How to Form a Missouri LLC
By Bazal Razzaq
Updated: September 11, 2023, 12:30pm
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- Choose a name for your Missouri LLC
- Draft a business plan for your LLC
- Hire a registered agent
- Prepare and file your Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State
- Set an Operating Agreement
- Apply for a federal employer identification number with the IRS
- Final Word
- How To Form An LLC In 50 States
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Looking for ways to set up an LLC in Missouri? Look no further! Our guide provides in-depth, meaningful, and factual information and figures so your Missouri LLC formation process becomes completely effortless!
#1 Choose a name for your Missouri LLC
The very first step in your Missouri LLC formation process is to choose a distinctive and legally compliant name for your business. Your chosen name should reflect your brand’s identity in the best way possible and needs to be memorable. While we understand that shortlisting the perfect name for your LLC is a challenge on its own, we still recommend following the guidelines mentioned below,
- Most importantly, the name you choose for your Missouri LLC should be different from other registered business entities in the State. These entities include everything from corporations to sole proprietorships to LLCs. You can check the availability of names by doing an LLC name search online through the Secretary of State website.
- Your chosen LLC name should display its limited liability status. It should have appropriate abbreviations like,
- Limited Liability Company
- Limited Company
- LLC(Most business owners stick with this one)
- It goes without saying, but your Missouri LLC name should have no vulgar, rude, or forbidden words as per the Missouri state regulations.
- Avoid using terms like “board,” “trustee,” “insurance,” “State Department,” or any other word related to any government agency, as they can restrict your LLC’s identity.
- Also, refrain from using words that might confuse people and make them think your LLC is something it’s really not or is providing services it really isn’t, like a bank, corporation, FBI, or CIA.
- Check that your chosen name is not already used as a website domain to avoid any trademark or legal issues. You can also check the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s site for federal trademarks.
- Some words like “lawyer,” “bank,” “credit union,” or “attorney” have special restrictions because of their professional nature. If you use them, you will have to provide additional documentation licensing to the Missouri state government.
- If your LLC intends to provide any professional services licensed by the Missouri Secretary of State, you need to use abbreviations like “Professional Limited Liability Company,” “PLLC,” or “P.L.L.C.”
- Similarly, a worker cooperative should use terms like “Limited Worker Cooperative Association,” “LWCA,” or “L.W.C.A.”
- Lastly, if you plan on using the name of a living individual in your LLC’s name, you will require their written consent.
Still unsatisfied? Here’s a complete list of naming rules and regulations for a Missouri LLC. You can go through it quickly before deciding on a name for your LLC to avoid any future lawsuits and application rejections.
If you have a unique, memorable, and legally compliant name in mind already but just aren’t prepared completely to open an LLC, you can consider reserving your name by submitting a form and paying a small fee. Yes, that’s possible! You can file an Application for Reservation of Name (BE 1) with the Missouri Secretary of State. The filing fee is $25, and it can be submitted online. Using the form above, you can hold your desired name for 60 days (and renew for two additional 60-day periods).
Lastly, if you don’t wish to use your registered business name(one that’s mentioned in your Articles of Organization document) when doing business in the real world, you do have the option of using a Trade Name. You may also know it by Fictitious Name or as a DBA (doing business as).
You simply need to register your assumed name with the Missouri Secretary of State. Again, you have the option to file online or by postal mail by filing Registration of Fictitious Name. The filing fee is $7.
#2 Draft a business plan for your LLC
Once you’ve named your business, it’s time to draft a detailed, clear, and straightforward business plan to help sort your daily operations, finances, roles, and responsibilities of members/owners, and due governance of your LLC.
While it isn’t a mandatory requirement to draft one in Missouri, you should consider creating one in case of any future fights, disagreements, and confusion.
Here’s what you can include in your business plan,
- A Brief Business Description and Summary
- Your vision, goals, and values
- Complete Market research and analysis
- What Makes Your Business Special
- Your products and services
- Marketing and promotion strategies
- Who Your Customers Are
- How You Plan On Reaching Your Customers
- Financial Goals and Management
- Lastly, Logistics.
The very best part about creating a business plan is that you can draft one according to your specific needs, requirements, and budgets. If implemented properly, an affordable but reliable plan can take your LLC to unbelievable heights.
#3 Hire a registered agent
Like every other State in America, Missouri requires you to appoint a registered agent for your LLC. A registered agent is an individual or entity authorized to accept and receive all official government correspondences, tax forms, service of process, lawsuits, and other financial and legal documentation and notices.
You can think of this agent as your business’ point of contact with the State. Usually, you have the following options when it comes to choosing a statutory agent for your Missouri LLC:
- Be your own registered agent.
- Another business entity.
- Hire a registered agent service.
- An individual within the company(manager/employee/member)
- An Attorney, lawyer, or legal facility.
To be a registered agent in Missouri, you should:
- Have a physical address in Missouri where you can receive legal and official documents on behalf of the business entity you represent.
- Be available during standard business hours to accept important documents.
- Obtain written consent from the business entity to serve as its registered agent.
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Have the legal authority to accept legal documents on behalf of the company and forward them to the appropriate parties within the company.
You can expect to pay between $50 and $300 yearly for their services.
#4 Prepare and file your Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State
To formally establish your LLC in Missouri, you need to file and submit your Articles of Organization document with the Secretary of State. Your article document is basically a legal document that lays out and registers all the basic information about your company.
Here’s a list of what you may need to mention in your form,
- The name, address, and contact details of your L.L.C.
- The name, address, and contact information of the L.L.C.’s registered agent
- The main purpose of your company.
- The number of shares authorized
- The management structure of your company: whether it’s member-managed or manager-managed?
- Management information
- Filing charges
- Will the members/owners be liable for debts
- Check the boxes to indicate whether your business is a nonprofit, series, or professional L.L.C.
- The signature of the organizer(person forming the L.L.C.)
- Effective date
- The total duration of your L.L.C.
- Any additional information specific to your L.L.C., like ownership percentages or voting rights.
- Signature of L.L.C.’s organizer.
James C. Kirkpatrick State Information Center
P.O. Box 778
Jefferson City, MO 65102
The filing fee is $50 for online filings and $105 for by-mail filings.
#5 Set an Operating Agreement
For the next step, create an agreement for your Missouri LLC.
It usually includes details like,
- The money and job choices for the LLC (that’s like a group of business friends).
- Rules for how the inside stuff of the LLC works and says who has to do what.
- How the business owners will get what they need to make the business run smoothly.
An operating agreement is not legally required to start an LLC in the State. But, nonetheless, it’s best to have one in hand in case things go sour.
An agreement for your LLC should include details such as,
- Name and main address of the LLC
- How long the LLC will exist
- Name and address of the registered agent
- Details about the Articles of Organization
- The main purpose of your LLC
- Members/owners and their shares/contribution
- Allocation of profits and losses.
- The whole process outlines how new members will join, and old members will leave
- Meetings and Voting Rights
- How the LLC is run
- Dissolution and Winding Up
- Indemnification and liability clauses
- Dissolution and winding up
#6 Apply for a federal employer identification number with the IRS
Now, it’s time to obtain your nine-digit EIN from the Internal Revenue Service(IRS). It’s pretty similar to the Social Security Number(SSN) and is used for taxation purposes. It also helps keep track of your LLC’s tax reporting.
The main purpose of an EIN is to help with the following purposes:
- Hire employees
- Apply for business licenses and permits
- Conduct daily business operations
- Meeting federal and State tax obligations
- Opening professional business bank accounts
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
Fax: (855) 641-6935
The whole process is free of cost.
Once your LLC is registered, you’re finally free to complete the important but pending tasks, like,
- Opening a business bank account for your LLC
- Applying for a business credit card.
- Applying for necessary licenses and permits.
- Purchasing insurance for your business.
- Protecting your name and logo with a trademark.
Also, if you plan on hiring employees for your Michigan LLC, you need to stay compliant with the local state laws and focus on doing the following,
- Ask your employees to fill out the Employee Eligibility Form.
- Set up a process for the collection and payment of taxes.
- Make sure you have workers’ compensation insurance
- Report to the State about the “new hires” within 20 days of hiring them.
- Pay unemployment taxes.
Lastly, always make sure that your LLC is legally compliant and in “active” status on the State website.
And that’s a wrap! That was all you needed to know before finally forming that LLC in the Show-Me State.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can operate your Missouri LLC in other states through a process called foreign qualification. You’ll need to register your LLC in each State where you conduct business.
Forming an LLC in Missouri offers limited liability protection, flexibility in management, pass-through taxation, and minimal formalities compared to corporations. It’s often chosen by small businesses and startups for these reasons.
An Operating Agreement is a legal document that outlines the ownership structure, management, and operating procedures of your LLC. While Missouri doesn’t legally require an Operating Agreement, it’s highly recommended to have one, as it helps define the rules and responsibilities of the LLC’s members, which can prevent disputes in the future.
The processing time for forming an LLC in Missouri can vary. Online filings are usually processed faster, typically within a few business days. Paper filings may take longer, possibly a few weeks. Expedited processing options may also be available for an additional fee.