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Services and Contact Agencies

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Startup Checklist


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State Trainings and Workshops


Missoula Events

Missoula Events


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Online Classroom



Export Markets


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Government Contracting


women entreprenuers

Women Entrepreneurs


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Veteran Entrepreneurs


indian entreprenuers

Indian Entrepreneurs



Starting a Business in Montana






Accountant Referrals


Additional County Resources


The Stevensville main street association is a non-profit focused on business and community development and historic preservation. 

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Contact this county resource for help with many of the questions you may encounter.


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A great local resource in Sanders County that business owners should be connected to!



Frequently Asked Questions

Obtaining a Business License
Your local city and county offices offer business licenses in Montana. The SBDC does not issue general licenses nor does any agency within the state. For specific professional business licenses and registrations for state-regulated permits for your business please visit the following links: 
Does the SBDC give out grants?

No, the SBDC does not give out grants directly or loan money to small businesses. Your SBDC advisor can help you find an appropriate source of financing and assist you with necessary business planning and financial projections needed to apply for SBA guaranteed loans and approach local banks for capital. .

What can the SBDC help me with?

Free one-on-one business consulting. The SBDC can help with a large variety of business issues, ranging from basic start-up issues, to assisting with finance issues,  preparing business plans and marketing assistance. SBDC advisors do not provide legal or tax advice, but they can provide you with information  to help you make informed decisions or provide referral resources if further help is needed. 

How much does it cost?

They are free. SBDC services are confidential and provided at no cost to the business owner.  More training programs, workshops and services are offered at an affordable fee. 

I have an idea, what do I do first?

Attend an 'Evaluate a Business Idea" workshop at your local office. This course is designed to help you examine your business idea  and determine your potential for success before you spend valuable time and money developing a full business plan.  After you decide to proceed, set up a counseling appointment with your SBDC advisor. 

How do I get an SBA loan?

The US Small Business Association (SBA) loan programs are designed to encourage local lenders (like banks) to make loans to small businesses and entreprenuers. The SBA does not make direct loans. Your SBDC advisor will be able to walk you through the loan application process and help you determine what kind of loan package is right for your financing needs. 

Will the SBDC write my business plan or grant for me?

No. Your SBDC advisor will guide you through the 'how to' of business plans, grants and/or loan paperwork. They will work one-on-one with you to develop a comprehensive plan and accompanying cash flow projections and financial statements. 

Levels of business registration.

Local -Check with local government offices to find out about licenses in a particular area. 

State - If you want to start a business entity which provides legal separation between you and your business, this paperwork is filed online with the Montana Secretary of State. You may want to set up an LLC, especially if you have employees or plan to buy property in the future.  Setting up a business entity also provides a level of professionalism which can be particularly helpful in securing commercial clients. The cost is $70 for the first year and $20 each year thereafter. 

Federal -Register for a federal tax ID number so you can keep your social security number safe. When working with commercial clients, they may want you to fill out a W9, which will require your name and federal tax ID number. 

Specialty - Some industries require special licenses. You can see what is required in the state of Montana on the link below. 

Independent Contractors Exemptions Certificate- This is not a license but is sometimes required for commercial cleaning or state contracts. It certifies you are an independent contractor and  waives your ability to file a workers comp claim against the business or insurance claim against a resident should you become injured while working at a personal residence.  ntractors Exemption Certificate

Can I get consulted on my non-profit?

The Montana Non-Profit Association has a weath of information for all things non-profit. Specifically, check out their page on starting a non-profit. 

In Missoula you will find the Non-profit network for peer support and access to non-profit expertise.

Both of these organizations have newsletters that list relevant current events for non-profits, non-profit job openings across the state and regionally,  and non-profit conference and training opportunities. To get on these lists, email the respective organizations and ask to be added. 

University of Montana students, alumni, faculty or staff the Blackstone Launchpad can assist with organizational development questions. 

Starting a non profit:



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