Missouri is a great place to start a business. The state offers businesses various incentives, including business loans, tax credits, and other forms of financial support. The relatively low cost of living and business-friendly tax laws have attracted many existing and new businesses to Missouri.
Are you looking to join then? If you want to learn how to form an LLC in Missouri, then we’re here to help.
In this article, we’ll go through the exact steps you need to create a new business in the Show-Me State. We’ll even show you how trusted third parties can speed up the process.
So if you’re ready to get your Missouri startup moving, then let’s dive in.
Choose a Name for Your Missouri Company
Choosing a name for your Missouri LLC is usually the first and most critical step in forming your LLC. It is best to choose an LLC name that is related to your Missouri business activities and one that is easy to remember and pronounce.
On top of that, your LLC name should comply with the naming guidelines and rules in the US and specifically to the state of Missouri:
- Your Missouri LLC name must be unique and distinguishable from any other LLC, corporation, or partnership in Missouri
- Your chosen Missouri LLC name should not include words that may confuse your business with any government agency, like State Department, Treasury, Bank, etc.
- The chosen name of your Missouri LLC should include one of the following phrases: “L.L.C,” “LLC,” or “Limited Liability Company.”
- Restricted words (e.g., university, attorney, bank, etc.) will need additional paperwork or a licensed professional, like a lawyer or doctor, to be part of your Missouri LLC.
Once you have chosen a Missouri LLC name, you must check if the name is available or whether it is already taken by another business entity. This can be done via the LLC name search on the Missouri Secretary of State website.
Secure a domain for your Missouri LLC name.
After verifying that your chosen name is not already taken by another business entity and is available in Missouri, we recommend checking whether it is available as a web domain.
Hire or Appoint a Registered Agent
All LLCs in Missouri are required by law to appoint a registered agent. A Missouri registered agent is a business entity or person designated to receive legal state and business documents on behalf of your LLC.
Your registered agent should be a Missouri resident or a company authorized to do business activities in Missouri. They must also have a permanent street address in the state of Missouri. What’s more, a Missouri registered agent must be available to handle legal documents during regular business hours.
You can appoint any member of your LLC or yourself a registered agent if you meet the above requirements. You can also hire one of the following professional registered agents:
IncFile is a top recommendation for a registered agent service provider in Missouri. It has assisted more than 800,000 LLCs to stay compliant over the years. For $119 per year, you get access to the following registered agent services:
- Access to your document correspondence on your tailored dashboard
- Personalized email and SMS notifications
- Automatic mail forwarding
IncFile ensures you stay compliant and on track with deadlines by sending you notifications and reminders. IncFile also offers more LLC formation services, such as tax consultations, EIN, virtual address, certificate of good standing, amendment, trademarking, business licenses and permits, and foreign qualification.
ZenBusiness is another top registered agent we recommend for your Missouri LLC. Ranked #1 on sites like MarketWatch or Forbes, they provide great registered agent and compliance tools, such as:
- Email notifications
- Access to tailored dashboard
- Mail forwarding
- Fast turnaround
- Document scanning
You get access to all these features and services for only $199 annually. What’s more, ZenBusiness also allows you to upgrade the registered agent services to unlock more tools, such as two filing changes per year and annual report notifications.
- Document storage
- Mail forwarding
- Annual report reminders
- Scanned documents
- Pre-filled state forms
- Compliance notifications
Other things that make Northwest stand out as one of the best registered agents are its compliance calendar and Corporate Guides. They also have a discounted annual fee of $100 when you use it in more than four states.
File Articles of Organization With the State
After choosing a name for your Missouri LLC and appointing a reliable registered agent, the next step is to file an Article of Organization with the Missouri Secretary of State. This legal document officially and legally registers your LLC as a separate business entity.
The easiest way to file your Article of Organization is online via the Business Registration Online Portal.
Your Missouri Article of Organization should include the following information:
- The name and address of your appointed registered agent
- The registered name of your Missouri LLC
- Your business’s physical address
- The effective date of your Missouri LLC (if applicable)
- Signatures from the LLC’s members, manager, and organizers
You must register an account using your LLC name and an active email address. You will also need a credit card to pay the online filing fee of $50.
You can also choose to file your Article of Organization via mail. You only need to download and fill out the Missouri Articles of Organization Form. Then send it together with a check for an email filing fee of $105 to the following Missouri address:
James C. Kirkpatrick State Information Center – Corporations Unit
P.O. Box 778
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Create an Operating Agreement Between Your Co-Founders
While you are not legally required to create an Operating Agreement when forming your Missouri LLC, we recommend having one.
A comprehensive Operating Agreement will help keep your LLC protected in the long run by defining the responsibilities and rights of each member and how your LLC will operate and run.
The Operating Agreement for your Missouri LLC should outline the following:
- How disputes will be resolved
- Annual meeting requirements
- Voting rights and responsibilities of each member
- How members will be removed and added
- Member compensation rights
Obtain Any Relevant Licenses and Permits
Every Missouri LLC will be required to obtain at least one license or permit to operate legally in the Missouri state.
The most common one is the sales tax license (often called the seller’s permit), which nearly all LLCs in Missouri should acquire. This license is issued at the state level by the Missouri Department of Revenue, allowing LLCs to collect sales on taxable services and goods.
Other licenses are often done locally via counties or cities. Any area where your LLC operates or is registered may have specific license and permit requirements. The Missouri State website lists counties and cities with detailed information about license and permit requirements for your LLC.
Certain occupations, fields of work, or professions will also need additional professional permits and licensing.
Request Federal and State Tax IDs
A Federal and State Tax ID is a unique employer identification number used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify your business on federal tax filing. You will require it for business tax purposes in Missouri.
Not every Missouri LLC will need a Federal and State Tax ID. For instance, single-member LLCs only need their SSNs to file federal and state LLC taxes. However, if you plan to employ at least one employee in your LLC, you must have a Federal and State Tax ID.
You will also require a Federal and State Tax ID to file excise or sales taxes for employee-related plans and withholdings.
You can apply for a Federal and State Tax ID via the IRS website. The application process is free and straightforward.
Open a Bank Account
While opening a business bank and credit account is not mandatory, it is essential as it helps you separate your personal finances from the business ones.
To open a business bank and credit account in Missouri, you must provide the bank with the following documents:
- Your Federal and State Tax ID
- Your Operating Agreement
- Your Article of Organization
If you don’t have a bank already, you may want to consider one of the following banks:
Get Business Insurance
While your business’s “limited liability” status protects your personal properties, your LLC may be subject to a lawsuit, and its assets will be at risk. Therefore, some LLCs must purchase an insurance policy as a way of protecting their Missouri LLC. A general liability insurance policy is often enough to cover property damage and lawsuits.
However, in some instances, your Missouri LLC may require professional liability insurance coverage. This protects licensed professionals whenever they are accused of business errors or malpractice.
Moreover, the Missouri legislation requires businesses with more than five employees to acquire a workers’ compensation insurance policy. This policy covers any employee who falls ill, gets injured, or dies on duty.
Accelerate the Process with an LLC Formation Company
If forming an LLC in Missouri seems time-consuming and daunting, we recommend purchasing an LLC formation package. Many companies provide comprehensive LLC formation packages that can speed up the process and make it easier.
Some companies, like ZenBusiness, have a free LLC formation package. You will only need to pay for the state filing fee. For instance, their Starter package is free and promises to have your Missouri LLC formed in 2-3 weeks.
Or you may want to purchase their Pro formation package. At only $199 per year, you will get worry-free compliance, expedited filing speed, a business website, and a domain name and email address. They also have a Premium package that costs $349 per year. This package includes all the features offered by the Starter and Pro package and promises to form your Missouri LLC in 1-2 days, making it an ideal option for business owners looking to form their LLCs as fast as possible.
Other companies that offer LLC formation services are IncFile and Northwest. Their packages promise to handle all the basic LLC formation tasks, including registered agent, EIN, operating agreement, and article of organization. Their package fees are $119 and $125, respectively.
FAQs About Forming an LLC in Missouri
How Long Will It Take to Form My Missouri LLC?
You can get your Missouri LLC formed immediately if you file the Article of Organization online. On the other hand, mail filing will take five to six weeks.
How Much Does It Cost to Set Up an LLC in Missouri?
You can set up your Missouri LLC by filing your Article of Organization online for $50 or mailing it for $105. Online filing is quick and secure.
Can I Act as my Own Registered Agent in Missouri?
Yes. The State of Missouri allows business owners and entrepreneurs to appoint themselves as registered agents for their LLCs. However, this comes with some requirements that must be met. For example, you must be available during all business hours to receive legal correspondence documents. You must also be a Missouri resident with a permanent street address. That is why we recommend hiring a professional registered agent service provider.
Can I Form a Single-Member LLC in Missouri?
Yes. You can form a single-member LLC in Missouri using the steps discussed in this article.
Your Missouri Business Journey Starts Today
We hope you found our article on forming an LLC in Missouri helpful. While the process is relatively straightforward and affordable, it can be daunting and time-consuming. If you’re in any doubt, hire an LLC formation company to speed up the process. We wish you well!