Skip to content

Top 22 Small Business Ideas in Montana

Montana is also known as “The Treasure State.” It is a state in the Mountain West division of the Western United States. The state offers a wide range of opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to start their business ventures. Here are some of the best business ideas in the state along with a start-up guide for residents or people considering relocating to Montana,

Known for its beers and tourism, the business activities in Montana have changed dramatically over the years. Agriculture still accounts for a huge chunk of the exports including ranching and cereal grain farming. Home to popular small businesses, Montana has a flourishing economy spread across sectors like manufacturing, tourism, metals, and finance.

The other developing sectors are health care, service, and different government sectors. The industries primarily include lumber and mineral extraction, gold, coal, silver, talc, and vermiculite. Tourism is a major contributor to the state’s economy.

List of 22 Small Business Ideas in Montana

1. Food Supplement Store

People are looking for more healthy food items now. The food supplement industry is growing in Montana. You can start a food supplement retail store you can sell dietary supplements from a storefront or line. This will include vitamins, fish oil, protein powders, and healthy foods.

2. Microbrewery

Montana is known as a beer hub with one of the highest craft breweries in the country. You can invest in starting a microbrewery to export beer to other states and neighboring countries.

3. Online Sunglass Store

Eyewear has a huge market in Montana. You can choose a product line of the latest designs and can start to sell sunglasses online. You can either opt to outsource the sunglasses from distributors or manufacture them to sell on a large scale.

Read: How to Create an Online Store

4. Recruiting Portal

You can start a recruiting job portal specific to Montana. One can register the vacancies available in Montana and help students find the jobs they are eligible for. You can charge your clients or candidates for a subscription or use advertisements for revenue generation.

Read: How to Start a Recruitment Agency 

5. Travel Agency

Tourism is a major contributor to the state’s economy. With over ten million visitors a year, there’s a huge market for services like ticketing, hotel bookings, currency exchange, and more. You need very less investment to start a travel agency.

6. Internet Influencer

Marketers are now finding ways to promote products through different mediums. If you are someone who has a sizeable following on the internet you can contact brands to partner with them to endorse products.

7. Online PR Agency

With the internet taking over the media, online PR is now an important aspect for companies. You can offer services to companies to maintain their image online by promoting the vision and viewpoint of the clients.

8. Bed & Breakfast Business

Montana is home to top tourist spots like Glacier National Park, Flathead Lake, and Montana River headwaters. Start a bed and breakfast business with Airbnb offering services to visitors who look for an alternative to hotels.

9. Resume Writing Business

Candidates often need good resumes to crack a job call. If you are at writing, then you start offering resume writing services to job seekers by creating an awesome resume for them communicating the candidate’s skills.

10. Start a Review Blog

Today, we first look for a product online, read reviews, and then buy. You can start a review blog to offer detailed reviews on different products, like for example a blog on book reviews. You can even partner with brands to endorse their products for an affiliate fee.

11. Tour Guide Service

Montana has popular tourist attractions. The highly trafficked locations like Glacier National Park, Flathead Lake, and Montana River headwaters are ideal for hiking or biking expeditions, fishing or hunting trips, or outdoor gear rentals.

You can start a tour guide service of your own with a license or tie up with travel agencies for specialized guide services.

12. Social Media Marketing Business

Marketers now look for social media channels to promote their products and services. If you are good with social media, turn this into a profession. You can offer social media marketing services by handling the company’s media accounts.

13. Online Nutrition Guides

Are you good at counting calories? If you are, you help can people with diet charts. Go for a short nutrition course online, and you can start offering nutrition guides online or via a clinic.

14. Pet Sitting

If you are an animal enthusiast, this job is for you. Pet Sitting services are now popular in Montana. You get to hang out with pets all day and clients will pay you for it.

15. Transcription Business

Transcription is a method of converting audio files into written documents. There is a good demand for transcribers in Montana.

16. Agricultural Products

Montana’s rich agricultural tradition makes it an attractive site for farming, ranching, and organic food production firms. Investigate prospects in organic farming, specialty crops, animal production, and value-added products such as cheese and honey.

17. Outdoor Gear and Equipment Rental

Visitors to Montana’s outdoor recreational activities may require access to outdoor gear and equipment. This market can be served by starting a firm that rents out equipment for sports such as skiing, snowboarding, kayaking, or camping.

18. Craft Brewery or Distillery

Montana’s craft beer and spirits scene is thriving. Starting a craft brewery or distillery can be a successful endeavor, with a growing demand for locally brewed beers and artisanal spirits. To distinguish out in the market, focus on unique flavors and high-quality craftsmanship.

19. Specialty Food and Beverage

Montana’s local culinary culture is developing, and specialty food products are in high demand. You can consider creating a local or artisanal food business, such as gourmet chocolates, organic fruit, unusual condiments, or specialty coffee roasting.

20. Health and Wellness Services

Montana inhabitants place a high priority on health and wellness. Hence it opens up the potential for businesses such as fitness studios, wellness retreats, yoga centers, and health food stores.

21. Renewable Energy Solutions

Montana’s abundant natural resources and dedication to sustainability make it an ideal location for renewable energy companies. Look into jobs in solar panel installation, wind energy, biomass production, or energy consulting.

22. Artisan Crafts and Souvenirs

The state of Montana is rich artistic and cultural heritage. Hence, it presents opportunities for businesses specializing in handmade crafts, artwork, and souvenirs. You can capitalize on the unique local aesthetics and create products that reflect the spirit of Montana.

How to Start a Business in Montana Legally

If you want to legally start a business in Montana, follow the given steps:

Step 1. Choose a Business

The first step is to find a profitable business idea that has good demand.  Check out the small business opportunities mentioned above and select one that fits you.

Step 2. Business Plan

A proper business plan is important for any business. Montana has a well-developed economy with several companies. While it remains competitive for new businesses, a detailed business plan will help you throughout your journey.

Step 3. Financing Your Business

As a new business, you can pitch your idea to investors and venture capital firms. In case you opt to fund your own business, go for a business loan that offers a low intern last and a longer-term payback period.

Step 4. Naming Your Business

A business name is required to register. Check for the name you want with the US trademark department. Register it and buy a domain with the same name immediately. Read this article to know more about naming a business.

Step 5. Choosing A Business Structure

Registering a business is important. You can choose any of the structures from a sole proprietorship, corporation, or LLC. Forming an LLC will offer you added tax benefits with extra-legal advantages. You also remain free from any individual legal liability.

Step 6. Federal EIN & Tax Filing

After registering your business, you have applied for a Federal EIN at IRS. This will make you eligible for double taxation. You also have to additionally register your business with the Montana Department of Taxation and Finance.

Step 7. Business Permits & Licenses

There are different local city-specific licenses available in Montana. Make sure you go through all the city-specific legal requirements. The county governments also have different additional licenses which apply to different businesses, for example, real estate.

Step 8. Business Bank Account & Bookkeeping

Apply for a business bank account. This will help you to maintain all your financials in one place which can be taxed easily. Up next, get reliable accounting software for proper bookkeeping. Setting up an accounting medium will make sure that all your transactions are in one place.

Step 9. Business Insurance

Montana has no specific mandatory insurance for starting a small business in Montana. But, it’s better to get a professional liability policy in case you opt to sell services. Worker’s compensation insurance is also important in case you have any employees.

Step 10. Promoting Your Business

Marketing your business is important. Engage your potential audience and promote your services and products in the right places. Hire an agency to effectively promote your business.

Best Places To Start A Business In Montana

Choosing the right location is going to determine how your business runs. Here are some of the best places in Montana to start your business:

  • Billings
  • Missoula
  • Bozeman
  • Butte
  • Great Falls
  • White Fish
  • Helena

Completing all the steps one by one will help you set up your new business within a short period. Hopefully, the guide will assist you in establishing your dream business successfully.