Welcome to how to start an LLC in Missouri! Are you looking to start a business in your favorite state of Missouri!? Well – I’ve put together the best guide to help you through it step by step. If you’d rather get help setting up your Missouri LLC, you can do it with one of the great LLC service providers that have been doing this for years.
If you are looking to start a Missouri LLC, I would start a barbecue business. The state is known for it’s delicious food and if you’re here – I’m sure you love BBQ too!
Now – let’s get into what’s required for you to setup a Missouri LLC so if you do decide to do this on your own – you have all the right information and steps to do it along the way.
Name Your Missouri LLC
In the first step of your Missouri LLC business name, you’re going to need to make sure the Missouri Secretary of State’s office is going to have the business entity name you’re looking for. Whether or not it’s a Limited Liability Company, Foreign LLC or you’re just looking to setup a single member LLC – you’ll need a business name that the Missouri Secretary of State’s office is going to have available. You’ll also want to make sure you’re following the Missouri LLC naming guidelines which you can find on the sos.mo.gov site at the link below.
In order to determine if you can name your Missouri Limited Liability Company the way you want, you’ll want to go to the government agency to check it.
You can do a lookup here: https://bsd.sos.mo.gov/BusinessEntity/BESearch.aspx?SearchType=0
Once you’ve had a chance to look at this and determine the business structure, you’re going to need to also make sure the domain exists to conduct business in the way you’d like to for your Limited Liability Company.
I recommend that you use GoDaddy to do a domain search but before doing this type of domain search, make sure you can the Missouri Secretary of State’s office is going to let you use the business entity name you’d like to.
Once you’ve figured out the name you’re going to use, you’re going to need to setup a registered agent service that can either be a professional service or it can be done on your own. Let’s get into it!
Choose your registered agent in Missouri
You’re required to have a registered agent service in the state of Missouri and if you’re not familiar with what this is – it’s an entity that is responsible for receiving any legal or government documents on behalf of your LLC. The registered agent will then send these documents to you so you can take appropriate action for your business.
There are a few companies that you can use that specialize in this type of service and can help get your business entity set up quickly so you don’t have to worry about the details.
Here are a few companies that I recommend:
Northwest Registered Agent ($39 + state filing fee)
ZenBusiness ($39 + state filing fee)
Northwest Registered Agent can help you incorporate your Missouri LLC but also gives you the first year of the Registered Agent Service as a part of the LLC formation package you setup.
By setting up a registered agent this way, you’ll make sure the LLC members are happy and you’ll have the business entities you’re working on configured the right way too. You can not typically act as your own registered agent so the best way to get a Missouri Registered Agent is to work with a service we’ve talked about.
Once you’ve done this, we can move onto making sure you’re ready to get your Missouri Articles of Organization and follow Missouri law which will require you to setup Missouri LLC articles of Organization correctly.
Let’s get into what needs to happen for the LLC owners to feel comfortable with how to go about doing this.
Prepare and file your Articles of Organization
The next step is going to be to prepare your Articles of Organization and this document is going to outline some important information about your business.
This is going to include:
- The name and address of the LLC
- The names of the members of the LLC
- The duration of the LLC and information about the registered agent service you’re using.
You can find a template for this document on the Missouri Secretary of State’s website and once you have it completed – you’ll need to file it with the office. The filing fee is $50 and you can do this online, by mail or in person.
If you want to file it in-person, you can visit the following address:
Missouri Secretary of State
John Ashcroft Building 1716 Main Street, Suite 600
Jefferson City, MO 65102
If you’re going to file by mail, you’ll need to use the following address:
Missouri Secretary of State
P.O. Box 778 Jefferson City, MO 65102
After you’ve setup the individual or business entity the way you’ve wanted and file articles of organization, you’re going to need to setup an operating agreement. Whether this is for your sole proprietorship, foreign corporation authorized by the Missouri, an existing LLC or you’re a Limited Liability Partnership – you’ll need operating agreements.
Having a Missouri LLC Operating Agreement is going to be extremely important as one of the many legal documents you’ll need to transact business.
Let’s get into it!
Create an operating agreement
An LLC operating agreement is going to set forth the rules and regulations that you’ve put in place for your business and it’s members. This document is going to be important as it can help you resolve any member disputes that may arise and it will also give you the ability to show outsiders of the business how you’re running things internally.
If you have any questions about what needs to be included in your LLC operating agreement, please consult with an attorney in the state of Missouri as they will be able to help you out.
The following is a quick overview of what you’ll need to include:
- The name and address of the LLC
- The names of the members of the LLC
- The duration of the LLC
- The purpose of the LLC
- Information about how the LLC will be managed
- Voting rights of members
- How membership interests can be transferred
- Profits and losses distribution among members
- Dissolution procedures
Once you have this document prepared, you’re going to want to keep it in a safe place as you’ll need to refer to it often.
This is it! You’ve now completed the steps on how to start an LLC in Missouri and you’re well on your way to getting your business up and running.
Get an EIN
If you’re going to be business planning and thinking about how to collect sales tax or hire employees – you’ll need a Federal Employer Identification Number.
The process to get this is pretty straight forward and it’s also called an IRS employer identification number which will help you keep track of federal taxes, Missouri sales tax, business expenses and separate your personal assets too. Think of this number as your money number – it’s needed for all things related to cash for your Missouri LLC so just go get one.
To get an EIN, you’ll need to fill out an online application on the IRS website and once that’s completed – they’ll assign you a number.
Check out the detailed page here:
All the information is there for you so go get it.
Once you’ve been able to do that, you’re going to need to open a business bank account to keep track of all your business assets.
Open A Business Bank Account
I recommend you go get an account setup with Novo.co. It’s a pretty simple process and rather than going into a bank – you can file online.
This will help you keep track of all your income and expenses and it will also help you build credit for your business. If you’re running your own business you’re going to need a business bank account.
Once you’ve set this up, not only will the Internal Revenue Service be happy with you but you’ll feel like a legal business! Now go get a business credit card so you can start building your dreams!
Get Small Business Insurance
The next step on our journey to setup a Missouri LLC is to get insured. You need to have insurance for your business in order to protect you and your members from any potential liabilities that may arise.
There are a few different types of business insurance policies that you’ll need to consider but the most common one that businesses go with is General Liability Insurance.
This type of policy will protect you from any third-party claims that may arise such as bodily injury, property damage, personal injury or advertising injury.
You can get a quote for your business here:
I recommend using them for this type of insurance but you may need to check with local laws and determine (based on your business type) what other types of insurance you’re going to need.
Get a Business License
The final step on our list of things to do to start your Missouri LLC is to get a business license. Every business needs to have a license in order to operate legally so this is something that you’ll need to take care of.
There are a few different types of business licenses but the most common one is a General Business License. This type of license will allow you to operate your business in the state of Missouri.
You can apply for this license online through the Missouri Business Services website:
The process is pretty simple and once you’ve been approved, you’ll be able to print out your license and hang it up in your office.
File an Annual Report
The final step in this process is to file an annual report with the state of Missouri. This is a requirement for all businesses in the state and it’s something that you’ll need to do every year.
You can file your report online through the Missouri Business Services website:
The process is pretty simple and it only takes a few minutes to complete. Once you’ve filed your report, you’ll be all set for another year.
That’s it! You’ve now completed all the steps necessary to start your own Missouri LLC.
Pay Annual Taxes
The final thing that you need to do is pay your annual taxes. This is something that all businesses need to do and it’s important that you stay on top of it.
You can pay your taxes online through the Missouri Department of Revenue website:
The process is pretty simple and it only takes a few minutes to complete. Once you’ve paid your taxes, you’ll be all set for another year.
Keep in mind as you set this up, you can get a business accountant who can setup the right tax structure and give you business advice that’s needed too.
All of this is business advice delivered straight but make sure you’re checking with one of the services I recommend here to setup your Limited Liability Company or consult with a professional service that can help you.
Go get that BBQ business started now and I always remind people the operating agreement is one of the most important things so don’t forget that either!
Feel good about the business name you’ve picked and the business structure you’re moving forward with.
Let’s do this!