Why Start an MO Corporation?
Just like many other states, Missouri has an array of business incentives and financing options that make it enticing for businesses. Your corporation may be able to take advantage of these incentives, provided it meets qualifying criteria.
For example, the Business Use Incentives for Large-Scale Development (BUILD) helps companies embark on major investment and job creation expansions by providing low-interest loans to qualified borrowers through the issuance of tax-exempt revenue bonds for the acquisition, construction, and equipping of qualified manufacturing production facilities and/or equipment.
For many entrepreneurs looking to start a larger business, MO incorporation may be the best choice. As a corporation, your business is able to buy and trade stock, and when it comes to excess profits, corporations offer more flexibility than a limited liability company (LLC). A corporation is allowed to pass income and losses to its shareholders, who report taxes on an individual tax return at ordinary levels.
Is an LLC Better Than a Corporation?
It all depends on your goals. For smaller businesses, limited liability companies are usually a better option. An LLC is easier to set up and receives many of the same benefits as corporations, but with less regulation.
Learn more about forming a Missouri LLC so you can decide which business entity is right for you.
Benefits of Forming a Missouri C Corporation
Benefits of Forming a Missouri S Corporation
It offers several advantages similar to those provided by a C Corp including, but not limited to:
- Options for creating, transferring and selling stock, though not as many as a C Corp
- The capacity for up to 100 shareholders
- Simpler rules than those that apply to C Corporations
- Easy transfer of ownership simply by selling your stock
- The possibility of saving money by allowing you to pay less self-employment tax
In this guide, you’ll find information on naming your corporation, getting a Registered Agent, the fees you’ll need to pay, business taxes and much more. We also cover what you'll need to register your corporation and how you'll interact with the Secretary of State in Missouri.
How to Form an MO Corporation Yourself in 6 Steps
Choose a Unique Business Name and Complete a State Business Search
Every Missouri business must have a unique name that isn't already claimed by another business in the state. If you can't think of a name, try using our Business Name Generator to gather ideas. You'll need to follow a few naming rules, which you can read about in detail on the Missouri Corporation Names page.
Once you’ve picked a name, you’ll need to make sure it’s available in Missouri. To see whether another company in the state is using your desired business name, use our tool to do a Missouri entity search. Or, you can also carry out a name search on the state's website.
Provide an Official Business Address for Your Corporation
All MO corporations must have a designated address. It could be your home address (if you’re running the company from your place of residence), a building where your office is located or any physical address of your choice. The address can be outside the state of Missouri and can be a P.O. Box.
You may also be able to use a virtual mailbox for your business address. Incfile can provide you with a Missouri virtual mailbox where we'll receive your mail, scan it and upload it for your online review. This can be especially helpful if you run a home-based business and don't want your home address published as part of your business public record.
Assign a Registered Agent
Someone who receives official correspondence and is responsible for filing reports with the Missouri Secretary of State is known as a Registered Agent. Every Missouri corporation is required to have a Registered Agent.
You can fill this position yourself, assign another manager in your business or use a Registered Agent service. If your Registered Agent in Missouri is a person, they must have a physical street address in Missouri and must be available during business hours to receive important documents on behalf of your company. You'll appoint your Registered Agent when you file your Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State and formally create your corporation.
All of Incfile’s business formation packages include Registered Agent service. It’s free for the first year and just $119 per year after that. You can also access a digital dashboard to view any document we've received on your behalf.
File Your Articles of Incorporation with the Missouri Secretary of State
Once you've gathered all the information for your corporation, you’ll need to file your Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State. This will officially create your business.
Here’s what is typically included:
- Your business name
- Registered Agent's name and address
- The corporation’s capital structure (number of shares to be issued)
- Name and address of each incorporator
- Duration of the corporation
- Your corporation's purpose
- Names and signatures of each incorporator
Your Articles of Incorporation can be filed online via the business filing portal via the state's digital portal. It's very simple if you follow the steps provided in a helpful guide. You can also mail the form or deliver it in-person to the Office of the Secretary of State, or Incfile can file it on your behalf. The MO Corporation filing fee begins at $58 and increases depending on the dollar amount of authorized capital.
File by Mail
PO Box 778
Jefferson City, MO 65102
600 W. Main St., Rm. 322
Jefferson City, MO 65102
You only need to file your Certificate of Incorporation in Missouri once, but once a year or every two years after, you'll also need to file an annual or biennial registration report with the Secretary of State in MO, depending on which periodical report you've elected to file. Incfile can remind you about this every year or every two years, or we can do it for you if you have us handle the paperwork.
What are the fees and requirements to incorporate in Missouri?
Initial Annual Report
Corporations are required to file the Initial Annual Report within 90 days of the Date of Incorporation.
On last day of corporation's anniversary month; must be within 90 days after due date.
Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service
You'll need an EIN to identify your business to the IRS. You use this number for filing and paying taxes, submitting payroll information and payments for your employees and opening a business bank account. You can obtain one directly from the IRS, or Incfile can get one for you as part of the MO corporation creation process.
A set of rules that govern how a corporation will be run, bylaws detail how many directors the corporation will have, whether the board of directors will have annual meetings and what the voting requirements will be, among other things.
Some states legally require companies to create bylaws, and the state of Missouri is one of them. You don't need to file your bylaws with the Secretary of State, but keep them with your other business records.
It's always a good idea to write and follow bylaws to protect your business from any future changes and events.
Types of MO Corporations
Title 23, Chapter 356, § 356.021 also specifies a few of the professions permitted to form a Professional Corporation in Missouri, which include, but may not be limited to:
- Architects or engineers
- Attorneys at law
- Physicians, surgeons, doctors of medicine, or doctors of osteopathy
- Registered nurses
- Any natural persons licensed as a real estate salesperson
- Physical therapists
Check with the Secretary of State to confirm whether your business should and can be a Professional Corporation.