How to Start a New Business in Missoula

By SILKE JAUCK

It’s February and, as we all know, most people have already given up on their New Year’s resolutions.

Have you thought of doing something big and daring like becoming your own boss, but don’t what to do? Don’t give up, this is a resolution worth keeping and turning into reality.

A few years ago, one of my New Year’s resolutions was starting a business. This was something I had contemplated for years and I finally found the opportunity and courage to do it.

How does one start a business? Being new in Missoula and having never owned a business, I turned to friends who were business owners for their advice. There are many helpful resources in Missoula for small start-up businesses, like the Montana Community Development Corporation (MCDC). They provide free business consulting and workshops, both I have attended in the past.

Next, I took the time and effort to write a business plan and MCDC had some very helpful online resources. It is important to have your business concept and goals in writing, including the financial aspects when analyzing the business, applying for loans or grants etc.

A Missoula business license

Don’t forget to acquire a Missoula business license from the City of Missoula. A license is good for one year and I paid $74.00 for my most recent license.

If you come up with a business name and you would like to have it officially registered as the assumed business name, submit it to the Secretary of State in Helena. It needs to be renewed every five years and the filing fee is $20.00. In addition, there is also information available how to form a LLC.

Are you a female entrepreneur? Joining the Missoula Businesswomen’s Network (MBN) has provided a wealth of resources for me and is THE place to reach out and connect with fellow Missoula business women.

And, from day one, have your paperwork and computer files in order. It will save you time and worries when preparing your taxes. Talk to a bookkeeper/accountant/business friend for advice and help.

And one last advice: network, network, network – both offline and online. This is how Missoula and the business world works.

Best of luck with starting your own business,

Silke

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Silke Jauck is a German native and Missoulian by choice. She and her family have packed and unpacked their suitcases and moving boxes in four continents and have finally settled in Missoula and called it home. She lives with her husband, three daughters, and a dwarf rabbit in the Target Range neighborhood. Silke is the publisher of Friendship Book, a made-in-Montana keepsake and activity book for children ages 6-12. She also has a blog about life hacks at Silke Good Ideas, and you can visit her Make it Missoula blog archive.