How to Start an LLC in Missouri

How to Start an LLC in Missouri

by Michael H. Cohen, Esq., October 2014

LLCs in Missouri are affordable and easy to form. And as with the states, the State of Missouri has some unique LLC requirements.

Interested parties must register with the Secretary of State by filing the necessary forms, paying the necessary fees and meeting all naming and formation requirements.

The specifications required of a Missouri LLC are as follows:

Registration. File an Articles of Organization form with the Secretary of State. This process may be done online or by mail. All submissions must be accompanied by the appropriate filing fees. The forms must include the following information:

  • LLC name
  • Purpose of formation
  • Name and address of registered agent
  • Type of management (member-managed or manager-managed)
  • Duration, if not perpetual
  • Effective date, if other than the date filed
  • Name, signature, address and date of each organizer

Be sure to also include the necessary filing fees.

Forms and fees. LLC registrants are required to file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. Filing fees are $50 if submitted online, which must be paid by credit card, and $105 if submitted by mail. Fees can change, check with the Secretary of State for the most recent fees.

Timeline. Turnaround time for processing of forms and documents is usually between five to seven working days. Expedited processing is not available for Missouri.

Naming requirements. LLC naming requirements can be confusing. However, the easiest way to ensure that your LLC name will be approved is to make it distinguishable from other LLCs and include specific words required of LLCs. You may opt to have a preferred name checked for availability before filing your LLC formation documents with the Secretary of State.

Formation requirements. To form an LLC, a registrant must first file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. All submissions must be accompanied by the appropriate filing fees and may be done online or by mail.

An LLC with more than one member is also strongly advised to have a limited liability operating agreement among its members.

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Starting an LLC in Missouri

Before you begin the registration process for an LLC in Missouri, it’s important to know what an LLC is and whether or not it is a viable business structure for your company, so be certain to read up on the definition and benefits of an LLC.

These steps will guide you through the LLC registration process with the Missouri Secretary of State:

1. Decide on a name for your business. You can choose any name for your LLC as long as it ends with “Limited Liability Company” or any variation of its abbreviation—e.g., LLC, LC, L.L.C. or L.C.

A name may be reserved for up to 60 days, with a maximum extension of up to 180 days. All requests must be submitted to the Secretary of State and may be done online or by mail. Applications must contain the following information:

  • Desired name for the LLC
  • Name, title, address and signature of applicant
  • Name and address to which the filed document will be returned

The name reservation fee of $25 must be paid upon submission of the application.

A preferred name may be checked for availability by accessing the Secretary of State’s website.

2. Assign an agent for service of process. Registered agents are individuals or corporations authorized to do business in the state and which have permanent addresses in Missouri. Registered agents accept legal documents on behalf of the LLC and make sure its members are notified.

3. Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. If there are two or more members in your LLC, your company will need to obtain an EIN from the IRS, for tax purposes.

4. Create an operating agreement. Although LLCs in Missouri are not required to have a limited liability company operating agreement, it is wise to have one in place with other members should your LLC have more than one member. The State of Missouri recognizes limited liability company operating agreements as governing documents.

5. Familiarize yourself with the LLC’s continuing legal obligations, specifically annual reports. Annual reports are filed online with the Secretary of State each year. To file a report, you will need the charter number, found on your filed copy of the Articles of Organization,  and an email address where the Secretary of State can send notifications. Late reports incur a $15 late fee for every 30 days the report is late. Fees can change, check with the Secretary of State for the most recent fees.

Please note that other continuing legal obligations may include, but are not limited to, state taxes, annual reports and so on.

Filing an LLC and Fees

Following are the forms and fees that are required when starting an LLC in Missouri:

1. Forms. First, you need to complete and submit Articles of Organization to the Secretary of State with the appropriate fees.

2. Fees. Filing fees for Articles of Organization when filed online are about $50. Should you decide to file by mail, the filing fee is about $105.

3. Limited liability company operating agreement. Although the LLC operating agreement may not be submitted to the Secretary of State, it is a good idea to have one in place for LLCs with more than one member. This document should be kept on file by the registered agent.

4. Taxes. LLCs in Missouri are treated as corporations, limited liability partnerships or single-member LLCs and are subject to federal income tax classifications. Depending on the type of taxation you opt to have for your LLC, you will have different federal tax responsibilities.

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