4 Elements That Makes Montana a Prime State to Start a Business

Thousands of new businesses choose to incorporate in Montana every year. This comes as no surprise since this state annually makes the top ten for best places to start a company. So why do entrepreneurs from across the United States choose the Treasure State? Between outstanding export growth and a favorable tax climate for businesses, it’s easy to understand why. 

If Montana is on your list of possible places to incorporate your startup, check out these four elements that make it a prime location to do so. 

1. Montana Offers Generous Business Incentives

One of Montana’s most prominent attractions to offer new companies owners like yourself is generous small business programs. You could potentially benefit from these incentives that range from funding and loans to tax credits and discounts. 

Below are just a sampling of these programs currently available: 

Primary Sector Workforce Training Grant Program (WTG)

The WTG encourages businesses in primary sectors to train employees in new job roles to further expand their operations within the state instead of outside of it.  

Empowerment Zone Tax Credit

This unique tax credit program enables qualifying companies to receive a break on their employee income taxes of $500 in designated empowerment zones. This is an area that has higher rates of poverty and unemployment, which would benefit from businesses being located within its boundaries. 

Micro-Business Finance Programs (MBFP)

This program distributes funding to MicroBusiness Development Corporations throughout the state. Businesses that qualify must have less than ten full-time employees and a million or less in gross annual revenue. 

New or Expanded Industry Credit

If you plan to hire employees, this credit will support your Montana-based startup by giving you a 1% credit for the wages you pay for new team members. This credit can last up to three years from the date you start operations. 

2. Bootstrapping-Friendly

If your business will get its start as a sole proprietorship and be funded by investing your personal assets, this is bootstrapping. However, Montana is extremely friendly to entrepreneurs taking this approach to achieving success. Some organizations specifically collaborate with new startups coming to the state and will work with them to build a path to future equity investment. 

However, this approach to launching a new company can be risky. As a sole proprietorship, you bear the burden of any liability you face. This reality requires careful asset protection planning and business insurance investment to defend against perils you may encounter.

Depending on your industry, services, goods, and employment plans, you will likely need several of the following policies:

  • General Liability Insurance 
  • Commercial Property Insurance
  • Business Interruption Insurance
  • Professional Liability Insurance
  • Data Breach Insurance
  • Commercial Auto Insurance
  • Cyber Coverage

It’s important to note that some coverage will be mandatory according to state law. For instance, Montana worker’s comp insurance is necessary if you employ a single individual or more. However, these premiums are much cheaper than the cost of a work injury dispute. This coverage addresses all of these issues, including legal fees if your company gets sued over negligence claims.

3. A Healthier Work-Life Balance

Another reason you might want to consider taking your new company to Montana seriously is that it’s easier to attain a better balance between life and work. Part of this is probably due to the millions of acres of parklands just waiting for you to explore. In addition, these destinations are great for team-building retreats with your employees, which is a terrific boost to company morale. 

Imagine being able to enjoy the great outdoors on your lunch break. The state’s geography is diverse, so you could open a shop near a popular park area in Minneapolis or opt for a beautiful waterside view of Lake Superior in Duluth. The options are endless. 

4. Montana is State-of-the-Art

You probably imagine cornfields, wild game hunting, and minimally populated cities when thinking about Montana. It’s unlikely you would imagine cutting-edge business technology. However, the Montana High Tech Business Alliance found that technological development in the state grew astronomically between 2015 to 2016. Over 70%, to be exact! 

With over a billion dollars in generated revenue each year, this market grows faster than the local economy. This translates into more investment opportunities and access to more considerable networking opportunities that could fuel your journey to success even faster. 

Imagine the talent pool you can create with these conditions. It won’t be hard to locate highly-skilled employees because of this environment. As Montana continues to increase its tech R&D, more and more career-minded graduates will be looking for a company like yours to work with for the long term.

Is Montana the Right Place for Your Business?

The reality is that Montana has a lot to offer new business owners looking for a growth environment that doesn’t leverage heavy taxation and has a comprehensive offering of startup programs. With that said, it’s essential to think about your long-term vision for your company and how you plan to accomplish your financial goals if you opt to incorporate them there.

The bottom line about small businesses in this state is they are on the rise and won’t be slowing down anytime soon. This could mean fierce competition in your market sector, so leveraging the many incentives and funding opportunities available is crucial to your success.