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19 Best Business Ideas in Montana

Written by:

Esther is a business strategist with over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, executive, educator, and management advisor.

Edited by:

David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.

19 Best Business Ideas in Montana

As the US’ largest landlocked state, Montana relies on its agricultural sector, with cattle, wheat, and hay among its top commodities. But you could also get into shipping, recycling, catering or a number of other sectors.

The state is set for strong growth in the coming years, despite fears of a tight labor market, so now’s a great time to get in on the action. Check out our list of excellent Montana business ideas below to jumpstart your thinking.

1. Real Estate

how to start a real estate business

Montana’s real estate market is a landscape of opportunity, mirroring the vast and open Big Sky country. With a growing influx of residents seeking the tranquil, outdoor-centric lifestyle, opportunities abound for residential development, vacation rentals, and property management services. Moreover, Montana’s scenic beauty and unique properties offer a niche for luxury real estate professionals catering to high-net-worth individuals looking for their slice of mountain paradise.

2. Health Care

How to start a home health care business

As Montana’s population ages and remote areas continue to need better access to medical services, there’s significant potential in health care ventures. Whether it’s mobile health services reaching into the less accessible corners of the state, specialized clinics, or home health care businesses, entrepreneurs have the chance to make a real impact on the well-being of Montanans while tapping into a sector with steady demand.

3. Manufacturing

How to Start a Pallet Manufacturing Business

With its rich natural resources and a push for job creation within the state, Montana is an inviting place for small to medium-sized manufacturing businesses. Entrepreneurs can capitalize on the state’s competitive energy costs and growing workforce to produce anything from agricultural equipment that supports Montana’s farming community to artisanal products that resonate with the state’s heritage and culture.

4. Retail

retail store business idea

Retail in Montana benefits from a diverse consumer base, including both locals and tourists. Entrepreneurs can thrive by blending traditional retail with the experiential – think outdoor gear shops that also offer local adventure tours or boutiques that curate a mix of products from Montana artisans. Retailers that tap into the state’s identity or cater to its outdoor lifestyle can create a loyal customer base.

5. Graphic Design

How to start a graphic design business

With a thriving small business scene, Montana is ripe for graphic designers who can help these businesses stand out. From branding local craft breweries to designing websites for start-ups, a graphic design firm in Montana can build a robust and varied portfolio. Plus, the state’s inspiring landscapes provide endless creative inspiration for designers.

6. Fish Farm

How to start a fish farming business

In a state famed for its fly-fishing, a fish farm could be a sustainable and profitable venture. Catering to both local restaurants seeking fresh, locally-sourced fish and the bait market for Montana’s abundant fishing tourism, aquaculture can be a way to marry commerce with conservation, particularly if you focus on eco-friendly practices.

7. Wholesale

wholesale business idea

With its strategic location in the Northwest and access to cross-border trade, Montana is an ideal location for wholesale businesses. From agricultural products like wheat and barley to crafted goods like handmade furniture, entrepreneurs can build a bridge between Montana’s producers and markets across the country and beyond.

8. Solar Power Business

How to start a solar farm

Montana’s vast and often sunny skies offer untapped potential for solar energy businesses. From installing solar panels in the energy-independent-loving rural areas to providing solar solutions for eco-conscious cities like Missoula and Bozeman, this sector is glowing with opportunity, especially with state incentives for renewable energy.

9. Recycling Business

How to start a recycling business

As environmental consciousness grows, a recycling business in Montana could play a pivotal role in both urban and rural settings. With the right strategy, recycling operations can turn local waste streams into profitable material for manufacturing, all while supporting the state’s commitment to preserving its natural beauty.

10. Tax Preparer

tax preparer business idea

With a mix of independent-minded small business owners and individuals looking for help navigating tax laws, Montana presents fertile ground for tax preparation services. Establishing a firm that offers personalized and knowledgeable tax advice can secure a loyal client base, particularly if you tailor services to the specific needs of Montana’s diverse economic landscape.

11. Freight Brokerage

How to Start a Freight Forwarding Business

Montana’s freight brokerage potential leverages its extensive road networks and increasing trade flows. A brokerage here can facilitate the movement of goods from the state’s agricultural, mining, and manufacturing sectors to markets far and wide, creating a logistical linchpin in the state’s economy.

12. Blog

blog business idea

A Montana-based blog can capture the essence of life in the Big Sky Country, attracting readers with interests in outdoor adventure, rustic living, or the state’s burgeoning arts scene. With the right niche, such as eco-tourism or farm-to-table culinary experiences, a blog can garner a significant following and become a platform for related revenue streams.

13. Candy Business

How to start a candy business

Tapping into Montana’s local food movement, a candy business could source from local sweeteners like Flathead cherries or huckleberries, creating confections that reflect the state’s tastes and traditions. Such a business could attract locals looking for artisanal treats and tourists seeking edible souvenirs.

14. Catering

How to start a catering business

With Montana’s increasing number of events and destination weddings set against picturesque backdrops, a catering company can flourish here. Emphasizing local ingredients and Montana-style hospitality could set a catering service apart, appealing to both corporate events and more intimate gatherings.

15. Cake Making

How to start a cake business

A cake-making business in Montana could rise to success by focusing on custom, artisanal cakes for celebrations, tapping into the trend of personalized baking. By using local flavors and ingredients, a cake maker can create a brand that’s distinctively Montanan and in demand for everything from weddings to birthday parties.

16. Vending Machine

How to start a vending machine business

Innovative vending machine businesses can thrive in Montana, especially if they’re stocked with goods tailored to the local market – such as healthy snacks in hospital lobbies or fishing supplies in popular recreation areas. The key is placing machines where convenience is valued and foot traffic is high.

17. Farm

How to start a farm business

Agriculture has always been the heart of Montana’s economy. A farm here, especially one that embraces sustainable practices and caters to the growing demand for organic products, can tap into both the local and national markets, providing farm-to-table experiences and fostering community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs.

18. Podcast

How to start a podcast

Starting a podcast in Montana can capture the unique narratives of the state, from ranching tales to tech start-up successes in Bozeman. With a genuine voice and captivating content, a Montana-based podcast can not only reach listeners across the state but also connect with those intrigued by the Montana lifestyle around the world.

19. Wellness Center

How to start a spa business

In the heart of Montana’s serene landscape, a wellness center that doubles as a retreat and spa is an ideal venture. Offering holistic spa treatments and wellness retreats, this center would provide a tranquil escape, encouraging guests to unwind and rejuvenate. Leveraging Montana’s natural beauty, such a facility could become a haven for those seeking peace away from the bustle of everyday life.


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19 Best Business Ideas in Montana