Montana Business Records

 

 

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How to Find Business Records in Montana

Searching for Business Records in Montana

In Montana, the duty of maintaining crucial business documents falls to the Montana Secretary of State. Here are a few tips to access some of these records over the internet.

What Records Are Maintained by the Montana Secretary of State?

When businesses incorporate, or become a corporation, they are required to file documentation of the incorporation with the Secretary of State. Certain other business entity types, such as limited liability companies and limited liability partnerships, also file documents when they are formed that are maintained by the Secretary of State. So long as these entities remain active, they file periodic reports to maintain their active status. Certain searches of Montana business records online are free and do not require searchers to become registered users. Certain other searches can only be performed by registered users.

Additionally, the Montana Secretary of State maintains UCC, or Uniform Commercial Code, filings. These filings document security interests that secured parties have in property belonging to debtors. In Montana, this information is maintained by the Secretary of State and can be accessed online, although it is necessary to become a registered user in order to perform a search.

Why Would a Business Not Have Documents On File?

The Montana Secretary of State keeps records or businesses that are registered. However, it should be remembered that not all businesses elect to register. If a business has not incorporated or had reason to file other documentation, the Secretary of State may have no documentation on file.

Additionally, it is possible that a business in Montana may have elected to incorporate in a state other than Montana. Often, businesses in one state elect to incorporate in another state in order to take advantage of the second state’s laws. When this is the case, the Montana Secretary of State may have no record of a business’s incorporation because those documents were filed in a different state.

How Can I Search for Records Maintained by the Montana Secretary of State?

The Montana Secretary of State maintains records that can be viewed online. Certain records require registration and the payment of a fee; other records can be viewed for free.

To search for business records online, begin by going to the Montana Secretary of State’s website, which may be found at http://sos.mt.gov/. Then select the option “Online Services” at the top of the page. This will take you to a page where you can select the method in which you wish to search for records. The options with “RR” after them are the search options requiring registration prior to a search. The other search options do not require registration.

To search for registered businesses in the State of Montana, select the option marked “Registered Montana Businesses.” This will take you to a page including a search window where you can input the name of the business for which you wish to search. Then select “Submit Query.”

Search results will be returned in list form, including all of the registered businesses matching the search terms. The list will include each business name, type, city, state and status. The names appear in blue and are clickable links. Clicking on the names will allow you to access more information about each entity, including the business name, ID number, status, status reason, filing date, expiration date, business type, counties and purpose code. Additionally, a button will appear that will permit you to order a Certificate of Fact for that business, for a fee.

The Montana Secretary of State’s website warns that this search should not be relied upon for purposes of determining name availability, based upon the fact that it may take ten days for a name registration to appear in an online search, and not all registrations are approved. Therefore, business owners should not rely upon the selected business name until it has been approved by the Secretary of State.

To search for a registered agent of a business, from the Online Services page there is also an option marked “Registered agent of a business.” However, at the time of the writing of this article, that link will mistakenly take searchers to the registered business search page as well.

One must become a registered user in order to conduct any searches for UCC filings. However, if you elect to become a registered user in order to access these records online, the links to begin this search are located on the Online Services page, under the heading “UCC.”

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