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How to Start an LLC in Missouri: Setting up a Missouri LLC

If you’re looking to start a new business, it’s a great idea to open up your business in the state of Missouri. Additionally, it’s an even better idea to register your business as a Missouri LLC. An LLC, or limited liability company, is a smart way to do business as it separates your personal assets from the business.

This means that your bank account, cars, boats, or any other legal property are protected in the case of business debts or a lawsuit against your business. The best solution for protecting your personal assets while operating a Missouri business is to register your company as a limited liability company, or LLC. At LLC Formations, we have the expertise and the available tools to help you form your Missouri limited liability company.

Creating an LLC in Missouri is simple. With at least one member, a creative company name, and a business address, you will qualify to begin the process of starting a Missouri LLC. The process may be simple, but there are a few important details you must consider as you set up your business. Using a professional LLC formation company is the best way to determine if the LLC is the right entity for you. Let the professionals at LLC Formations walk you through every step on how to form an LLC in Missouri so you can get your business up and running.

How do I form an LLC?

The Steps to Forming Your Missouri LLC

1. Name Your Missouri LLC

Your business name is important. It announces you to the marketplace and can leave a lasting impression on potential customers and clients. It is also the first step in forming an LLC in Missouri as you need to register each document with the newly chosen business name. Missouri does not allow two businesses to have the same name, or even a similar name, so you must keep this in mind when choosing your LLC’s name. Your name must be unique, and ideally it will be a name that best represents your business goals.

To be certain that the name is unique to your business, you can check the Missouri Secretary of State Website to verify that your ideal name is available. The Secretary of State website lists all registered LLC’s, so you will be able to see if your ideal name is too similar to an existing LLC. You may reserve a name for up to 60 days while you process the other state filing requirements for your LLC.

When forming an LLC, you must also designate an ending to your business name that will show that it’s an LLC. Your LLC name must avoid being named after another entity type offered by the State of Missouri, such as Trust or Corporation. You also may not have the other entity types like “corporation” or “nonprofit.” listed in your business name.

Missouri LLC

2. Appoint a Missouri Registered Agent

Missouri state requires a registered agent to be listed on your LLC. A registered agent is a point of contact that is listed for your business with the Missouri Secretary of State office. They should be a person or organization that can be available during normal working hours to receive official mail and correspondences that may be sent to the business. The registered agent must be a Missouri resident and they must have a valid address. This address will be the listed address of your small business for filing purposes.

Be sure your registered agent is someone or an organization that you can trust to handle your documents and pay your filing fees. The registered agent will be the only point of contact for your business for official business communication such as court documents, IRS communications, and other important types of communication and information.

The registered agent does not have to be a member of the LLC. They can be a member of your family, a trusted friend, or your registered agent can be an organization that you’ve hired to act on the behalf of your small business. Those who use an organization as their registered agent will have usually used that same organization to form the business set up. This is a good path to take as it frees you up to focus on building your business operations.

Although there may be fees involved, it’s always best to hire a professional to help you with business procedures, especially of the legal sort. Contact us at LLC Formations to help you with information about registered agents.

3. File the Articles of Organization

The Articles of Organization, sometimes known as the Certificate of Organization, is a form filed with the Missouri Secretary of State petitioning to legalize your business as a new LLC. To register your Missouri LLC, you will need to file the Articles of Organization with the Missouri Secretary of State either online or by mail.

Filing your Articles of Organization can be a fairly simple process, but you need to include a lot of information about your new LLC in order to get the approval. Be sure to include everything that is required on the forms or your approval may be delayed.

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Filing by Mail

To file by mail, download the Missouri Articles of Organization (Form LLC1) Complete all sections of the form and return it by mail to:

Corporations Division

PO Box 778

600 W. Main Street, Room 322

Jefferson City, MO 65102

The cost to file by mail is $105. After the Secretary of State receives your application and payment, your new LLC will be approved within 5 -10 working days. LLC Formations can walk you through the steps for filling out the application.

File Online

To file online, you can access the form from the Secretary of State website. The cost to file online is $50. You must include all of the relevant information and then enter your payment. Once everything is complete, your new LLC will be approved immediately. We recommend filing online to save money and time so you can get your LLC up and running.

Follow these steps to file your Missouri LLC articles of organization online:

  1. Create an account with the Secretary of State’s Website.
  2. Select “Business Entity Online Filing”
  3. Click “Create LLC” under “LLC Filings”
  4. Under “Create New Entity” tab, select “Domestic” and then click begin
  5. If you reserved a name, enter the name registration number, if not, leave blank
  6. Enter the name of your LLC, ensure LLC or one of the alternatives mentioned above is included at the end of your name. This will be your LLC’s legal name.

Now enter all of the information about your Missouri state LLC:

  1. Duration: Choose “perpetual” unless you have a dissolution date
  2. Managed by: Choose member unless there is another manager to list
  3. Purpose: List a purpose such as, “For operating business within all applicable Missouri laws.”

Future Effective Date: Leave blank to use filing date as the effective date or choose a future effective date

  1. Series LLC: Leave blank
  2. You must include your registered agent on the form
  3. Determine if your registered agent is an individual or another business in the filing
  4. Add the LLC’s organizer or whoever is completing the forms on the LLC’s behalf
  5. Sign and agree to the terms
  6. Hit “next” to go to the payment page

Once you’ve submitted payment for the articles and your payment method has been approved, you will immediately be approved for your Missouri state LLC so you can get started on growing your LLC.

You will see three PDF documents available for download: your Certificate of Organization, a copy of your Articles of Organization, and an order summary for the transaction. Save a copy of these important forms as you may need to access them often.

4. Create Your Missouri LLC Operating Agreement

If you’re planning to operate a business in Missouri, you need an LLC Operating Agreement. The purpose of the Missouri LLC Operating Agreement is for the professional operation of your business entity. The Operating Agreement compiles important information about the management of your LLC and it states how the business entity will make decisions about how the representation of the LLC and how its financials are handled.

Each LLC should have an Operating Agreement to provide a legal safety net for the LLC and its members as it may help you in the future. If there is ever an issue that comes up in the LLC, this document will help to determine a legal outcome based upon the initial agreement.

Even if you operate as a sole proprietorship and have no other LLC members, it’s wise to have an Operating Agreement on file. This way, you have an internal document that acts as a business plan for your single member by specifying how you plan to form your LLC, start up procedures, and handle important things like tax and legal information.

The Operating Agreement for your LLC in Missouri needs to include:

  • The LLC’s name and effective start date
  • The name and responsibility of each member
  • The name of the registered agent
  • The purpose of the LLC
  • A discussion about ownership, profits, and distributions
  • An outline about tax plans or franchising if applicable

It’s a great idea to consider hiring an LLC formation professional to help you draft the Operating Agreement for your LLC in Missouri. That way, you can be sure that your company and its members are protected if any issues come up within the LLC since your internal document will clearly list the desired outcomes for your LLC.

5. Getting Your Missouri Federal Tax ID Number (EIN)

An important step of starting your limited liability company in Missouri state is obtaining an Employer Identification number, or EIN, from the IRS. The Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a necessary tax tool for your LLC and operates like a social security for your LLC in regards to state and federal tax.

The IRS requires you to get one if you will be earning revenue through your LLC. The EIN allows the IRS to track your LLC’s financial identity so you can start earning money as a legal LLC. The EIN is also used for payroll purposes as well as conducting business with other businesses, and you’ll need one if you plan on opening a business bank account for your Missouri LLC.

Securing a employer identification number (EIN) is simple. You can go to the IRS website to get started. To obtain an EIN for your Missouri state limited liability company, you must go to the online EIN application. Complete the online application, and you will receive your EIN after it has been submitted.

There is also an option to mail in form SS-4 to the IRS. Follow these instructions for mailing in your SS-4 form.

6. Obtaining Licenses and Permits for Your Missouri LLC

In most cases, your business will require a Missouri state or city business license. Business licenses can range from a license to conduct professional services, to service, to basic licenses that allow certain municipalities to tax your business for local taxes. The required licenses can vary depending upon your location as well as the nature of your business.

Consider the licenses for the city you will be doing business in and ensure that you are in compliance. Here are some quick links below. They will help you navigate certain state license information as well as local and state taxes you may be exposed to when you start doing business in Missouri.

Business Tax Registration Forms

Missouri Business Tax Frequently Asked Questions

Missouri County List of Requirements

Checklist of Missouri New Business Requirements

Missouri Department of Labor Resources

Contacts for New Business Licenses and Permits

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7. Understand State Taxes Regarding Your Missouri LLC

Taxes are often the most complicated part of starting and operating an LLC. We recommend hiring a tax professional to help you sort out your LLC’s tax profile and other legal finances. This way, you can be sure that you are always in compliance with all tax laws, which will help you to avoid unwanted issues with your Missouri LLC. You can also check with the Department of Revenue if you have any outstanding questions.

Take a look at these quick links to get an idea of the tax knowledge you will need to have about taxes for your LLC in Missouri.

Northwest Registered Agent’s MO Tax Guide

Corporate Tax in Missouri

Missouri Taxpayer Guide

Missouri Sales and Use Tax

Missouri Business Tax Registration

Missouri Tax Registration Forms

These topics show you how to set up an LLC in Missouri. However, we reccomend that you consider hiring a firm that will take each step and execute them on your behalf. It will give you peace of mind that your business will be taken care of professionally and correctly.

8. Open Your Missouri LLC Bank Account

If you want to operate business professionally in Missouri state, or if you ever plan to hire employees, you’ll need to open a business bank account. Not only will this make it easier to tackle the accounting, but it will also protect all members’ personal assets in the event of debt collection or a lawsuit. Additionally, opening up an account will allow you to do important things for your LLC, such as obtain a credit card for your LLC or establish a line of credit with the bank.

Remember that you need to have your EIN before making an appointment with the bank. Your account will need to be set up in your LLC’s business name. This is important to ensure that you have sufficient funds to properly operate your LLC, and that these funds are kept separately from your personal account. You can open the account as a single member, but if you operate as a multi member LLC, you may need to have each member present.

Some banks charge fees for LLC accounts while others do not, so it’s wise to call around to a few different banks so you can understand their policies and which ones can benefit you the most. LLC Formations can recommend banks in your area for you to start your business account, and we’re happy to answer any questions about opening a business account for your Missouri LLC.

The Benefits of No Required Annual Report

Missouri does not require an annual report, which is a huge relief for many Missouri business owners. In most states, an LLC or corporation has to be renewed through a process called annual registration. This can be lengthily and take precious time away that business owners would prefer to spend on growing their LLC. However, you’re in luck because Missouri business entities do not have to register annually once they form an LLC whether they operate as a sole proprietorship or multi member LLC.

Although there is no annual registration, you will still have to file taxes on your revenue annually and you may have other legal content to keep up with. You will be responsible for federal, state, and local taxes. Consider hiring an LLC Formation company that can help you navigate these topics and ensure that you are in compliance with all of the regulations for the state of Missouri.

How Can LLC Formations Help You?

Forming a limited liability company in Missouri can offer many benefits to you and your members. Careful thought and planning are the secrets to success in any business venture. LLC Formations can help do your research for you so you can get started on operating your business in Missouri.

The professionals at LLC Formations are happy to answer any questions about how you can start an LLC in Missouri, and we can make sure that all of the paperwork is filed correctly so you can focus on the most important thing— growing your business. After all, this LLC is a big investment of your time and money, so consider trusting it to the experts.

For assistance and guidance on how to form an LLC in the state of Missouri, acquire a registered agent, file Articles of Organization, or acquire business licenses within the state, fill out our simple applicationLLC Formation can also make sure that you choose the right business structure for your business, as well as guide you through all of the necessary information you need about starting a business. Check out our next guide about starting an LLC in Montana.

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