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Top 15 Small Business Ideas & Opportunities in 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. Here’s a complete guide on how you can start a successful business in Montana.

    List of 15 Small Business Ideas in Montana

    Here are some of the top businesses you can start in Montana with little money:

    1. Food Supplement Store

    People are looking for more healthy food items now. Food supplement is a growing industry 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. Over ten million visitors a year, there’s a huge market for services like ticketings, 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 clearly 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 are Glacier National Park, Flathead Lake, and Montana River headwaters. 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.

    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 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 are applicable 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. A 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 span of time. Hopefully, the guide will assist you in establishing your dream business successfully.

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