Learn how to incorporate in Missouri and the advantages of the Missouri corporation.
To incorporate in Missouri you will need to file Articles of Incorporation with the Missouri Secretary of State, Corporations Division. You can file online and the cost to incorporate starts at $58, plus the extra $20 that Missouri charges for its Initial Report requirement. Missouri also charges a processing fee the for online payments, bringing the actual filing cost to start at about $83. A Missouri corporation is owned by shareholders and controlled by its corporate bylaws, which outline how the corporation will operate.
The guide below includes information on everything you need to know to complete the filing yourself, including how to pick a name for your Missouri corporation, how to choose a Missouri registered agent, and how to file your state paperwork. We even walk you through how to calculate your filing fee based on the value of your authorized shares. Seem complicated? We’ll do it for you! Our Missouri incorporation package includes preparing and filing custom Articles of Incorporation, writing custom corporate bylaws and initial resolutions, and one year of Missouri registered agent service for only $223.
How to Incorporate in Missouri
Before Filing: Name Your Missouri Company
Before you file any documents with the Missouri Corporations Division, you will need to choose a name for your Missouri corporation. This may not be as easy as you think. The state of Missouri requires new businesses to choose a name that has not already been registered to another Missouri corporation and that meets the state’s guidelines. You can use the Missouri Secretary of State’s business name search to check if the name you want is available.
Section 351.110.1 of the Missouri Revised Statutes requires that one of the following words (or their abbreviations) be used in a corporation name: Corporation, Company, Incorporated, or Limited.
Missouri also has several laws (Section 362.425 and Section 353.050) that prohibit for-profit corporations from using terms that might indicate the business is a bank or part of a redevelopment project. Without the state’s approval, you cannot include the following terms: trust company, redevelopment, bank, or any other words that might imply your corporation is a bank.
Appoint a Missouri Registered Agent
Missouri law (Section 351.370) requires all Missouri corporations, domestic and foreign, to designate a Missouri Registered Agent. Whoever you choose as your corporation’s registered agent will need to be available during regular business hours to accept service of process on your behalf and deliver those documents to you as quickly as possible.
Per the state’s requirements, your registered agent can be:
- any individual who is over 18 years of age, a Missouri resident, and available at the address on record during regular business hours
- a corporation in good standing with the state that has a registered office located in Missouri
The same Missouri law also requires that you provide your registered agent’s name and address (including the street and number) in your Articles of Incorporation.
While it’s totally possible to appoint yourself as your own registered agent, or any other Missourian who’s happy to do you a favor, there are some things to consider before submitting your formation paperwork:
Availability. As mentioned earlier, your registered agent needs to be available during regular business hours to accept documents on your behalf. This means whoever you appoint as your agent needs to be physically present at the address on record every Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm.
Privacy. Once filed with the state, your articles will be available to the public. So, if you sign yourself up as your own registered agent, your name and address will be on public record. At best, this means piles of unwanted junk mail from solicitors. At worst, possibly being served with papers at home or at your place of business.
Hiring a registered agent service (like ours!) keeps your private information just that—private. At Missouri Registered Agent LLC, we allow our clients to use our address on their articles, and you can count on us to always be available to accept all your state and legal mail because it’s our job. We’ll even get rid of that pesky junk mail for you. All for just $40 a year.
Submit Articles of Incorporation
You incorporate in Missouri by filing Missouri Articles of Incorporation with the Missouri Secretary of State, Corporations Division and paying the incorporation fee, which is a minimum of $58 plus an online processing fee of $1.75.
The Articles of Incorporation includes important information about your corporation:
- Your Missouri corporation’s name
- The name and address of your Missouri registered agent
- Capital value of authorized shares
- The name and address of each incorporator (You can have up to 3)
- The purpose of your Missouri corporation
- The number of directors
You can file Articles of Incorporation by mail, in person, or online. Filing online is preferred and articles submitted this way are processed immediately. Paper filings can take up to a week to process after the document has been accepted by the Corporations Division.
After You Incorporate
After you incorporate in Missouri, the Corporations Division will issue you a Certificate of Incorporation, officially recognizing the formation of your new Missouri corporation. But there is more housekeeping still to address. A Missouri corporation must file for a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN). An EIN is obtained through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and can be applied for online.
Write corporate Bylaws. This is a governing document that outlines the ownership of your corporation and its operational structure. In your Bylaws, you will determine the initial shareholders and their shares of stock, as well as the initial Board of Directors and corporate officers (President, Secretary, etc.).
Open a separate bank account for your business. You can open an account at any bank branch, but you should contact the bank in advance to determine what paperwork they need. More than likely the bank will want copies of your Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and an initial resolution authorizing opening the account.
File Your Beneficial Ownership Information Report. As of January 1, 2024, most new and existing corporations are required to file a Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) report with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). This report is free to file, and includes information about your corporation like your company’s legal name and all DBAs, your EIN, where you incorporated, your company’s address. You are also required to provide personal information about each of your company’s beneficial owners and company applicants.
If you incorporate in 2024, you will file your BOI report with FinCEN within 90 days of incorporation. Companies that incorporate in 2025 or later have 30 days to file a BOI report after incorporating. If your corporation was formed before 2024, your report is due by January 1, 2025. The information on your BOI report will not be available to the public.
Don’t feel like adding another corporate filing to your to-do list? For just $9 you can add a BOI filing to our Incorporation Service and we’ll take care of it for you.
Why You Should Incorporate in Missouri
No More Franchise Tax
Missouri corporations used to be required to pay the state a franchise tax. For years, Missouri corporations had to pay not only one tax on corporate income, but also a business franchise tax. However, as of January 1, 2016 the Missouri Department of Revenue removed the tax, and Missouri corporations are now able to save more money and increase revenue.
Easy & Fast Online Filing
You can still file business documents by mail or in-person in Missouri, but it is both easier and cheaper to file most documents online. Missouri Annual Registration Report filings can be done online, saving your corporations $25 a year, as well as expenses for postage and delivery. In order to complete online filings, you just need to create an online account through the Secretary of State’s website. It is free to sign up. All you need is an active email address and a credit card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express or Discover).
Low Annual Maintenance Fees
Missouri is one of the least expensive states to maintain a corporation in. All you need to do is submit a simple Annual Registration Report three months after the end of the anniversary month in which your business incorporated. In other words, if you registered your corporation on July 8th, your annual report will be due by the end of October each year. If you file online, the filing fee is a low $20. If deliver your report in person or by mail, you’ll pay $45. Compared to the numerous annual fees, franchise taxes and high corporate tax rates of many so called “business friendly” states, Missouri offers a major savings to corporations.
Diverse, Business Friendly Economy
Missouri is consistently rated as one of the most diverse and business friendly states in America, whether you form a Missouri LLC or corporation. The Department of Economic Development rated Missouri the third most diverse business state in the country. The international brokerage and consulting firm, Pollina Corporate, ranked Missouri as the 8th most pro-business state. CNBC ranked Missouri 15th in the nation for Economy.
Calculate Your Missouri Incorporation Fee
When you incorporate in Missouri, you must pay an initial incorporation fee based upon the dollar amount of your authorized capital (the total value of your authorized shares). Missouri imposes a minimum fee of $50 for any corporation formed with an initial capital of $30,000 or less.
For every additional $10,000 of authorized shares, the fee increases by $5. The chart below includes the mandatory fees for issuing a Certificate of Incorporation ($3) and donation to the Missouri Technology Fund ($5), plus a $1.75 convenience fee to file online.
Authorized Capital of Shares
Total Incorporation Fee
|$30,000 or less||$58|
|$30,001 to $40,000||$63|
|$40,001 to $50,000||$68|
|$50,001 to $60,000||$73|
|$60,001 to $70,000||$78|
|$70,001 to $80,000||$83|
|$80,001 to $90,000||$88|
|$90,001 to $100,000||$93|
|$100,001 and above||Fee continues to increase by $5 per $10,000|
Missouri Annual Registration Report
After you incorporate in Missouri, you must file an Initial Registration Report with the Missouri Secretary of State within 3 months of incorporation. Many new Missouri corporations forget to file this initial report and are hit with a $15 penalty for late filing.
After filing your initial report, you are required to file an Annual Report each year. The report is due within three months after the anniversary month of your incorporation (if you incorporated in July, you file by October 31st). You can file all annual registration reports online with the Secretary of State. There is a $20 filing fee for submitting the report online.
Your Annual Registration Report can be filed by mail or delivered in person, but paper filings are assessed a $45 filing fee. The Secretary of State encourages Missouri corporations to file online for the fastest and most efficient results.
Our Missouri Incorporation Package:
We offer a total Missouri incorporation package for only $223. We will handle the incorporation filing and provide you with the necessary business documents custom made for your Missouri corporation. Included in the package is one year of our service as your registered agent in Missouri.
Missouri Incorporation Service:
- Completed articles of incorporation filed with the Missouri Corporations Division
- Custom corporate bylaws
- Custom initial incorporator resolutions
- Digital account access where your documents will be stored
- One-year registered agent service
- Option to get a fictitious name (DBA) for $125 plus state fees using our Trade Name Service after purchasing your corporation formation service.
DIY Missouri Incorporation
If you feel confident in filing the documents yourself, you can still hire us to serve as your Missouri registered agent. Inside your secure, online account you will find all the necessary business documents with easy-to-understand instructions to file with the Corporations Division. As our client, you can always contact us at any time if you have questions about your filing.
Incorporate in Missouri FAQs
Can I incorporate online in Missouri?
Yes. In fact, it is easier, faster and cheaper to incorporate online in Missouri. Online filings are cheaper and they are processed immediately. Compare that to paper filings, which usually take about 5 business days to process.
How much does it cost to incorporate in Missouri?
At least $59.25. This is the base fee for businesses incorporating with initial capital of $30,000 or less. The incorporation fee is based upon the dollar amount of authorized capital, and is tiered to increase $5 for $10,000 of initial capital. There are also other fees: a $3 fee to issue the Certificate of Incorporation, a $5 fee that is donated to the Missouri Technology Fund, as well an online filing convenience fee that starts at $1.25 but increases to $1.75 if your total filings cost is more than $50.
What are the ongoing fees for a Missouri corporation?
A Missouri corporation must file an Annual Registration Report each year and pay the fee. The annual fee is $20 if filed online, $45 if submitted by mail.
In Missouri, corporations are not required to pay any franchise tax to the state.
Do I need a Missouri Registered Agent?
Yes. A registered agent is required by MO Section 351.370. Your registered agent is critical to maintaining compliance with the Secretary of State. Your agent accepts service of process on behalf of your corporation and contacts you in the event that your company is sued.
Missouri corporations failing to maintain a registered agent will be dissolved by the Secretary of State.
Why should I hire you to form my corporation?
Every day at our registered office, we file business documents with the Missouri Corporations Division. We form Missouri corporations and limited liability companies, and manage corporate compliance for our clients all day, every day. We understand the complexities and the subtleties of business filing in Missouri.
It is true that you can hire a fancy law firm to handle your Missouri incorporation. Likely they will charge you a small fortune, and since business incorporation isn’t their specialty, there’s a fair chance they won’t do it properly. And what motivation do they have to provide excellent customer service, since you will be a one-and-done client?
We are not interested in a one-time fee. When we incorporate a Missouri corporation for our clients, we offer our registered agent service as part of our incorporation package. We don’t want to simply collect a fee and send you on your way. We want to be a partner in the success of your business throughout the life of your company. We are extremely motivated to maintain high-quality, devoted service to you and to all our clients.
$223 Total - Done in 6 Minutes