Starting an LLC in Missouri is a relatively simple process. By completing and filing the right documentation, along with a filing fee, it is possible to register an LLC in Missouri both for companies located in the state and outside of it.

Getting Started

Naming the LLC

Naming an LLC in Missouri is only limited by a few restrictions. The name must contain either the words “Limited Liability Company” or some sort of variation on the term, like LLC. The name cannot be too similar to government agencies – state or federal – as to cause confusion, like calling a new LLC “FBI”. Some names may require additional paperwork and/or licenses, such as a company name that includes “Bank”.

The name of the new LLC cannot match too closely other existing LLCs in the state of Missouri. There is a free search tool available to verify the availability of a business name.

Another thing for new LLCs to consider when choosing a name is the availability of a URL that fits with the new business. It is possible to search and/or buy domains from sites like GoDaddy.

Selecting a Registered/Statutory Agent

All LLCs in Missouri are required to have an agent that is available to accept legal documents, such as if the business is sued. The registered agent must either be a resident of the state, or must be authorized to do business in the state. Whether a resident or an authorized organization, the registered agent needs to have a physical address in the state.

If the LLC is operating in Missouri, it is easy enough to designate a member of the LLC as the registered agent. The registered agent can be one of the founders of the LLC or an employee. However, the LLC can also employ the services of another individual or organization to serve in the position as necessary.

File Articles of Organization for the LLC

The Articles of Organization (LLC1) can be filed with the Missouri Secretary of State, along with a filing fee – $50 for filing online, $105 for filing by mail or in person using paper. The documents need to include both the name and address of the LLC, as well as the name and address of the individual or organization serving as the registered agent.

Create Operating Agreement

While Missouri does not require an operating agreement for an LLC to file in the state, it is still advisable to create one. An operating agreement – which can be written or oral – outlines how the LLC will operate, and can prove valuable as the company progresses.

Running Your Business

Getting Your EIN

What’s an EIN?

An EIN is an employee identification number, issued by the Internal Revenue service. Sometimes it is also called a Federal Tax Identification Number. It’s a unique number issued to each business.

You’ll need an EIN to

  1. Open a business bank account.
  2. File Federal and State Taxes
  3. Hire employees.

Before you get your EIN:

  1. Make sure your new business has been properly formed before applying.
  2. Be wary of paid sites. EINs are free direct from the IRS.

How do I get an EIN?

  1. Apply online: The easiest way is to apply online for an EIN. Note, the IRS website has office hours, and is only available Monday through Friday, 7am to 10pm. Yes, we also agree this is one of the most ridiculous things we’ve ever seen.
  2. Call: You can call 1-800-829-4933, between 7am to 7pm of your time zone, Monday to Friday.
  3. Snail Mail – You can download the form and mail it in.

Keep Business and Personal Accounts Separate

  1. Get a business bank account for your business. This will help you protect your personal assets from potential creditors and lawsuits, and will also make life A LOT easier come tax time.
  2. Get a business credit or debit card. This will help you keep your expenses separate and easier to track.

Accounting

No matter what business you run, accounting software and processes is a must for any small business. If you have an accountant, ask them which software they work with and recommend.

A good accounting system is necessary to:

  1. Track income and expenses, so you can easily see if you’re making money
  2. Makes filing income taxes so much easier.

Always try and find something that will:

  1. Sync with all of your bank and credit card accounts automatically – not just downloads, but auto sync.
  2. Automatch vendors, customers and other accounts.
  3. Let you accept credit cards and ach drafts with ease.

Setting Up for Taxes in Missouri

Registering With the Missouri Department of Revenue

For LLCs that will have employees or that plan on selling goods that will require dealing with sales tax, it is usually necessary to register with the Missouri Department of Revenue. An LLC can register online, or using paper forms.

Employee Taxes

All LLCs operating in Missouri that have employees will need to file both unemployment insurance tax and employment withholding tax. The Missouri Department of Revenue offers a comprehensive guide to taxes for all employers.

Sales Tax

Many LLCs selling goods in the state of Missouri will be required to collect sales tax and then remit that tax to the state. The Missouri Department of Revenue offers information on what businesses need to be concerned with sales tax.

Business Licenses

Certain business, particularly those that offer professional services – like medical care, accounting, etc. – can only be operated by individuals with the appropriate certification. The Missouri Secretary of State site offers more information on licensing.

Workers’ Compensation

Most employers in Missouri are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. The Missouri Department of Insurance provides a complete guide for employers about workers’ compensation, including information related to LLCs.

Keeping Your LLC Compliant

Hiring Employees

Missouri has extensive laws related to employment, laws that LLC employers should be aware of. The Department of Labor offers a full Resource Guide for Employers, explaining all the information new LLCs need to ensure compliance.

Annual Report

Missouri is unique in its lack of annual reporting requirements. Most states require LLCs to submit a report once a year, but Missouri does not.

Certificate of Good Standing

A Certificate of Good Standing is a document that demonstrates that an LLC is in good standing with the state – having been formed legally, and in full compliance with the requirements of Missouri for LLCs.

LLCs can order a certificate online, or can contact the Corporations Division to order a certificate.

How to File a Foreign LLC in Missouri

Businesses can form an LLC in Missouri even if they are not based there, filing as a foreign LLC. The cost for filing as a foreign LLC is $105.