Starting an LLC in Missouri
The pioneering state of Missouri is a great place to launch your new business. You’ll be in excellent company too, as the Oregon, Santa Fe and California Trails all started in Missouri, as well as the famed Pony Express.
Today, Missouri is known for its blending of midwestern and southern cultures and music, with luminaries like Walt Disney, Mark Twain and Harry Truman hailing from there. Missouri’s economy is boosted by several major industries including agriculture, manufacturing, transport, financial services, retail and tourism.
If you want to form your own business in Missouri, one of the best ways to do so is by creating a Missouri LLC. Limited liability companies (LLCs) are a business entity designed for startups and small- and medium-sized businesses. Missouri LLCs give you many of the protections and advantages of larger corporations without all the rules, regulations and compliance issues common to larger business entities.
Briefly, the benefits of starting a Missouri LLC include:
Separating and limiting your personal liability from your business liability and debts
Quick and simple filing, management, compliance, regulations and administration of your Missouri LLC
Easy tax filing and potential advantages for tax treatment
Learn more about the benefits of the LLC business structure here.
Six Quick Steps to Forming an LLC in Missouri
This guide has plenty of information on how to start your Missouri LLC, but you can break down the basics of forming a business in MO into just a few simple steps.
STEP 1: Gather Information for Your Members
First, you need to gather basic information about your LLC, including the names and addresses of the managers or members. The LLC members are typically the people who own and run the business. They are also the ones who can take profits out of the business to pay themselves.
STEP 2: Search for and Choose a Unique Business Name for Your Missouri LLC
You will need a distinctive and original name for your Missouri LLC that’s not used by any other business in MO. To find out if another company is using your chosen business name, carry out a Missouri business entity name search on the MO Secretary of State website.
There are a few rules you’ll need to follow when choosing an LLC name. You can find out more in our guide to searching for and naming your Missouri LLC.
Learn about Missouri LLC business naming rules.
STEP 3: Provide an Official Address for Your MO LLC
Every Missouri LLC must have a designated street address. That could be your home address (if you’re running the company from your residence), your company’s office building or any physical address of your preference. The address can be outside the state of Missouri, but it cannot be a P.O. Box.
STEP 4: Assign a Registered Agent for Your Missouri LLC
Every MO LLC must have a “Registered Agent.” This is an official position; the Registered Agent is someone who receives official legal and tax correspondence and has responsibility for filing reports with the Missouri Secretary of State.
This position can be filled by you, another manager in the business or a dedicated Registered Agent service. Your MO Registered Agent must have a physical street address in Missouri and must be present to receive important documents for your company during business hours.
At Incfile, all of our packages include a Missouri Registered Agent service that is free for the first year and just $119 per year afterward. We also have a dashboard where you can log in and easily view any document your Registered Agent has received on your behalf.
Learn more about Missouri Registered Agents.
STEP 5: Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service
You will need an EIN to identify your business to the IRS. You use this number when filing and paying taxes or when submitting payroll information and payments for your employees. You can obtain one directly from the IRS, or we can get one for you as part of the Missouri LLC business formation process.
STEP 6: File Articles of Organization with the Missouri Secretary of State
Once you've gathered all the information for your Missouri LLC, you’ll need to file a formal document with the MO Secretary of State. This document is known as your “Articles of Organization,” and filing the document creates your Missouri LLC. Here’s what is typically included:
You can file your Missouri LLC Articles of Organization online, mail in a form or have Incfile do it on your behalf. There is a fee to file and start an LLC in Missouri. You only need to file your Articles of Organization once.
Form Your LLC Now
Review Information from the Missouri Secretary of State
The MO Secretary of State has plenty of information on forming and running a business in Missouri. You’ll find other useful information below.
Missouri Secretary of State for forming and running your MO LLC
Missouri Department of Labor for MO employers and hiring
Missouri Department of Revenue for MO taxes
Special Types of Missouri LLCs
A regular Missouri LLC is suitable for most business needs, but you also have a few other options to incorporate a special type of LLC.
Form a Missouri Series LLC
In Missouri, you also have the option to set up a “Series LLC” — these are specialized LLCs designed to allow you to manage multiple separate LLCs under one master, umbrella LLC. These can be very useful if you don’t want to set up a separate Missouri LLC for every individual business you run.
Decide if a Missouri Series LLC is right for your new business.
Form a Professional Missouri LLC
Some states allow certain occupations to form “Professional LLCs.” These types of businesses typically have special requirements and licensing. Missouri does not recognize professional LLCs, but professionals can form a standard LLC.
Form a Foreign LLC in Missouri
What to Do After Registering Your Missouri LLC
Want to know your next steps after creating a new LLC in Missouri? We’ve got you covered. Here’s our guide to understanding your ongoing requirements, setting up new bank accounts, protecting your business name, getting accounting in place and more.
Detailed Information for Your Missouri LLC
You’ll find plenty more insight and guidance on Missouri LLC formation in the rest of this guide, including:
How to search the Missouri business registry of the MO Secretary of State and find the right name. Includes information on naming rules, fictitious names, reserving a Missouri LLC name and more.
How to appoint a Missouri Registered Agent to your new LLC or change to a different Registered Agent. Includes information on Registered Agent rules and searching for Missouri Registered Agents.
How to understand the various fees you’ll need to pay and the requirements you’ll need to meet for both federal and Missouri rules. Includes details of Employer Identification Numbers (EINs), Missouri and federal business licenses, Missouri annual reports and more.
How to understand the various taxes you will need to pay to the federal and Missouri government. Includes details of federal taxes like income and self-employment, and Missouri taxes like sales tax and income tax.