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19 Best Business Ideas to Start 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 to Start 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

In Montana, a real estate business requires a license issued by the Montana Board of Realty Regulation. To succeed, focus on understanding local property laws and the regional market trends. Networking with local agents and participating in community events can enhance your visibility. Additionally, leveraging online platforms for listings will attract more clients.

2. Health Care

How to start a home health care business

For starting a health care facility in Montana, you’ll need appropriate licensing from the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. Key success factors include compliance with health regulations and maintaining high standards of patient care. Building relationships with insurance companies and offering diverse health services can set you apart from competitors.

3. Manufacturing

How to Start a Pallet Manufacturing Business

Manufacturing businesses in Montana must adhere to regulations by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality. Efficient production processes and quality control are crucial. Consider local resources to reduce costs and focus on building a skilled workforce. Developing partnerships with local distributors can also help in reaching broader markets.

4. Retail

retail store business idea

Retail business owners in Montana should register their business and might require local permits, depending on their specific products and location. Montana is a tax-free state and doesn’t have sales tax. Success in retail comes from understanding your customer base and local market. Effective inventory management and customer service are key. Emphasizing local products can also appeal to both residents and tourists.

5. Graphic Design

How to start a graphic design business

Graphic designers in Montana can operate without specific state licensing but should consider registering their business. Staying updated with the latest design software and trends is vital. Building a strong portfolio and networking with other local businesses as potential clients will help in growing your business. Consider specializing to differentiate yourself in the market.

6. Fish Farm

How to start a fish farming business

Starting a fish farm in Montana requires fishing licenses and permits from the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. Water quality management is essential, along with knowledge of fish health and breeding. Marketing your fish products effectively to local restaurants and markets is key to success. Consider sustainable practices to appeal to eco-conscious consumers.

7. Wholesale

wholesale business idea

Wholesalers in Montana need to register a business activity with the Montana Department of Revenue. Efficient supply chain management and establishing strong relationships with manufacturers and retailers are fundamental. Focus on competitive pricing strategies and reliable delivery systems to build trust and client loyalty.

8. Solar Power Business

How to start a solar farm

In the growing field of solar power, Montana businesses must comply with local building codes and permits. Staying informed about solar technology and federal state incentives for renewable energy is crucial. Building partnerships with local contractors and offering competitive pricing can significantly drive your business forward.

9. Recycling Business

How to start a recycling business

To start a recycling business in Montana, secure the necessary environmental permits from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality. Success depends on efficient operations and having a solid understanding of the materials market. Community engagement and promoting the environmental benefits of recycling can boost your business profile.

10. Tax Preparer

tax preparer business idea

Tax preparers in Montana must register with the IRS and obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). Being thorough and up-to-date with tax laws is critical. Developing a reputation for reliability and confidentiality will help retain clients. Consider offering year-round financial services to maximize your client base.

11. Freight Brokerage

How to Start a Freight Forwarding Business

A freight brokerage in Montana requires obtaining a Broker Authority from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Building a network of reliable carriers and understanding logistics are key. Offering competitive rates and exceptional customer service can set you apart from competitors.

12. Blog

blog business idea

Starting a blog in Montana involves no specific licenses. Choose a niche that you are passionate about and that has a potential audience. Consistency in posting and engaging with your readers through comments and social media can help grow your following. Monetizing your blog through ads, sponsored posts, or merchandise can be lucrative.

13. Candy Business

How to start a candy business

To open a candy business in Montana, ensure compliance with local health department regulations regarding food products. Creativity in product development and packaging can attract customers. Selling online and at local markets can broaden your reach. Offering unique flavors or customizable options can differentiate your products.

14. Catering

How to start a catering business

In Montana, there’s no specific catering license, but caterers need to obtain a liquor license if they’ll be serving alcohol, and food safety certifications. Building a good reputation through quality food and service is essential. Networking with event planners and venue operators will provide opportunities. Offering menus that cater to specific dietary preferences can enhance customer satisfaction.

15. Cake Making

How to start a cake business

Before starting a cake business in Montana, you must obtain a health permit from the Department of Public Health and a food handler’s accreditation. Success relies on skill, creativity, and the ability to cater to client specifications. Developing a signature style or flavor can help you stand out. Promoting your business through social media and local events can attract customers.

16. Vending Machine

How to start a vending machine business

Only one retail food establishment license is required for a person owning and operating one or more vending machines. Choose strategic locations with high foot traffic for your machines. Keep your product offerings diverse and aligned with consumer preferences. Regular maintenance and updates of machines are key to ensure reliability and customer satisfaction.

17. Farm

How to start a farm business

Starting a farm in Montana involves registering your business and potentially securing agricultural permits. Knowledge of local climate and soil conditions is crucial for crop selection and livestock care. Direct marketing to consumers through CSAs or farmers’ markets can increase profitability. Sustainable practices can also attract a more consciental consumer base.

18. Podcast

How to start a podcast

Launching a podcast in Montana does not require specific licenses. Focus on delivering high-quality content in a niche that interests you and meets market demand. Regular episodes and engaging guests will help build and retain an audience. Marketing your podcast through social media and podcast platforms is essential for growth.

19. Wellness Center

How to start a spa business

To open a wellness center in Montana, secure the necessary business licenses and health-related permits. Offering a variety of services such as yoga, meditation, and nutritional counseling can attract a diverse clientele. Prioritizing client well-being and providing a serene environment will enhance customer loyalty. Engaging in local wellness events can increase visibility.


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19 Best Business Ideas to Start in Montana