Montana Certified Public Accountant License Requirements

What are the requirements to become a CPA in Montana?

The Montana Board of Public Accountants (MBPA) regulates the practice of accounting in Montana.  You must get a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) permit to be licensed to practice accounting in Montana. Practicing public accounting includes providing certain types of services for clients involving the use of accounting or auditing skills, such as issuing reports or financial statements on which the public may rely; management consulting services; preparation of tax returns or advising on tax matters.

You can become a CPA by examination, transfer of grades, transfer of licensure, or international reciprocity.

How do you get a Montana CPA permit to practice?

To actually practice public accounting, you must obtain an active status permit to practice. Most commonly, applicants are admitted by examination. To become a CPA by examination, you must receive a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, pass all four sections of the Uniform CPA Exam, and meet experience requirements. Then you fill out the Application for Initial Permit to Practice, which is available on the MBPA website.

How much does the permit to practice public accounting in Montana cost?

Application for an active status permit to practice:

Application as a candidate for exam:

Annual renewal:

Fees associated with sitting for the CPA exam:


Are there any continuing education requirements?

To maintain your permit to practice, you must complete 120 hours of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) every three years.  At least two of those hours must consist of ethics training. A CPE reporting form must be completed triennially.

How do I get the Board of Public Accountant’s approval to set up my business?

Under Montana accountancy law, the office of each CPA firm in Montana must register with the MBPA.  The board definition of firm includes proprietorships, partnerships, professional corporations (PC) or limited liability companies (LLC) engaged in the practice of public accounting. This includes firms in Montana that use “CPA” or CPA Firm” in their name and/or perform attestation services and compilations. PCs are required to submit a copy of their Articles of Incorporation and Annual Report to the board.  LLCs must submit a copy of the Articles of Organization. Both must disclose a list of all members or officers who are license holders. There is no fee to register the entity with the board of accountants.

Does a Montana Accounting Firm need to be a certain type of business entity?

In addition to becoming a Montana licensed accountant, you may want to start your own firm. Registering your Montana business entity with the Secretary of State offers many benefits and protections for accountants. Montana allows accountants to choose the entity that best suits their needs. Accountants may form standard partnerships, corporations, limited liability companies, etc. Accountants may also create professional corporations (PC) and professional limited liability companies (PLLC). These professional entities allow licensed individuals to form a corporation or LLC for the purpose of practicing their profession. Shareholders must also be licensed to render the service as must half of the officers and directors. Montana does not require entities to include a description of the service (such as the word “accountant”) in the business name.

Once you have chosen the type of entity you want to form, we can file the appropriate documents with the Montana Secretary of State for you or provide all the information you need to do it yourself. We provide business formation services and ongoing business compliance services by acting as your registered agent for just $100. You get your Montana CPA License and we will properly form your Montana business. And for just $49 per year, we will provide ongoing business compliance services by acting as your Montana Registered Agent.

Montana Board of Public Accountants Forms

Montana Secretary of State Forms