Montana Foreign Qualification

Montana is one of the last major frontiers in our nation. It also has many opportunities for businesses. But in order to start doing business within the state, you’ll have to go through the process of foreign qualification.

Speak to an Expert today about
Foreign Qualification at 888-366-9552

What is Foreign Qualification?

Foreign qualification is the process of registering your business so it can operate in a state outside of the one it is based in. You’ll have to foreign qualify if you have any kind of a business presence in another state in order to remain fully compliant.

Why Does A Company Need Foreign Qualification?

Why You Need To Do It – If an LLC or corporation plans on having any kind of physical presence in Montana, it must foreign qualify. This can include having a warehouse, a storefront, an office, or even just a single representative who conducts business to some degree within the state.

When Should You Do It? – The sooner the process is begun, the better. Starting the process early ensures that any potential unexpected delays don’t end up creating issues for your business down the road. Generally, you will need to receive Montana foreign qualification if your company falls under any of the following criteria:

  • Has a physical presence in Montana
  • Buying a property there
  • Have remote employees
  • Accepts orders in Montana
  • Owns a bank account in Montana

What Happens If Your Entity Does Not Foreign Qualify?

Failure to foreign qualify can lead to several penalties. A business will be unable to bring forth a lawsuit of any kind within the state. Additionally, the business may be liable for financial penalties of $5 per day up to $1,000 each year until you foreign qualify.

Steps To Obtain Foreign Qualification

There are several steps that must be taken in order to finalize the process of Montana foreign qualification. These include the following.

1. Obtain Certificates – You will need a Certificate of Good Standing or Existence, which you can get from the company’s home state. You will also have to complete a Certificate of Authority of Foreign Limited Liability Company Application for your LLC’s foreign qualification. Corporations will need to file an Application for a Certificate of Authority. These forms are available on the Montana Secretary of State website for free.

2. Collect And Submit Information – The form will request a variety of information that you will have to provide to complete the process.


  • LLC name with Limited Liability Company, Limited Co, LLC, or other abbreviations
  • Name of the home state
  • The date of formation and duration of the LLC
  • The principal office street address
  • The street address of the registered office in Montana
  • Registered agent information
  • Names and addresses of current managers or members
  • An authorized signature


  • Corporation name
  • A different name if the original is unavailable
  • Name of home state
  • Date of incorporation and period of duration
  • Mailing address of the office
  • Registered agent information
  • Names and addresses of current officers and directors
  •  Nature of the business your company will conduct in Montana

3. Appoint Registered Agent – Your registered agent is responsible for handling all aspects of foreign qualification and business compliance. They will accept documents from the government and work with the business to maintain compliance. It can be a lot of work and hassle, which is why most businesses turn to a third party organization like DoMyLLC to handle it for them.

4. File The Application – Once completed, file the form with the Secretary of State along with the $70 filing fee for an LLC while a corporation pays a $75 fee.

5. Ongoing Maintenance – Montana businesses must file annual reports each year by April 15th in order to remain compliant. These are filed along with a $20 fee for corporations and a fee of $20 for LLCs.

What Is the Difference Between Foreign Qualification And Incorporating?

Incorporation is a process that creates a new business entity. Foreign qualification leaves the existing business unchanged and doesn’t create a new one. It merely provides the business with the ability to legally operate outside of its home state.

How DoMyLLC Can Assist With Streamlining The Process

Your business takes a lot of work from you. By letting us handle your Montana foreign qualification, you eliminate a large amount of stress and hassle. We do everything for you and provide:

  •     Dedicated account managers
  •     Name availability checks
  •     Full filing and registration
  •     Ongoing, unlimited customer support

With us handling your foreign qualification, you don’t have to worry about the process yourself and can have more time to complete other aspects of running your business.

Montana Foreign Qualification FAQs

Montana requires that you submit a completed Certificate of Authority of Foreign Limited Liability Company Application if an LLC and an Application for a Certificate of Authority if a corporation.

The filing fee is $70 for LLCs, $75 for corporations.

Any business located outside of Montana that wishes to operate within the state will be able to – and be required to – foreign qualify.

You don’t need an attorney. However, it is still a good idea to check with your attorney to ensure you’re fully protected legally as you start moving into a new state of operation.

The form will require all basic business information including things like:

  • Name of business
  • Date of formation
  • Address – mailing and physical
  • Registered agent information
  • Names of members and managers
  • And more

You will have to file under a fictitious name and operate that way in Montana. This won’t influence your name in other states.

Montana Business Resources

Montana Office of Secretary of State
Phone Number:
(334) 242-5324

Montana Secretary of State
PO Box 202801
Helena, MT 59620-2801