Ecwid for Small Business

How to Start a Small Business in Montana (MT)

Did you know that Montana has the third-lowest tax rate in the United States? Did you know that Montana has the tenth-lowest tax burden? What about the fact that this state is ranked ninth for early survival startup rate? These statistics could mean great things for your business. Don’t believe us? Read on to learn all about why Montana might be the right state for your to start your new business.

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Best Business Ideas for Montana

Before starting a business, it’s important to recognize your strengths. If the only thing you know is that you want to start a business, that’s okay. But make sure to take the time to think about what type of business you might be good at running. Here are some of the best ideas for The Mountain State:

  • Campground
  • Beer (a brewery or a wholesale)
  • Drive-in Movie Theater
  • Clothing Boutique
  • Escargot Delivery Service

Whatever you decide, it’s important to establish a business plan.

Planning Processes

Drafting a business plan can be daunting; we get it. That’s why we have a step-by-step instruction guide to drafting up your business plan.

1. Playing the name game

Choose a name for your business that is straightforward and doesn’t leave your customers wondering what you do. While there are some rules and regulations for naming your business, don’t let that discourage you. For example, Snail Mail is an excellent name for your escargot delivery service.

2.  Conducting market research

It’s crucial to get to know your market. Do search engine optimization research. Hold focus groups. Conduct surveys. You may find surprising things! Snail Mail found out it may not have the market it originally thought.

3.  Structuring your business

LLC, corporation, nonprofit, partnership, sole proprietorship: which is best? It depends on what your goal is. Registering as an LLC has favorable tax treatment, while a nonprofit is funded by donations, as opposed to investors. Snail Mail would likely work best as an LLC.

Registering in Montana

Get all the info you need about your business. Get your business’ name, the employer identification number (EIN), the name of your registered agent, and file those formation documents. Depending on the structure you choose, you may need different documents.

Congrats, Snail Mail LLC is now an officially recognized business in the state of Montana!

Best Location for Your Business in Montana

Where do you want to have your business’ headquarters located? In your house? In a small office downtown? Whatever you choose, you’ll need to get the appropriate licensing and permits. And you’ll need to make sure your choice is equipped to withstand potential growth. Do your research on Montana’s popular and/or growing areas.

Snail Mail, LLC works best in an office space in Whitefish, an affluent area. Escargot ain’t cheap.

Banking and Accounting

It’s crucial to open a business bank account. It not only separates your personal assets from your company’s assets (a critical step to protecting yourself), but it also makes accounting and tax filing much easier. A credit card is a good option, as it helps to grow your company’s credit and ensures you stay on top of all of your business transactions. It’s also a good idea to get a business accountant, who can help to save your business thousands of dollars!

Ensure Your Business Is Insured

Business insurance is crucial to growing your small business in Montana. It’s a way to ensure your business avoids any unknown risks, like an employee stubbing their toe on the property or a grizzly bear deciding it wants some of that tasty escargot.

In Montana, any company with at least one employee has to be insured, which is a fancy way of saying every company must be insured.

Permits and Licensing

Your business needs licensing. The best way to figure out what licensing you need is to search for federal, state, and local licensing needed. To figure out what local licensing you need, you should contact the country clerk during their business hours.

Hiring Employees

Unless you’re that one-person company we talked about earlier, you’re going to need some employees. Creating the perfect team for your business is crucial to making a successful business. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it sounds. You need to make sure your hiring practices are legal. This means you need to be registered with the IRS for employee taxes as well as report new hires to the State of Montana. Montana state taxes include unemployment insurance tax, and withholding tax.

Note: we also suggest you create some form of payroll to avoid problems in the future

Branding

Branding is fun for some, miserable for others. First, let’s start with the logo. Make sure your logo is representative of the brand, what you offer, and is visually pleasing to your customers. Snail Mail, LLC thinks muted colors with an elegant font works best to express what they do. You may decide bright, inviting colors work best for your brand. There is plenty of software online that can help you if you’re stumped, too.

Branding also requires you to think about what your values are as a company. Do you believe everyone should have the option to have edible snails delivered to their door? Do you think no one should have edible snails delivered to their door because that’s a sit-down restaurant-type deal? This might seem like an odd example, but it’s necessary to make it clear to yourself as much as to your customer the values your company holds itself to and what it can offer to your customers.

Do some personal reflection and truly embrace what your company believes in. Making sure these points strike home will ensure that your customers are in it for the long run.

Online Presence

In the day and age of social media, you must have an online presence for your brand. While this can look like having a website and online store (if applicable), this also means you need Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok accounts. One of the best things you can do for your business is to follow trends on social media. It makes you look hip, in touch and will help your business flourish. Get creative!

Marketing

Having an online presence is great, but what about marketing on those platforms? All legitimate businesses have a website. And if we’re being honest, the less legitimate ones do, too. Unfortunately, social media profiles are not a replacement for a website. Having a professional website makes your brand seem trustworthy, reliable, and offers all-around better branding.

If this seems to be way too much, don’t worry! Companies like Ecwid help your store grow and succeed. They can help you create a beautiful, easy-to-navigate website while allowing you to market your products on other online platforms mentioned above. Ecwid even allows you to track your digital sales on a dashboard, where you can see your inventory. They’ll help make sure business never drops to a snail’s pace.

Start Your Business Online

Starting a business online is faster and cheaper.
Transform it into an offline business later.

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You don’t have to worry about the office or warehouse if you choose to sell online. Save your time and money.

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Learn the basics

Starting an Online Store Business is Easy.
We’ll Show You.

So you’re ready to start selling online. Now the million-dollar question… where do you start?

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Read real stories

Get Yourself Ready
For Surprises

Check out our blog series all about starting an online store without prior experience. It‘s sort of like our own ecommerce reality show—starring Nicole.

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Find a product

Looking For Things
To Sell Online?

Discover best-selling products and how you can start selling them online and make money.

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Select sales channels

Catch Your Customers Where They Are

We’ll help you navigate through the market and find the most profitable channels.

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Start Your Business Online

Starting a business online is faster and cheaper.
Transform it into an offline business later.

Start Selling Online

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