The Montana economy is primarily based on agriculture, with the main activities being ranching and cereal grain farming. In 2019, Montana’s GSP (gross state product) was $47.2 billion.
The Land of the Shining Mountains has become a hotspot for microbreweries. The state ranks third in the nation in the number of craft breweries per capita. Other significant industries are oil, gas, coal, mining, lumber, health care services, and government sectors.
Tourism is Montana’s fastest-growing industry, with an average of 13 million annual visitors flocking to the state’s natural attractions, such as the Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks.
Small businesses (SMBs) are very important to Montana’s economy. More than half of the state’s workforce is employed by small businesses. The rural nature of Montana is one explanation for a high share of small business employment. As a large state with small cities and towns, Montana’s consumers are less concentrated. In a single city, there are a limited number of customers that an accounting firm, coffee shop, or other business can serve.
Here is a list of statistics of small businesses in the Big Sky Country:
- Montana has 123,419 small businesses. They represent 99.3% of all businesses in the state.
- Five industries comprise the most small businesses:
- Construction — 17,956
- Other services (except public administration) — 15,207
- Professional, scientific, and technical services — 15,085
- Real estate, rental, and leasing — 14,729
- Retail trade — 12,365
- There are 245,758 individuals employed by small businesses. They account for 65.3% of the state's entire workforce.
- Self-employed people who run incorporated businesses have an average median income of $41,000. On the other hand, those whose businesses are not incorporated have an average median income of $27,000.
- Five industries have the largest share of small business employees:
- Accommodation and food services — 42,987
- Health care and social assistance — 39,680
- Retail trade — 31,461
- Construction — 23,840
- Other services (except public administration) — 16,087
- There are 1,210 small business exporters that account for 75.2% of Montana’s $1.4 billion worth of export revenue.
- State law requires that every new Montana LLC designates a Montana registered agent that will be available during regular business hours at a physical address within the state.
- To form an LLC in Montana, you need to file your Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State. The filing fee is $70.
- Montana corporations are subject to Montana’s corporation license tax at a flat rate of 6.75% of taxable income.
- Income from partnerships is distributed to the individual partners who then pay tax on the amount distributed to them on both their federal and state tax returns.
- In 2018, Montana banks issued out 25,316 loans under $100,000 while reporting under the Community Reinvestment Act. The total value was $423.7 million.
- Small businesses created 3,772 net jobs in 2019. Firms with fewer than 20 employees experienced the largest gains, adding 3,223 net jobs.
- If you want to use a fictitious business name, you will need to file an Assumed Business Name, also known as a DBA (Doing Business As), with the Secretary of State. The filing fee for the registration of an Assumed Business Name is $20.
- The utilities industry has the smallest share of small businesses, with a total of 927 small firms currently working in it.