Montana Foreign Qualification

Foreign qualification is the process by which a business entity that was originally formed in another state seeks authorization to conduct business in Montana. This involves registering with the Montana Secretary of State and complying with the state's requirements for out-of-state businesses operating within its jurisdiction.

There are 2 different ways to foreign qualify in Montana depending on your legal entity type and tax classification. Follow the guide below to help you register with the Secretary of State in Montana or use Mosey to do it.

Use Mosey to register with the Secretary of State in Montana.

Montana Foreign Registration for C Corporation

All foreign corporations “transacting business” in Montana must register with the Secretary of State by filing a Foreign Corporation Certificate of Registration online. Montana provides a non-exhaustive list of activities that do not constitute “transacting business” in lieu of defining “transacting business.”

  1. Establish a Registered Agent

    You must continually maintain a registered agent in Montana to accept service of process at your principal office in Montana.

  2. Create an ePass Montana Account

    If you have not already done so, visit ePass Montana, select “Login”, and select “Create an Account” to create an account with the Secretary of State.

  3. File Foreign Corporation Certificate of Registration Online

    Log into your ePass Montana account to submit your Foreign Corporation Certificate of Registration.

Montana Foreign Registration for LLC

All foreign limited liability companies “transacting business” in Montana must register with the Secretary of State by filing a Foreign Limited Liability Company Certificate of Authority online. Montana provides a non-exhaustive list of activities that do not constitute “transacting business” in lieu of defining “transacting business."

  1. Establish a Registered Agent

    You must continually maintain a registered agent in Montana to accept service of process at your principal office in Montana.

  2. Create an ePass Montana Account

    If you have not already done so, visit ePass Montana, select “Login”, and select “Create an Account” to create an account with the Secretary of State.

  3. File Certificate of Authority Online

    Log into your ePass Montana account to submit your Foreign LLC Certificate of Authority.

What else do I need to know?

Once you are registered with the Secretary of State, you may have additional requirements to maintain your "good standing" in the state. Failing to do so can result in fines, back taxes, and forfeiting certain priveleges within the state.

Maintaining a Registered Agent

Most states require that you have a registered agent that can receive important mail from the Secretary of State should they need to contact you. There are many commercial options available or you can use Mosey to be your registered agent and keep your information private in Montana.

Annual Reports and Taxes

In addition to maintaining a registered agent, most states require you to file a report annually. Registration can also trigger state taxes such as a franchise tax or income tax. You can use Mosey to identify these additional requirements to maintain good standing in Montana.

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