Start A Business 2

Start a Business

How MWED Can Help

Montana West Economic Development is staffed with knowledgeable professionals who will help you get from A to B.
Phone calls are welcome, 406.257.7711, and emails greeted at .

How to Start a Business in Montana

These tools and requirements are helpful to start and operate a business in Montana. Determine how to legally structure your business with the help of the Montana Secretary of State.

Tools For Business Thinkers

Meet the Business Model Canvas. The canvas is an entrepreneurial tool that helps you determine how your business will create, deliver, and capture value. The flexibility of the Business Model Canvas enables you to see how the necessary building blocks of your business fit together. Click HERE to check it out!


Here are some additional tools provided to help you get started with your planning:



The Small Business Development Center, (SBDC), located at Flathead Valley Community College is a resource for assistance with developing financial projections benchmarked against an industry’s average financial performance. The SBDC staff will help guide your preliminary business planning.

Contact us with any lingering questions you might have about planning your business!

Most entrepreneurs fund their business startup with their savings, and then raise money from family and friends. Bootstrapping the launch of the business is the preferred avenue, with debt financing for later on, to serve the growth of the business.

To finance the business growth, there are several options:

  • Debt financing with a financial institution partnership and participation, or with Montana West Economic Development business loans. Click here to visit MWED’s business financing page. Connect with Montana West staff to learn about various business finance options with local, state and federal organizations.
  • Frontier Angel Funding – seeks proven business model with revenue that can scale within five to 10 years with an exit strategy.
  • Next Frontier Capital– is a type of funding for a new or growing business from a venture capital firm that specializes in building technology industry financial portfolios. The Next Frontier Capital firm in Montana provides funding in exchange for equity in the business.
For the best information with patents and trademarks, do not rely solely on the internet. Review the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Helpful Hints

  • Registering with the United States Patent Office gives you rights in 50 states
  • For copyrights, just use the symbol
  • First to file gets the patent
  • Provisional patent is all about getting the file date, and you don’t need an attorney to file a provisional patent
  • Process for obtaining a patent is typically 1 to 3 years
  • Have your patent filed before you disclose or sell
  • Patents expire in 20 years

For more guidance and helpful tips please visit the Inventors and Entrepreneurs Assistance Center.