Forming a Missouri LLC may be one of the best things you can do for both yourself and your business. You can do this by filing Articles of Organization with the Missouri Corporations Division. While it’s true that you can conduct business in Missouri without filing any paperwork with the state, acting as a sole proprietor or as part of a general partnership can be risky. Neither sole proprietorships or general partnerships offer liability protection, so if your business is sued, your personal assets may be up for grabs. Yikes!
Forming a limited liability company means separating yourself from your business, and this type of business entity provides liability protection that keeps your personal assets safe. Luckily, the Missouri Secretary of State has made sure the process of forming a Missouri LLC is easy and relatively inexpensive. It’s also quick! Your LLC can be ready to go within 24 hours of filing.
Want to make the process of forming your own LLC even easier? You can hire us! Our LLC Formation Package includes preparing and filing of your Articles of Organization with the state and 1 year of our registered agent service. We’ll also create your initial LLC resolutions and an LLC operating agreement template you can tailor to your company—all for $192, which includes the state’s $51.25 online filing fee.
Why Start a Missouri LLC?
It’s easy to form an LLC in Missouri. Here are just a handful of the perks that come with creating an LLC in the Show Me state:
- Total Privacy
A Missouri LLC offers a level of privacy found in only a handful of states in the US. Unlike other states, Missouri does not require the names of an LLC’s members or managers on state paperwork. LLCs are required to list their organizer’s information, though. This means that if a member or manager chooses to act as an organizer, they still have to provide their personal information. Luckily, you can appoint or hire an organizer (like us!) who will include their personal information on your filing so you don’t have to. Why is this important? After your LLC is formed, the paperwork you file with the state becomes public record. Keeping your personal information private means you can maintain your privacy and avoid things like unscrupulous lawsuits or incessant calls from telemarketers.
- No Annual Report
Almost every other state in the Union requires annual reporting from business entities, but not Missouri! There are no annual reporting requirements or state filing fees for LLCs, which makes a Missouri LLC a far cheaper option than forming an LLC in another state.
- No Annual State Franchise Tax
Unlike Missouri corporations, Missouri LLCs are not required to pay an annual franchise tax to the state. As long as your LLC keeps its default tax status, your business will be exempt from paying the Missouri state franchise tax.
- Fast and Cheap Online Filing
The Missouri Secretary of State has made it easy to form your business entirely online, and the state can process your filing within 1 to 3 business days. Many states also offer fast filing times, but they usually come with an exorbitant fee for expedited service. If you file online, your LLC can be created in just a day. It’s also much cheaper than filing by paper, which costs a whopping $105!
Missouri LLC: What to Know Before You File
The process of forming an LLC in Missouri may seem simple, but you’ll want to get some information together before you dive into filling out your state paperwork. Here are some steps to take before submitting your Articles of Organization to the Missouri Corporations Division:
Name Your Missouri LLC
Before you file your formation paperwork, you’ll need to choose a name for your Missouri LLC. This may seem pretty simple, but you’ll want to make sure you follow the state’s requirements when naming your business:
Do include a proper designator that indicates which type of business entity you’re operating. Missouri allows the following designators for LLCs: Limited Liability Company, Limited Company, LLC, LC, L.L.C. or L.C.
Do not choose a name already in use by another entity. Luckily, the Missouri Secretary of State has made it easy to search for Missouri business entities that have already been registered. If you do choose a name that is already in use, your Articles of Organization will not be approved, and you’ll have to start from scratch—as well as pay that $51.25 online filing fee again.
Have a name in mind, but aren’t quite ready to form your business? Missouri makes it possible to reserve your name for up to 180 days before filing your Articles of Organization. Just submit an Application for Reservation of Name to the Missouri Corporations Division and pay the $25 filing fee.
Appoint a Missouri Registered Agent
When you form your LLC, you’ll be required to appoint a Missouri registered agent. You can appoint any Missouri resident eighteen years or older to act as your registered agent, but keep in mind that State law requires your registered agent to be available during regular business hours at a physical address in Missouri. P.O. Boxes or virtual offices do not count. They will need to be available to accept legal mail in person on behalf of your business, and deliver it to you as quickly as possible.
You’ll need to include your registered agent’s name and address in your Articles of Organization, so make sure you’ve appointed or hired an agent before submitting your paperwork.
For only $40 a year, we’ll act as your Missouri registered agent and immediately scan any state or legal mail we receive on your behalf, that way you have access to your mail as quickly as possible.
Choose Your LLC’s Management Structure
You’ll need to indicate your LLC’s management structure in your Articles of Organization. You have two options:
- Member-managed, which means the members are responsible for the LLC’s daily operations.
- Manager-managed, which means you can elect members or hire outside managers to run the company.
The Missouri Articles of Organization also gives business owners the options to delay the effective date of their LLC’s formation, set a limited duration for their LLC, and establish their LLC as part of a series. If you’re interested in any of these options, we recommend consulting an attorney or accountant first, as these decisions can complicate the way your business operates.
File for an EIN
If you intend on hiring employees, you’ll need to apply for an Employer Identification Number, or EIN, with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). An EIN is like a social security number for your business, and will identify your business for federal tax purposes. Applying for an EIN is free, and you can do it online through the IRS website.
Draft an Operating Agreement
Missouri law requires all LLCs to have an operating agreement. An operating agreement is an internal document, so it will not need to be filed with the Missouri Secretary of State. However, it will set the standard for company conduct, and it’s important to create one so that everyone is on the same page.
Your operating agreement should establish your LLC’s rules and regulations. You’ll want to include information like whether your LLC is member-managed or manager-managed, how voting will work for company decisions, how income and losses are allocated among members, and what (if any) tax elections might be chosen for the company.
If this sounds like a lot, don’t worry! Our business formation package not only includes the preparation and filing of your Articles of Organization to the Missouri Corporations Division, but we’ll also provide a custom operating agreement and initial resolutions, too!
How to Form Your Missouri LLC
You can form your Missouri LLC by filing the Articles of Organization with the Missouri Secretary of State, Corporations Divisions. You’ll fill out this form with the following information:
- The name of your LLC
- The purpose of your LLC
- Your registered agent’s name and address
- Your LLC’s management structure
- The duration of your LLC (optional)
- The name(s) of your LLC’s organizer(s) and their address(es)
- Whether your LLC is a part of a series (optional)
- Your LLC’s principal office address (optional)
- The effective date of your LLC (optional)
- Organizer(s) signature(s)
Once complete, your Articles or Organization are ready to be filed with the Secretary of State! Missouri provides three different options when it comes to submitting your articles: online, in person, or through the mail.
Filing your paperwork online is the fastest and cheapest option. You can submit your articles through the Missouri Business Registration Online Portal and pay the $51.25 online filing fee. These applications are usually processed in 1 to 3 business days.
You also have the option to submit your articles in person or through the mail, but keep in mind that the filing fee more than doubles for paper filings at $105! If you still wish to file your paperwork this way, you can drop off your document in person or mail it to:
PO Box 778 / 600 W. main St., Rm. 322
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Missouri LLC: What to Do After You File
You’ve officially formed your Missouri LLC! Now what? Your work making your business official with the state is over, but there are some other steps you’ll want to take after you form your business so you can take full advantage of the liability protection your new LLC offers.
File Your Beneficial Owner Information Report
As a result of the Corporate Transparency Act, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) now requires most new and existing LLCs to file a Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) report. Essentially, a BOI report provides FinCEN with information about your company, as well as personal information about your LLC’s beneficial owners and company applicants. BOI reports are free to file and will not be available to the public.
If your LLC was formed after January 1, 2024, you’ll need to submit your BOI report to FinCEN within 30 days of formation. If you file your Articles of Organization before 2024, you will have nearly a full year to file your report, which is due by January 1, 2025.
FinCEN requires you to report general information about your company. Your BOI report should include:
- Your LLC’s legal name and any registered DBAs or trade names
- A Tax ID number, usually an EIN
- The Jurisdiction where you formed your LLC
- Your LLC’s principal place of business
You will also need provide information about your company’s beneficial owners and company applicants.
- A beneficial owner is anyone who has “substantial control” over your company. This includes your LLC’s members and anyone else who owns or controls at least 25% of the company.
- A company applicant is the person who filed the documents with the state to form your LLC and, if different, the person who directed or controlled the filing.
Information needs be reported about each beneficial owner and company applicant. FinCEN requires their full legal name, date of birth, residential address, and copy of identification. The photograph of the identification needs to show the ID number, the jurisdiction where it was issued, and the ID image. FinCEN accepts state-issued driver’s licenses, US passports, foreign passports, and state, local, or tribe-issued ID.
Pay Your Taxes
One of the great advantages to forming an LLC is that the company itself will not have to pay corporate taxes. LLCs are considered pass-through entities, meaning that the company’s income “passes through” to the members, who are then responsible for paying any state and federal taxes on their personal tax returns. This is particularly advantageous for Missouri LLC owners because of the state’s low income tax. Personal income tax rates range from 2% to 4.95%, which is a steal in comparison to some other states. For example, in California personal income tax rates can reach as high as 12.3%.
Open a Bank Account for Your LLC
LLCs are a wonderful way to separate you from your business and provide liability protection. However, you can risk losing that protection if you don’t also separate your personal finances from your LLC’s. This is why opening a separate bank account for your business is very important.
Most banks require the following documents in order to open a business bank account:
- Your LLC’s EIN
- A copy of your LLC’s Articles of Organization
- A copy of your LLC’s operating agreement
However, your bank may also require other documentation, so make sure you check in to see what you’ll need before trying to open an account.
Why Hire Missouri Registered Agent LLC?
We know there are other companies out there that will file your formation documents and start your Missouri LLC. But hiring a local registered agent to form your business means you’ll be working with someone who works with business filings every day. We maintain a close relationship with the Missouri Corporations Divisions and know precisely how they want their documents filled out and submitted.
Not only is it in our best interest to process your business filing properly, but we also want to continue to offer the best service on your behalf year after year for the life of your business. A lot of companies who offer business formation see you only as a one-time customer, but we want to be here for you, year after year for the life of your business.$192 Total - Done in 6 Minutes