Missouri LLC Formation Options
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How to Start an LLC in Missouri
To start an LLC in Missouri, you’ll need to do three things: appoint a registered agent, choose a name for your business, and file Articles of Organization with the Missouri Corporations Division. You can file the document online or by mail. The articles cost $50 to file online (plus credit card processing or eCheck fee), or more than twice that to file by mail. Once filed with the state, this document formally creates your Missouri LLC.
According to MO Rev Stat § 347.030 (2019), every Missouri LLC must appoint a registered agent (also called a “resident agent”). You don’t need to hire a registered agent, but if you do, make sure your registered agent will list their address on your articles wherever possible to ensure maximum privacy.
If you’re starting a new business, you probably already know what you want to name your LLC. But you’ll need to know if your preferred name is available. To find out, visit https://bsd.sos.mo.gov/search and search until you find the perfect name for your LLC.
Once you know who your registered agent will be and what your LLC name is, you’re ready to file your Missouri Articles of Organization. Follow along with our filing instructions below:
Filing the Missouri LLC Articles of Organization
Learn more about each Articles of Organization requirement below. Note that the information you provide becomes part of the public record—permanently.
Or skip the form entirely and hire us to form your Missouri LLC. We provide a free business address to list whenever possible throughout the filing to better keep your personal address private.
1. Company Name
Your name must include “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Company” or an abbreviation. Most businesses go with “LLC.”
While you can put something more specific if you want, most businesses list a general purpose that says the LLC is organized to conduct any lawful business in the State of Missouri.
3. Registered Agent and Office
For your Missouri registered agent, you can list an individual agent (like yourself) or a company that provides registered agent service (like Northwest). The office must be a Missouri street address, and it will become part of the permanent public record for your Missouri LLC. Hire us and our address will go here—and you can better keep yours private.
4. LLC Management
You’ll tick a box indicating that your LLC is managed by either members or managers. In a member-managed LLC, the members (owners) share decision-making powers. In a manager-managed LLC, members give those powers to one or more managers instead.
If you don’t want an end date for your LLC, enter or select “perpetual” on the form. If you do want a self-destruct timer on your business, include the number of years which your LLC will exist or the triggering event to bring about your LLC’s dissolution.
6. Missouri LLC Organizer
Your organizer is the person who signs and submits your Articles of Organization. Organizers have to include their names and street addresses, but they’re not required to be members or managers. When you hire Northwest, we’ll be your organizer.
7. Series LLC
If you plan to form a Series LLC (a kind of LLC that can establish one or more “series” that each have separate asset protection), you can complete this section. Series LLCs are a relatively new entity type and most LLCs are not Series LLCs.
8. Principal Office
This section is optional. Your principal office is where the state will send you mail (other than the legal notices that will go to your registered agent). Want to simplify things and have all your mail sent to the same place? Hire us and our address goes here.
9. Future Effective Date
If you want your LLC to start right away, skip this section. If you want to delay your start date (maybe the next tax period is on the horizon), you can choose a start date up to 90 days in the future.
Why Have a Registered Agent Form Your Missouri LLC?
Professionals in Missouri hire registered agent services like Northwest Registered Agent to start an LLC—but why?
Standard filing companies don’t have employees or offices in every state. But as a national registered agent, it’s a requirement for us, which is a benefit for our clients. Our office is located in Harrisonville, MO. We’re on a first name basis with the people who work in Missouri’s Corporations Division. We know all the fastest filing methods, which translates to fast, professional service—without extra fees.
As your registered agent, we list our Harrisonville registered office address on your LLC’s formation documents. Why? If you’re starting a business from your apartment in Branson, do you really want your apartment address as your business address? (Hint: the answer is no.) We’ll list our address, so you don’t have to list yours. Plus, we never sell your data. We don’t list your personal information on filings if we don’t have to. It’s all standard and part of our commitment to Privacy by Default®.
Free Mail Forwarding and Business Address
We already accept your legal mail—so why not take it a step further? In every state, we include limited digital mail forwarding for your regular mail too (5 pieces of regular mail a year; $15 a doc after that). Plus, you can list our address as your business address. That means you can have all business mail routed through our office. With both mail forwarding and a business address included, you get a level of security unmatched in the formation industry.
We know the in’s and out’s of each state—and we use this knowledge to help you when you need it most. Our team of Corporate Guides® has over 200 local business experts. You can call or email us for answers to all your questions about your LLC in Missouri. Our Corporate Guides are dedicated solely to helping you with your business—not selling you services or meeting quotas.
What Do I Do After My Missouri LLC Is Formed?
After your Missouri Articles of Organization are approved, you still have a few more important steps to take, including getting an EIN, drafting an operating agreement, opening a bank account, funding the LLC and learning about state reporting and tax requirements.
Get an EIN
An EIN (“Employer Identification Number”) is a federal tax ID assigned to your business by the IRS. The IRS uses your EIN to easily identify your business on tax filings.
Does a Missouri LLC need an EIN?
If you plan to hire employees or file certain federal excise taxes (such as Alcohol/Tobacco/Firearms returns), you’re required to have an EIN. There are plenty of other reasons to get an EIN as well. Your bank will ask for one when you go to open a business bank account. Local tax forms and registrations sometimes require EINs. Vendors often request an EIN when you go to establish credit. Generally, most LLCs will need an EIN.
How do I get an EIN for my LLC?
You can apply for an EIN directly from the IRS at no cost. Most businesses are able to apply online, but if you don’t have a social security number, you’ll need to apply with a paper form. Want one less thing to do? Add on EIN service when you hire us, and we’ll get your EIN for you. Or choose our VIP service—an EIN is included.
Write an LLC Operating Agreement
Operating agreements put into writing how your business actually operates—how much each member invested, how profits and losses will be allocated, how voting works, and what happens if there’s a dispute or if the whole business (knock on wood) falls apart.
Do I need an operating agreement for a Missouri LLC?
Yes. MO Rev Stat § 347.081 (2019) states that “the member or members of a limited liability company shall adopt an operating agreement.” The agreement can be written or oral—per MO Rev Stat § 347.015 (2019)—but it’s always a good idea to put key issues and policies in writing.
What should be in an operating agreement?
An operating agreement should explain how the business will handle “big picture” situations—everything from allocating profits and losses to dissolving the business. Below is a list of common topics that operating agreements should cover.
Profits, losses, and distributions
Voting rights, decision-making powers, and management
Transfer of membership interest
Dissolving the business
MO Rev Stat § 347.081 (2019) goes over operating agreement contents, touching on such topices as member voting rights, transfer of members’ interests in the LLC, and the kind of tax elections LLC members may authorize.
How do I write an operating agreement?
To write an operating agreement, you need to address how your business will handle money, members, votes, management, and more. Not sure how to get started? At Northwest, we’re here to help your LLC get off on the right foot. When you hire us, we provide your business with a free LLC operating agreement, specific to your management style. We’ve spent years developing these agreements and other free LLC forms—which have been used by over a million LLCs.
Open an LLC Bank Account
Your LLC needs its own bank account. Why? An LLC gets its limited liability from being a distinct entity, separate from its members. If you mix personal and business finances, you could lose your liability protections.
How do I open a bank account for my Missouri LLC?
To open a bank account for your Missouri LLC, you will need to bring the following with you to the bank:
A copy of the Missouri LLC Articles of Organization
The LLC operating agreement
The LLC’s EIN
If there are multiple members in the LLC, you may also want to bring an LLC resolution to open a bank account that states that the person going to the bank is authorized by the members to open the account in the name of the LLC. Northwest can help with this as well—LLC bank resolutions are one of the many free legal forms we provide to ensure you can get your LLC started fast.
Fund the LLC
Time to put some money in that new LLC bank account. What money? For starters, your initial contributions to your LLC’s capital. LLC members are owners, and each owner needs to pay for their membership interest to fund the LLC.
What is membership interest?
Membership interest is your percentage of ownership of the LLC. Membership interest is normally proportionate to your investment. So how does this work?
Imagine your LLC has 5 members. 4 members each invest $1,000 in the business. One member invests $6,000. The total contribution of all members is $10,000. The 4 members each own 10% of the business. The moneybags member who shelled out $6,000 owns 60% of the business.
Typically, this also means that the 4 members would each get 10% of any profits, and moneybags would get 60%. Exactly how profits and losses are allocated, however, can be adjusted in the operating agreement as long as changes are in line with IRS requirements and Missouri laws.
File Missouri Reports & Taxes
Missouri is one of the few states that doesn’t have annual report requirements for LLCs. This does not absolve your LLC from paying any taxes or business license fees, but it sure does save you some time and money.
What should I know about Missouri LLC taxes?
Since LLCs are pass through entities, LLC members need to pay special attention to state income tax rates. The Missouri personal net income tax rates are:
0%: $0 to $107
1.5%: $107 to $1,073
2.0%: $1,073 to $2,146
2.5%: $2,146 to $3,219
3.0%: $3,219 to $4,292
3.5%: $4,292 to $5,365
4.0%: $5,365 to $6,438
4.5%: $6,438 to $7,511
5.0%: $7,511 to $8,484
There is a statewide sales tax of 4.225% and additional local rates that climb to 6.125%. Local municipalities also collect property taxes in Missouri, with an average effective rate of 0.93%, which is below the US average.
Do LLCs have to register with the Missouri Department Of Revenue?
If your Missouri LLC plans to engage in the sale of physical items (clothing, cars, groceries, etc…) or services (yoga studios, construction, house cleaning, tax accounting, etc…), then yes, you will have to register with Missouri’s Department of Revenue.
Missouri LLC FAQs
How can I submit the Missouri LLC Articles of Organization?
You can file online or by mail. Filing online costs less and take less time. File online and receive your approval right away. Got time and money to burn? File your Missouri Articles of Organization by mail. Not only will it take much longer to process (5-10 business days), but you’ll pay over double the price.
If you want to pay double and slow roll your LLC’s formation process, mail a printed and signed Articles of Organization and a check for $105 to:
Missouri Corporations Division
PO Box 778
600 W. Main St., Rm. 322
Jefferson City, MO 65102
How much does it cost to start a Missouri LLC?
The Missouri Corporations Division charges a $50 fee for filing Articles of Organization online. There’s also a $1.50 credit card processing fee or a $0.50 eCheck fee. Filing with a paper form comes with a much higher price tag—a $105 filing fee.
Hire Northwest for a one-time fee of $277, including state filing fees, a year of registered agent service, limited mail forwarding and loads of useful forms and tools to help get your Missouri LLC up and running. Or, pay just $33 out-the-door with our VIP monthly payment option.
How long does it take to start a Missouri LLC?
Online filings create your LLC instantaneously. It takes 5-10 business days by mail.
If you hire Northwest to start your LLC, we file online and typically have your Missouri LLC formed within 24 hours.
Does a Missouri LLC need a business license?
Missouri doesn’t have a statewide general business license, but cities and counties have their own local licensing requirements. If you’re engaging in business in St. Louis or Branson, for example, you must get a city business license. Checking in with the city and county office or clerk where you plan to do business is a good way to find out what licenses you may need.
Need an EIN or a certified copy of your formation docs for your license applications? Northwest can help. You can easily add on these items to your LLC formation order.
Can a Missouri LLC help me live more privately?
A Missouri LLC can help keep your name and personal information a bit more private, but only if you take the right steps. Missouri’s Corporations Division is going to ask you to fill out a lot of personal information when registering your LLC. Hire us and we’ll let you use our name and address on all of your public filings so that you can keep yours as private as possible. Check out our page on living privately with an LLC to learn more.
What is a foreign Missouri LLC?
A foreign Missouri LLC is any LLC formed outside of Missouri but registered to do business in the state. For example, if you formed an LLC in Kentucky but wanted to conduct business in Missouri as well, you would register as a foreign LLC in Missouri. To register a foreign LLC in Missouri, you’ll need to file a Missouri Application for Registration of a Foreign Limited Liability Company with the Missouri’s Corporations Division. Like domestic LLCs, foreign LLCs in the state have to file annual Missouri annual reports. Northwest can register your foreign Missouri LLC for you today!
How to Order LLC Formation Service
Our Missouri LLC formation service is designed to be fast and easy—signing up takes just a couple minutes. Here’s how it works:
With Northwest, we give you flexibility on how to pay. You can pay all the fees up front (this includes one full year of registered agent service). Or, pay just $33 out the door with our VIP monthly payment option. With our VIP option, we also include an EIN. Just choose one of the buttons below, answer a few easy questions about your business and submit your payment.
We’ll prepare your Missouri Articles of Organization and send them to Missouri’s Corporations Division, for approval. In the meantime, you’ll have immediate access to your online account, where you can find useful state forms, pre-populated with your business information.
Once the Missouri Corporations Division has approved your filing, we notify you that your Missouri LLC has been legally formed. You can now take any necessary next steps, like getting an EIN and opening a bank account.