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How to Relocate a Business to Montana

Whether you’re seeking an advantageous tax climate, a more affordable cost of living or a beautiful place to draw in new clients and employees, there’s no doubt Montana is a great place for business.

Have we convinced you yet? If you’ve already made the decision to relocate operations under the Big Sky, congrats! We’re excited to have you. Now, you’re probably wondering what the next steps are. No two states are exactly the same with how they handle incoming corporations, so let’s take a moment to familiarize ourselves with Montana’s process.

1. Know the Resources Available to You

Man researches on laptop with calculator

Before we get into specifics, it’s important to push the resources available to help those interested in moving their business to Montana. Offices like the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the Butte Local Development Association or the Montana Small Business Development Center provide customized consultation for each business inquiry.

Don’t get discouraged by the number of potential offices to call, however. The offices in Montana all work together on a regular basis and can easily connect you to the right person for your specific move. From there, it’s great to have a qualified local contact helping you with everything from workforce availability to tax incentive programs.

2. Consider Staffing Options

Man and woman in professional meeting

Hiring is a difficult process, especially from afar. Use the aforementioned offices to ensure you find the perfect employees in your new location. Taking advantage of Montana’s qualified workforce usually benefits Montanans and businesses alike. The state even grants tax incentives for introducing new jobs or offering apprenticeships in local communities!

Take New York-based ClassPass, for example. The company benefited greatly from the Montana Department of Commerce’s Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund for bringing new jobs to Missoula in 2018.

3. Choose a New Site

Scoular Grain mill and facility located in Butte Silver-Bow County, Montana.
Scoular Grain at Montana Connections Business Development Park. Photo courtesy of Travis Dewitz.

Now for the fun part: site selection. Before signing a lease, consider aspects of your desired environment like present competitors, proximity to suppliers and zoning regulations.

Once you’ve picked a Montana city believed to represent your target demographics and needs, you can begin to scout out retail spaces to relocate to. Depending on the size and nature of your operations, this process could be anything from hunting for leasable buildings online to coordinating and signing with development parks like Montana Connections. Make sure the start of your lease is close to your ideal move-in date so you don’t miss a beat!

4. Re-register Your Business in Montana

Man signs paper contract

Hiring an accountant and/or lawyer is one of the best ways to simplify the transfer. This ensures you both register with the state correctly and identify every tax incentive applicable in your situation. If your business is a sole proprietorship or partnership, the process can be as simple as filing a DBA declaration.

If you’re operating as an LLC or larger corporation, however, having an accountant and a lawyer on your team is likely critical. This process often involves a number of options depending on what you and your legal team thinks is best for your company. The terms “dissolution,” “liquidation,” “foreign entity” or “reorganization” may all be present in the conversation. And you don’t want to leave any room for misunderstanding.

5. Let the Locals Know

Open sign on storefront window

Marketing is an important part of a well-formed business plan. It’s especially important to research your market well when it’s a new one. Determine the communication channels that will work best for your business. A good start is updating your online directory information on various search engines or review sites, like Google My Business or Yelp. Especially since you’ll relocate to a new physical address, you want to make sure people can find you!

Alternatively, hiring a local marketing agency to handle your account ensures your advertising understands its audience well.

The Bottom Line

Moving your life and business is a huge step, but it feels a lot smaller when you have local guides to help you through the process. Start by familiarizing yourself with the resources available to you before you relocate. Use this article as a means of understanding the general process. We’re excited to see you soon!

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