Start a Business in Missouri
Starting a business in Missouri is easy. All you need to do is file a few forms with the Missouri Secretary of State and start running your business. Below, we show you how to get started and walk you through some of your options.
One option is, of course, to stop reading and just hire us to start your business for you. At Northwest, we form businesses and provide registered agent service throughout the US. That’s our business, and obviously we recommend starting your business in a certain way. We call it “Starting a Business the Right Way."
Starting your business the right way means hiring a registered agent to form your LLC or corporation so you can protect your privacy and receive the care your business needs to stay active. If you hire us to start your Missouri business, we’ll be your registered agent, provide Privacy by Default®, a business address, mail forwarding and local Corporate Guide® service for life.
How to Start a Business in Missouri
You file articles of incorporation for a Missouri corporation or articles of organization for a Missouri LLC with the MO Secretary of State.
You obtain a federal tax ID number (FEIN or EIN) with the IRS after you have confirmation and filed articles from the State of Missouri showing your approved Missouri business.
Opening a business banking account under your new Missouri business name should be easy with these two items.
If you’re going to have employees or need to withhold sales tax, you will probably need to register with the MO department of revenue. We provide all these links in your online account.
If your business trade requires a license, you’ll have to apply for a license with the Missouri licensing board. (Most businesses don’t.) But if you do, these quick links and contact details are in your online account.
Some local cities or counties have a general license, but most don’t.
You obtain a local trade license if the city or county you’re going to be working in requires it.
If you’re going to have an office or shop you might need an approval from the city zoning for your type of business in that location.
If you get overwhelmed, just get your business pulling in money and worry about regulations later.
Are You A Do-It-Yourselfer? You Can Save Some Money:
If you want to start a business in Missouri yourself, you can just hire us as your Missouri registered agent, and you’ll instantly have the Missouri LLC or corporation forms to file along with filing instructions on the quickest, cheapest, and most efficient way to incorporate a Missouri corporation or form a Missouri LLC. You’ll get the ongoing support of our online tools, reminders and the support of a professional Missouri registered agent service.
Missouri LLC vs Corporation
Small to medium-sized business owners often prefer LLCs because they offer flexible management structures and have fewer annual requirements. Large business owners tend to like corporations because they have a well-established, defined management structure and offer the ability to sell stock.
But, what about Missouri? Any pros and cons for a Missouri LLC vs a Missouri corporation?
It can cost less up front to form a Missouri corporation versus a Missouri LLC. For example, the filing fee for the Articles of Organization is $105 compared to a minimum of $79.25 for the Articles of Incorporation. If your authorized shares are over $30,000, then you will end up paying more. However, corporations must file an annual report ($20) each year and include director/officer information. LLCs are not required to submit annual reports.
During tax season, traditional corporations have a tendency to be bit harder than LLCs that keep their default tax status. Because Missouri assesses a corporate and personal income tax, C corporations will typically be taxed twice—first on the state level, then through shareholder returns. Corporate income tax is fixed at 6.25% and personal income rates range between 1.5% and 5.4%. Definitely something to consider when starting a Missouri corporation.
Missouri also has an “events of withdrawal” statute that allows LLCs to retain more control and remain protected against being taken over by creditors. Essentially, the statue lists a series of events that would result in a person no longer being a member. These include transferring rights to a creditor or filing a petition for bankruptcy.
If you want a corporation, you file Missouri Articles of Incorporation:
The Missouri articles of incorporation cost $50 with the Missouri Secretary of State.
We custom draft your Missouri articles of incorporation when you hire Northwest to start your Missouri business. The basic requirements of Missouri corporations are:
- An incorporating Missouri ending such as Inc, corporation, or incorporated
- The duration may be perpetual or for a limited term
- A specific corporation purpose (including a general clause is optional)
- If the value of shares exceeds $30,000 you have to list the class and par value of the shares
- The number of directors is optional
- The articles of incorporation are effective when filed unless you state a future date
- The name, address, and signature of the Missouri incorporator(s)
- The registered agent of the proposed Missouri corporation
- Name and address where the filed document should be returned
Missouri does not require original signatures on new MO corporation filings. The stamped form will be mailed to the address you listed on your documents.
Start Your Missouri Business!GET STARTED
If you want a LLC, you file Missouri Articles of Organization:
To form a Missouri LLC, you file Missouri articles of organization. The basic requirements of Missouri LLC filings are:
- The business name must have a limited liability company ending or variation of it.
- New Missouri LLCs name must be different than already registered Missouri companies.
- Duration of the Missouri LLC may be limited or perpetual.
- The specific purpose(s) for which the Missouri limited liability company is formed. You may also include a general purpose clause.
- The Missouri registered agent and the physical address.
- The name and address of the LLC organizer(s).
- If the limited liability company is to be managed by one or more managers or members.
- The Missouri organizer must sign.
- Name and address where the filed document should be returned.
Missouri does not require original signatures on new MO LLC filings. You’ll get a stamped copy mailed back to you after the state approves your filing.