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Start an LLC in Missouri

Use our free business tools below to complete your Missouri LLC Articles of Organization. This is the document you file directly with Missouri’s Corporations Division to form your LLC.

If you want more, hire us to form your LLC in Missouri for just $39 + state fees. We’ll get your business stood up in minutes with a free domain, website, email, business phone, and more.

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How To Start An LLC In Missouri

Starting an LLC in Missouri means your business can pick a management structure and tax status that works best for you, as well as strong liability protection. In Missouri, you’ll need to pay $52 to file online, or $105 if you file by mail. Unlike most states, Missouri does not require you to file an annual report for your LLC.

To get your LLC up and running, you’ll need to fill out paperwork called Articles of Organization, then submit that paperwork to the Missouri Secretary of State’s Corporations Unit. You can handle the paperwork yourself or hire someone like Northwest to do it on your behalf. Once the Articles are submitted, you must take other steps to secure your privacy and comply with federal government requirements. Here’s how to get it all done.

 

1. Name Your LLC

Your first priority is naming your LLC. The full text of Missouri’s business naming law can be found in Mo. Rev. Stat. § 347.020. But in general, your LLC’s name must:

  • Include the words “limited liability company,” or an accepted abbreviation like “LLC.”
  • Not include words or abbreviations implying your business is a different entity type, such as “limited partnership” or “inc.”
  • Not currently be in use by any other business in Missouri. If you already have a name in mind, run a business name search on the Secretary of State’s website to see if it’s available.

Tip: If your name is available in Missouri, that’s good news. But that’s not the end of the story. Your business name might still be trademarked federally, which could leave you on the wrong side of a lawsuit down the line. Run a trademark clearance search first for peace of mind.

2. Register Your Domain Name

You’ve nailed down your ideal Missouri business name and discovered it’s available. Now it’s time to see if your business name is available as a domain name. A domain name is nothing more than a website address (for instance, ours is northwestregisteredagent.com).

If you’re thinking you aren’t ready to build a business website yet, that’s fine. You can still go ahead and register your domain name without launching a website. In fact, it’s smart to do so because:

  • Changing your LLC’s name isn’t an easy process. If you can’t find a domain name that matches or goes with your LLC’s name, then you’ll have some tough decisions to make.
  • Registering a domain name now means you can go ahead and get a business email address.

Giving out a personal email address for your business can strike some people as unprofessional. It’s more efficient to organize your business correspondence properly from the beginning by using a business email address (like [email protected]).

Tip: You get a free domain name for a year when you hire us to form your LLC.

3. File Missouri LLC Articles of Organization

Articles of Organization are what you submit to the Missouri Secretary of State’s Corporations Unit. Once the paperwork has been submitted, the Secretary of State’s office will check it for any issues or errors. If there are none, the state will approve your business, and your Missouri LLC will officially be formed.

Tip: Everything you list on this form becomes part of the public record. If you want to keep your personal information private, you can hire a professional registered agent.

Your Missouri Articles of Organization should include the following info:

Company Name

Must include the words “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Company,” or an approved abbreviation like “LLC.” Make sure the business name is available first.

Company Purpose

Feel free to write something generic like “To engage in lawful business activity in Missouri.” You can also get more specific, but it’s not required.

Registered Agent Information

A registered agent is the person or entity who will receive legal mail on behalf of your LLC. This means if you get served with a lawsuit, a registered agent will be the one receiving service of process for that lawsuit. Once the registered agent has been served, they must get the paperwork to you as soon as it’s feasible to do so. It’s not something that can wait until next week. Missouri law requires every LLC to have a registered agent. Your registered agent must:

  • Have a physical address (not a P.O. Box or virtual office) in Missouri. In Missouri, you can also list a PO Box, but only in addition to the physical address.,
  • Be present at their address during regular business hours.
  • Accept legal mail in person on behalf of your business and forward it to you ASAP.

Tip: If you meet the above requirements, you can act as your own registered agent. But if you were hoping to live more privately with an LLC, it’s best to hire a professional like Northwest to tackle the job.

Management Structure

List whether your LLC will be managed by members or managers. In a member-managed LLC, members (owners) are responsible for running the LLC on a day-to-day basis. In a manager-managed LLC, members appoint or hire a manager or managers to take care of daily operations. Whoever manages your LLC will be able to do things like open and close bank accounts, hire and fire employees, and enter into contracts.

Duration

Most people write “perpetual” because they have no specific end date in mind for their LLC. If you do have an end date in mind, list it here.

Organizer Information

List the name of the person filling out your articles. It can be a registered agent, but it doesn’t have to be. They must also list a physical address.

Series LLC (optional)

Only fill out this section if you’re planning to create an LLC made up of separate units, known as a series. Skip it otherwise.

Effective Date (optional)

Leave this blank if you want the effective date to be the day the Secretary of State approves your Articles of Organization. Otherwise, you can add a date up to 90 days in the future if you want to delay the start of your LLC.

Organizer(s) Signature

This signature doesn’t have to come from a member of your LLC. It can be anyone, including someone you hire (like Northwest).

 

 

How do you “file” Missouri Articles of Organization?

When we say “file,” we simply mean submitting your LLC’s paperwork to the Missouri Secretary of State’s Corporations Unit. You can file online, by mail, or in person.

By mail or in person:
Corporations Unit
PO Box 778 / 600 W. Main St., Rm. 322
Jefferson City, MO 65102

Online:
Missouri Business Registration Online Portal

4. Write an LLC Operating Agreement

An operating agreement is a handbook for how your LLC will operate. It includes information on how the LLC will do things like vote, handle disputes, and distribute profits. It should also outline the proper procedure for less routine matters like, for example, dissolving the LLC.

An operating agreement is considered an internal document, which means you don’t have to file a copy with the state. But you must still have one on record to remain compliant with Missouri state law. If you don’t draft an operating agreement, your LLC will be subject to Missouri’s default LLC laws.

Tip: Writing an operating agreement isn’t as natural for most people as, say, writing an email. We had our attorneys draft an operating agreement exclusively for Missouri, and you can access it for free.

5. Get an EIN

Most LLCs need an EIN, which stands for Employer Identification Number. An EIN is a nine-digit number that’s assigned by the IRS to your business. You need an EIN primarily to pay taxes, but also to do things like apply for loans and open a business bank account. It’s also more secure to list your EIN on forms instead of your social security number.

You can apply for an EIN by going to the IRS website. If you’d rather not deal with the hassle, you can hire us to get an EIN for you.

6. Get a Business Bank Account

Mixing your personal finances with your business finances is not a good idea. When you mix the two, a court may decide that you and your LLC are same, legally speaking. Opening a business bank account will help you avoid that situation. When you go to the bank to open a business account, make sure to bring three things: your EIN, operating agreement, and an LLC Resolution to Start a Bank Account.

7. File the Beneficial Ownership Information Report

The final step is filing a Beneficial Ownership Information Report with a federal agency called FinCEN. The BOI Report should include information about your company’s beneficial owners, and, depending on when your business was formed, company applicants as well. Feel free to file the report yourself if you want, or you can hire us to file the BOI Report on your behalf.

*This is informational commentary, not advice. This information is intended strictly for informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel. This information is not intended to create, nor does your receipt, viewing, or use of it constitute, an attorney-client relationship. More information is available in our Terms of Service.

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