Forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Missouri is an easy process, but it involves a few steps.
Start an Missouri LLC for $0 + state fee
To form an LLC in Missouri for free + state fee, we have listed 3 options to consider:
You can go online and visit the Missouri Secretary of State’s website and do it yourself or you can use the ‘free’ service from Incfile or ZenBusiness.
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Forming an LLC in Missouri for $0 (DIY Summary)
Here’s a brief step-by-step guide to help you through the DIY process, along with relevant links to official resources:
Step 1: Choose a Name for Your LLC
Choosing a unique and memorable name for your LLC is the first step in the formation process. The name should comply with Missouri’s naming requirements and should not be similar to any existing business entities.
Step 2: File Articles of Organization
File the Articles of Organization with the Missouri Secretary of State to officially form your LLC. You can either file online or submit the form by mail.
Include the required information such as the LLC’s name, address, registered agent, and the purpose of the company.
Step 3: Appoint a Missouri Registered Agent
Every Missouri LLC is required to have a registered agent. This person or entity is responsible for accepting legal documents on behalf of the LLC.
The registered agent must have a physical address in Missouri.
Step 4: Create an LLC Operating Agreement
While not required by law, it’s recommended to create an operating agreement for your LLC.
This document outlines the ownership and management structure of the company and clarifies the rights and responsibilities of the members.
It can help prevent disputes and provide a clear framework for decision-making.
Step 5: Obtain an EIN
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a federal tax identification number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Most LLCs will need an EIN, which is used for tax purposes, opening bank accounts, and hiring employees. You can obtain an EIN from the IRS website.
Step 6: Comply with Missouri Tax and Regulatory Requirements
Ensure you understand and comply with all the necessary tax and regulatory requirements in Missouri.
This may include obtaining state and local licenses and permits, registering for state taxes, and fulfilling any other obligations specific to your industry.
Step 7: File Annual Reports
Missouri LLCs are required to file an Annual Report with the Secretary of State. This report includes basic information about the LLC and its members.
Failure to file the report on time may result in penalties or the loss of good standing.
Links to Missouri government websites that provide information and resources for forming an LLC in Missouri:
- Missouri Business Portal – Starting a Business: https://business.mo.gov/starting-a-business
- Missouri Department of Revenue – Business Tax Registration: https://dor.mo.gov/business/register
- Missouri Division of Professional Registration: https://pr.mo.gov/
- Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations – Employer Information: https://labor.mo.gov/employers
Extended Version and Guide
Although forming an LLC is a straightforward process there are some differences between states that you should be aware of. This guide will help you avoid any potential problems when setting up an LLC in Missouri.
Find out everything you need to start a Missouri LLC.
If you want to use an LLC formation service, visit our list of the best LLC services in Missouri.
Establishing an LLC in Missouri
You will need to address a few things before you file LLC paperwork. They are crucial to the success of your business entity being set up and to avoiding costly delays. These sections provide more information.
Learn about the Missouri Limited Liability Company Act
The Missouri Limited Liability Company Act has been in effect since 1997. It sets the rules for LLCs within the state. This act does a great job in separating LLCs from corporations and outlines what you can expect regarding LLC formation.
You should also check periodically for changes in laws that could affect how your LLC is taxed or recognized.
Verify the availability and reserve of your LLC business name
Before you file your LLC documents, ensure that your business name is available. Double-checking is easy with the Secretary of State’s business entity search tool.
You can submit an Application to Reservation of Name form if you have settled on a preferred name but need more time to prepare your LLC filing. You will need to pay $25 for each business name that you want to keep.
Missouri allows you to keep the name for up to 60 days. After that, you will need renew your reservation. The maximum time you can keep any name is 180 days.
Register as an Agent
Missouri law requires LLCs to have a registered agent. This is a person responsible for receiving and processing legal documents for the business. An LLC owner, member, or employee can be designated as an agent. However, they must be at minimum 18 years old and have a physical address in the state.
You can also hire a person or a business to be your Missouri registered agent. Their services will cost you between $50-300 per year. To ensure you get the best long-term deal, read reviews and do your research.
Get your Missouri LLC paperwork
Once you’re ready, fill out your Articles Of Organization. There is a $105 filing fee for domestic LLCs. While you wait, fill out the Application to Register a Foreign Limited Liability Company. The $105 fee remains unchanged.
You can print the blank document to fill out later, even though it is intended for online completion. In both cases, the document must either be signed and mailed at Corporations Division, P.O. Box 778 600 W. Main St. Rm. 322, Jefferson City MO 65102. These can be filed online through the Missouri Business Registration Online portal.
What to do after setting up your LLC in Missouri
Once you have established a limited liability company, it is important to keep your business in good standing. These sections provide tips on how to manage your Missouri LLC for the long-term.
Register for an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
For most businesses, an EIN (sometimes called a Federal Tax Identification Number or Federal Employer Identification Number) is required. An EIN can be used by a single member LLC to access the owner’s Social Security Number (SSN). EINs can be used by any type of LLC. They help to protect the owner’s SSN and keep him/her private. You can get them for free at the IRS Website.
Pay your taxes
Although Missouri LLC members are not required to file annual reports and pay income taxes, you should still be aware of some important tax obligations. To be treated as a partnership, LLCs must file the Missouri Partnership Return Of Income (form MO-1065) along with the federal form 1065.
Make sure you file your LLC tax documents in accordance with how your business was formed. Remember that LLCs with one member and partnerships are treated differently from corporations.
Make an LLC Operating Agreement
Missouri requires LLCs to have an operating agreement. These agreements outline the plans for the business and the members’ intentions for how they want the business to operate. Operating agreements define the day-to-day responsibilities and which members have the most influence on how the business operates. Voting power is determined based on one’s financial investment.
An operating agreement can also be used to legitimize the business, demonstrating a detailed game plan and long-term goals.
Most Frequently Asked Questions
What is an LLC?
A limited liability company combines the flexibility and ease of a sole proprietorship or partnership structure with the greater risk protection offered by a corporate structure. LLC owners, also known as “members”, have limited liability. This means that their personal liability to the company is limited to what they have invested. It does not cover losses or debts beyond that amount.
Members of an LLC are subject to taxes by default. This is the same as for owners of a general partnership or sole proprietorship. This structure is commonly referred as a “pass through” tax structure. If the LLC meets certain criteria, it can choose to be taxed either as a C corporation C Corp, or as an S corporation (S Corp). Small business owners prefer LLCs because of their simplicity and flexibility.
What is the cost of a Missouri LLC?
Missouri’s filing fee for LLCs must be paid by domestic and foreign entities.
Do I need to file an annual report on my Missouri LLC?
No. Missouri doesn’t require LLCs to file annual reports, unlike most states in the United States.
Is Missouri a state that requires me to file income tax for my LLC?
Missouri LLCs don’t pay income taxes for the most part. They are generally treated as partnerships and pass directly through individual taxes.
If the LLC has no income, do I need to file taxes?
You can treat your LLC like a corporation and all corporations must file annual corporate tax returns, regardless of whether they have earned income.
Brian Wilson is the content manager and founder of LLC Radar.
Brian grew up in North Texas, just outside of Dallas, and has a bachelor’s degree in business journalism from Southern Methodist University. Since graduating from SMU, Brian has gained over 10 years of experience in business writing for several online publications.
Brian resides in Plano, Texas and he can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org