Start an LLC in Missouri

Last updated on: October 12, 2021

If you plan to file LLC or Missouri Series LLC documents and want to learn more about the steps to starting an LLC, this article is for you. It outlines how to open an LLC in Missouri while getting an in-depth look at the procedural angle. This includes the necessary forms and fees that go into a Missouri LLC registration, as well as the company’s subsequent development. As long as you follow these steps while starting an LLC in Missouri, you can be sure that you’re on the right course.

Choosing a Name For Your Missouri LLC

An LLC’s name is what sets it apart from the competition. Its use goes beyond registration since it will be shown on your business cards, storefront, and ads. Effectively promoting your business means finding a name that’s memorable and unique but also legally valid. 

The main requirements as administered by the Missouri Secretary of State for LLC names stipulate that they should:

  • Be distinct: a name should always be available. If other entities already use identical or deceptively similar names in the state, your application will be rejected;
  • Include designation: an entity’s name should indicate its business structure, in this case:
  • “Limited Liability Company,” 
  • “Limited Liability Co.,” 
  • “L.L.C.,” 
  • “LLC” etc.
  • Avoid forbidden words: an entity must not imply an association with government agencies or use indicators of other business structures like “limited liability partnership”, “corporation”, “incorporated” etc.
  • Be factual: the name must not be deceptive in regards to the nature of your business.

LLC Name Search

When you pick a company name, don’t rush using it on the Articles of Organization. First, you have to check its availability by using the state’s business name database designed for free Missouri LLC search. This isn’t a requirement for Missouri LLC online filing, but it can save your application from being rejected if your business name is already in use.

If a business entity search in Missouri shows the name to be available, you can go ahead and register it. But if the name is taken, you will have to distinctly alter it or find a new one. Note that not all name changes are valid, for instance, none of the following alterations will be considered sufficient: 

  • Contractions;
  • Punctuation marks;
  • The articles “a,” “an,” or “the”;
  • Special characters like @, #, $, and %;
  • Business type identifiers like LLC or Ltd;
  • Arabic vs. Roman numerals (4 vs. IV);
  • Singular vs. plural nouns;
  • Capitalization;
  • Spacing.

Business Name Reservation

If you already have a perfect Missouri LLC name but don’t plan to register just yet, you can reserve the name for the time being. This service ensures the name won’t be taken by other entities while you’re preparing for your company launch.

Here the reservation period is 60 days. You can extend it 2 more times but the overall reservation period should not exceed 180 days. To reserve LLC name in Missouri, you can send the application online, by mail, or in person. The service fee is $25 regardless of the method. 

Online

The best way to save time is through an online application since the office processes it immediately. You can apply at the Corporation Online Portal by filling out the form and submitting it.

Mail

If you prefer paper documents, you can download the Application for Reservation of Name and print it out. The completed form and your service fee check should be directed to:

Secretary of State, Corporations Division
P.O. Box 778
Jefferson City, MO 65102

In Person

Jefferson residents and visitors can hand in the form at the following address:

600 W. Main St., Rm. 322, Jefferson City, MO 65102

Paper forms are typically reviewed within 3-5 business days.

Designating a Missouri LLC Registered Agent

To register LLC in Missouri, you should not only file the Articles of Organization but also follow some additional requirements. The state must always be able to contact your company, hence why it’s imperative to appoint a registered agent when forming an LLC in Missouri.

Don’t worry if you don’t really know what the registered agent role entails since most entrepreneurs encounter the concept when they delve into the process of how to get LLC in Missouri and maintain its good standing.

A registered agent is a representative of a company in the state who handles official correspondence and forwards it to the LLC owner. According to Section 347.030 of the Revised Missouri Statutes, registered agents must handle:

  • Service of process;
  • Receiving notice;
  • Getting demand, etc.

Almost anyone can be a registered agent in Missouri, whether it’s an individual or an entity.

Individual as Your LLC Registered Agent

Your business partner, relative, accountant, or attorney can become your agent as long as they:

  • Are a resident of the state;
  • Have a local street address;
  • Are over 18 years of age;
  • Are able to be present at the registered office during standard business hours.

Registered Agent Service 

A good option for those who value a professional approach is hiring an online service like Northwest Registered Agent. Their registered agent service is considered to be one of the best in the industry. They not only offer greater peace of mind, convenience, and privacy protection but also scan all documents locally. Northwest registered agent’s annual fee is only $125, plus you can get one year free of charge if you hire Northwest to launch your LLC.

Securing Your Missouri Federal Tax ID Number (EIN)

To start doing business in Missouri, most entities must obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which is a nine-digit code assigned by the IRS for tax purposes.

When do you need an EIN? Your LLC will likely require one for:

  • Paying federal and state taxes;
  • Hiring employees; 
  • Opening a bank account.

The IRS provides LLC EIN for free. You can apply for it online, by mail or by fax.

Online

If you want to use your EIN number Missouri right away, it’s best to obtain one online. To apply you must provide a valid Social Security number. They accept applications only between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.

Fax

Another accessible option of getting this number for an LLC in Missouri is by fax. This method usually takes about 4 days to process. To apply, send the completed Form SS-4 to:

(855) 641-6935

Mail

If you’re not in a hurry to get your Missouri Tax ID, you can obtain it via mail, in which case the wait will be about 4 weeks. To apply, send the completed Form SS-4 to:

Internal Revenue Service Operation
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999

Opening a Business Bank Account

One of the major points in favor of Missouri LLC formation is the limited liability protection it provides. However, an owner might lose these privileges following a court ruling if they fail to clearly separate their personal and business assets.

To avoid this, it’s highly recommended you open a bank account under your company’s name as soon as your Missouri LLC application gets approved. Thankfully, almost all LLC businesses in Missouri can do so with ease as long as they provide:

  • The LLC’s EIN;
  • The operating agreement;
  • Driver’s licenses of the members;
  • LLC bank resolutions (for multiple-member LLCs);
  • A copy of the Missouri LLC Articles of Organization.

Submitting the Articles of Organization

One of the fundamental steps to setting up an LLC in Missouri is filing the Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. This is one of the key LLC formation documents the approval of which declares your company official.

To fill out your Missouri LLC Articles of Organization, you have to provide the following information:

  • Company name;
  • Company purpose;
  • Names and addresses of all organizers;
  • Registered agent name and address (no P.O. boxes);
  • LLC’s dissolution;
  • Name and address to return the filed document;
  • Signatures of all organizers.

The official Missouri business registration is only possible by way of filing the Articles of Organization. When you file LLC Missouri online, the processing fee is $55, but paper applications cost a whopping $105.

Online

If you prefer digital applications, you can register by doing the following:

  1. Go to online filing portal;
  2. Sign in or register;
  3. Go to “Business Entity Online Filing”;
  4. Select “LLC Filings”;
  5. Select “Create LLC” and follow the instructions.

Mail

If you can’t apply online or want to pay by check, it’s possible to apply via mail. Complete the paper application and send it along with the check to:

State of Missouri
Corporations Division
P.O. Box 778  
Jefferson City, MO 65102

In Person

Jefferson residents can submit LLC paperwork in person at:

600 W. Main St., Rm. 322 Jefferson City, MO 65102

The Secretary of State normally processes these applications within 3-5 business days.

Drafting an Operating Agreement LLC 

Unlike most states, it won’t be enough to simply file the Articles of Organization to launch an LLC in Missouri. In addition to LLC documents, you will also need to draft a deed that outlines the internal structure of the company, as well as its goals and procedures. This document is called an Operating Agreement.

The main advantages of a Missouri operating agreement include:

  • Allocating members’ rights and responsibilities to help avoid internal conflicts;
  • Serving as proof of separation of funds to enforce liability protections;
  • Helping to avoid default rules that tend to be too general in nature to consider a company’s specific interests.

There is no general form for a Missouri LLC Operating Agreement considering that each company requires a unique approach. Still, an effective agreement should include:

  • Information about LLC;
  • Duration of the LLC;
  • Name and address of the registered agent;
  • Members and their contribution;
  • Management;
  • Procedure for admitting new members, as well as outgoing members;
  • Indemnification and liability clauses etc.

There are 2 ways to get this document:

  1. Writing it from scratch: you don’t have to be a lawyer to create an Operating Agreement. It’s possible to draft it by following the outline of your company’s goals and needs. Plus, there are plenty of free templates available online, most of which are fairly helpful. That said, it’s still better to use a custom template typically provided by an online formation service. Companies like ZenBusiness include a free Operating Agreement in every service package;
  2. Hiring an attorney: if you want your Operating Agreement to be legally sound, it’s better to entrust this step to a professional. An experienced business lawyer will assess every aspect of your company’s operation and consider the risks of your industry when drafting the document.

Submitting the Operating Agreement with the Secretary of State is not a requirement.

Meeting Additional Legal Requirements in Missouri 

Missouri business owners do not need to file annual reports, but there are still a few state requirements they will need to meet.

Obtaining Business Licenses

When you assess the cost to start an LLC in Missouri, keep in mind that you will likely have to get multiple licenses. Although your business becomes legal upon its registration, it won’t be enough to fully operate in Missouri.

The types of licenses and permits as well as their number depends on your entity’s industry and location. There is no general Missouri business license, but most counties and municipalities impose their own licensing regulations. 

If you aren’t sure whether you need Missouri LLC business licenses and permits, be sure to check the Professional Registration and Licensing page to learn more.

Paying LLC Taxes in Missouri

Federal Taxes

Due to the pass-through nature of this structure, the owners don’t do any separate LLC tax filings. Instead, all business profits go on the members’ personal 1040 tax returns and/or Schedule C, though the company can also elect a corporate taxation system.

State Taxes

Missouri LLC Taxes are fairly simple on a state level. Here, the LLC is classified as a pass-through entity and is exempt from franchise or privilege tax.

Additional Taxes

If you plan to open LLC in Missouri, make sure to research what types of taxes apply to your company. According to Missouri LLC requirements, companies that sell goods and services must pay the Sales Tax and Use Tax, while businesses with official payrolls are subject to Withholding Tax and an Unemployment Insurance Tax.

To be able to pay taxes, you have to first register with the IRS through their online registration system. For Sales Tax and Use Tax and Withholding taxes, you can only apply with a paper application. For more information about state taxation, visit the Department of Revenue website or the Department of Labor website.

Final Thoughts

If you wish to save time and effort, consider hiring a professional agency for opening an LLC in Missouri. The current market offers a range of LLC formation services able to oversee the launch of a company while making it painless.
By hiring one of the Best LLC Services, you will be able to conduct Missouri LLC without any setbacks. Each of these services has a stellar reputation solidified by years of experience of providing LLC help, while their prices start as low as $0.

Senior Business Tax Writer, etc
Jean Wilson Murray
https://bestllcservices.co/
(323) 789-5289
Senior Business Tax Writer, etc
Jean Wilson Murray

In this IncFile vs ZenBusiness review, we're going to compare two of the most popular LLC formation services based on pricing, features, and drawing out differences and similarities to let you see which is most suitable for you and your business.

You can learn more about @Mike here.

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