Brands EnforcementApplying for a New Brand

Applying for a New Brand


Submitting A New Brand Application

There are three ways to submit your application:

1. Mail an application to:

MDOL Brands Enforcement
PO Box 202001
Helena, MT 59620-2001

2. Drop-Off:

Customers who come to the Helena office may look through the inactive brands and leave an application. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about the application process. We are located in the Scott Hart Building, 301 N Roberts St, Helena MT.

3. Same-Day Service:

When applying for a brand in the Helena office, same-day service (getting a new brand before you leave the office) is dependent on staff availability; staff may not be available to issue a brand while the customer is present. New brand applications are not accepted for same-day service after 3:00 PM.


Selecting Brands

The Conflict Checking Process

New brands must be distinguishable with reasonable certainty from all other marks and brands (MCA 81-3-103). A meticulous, systematic process called the 'Conflict Check' is utilized to compare new brands with all existing brands in the state to ensure that new brands are unique. There are over 50,000 brands currently recorded in Montana.

Approved Characters

To maintain consistency and reduce conflicts, only certain characters are issued in new brands. The following are the only acceptable characters for new brand applications. They may be rotated 90 degrees left or right:

  • A B C D E F H J K L M N O P R S T U V W X Y Z
  • 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
  • box, diamond, heart, triangle, cross

In addition to the above listed characters, a bar, slash, or quarter circle may be used as follows:

  • bars can be used before, after, above, below, or between characters
  • back-slashes or forward-slashes can be used before, after, or between characters
  • quarter circles can be used above (with rounded side up) or below characters (with rounded side down)

Inactive Brand List

A list of brands that are not currently recorded is available here. This list is intended to provide ideas for new brand applications; brands on this list will not be issued if a conflict exists with a currently recorded Montana brand.

Owner Names on a New Brand Application

  • Sole Owner: One individual person is listed as the only owner of the brand
  • Multiple Individual Owners:  
    • Joint Ownership:
      • in the event of the death of one or more owners, rights of survivorship go to the surviving owner(s);
      • the word ‘or’ appears between owner names on the brand certificate
    • Tenants in Common:
      • in the event of the death of one or more owners, rights of survivorship go to the heirs of the decedent(s);
      • the word ‘and’ appears between owner names on the brand certificate
  • Business Ownership: a corporation, limited liability company, limited liability partnership, trust, or any other business must be registered with Montana Secretary of State. At least one bill of sale signer must be listed on the application.


The fee for a new brand is $200. Half of this fee is non-refundable.

Ornamental Brands

Ornamental brands are for decorative purposes only; any application of ornamental brands to livestock is strictly prohibited. Ornamental brands otherwise work just like real brands – you must apply for the brand you want. If the brand you request is already recorded, it cannot be issued. When applying for an ornamental brand, you may submit several choices to have a better chance of selecting a brand that is available. A fee of $200 is required with the application. 

Be sure to read and complete the ornamental brand application form in its entirety (i.e., name, mailing address, signature to be notarized). 
Ornamental Brand Application Form