Missouri Entity Name Search

Missouri Business Name Search (November 2023)

Before you can create a new business entity in Missouri, you must complete a Missouri Secretary of State Business Search. This is to confirm your chosen business name is unique and legally permissible.

In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the process of conducting a Missouri business entity name search, using resources from the Missouri Secretary of State’s office.

We’ll also emphasize the importance of aligning with state business regulations and ensuring no conflicts with trademarks registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Missouri Name Search Summary

How to Search for a Missouri business Name

To search for a business name availability in the state of Missouri, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the Missouri Secretary of State’s Business Services page at https://www.sos.mo.gov/business/corporations.
  2. Click on the “Business Entity Search” link under the “Business Services” section.
  3. Enter the desired business name in the “Entity Name” field and click “Search.”
  4. If the name is available, the search results will display “No Records Found” or “Available” next to the name. If the name is not available, the search results will display a list of similar or conflicting names.
  5. If you want to register the name, you can proceed with the business registration process by following the instructions provided on the website.

Here is the link to the Missouri Secretary of State’s Business Services page: https://www.sos.mo.gov/business/corporations

And here is the link to the Missouri Business Entity Search: https://bsd.sos.mo.gov/BusinessEntity/BESearch.aspx

Man doing a Missouri LLC name search on a laptop

Additional Steps

1. Trademark Search

 

When searching for a business name, it’s important to note that availability doesn’t necessarily mean the name is free to use if it’s already a registered trademark.

To avoid potential complications down the line, it’s wise to conduct a thorough trademark search using the Trademark Electronic Search System before finalizing a business name.

2. Choose a Registered Agent

After you have chosen an LLC name that is distinctive and unique, you can now choose your LLC’s Registered Agent.

3. Check if the Domain Name is Available

To check if a domain name is available, you can follow these steps:

  1. Go to a domain registrar website, such as GoDaddy.com or Namecheap.com.
  2. In the search bar on the homepage, type in the domain name you want to check.
  3. Click on the search button to see if the domain name is available or not.
  4. If the domain name is available, you will be prompted to purchase it. If it’s not available, the registrar will suggest some alternative options or you can try a different domain name.

It’s a good idea to check the availability of multiple domain name options as your first choice may already be taken.

Additionally, if you are considering registering a domain name for your business, make sure to also check for any existing trademarks that may conflict with your chosen domain name.

4. Check if Social Media Name is Available

To check if a social media name is available for a new business, you can follow these steps:

  1. Start by choosing a social media platform where you would like to create an account for your business. Some of the popular options include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and TikTok.
  2. Once you have selected the platform, go to the sign-up page and try to create an account using your desired social media name.
  3. If the name is already taken, the platform will display an error message indicating that the name is not available. In this case, you may need to consider alternative names for your social media account.
  4. If the name is available, the platform will allow you to create an account using that name.
  5. It’s important to note that just because a social media name is available, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s free to use. You should still do your due diligence to ensure that the name is not already a registered trademark or being used by another business in your industry.

5. Register Missouri Business Entity

When you complete the required documents for filing a new business entity, you then register your business and business name with the state. The state of Missouri will either approve your business name or reject it.

If you hire a good LLC service like Northwest Registered Agent, ZenBusiness or Incfile, these LLC services have business name tools available for you to do a quick search. I recommend using any of these 3 services to assist you with forming a new business. They can save you time and provide you with guidance through the formation process.

6. Register an Employer ID Number (EIN) With the IRS

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a unique nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify businesses and other entities for tax purposes.

Here’s how you can get an EIN:

  1. Determine if you need an EIN: You’ll need an EIN if you have employees, operate your business as a corporation or partnership, file employment tax returns, have a Keogh plan, or are required to file any of the following tax returns: Employment, Excise, or Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
  2. Apply for an EIN: You can apply for an EIN online, by fax, by mail, or by phone. The quickest and easiest way is to apply online through the IRS website.
  3. Provide the necessary information: When applying for an EIN, you’ll need to provide your legal name, trade name (if applicable), business address, and the type of legal structure of your business (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, LLC).
  4. Wait for your EIN: If you apply online, you can receive your EIN immediately after completing the application. If you apply by fax or mail, it can take up to four weeks to receive your EIN.

Note that there is no fee to apply for an EIN. Once you receive your EIN, be sure to keep it safe and use it on all tax documents and forms.

7. Create a Brand Logo

Creating a business logo involves several steps. Here’s a general overview of the process:

  1. Define your brand: Before you start creating a logo, you need to define your brand’s personality, values, and mission. This will help you create a logo that accurately represents your brand.
  2. Determine the design style: Decide on the design style you want for your logo. Do you want it to be modern or classic, minimalistic or intricate, colorful or monochromatic? Consider your brand personality and target audience when making this decision.
  3. Choose the colors: Pick a color palette that reflects your brand personality and complements your design style. Colors have psychological meanings and can affect how people perceive your brand.
  4. Brainstorm ideas: Brainstorm several logo design concepts based on your brand personality, values, and mission. You can use online resources for inspiration or hire a professional logo designer to create a custom logo for you.
  5. Sketch your ideas: Once you have some logo design concepts, sketch them out on paper to visualize how they might look. This can help you narrow down your options and refine your ideas.
  6. Design the logo: Use a graphic design software program like Adobe Illustrator or Canva to create your logo design. Make sure it is scalable and can be used across different mediums.
  7. Get feedback: Share your logo design with colleagues, friends, or family to get feedback. This can help you refine your design further.
  8. Finalize the logo: Once you have incorporated feedback, finalize your logo design. Be sure to use high-quality images and files for your logo.
  9. Protect your logo: If you want to protect your logo, consider trademarking it with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. This will prevent others from using a similar logo and protect your brand’s identity.

8. Write a Business Plan

Writing a business plan involves a comprehensive process that covers various aspects of your business, including the industry, market research, marketing and sales strategies, financial projections, and more. Here are some steps to guide you in writing a business plan and links to resources that can help you:

  1. Executive summary: This section provides a summary of your business plan, highlighting key information about your business, target market, products or services, and financial projections. It should be brief but comprehensive.
  2. Company description: This section describes your company’s mission, vision, values, and legal structure. It also includes information about the management team, business location, and history.
  3. Market analysis: This section provides a detailed analysis of your industry, target market, competition, and customer demographics. It also includes information about market trends and growth projections.
  4. Marketing and sales strategies: This section outlines your marketing and sales strategies, including branding, advertising, pricing, and distribution channels.
  5. Products and services: This section describes your products or services, their features and benefits, and how they will meet the needs of your target market.
  6. Financial projections: This section provides a detailed financial forecast for your business, including projected revenue, expenses, profits, and cash flow. It also includes a break-even analysis and funding requirements.

Here are some links to resources that can help you in writing a business plan:

  1. Small Business Administration (SBA): The SBA offers a step-by-step guide to writing a business plan, including templates and sample plans.
  2. SCORE: SCORE provides free business plan templates and guides, as well as mentoring and counseling services.
  3. Bplans: Bplans offers a wide variety of business plan templates, tools, and resources, including sample plans for different industries.
  4. LivePlan: LivePlan is a cloud-based software that provides business planning tools and templates, financial forecasting, and collaboration features.
  5. Canva: Canva offers a range of customizable business plan templates and design tools to help you create a professional-looking plan.

9. Open a Business Bank Account in Missouri

A bank account is generally required for a new Limited Liability Company (LLC) or corporation to separate personal finances from business finances and to establish a clear record of business transactions.

Having a separate bank account for your LLC will help you keep track of your business’s income and expenses, which will be useful for tax purposes, accounting, and financial management. It will also make it easier to accept payments from customers and pay bills, suppliers, and employees.

To open a bank account for your LLC, you will typically need to provide the following documents:

  1. Certificate of Formation: This is a legal document that shows that your LLC has been registered with the state.
  2. Operating Agreement: This document outlines the rules and procedures for running your LLC and is required by some banks.
  3. EIN (Employer Identification Number) Confirmation Letter: This is a letter from the IRS confirming your LLC’s tax identification number.
  4. Identification documents: You will need to provide personal identification documents, such as a driver’s license, passport, or state ID, and proof of address, such as a utility bill.

Note that the specific requirements for opening a bank account for an LLC may vary depending on the bank and state where you are located. It’s best to contact the bank you plan to use to inquire about their specific requirements.

Search the database for Missouri business entities to find out if the name that you are looking for is available.

When you search for a name, do not include the “LLC”. The database doesn’t care about punctuation and case-sensitive searches. You can come up with new words and phrases if the name you are looking for is already taken.

The name you are looking for for your LLC is most likely already available in the Missouri database. A name that contains geographical words could limit your company’s ability expand or relocate, but you don’t have to change it.

Missouri LLC Registered Agent

Once you’ve completed the search and have chosen a unique name for your LLC, you can choose the registered agent. A registered agent and registered office are required to file the LLC creation documents. Once you have selected the LLC registered agent, you can complete the required forms.

As P.O., you must provide a street address for your LLC’s registered office in the state where it will be operating. Boxes are not accepted. The registered agent of your LLC can be either an individual or a company that is willing to receive legal documents on behalf the company.


The registered agent should:

  • Available during business hours.
  • Anybody you know, even a close friend, can act as a registered agent. As long as they accept the responsibility for the LLC,
  • The registered agent must accept the “Service of Process,” which refers to the delivery of legal mail and documents to the LLC.
  • The registered agent of the LLC can be you. You must sign the forms and take responsibility for the task by choosing yourself.

References

http://www.sos.mo.gov/business/startBusiness#names
https://missouribusiness.net/article/business-name
https://bsd.sos.mo.gov/BusinessEntity/BESearch.aspx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  Information provided on this website is for general information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to offer legal advice specific to your business needs. If you need legal advice, you should consult with an attorney. Rankings and reviews are the personal opinions of the authors and/or editors. For questions, while starting a business, we recommend consulting with an attorney or accountant.