The Simple Guide to Starting an LLC in Missouri
To form an LLC (limited liability company) in Missouri you need to file the Articles of Organization with the Missouri Secretary of State online or by mail and pay the formation fee of $50.
Besides that, you will have to make an Operating Agreement, get an EIN number (if you plan to hire employees or open a business bank account), and register with the Missouri Department of Revenue for tax purposes.
Follow this simple step-by-step guide to learn about the details of forming a Missouri LLC and get your business up and running.
Choose a Business Name
The first thing you must do before filing the formation documents is to pick a business name for your LLC.
Your legal name must be unique. That is, if another business is already using it or something like it, the Missouri Secretary of State may not approve it.
You can do a Business Entity Name Search on the State of Missouri's website to ensure that your desired name is available for registration or reservation.
Your Missouri LLC'S name must also contain the word Limited, or another approved variation like LLC, Limited Company, L.L.C, or similar to show what type of structure it is.
Assign a Registered Agent
The law states that your Missouri LLC should have a registered agent who can send and receive documents on your behalf.
You can ask a person or a business to be your registered agent, but they must be willing to formally agree to receive notices and reminders from government agencies on your behalf. In Missouri
Your registered agent must have a physical address to receive the Service of Process. In Missouri, a rented mailbox or UPS box is not sufficient to handle legal notices on behalf of your LLC.
The Missouri Secretary of State will send all documents related to your business to your registered agent.
File the Articles of Organization
This is a document that is used to create your company and it contains information such as the name and address of our registered agent, the type of management that your LLC has, and the name of the person who is filing the paperwork.
While you can complete the documents and mail them to the Missouri Secretary of State, it costs less when you file online.
At this stage, you will need to decide if your LLC will be member-managed or manager-managed since this information will be included in your Articles of Organization.
A member-managed or decentralized structure is usually used by LLCs that only have a few members. These members are directly involved in the day-to-day operations of their company and they often share administrative power equally.
What is the Cost of Forming an LLC in Missouri?
Filing the Articles of Organization with the Missouri Secretary of State costs $45 if filed online and $105 if filed by mail.
Make an Operating Agreement
In Missouri, all LLCs are must have an operating agreement according to Revised Statutes Section 347.081 of the state's legal code.
An Operating Agreement is a legal document that provides information on the way your business will be managed, how shares are allocated and who the owner is so that disputes can be easily resolved. All your members must sign to it and the operating agreement is considered legally binding.
For example, if your operating agreement says that each member can only transfer their shares in specific situations, that cannot change unless the operating agreement changes.
Obtain an Employee Identification Number (EIN)
Every Missouri LLC must have an Employee Identification Number or EIN. This number is like your Social Security Number, but it's used with your LLC.
An EIN helps the IRS to keep track of your Medicare payments and other Federal taxes. It offers you protection against identity theft since once you have an EIN, you will not need to use your SSN for many transactions that are associated with your business.
For example, all banking done for your business can be done with your EIN. You will need your EIN to open your business bank account, hire employees for your business and pay taxes in Missouri.
You can apply for your EIN for free via IRS.gov.
Register for Missouri Taxes
When you are the official owner of an LLC, you will need to pay state taxes in Missouri. You can prepare for that, by registering your LLC at the Missouri Department of Revenue.
It is best to do this as soon as possible, so you already have an account with them during the busy season. The business taxes that you pay will be based on the type of services or products that you provide and there are different forms for each industry.
If your Missouri LLC has employees, you will also have to register with the Missouri Department of Labor.
All of this can be done online. Tax assistance offices are located right across the state and will help you with these processes.