Missouri Business Filing Guide

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Tips for Corporate Filings in Missouri

If you want to do your initial business filing yourself, or if you are handling ongoing annual filings in Missouri, below you’ll find our best advice on various filings. We try to help all of our clients be as successful as possible in Missouri, even if we’re not preparing and filing your documents for you.

This is some of what we’ve learned over the years:

Look Up Your Business Name First

You should always do a business name search on the Missouri Secretary of State website before filing any formation documents with the Corporations Division. The last thing you want is your filing coming back rejected because the name is already registered to another company. This is easy to do and will save you some serious hassle down the line.

Don’t Forget Your Initial Registration Report

If you incorporate in Missouri, you are required to file an Annual Registration Report. The first report, called your Initial Registration Report, is due within 30 days of incorporation. Many new businesses in Missouri completely forget about this initial reporting requirement, and they get hit with a fine by the Corporations Division. When you hire us to form your business, we’ll take care of filing your initial registration report, so you won’t have to worry about forgetting or paying late fees.

If you form a Missouri LLC, don’t worry about this. There are no annual reporting requirements for Missouri LLCs.

Hire a Reliable Missouri Registered Agent

We would say this, wouldn’t we? But joking aside, your business will be better off if you appoint a dependable Missouri registered agent service with a strong track record in the industry. An unreliable agent can inadvertently cause great damage to your business, including default judgments against your business that can lead to your company’s administrative dissolution.

More than one business has been dissolved without even realizing they had been sued in the first place. Don’t be that business.

Feel free to compare Missouri registered agents, but we believe that we’re the best. We provide quality, dependable registered agent service for all entities doing business in Missouri.

File Online

We suggest that you file Articles of Organization or Articles of Incorporation online. In fact, we suggest you file everything online. It is faster and will generally save you money (a Missouri corporation saves $25 if it files its Annual Registration Report online instead of by mail). There’s nothing wrong with submitting your filings through the mail (or by fax), but we have found over the years that Missouri’s online system is pretty first-rate. And who doesn’t like saving money?

File a Beneficial Ownership Information Report

As part of the new Corporate Transparency Act (CTA), most business entities, including LLCs and corporations, are required to submit a Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) report to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). This report includes general information about your business: the legal name of the company, any DBAs or trade names, a tax ID number, the jurisdiction of formation, and the address of your LLC’s principal place of business.

Businesses formed after January 1, 2024 have 30 days after formation to submit their BOI report to FinCEN. Businesses formed before January 1, 2024 have until January 1, 2025 to file. You will also need to include the full legal name, date of birth, residential address, and a photo of FinCEN-accepted identification for each of your company’s beneficial owners and company applicants. Your BOI report is free to file, and the information included in your report is not public.

Don’t Forget Your EIN

If you have employees or you are starting a Missouri corporation, you will need an Employer Identification Number from the IRS. If you are an LLC with no employees, then you will not likely need one (there are special circumstances where you will, such as the sale of firearms or tobacco).

Every corporation is required to have an EIN by law, because every corporation must file a federal tax return. Even if you make no money or conduct no business, you still must file a federal tax return, and you cannot do so without an EIN.

Keep Your Corporation’s Authorized Stock Low

Many new business owners like the idea of authorizing thousands upon thousands of shares of stock for their Missouri corporation. While there’s nothing wrong with this, it will drive up your initial incorporation fee. For every $10,000 worth of authorized stock above $30,000, your incorporation fee will increase by $5. If you keep your authorized stock value at below $30,000, then you will only pay the minimum fee of $58.

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