Montana Cleaning Business Start-up Laws

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This article provides three key state business startup requirements for self-employed sole proprietors and general partners who run residential house cleaning businesses. Information from the Secretary of State, the Montana Department of Revenue and selected city and county government sources were used to research this article.

Be aware that sole proprietor and general partner startup requirements in this state are always changing. Some requirements even vary from county to county.  It is important that you call or visit your local county or city government to find out local requirements for residential house cleaning businesses and home-based businesses. This article is not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for qualified legal or tax advice.

Business Name Registration

Sole proprietors and general partners who want a business name that does not include the owner(s) full names (for example, Janice Smith’s Cleaning Service or Martha Harris and Tom Graham’s Maid Service) need to find out whether the name they want to use is available in Montana. Start with a statewide corporate business name search at the Montana state online business portal, ePass Montana.

Then do an online search for names similar to the one you plan to use. For example, if you want to use the name, Crystal Clean Maid Service, do simple Google searches for “Crystal Clean Maid Service+Montana” plus Crystal Clean Maid Service+your county” and “Crystal Clean Maid Service+your town or city”. Search beyond the first page of results. Go at least five pages deep into the search results to see if the name you want or similar names are being used in your state, county or city.

Sole proprietors and general partners file for an Application for Registration of Assumed Business Name with the Montana Secretary of State. The application can be found through ePass Montana.

In the state of Montana, registering an Assumed Name or DBA (“doing business as”) name makes it difficult for other registered businesses to the use of the same name. Other businesses in the state may not register the same assumed name.

Business License Registration

Sole proprietors and general partners do not have to apply for a business license with the State of Montana. Residential house cleaning  businesses should check with the local city or county clerk-recorder’s office for licensing requirements.  Find a county website.

In Montana, a general partnership is created when two or more owners form an oral or written agreement to start a business together. General partners are not required to file any documents with the Secretary of State. It is advisable for general partners to file an assumed name or DBA. A written partnership agreement drawn up by a lawyer is important for both or all partners. Partnership agreements do not have to be filed with the state.

Sole proprietors and general partners may apply for an Employment Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS even if they do not plan to hire employees. Getting an EIN may make it easier to open a bank account and reduce your risk of identity theft. You can apply for an EIN online.  In addition, some business registration forms will require a NAICS business classification number for the house cleaning industry.

Business Tax Registration

Register online through ePass Montana.

Montana does not have a general sales, use, or transaction tax. House cleaning services do not have to collect and send sales taxes to the Department of Revenue.

Sole proprietors and general partners must pay taxes on the business income they earn through individual state income tax returns. Sole proprietors and general partners are responsible for paying estimated self-employment income taxes in Montana (on Form-IT) similar to the way self employment taxes are paid to the federal government. Get more information about estimated tax requirements by calling the Montana Department of Revenue at (406) 444-6900. More ways to contact the Montana Department of Revenue: https://mtrevenue.gov/contact/

Montana general partnerships that file a Federal partnership information Form 1065, may need to file state income tax Form PR-1. Get more information from a CPA or qualified tax preparer to find out if your partnership must file those returns.

Selected Montana City Licenses

Billings Business License: https://ci.billings.mt.us/981/Business-Licenses

Bozeman Business License: https://www.bozeman.net/government/planning/business-licenses

Butte-Silver Bow Business License: https://co.silverbow.mt.us/494/Business-Licenses-Permits

Great Falls Business License: https://greatfallsmt.net/planning/licensing

Helena Business License:  https://www.helenamt.gov/finance/forms

Missoula Business License: https://www.ci.missoula.mt.us/129/Business-Licensing

 

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