations like nursing, accounting, food services etc.

Preparing to Apply for a License

Use the Montana Business Navigator tool to identify necessary permits and registrations. Prepare business formation documents, lease agreements, and financial statements. Fees vary by license type.

Step-By-Step Guide to Apply

Montana provides an online portal for license applications.

To apply online:

  1. Access the Montana Business Navigator portal (Business Navigator)
  2. Run the Licenses & Permits Wizard
  3. Select your required license types
  4. Provide requested business and owner details
  5. Upload supporting documents
  6. Pay fees
  7. Obtain approvals

After Submitting an Application

Online applications typically finalize within 15 days. Check your status via the Business Navigator dashboard.

If issues arise, administrators will contact you to provide clarification or further documents as needed.

Maintaining Compliance

To remain compliant in MT once licensed:

  • Display license certificates prominently on-premise
  • Complete renewal applications before expiration dates
  • File timely tax and fee payments
  • Maintain legally required insurance coverage
  • Report changes to ownership, activities, locations

Obtaining Federal Registrations

Typical federal registrations also needed:

  • Employer ID Number (EIN)
  • Trademarks and copyright protections

Special Considerations

Verify specific licensing requirements for businesses like liquor stores, casinos, and healthcare providers with Montana regulatory agencies.

Registering Your Business Name

File “Doing Business As” name certificates via the Montana Secretary of State office.

Montana Tax Permits

Common tax permits include Sales & Use Tax Permits and Alcoholic Beverage Licenses.


Who Needs a Montana Business License?

Most commercial entities in Montana, including retailers and hospitality providers, require a license.

What Do Licenses Cost in Montana?

License fees range from $20 to over $1,000, depending on the license type. Renewal fees apply annually.

How Long Does Approval Take?

Online applications for business licenses in Montana are typically processed within 15 business days after submission of all required documentation.

Additional Resources

Explore further information and resources on Montana’s official state websites for businesses.

Final Thoughts

Licensing your business in Montana is key to legal operation and avoiding penalties. Utilize online application options for an efficient process.

Priyank Singh

Priyank Singh, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Stilt, specializes in technology-driven financial solutions. He is having experience of starting FinTech Company, understanding regulations and coming up with creative solutions to solve difficult problems.