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How to Start an LLC in Missouri: 2024 Step-by-Step Guide

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Using an LLC Formation Service

Small business entrepreneurs can benefit from online LLC services to establish their Limited Liability Companies (LLC). These services will help file the necessary documents, allowing small business owners to focus on running their businesses. They have features like guaranteed acceptance by the state, assistance with the EIN application, registered agent service, and drafting of operating agreements. Online LLC services can be a reasonable and worthwhile cost.

Business owners can customize these packages to suit their individual needs. If you want to compare services and costs before deciding, you can choose from several options. Northwest Registered Agent, Swiftfilings, and Bizee LLC services are the most popular choices and have the best ratings.

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Starting a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Missouri is essential for entrepreneurs. LLCs are popular choices for small business owners because they offer flexibility, limited liability protection, and potential tax advantages. Simply, it means your stuff (like your house or car) isn’t at risk if your business faces legal issues. This guide offers a step-by-step breakdown to ensure you can successfully set up your LLC in Missouri.

Step 1: Choose a Business Name

The first step in creating your LLC is picking a unique name. Your LLC’s name identifies your business and plays a vital role in branding. In Missouri, your LLC name must include “Limited Liability Company” or its abbreviations (LLC or LLC). 

Here are the guidelines you must follow: 

  • Must include “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Company,” or abbreviations like “LLC” or “L.C.”
  • It can be different from other business names registered in Missouri
  • It must end with “Limited Liability Company” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or LLC).

It can differ from existing business names registered in Missouri. You’ll need to check the availability on the Missouri Secretary of State’s website or do a quick, free name check to see if your chosen name is available. If you are considering getting a website name that matches your business name, You can find good deals for your domain names on Namecheap.

Step 2: Hire a Registered Agent

Like in other states, your LLC must have a registered agent in Missouri. A registered agent is a person or company that agrees to receive legal papers on behalf of your LLC, ensuring you get all important legal notices. The agent must have a physical address in Missouri and be available during business hours. You can act as your registered agent, choose someone you trust, or hire a professional service like Northwest Registered Agent, Swiftfilings, or Bizee.

Check out our blog: ‘Is a Registered Agent Necessary? Your Guide to Finding an Affordable Option

Step 3: File Your Articles of Organization in Missouri 

The cornerstone of creating your LLC in Missouri is filing the Articles of Organization with the Missouri Secretary of State. This document registers your LLC with the state and includes important details about your business.

What to Include in Your Articles of Organization:

  • LLC Name: Ensure you include the full legal name of your LLC, followed by “LLC” or “Limited Liability Company.”
  • Mailing Address: If your business receives mail at a location different from its physical address, list that here.
  • Registered Agent: Designate a registered agent who will handle official documents for your LLC. Include their full name, address, and contact information. They must formally agree to act as your registered agent.
  • Management Structure: Indicate whether your LLC will be member-managed (by you and any other owners) or manager-managed. List the names and addresses of the members or managers. For privacy, you may use a P.O. box for addresses.
  • Purpose: Provide a brief description of your business.
  • LLC Organizer: Identify the person or entity completing and filing your work. This role is crucial for correctly setting up your LLC.
  • Formation Date: Specify the date your LLC will officially begin. You can set this to the filing date or choose a date up to 90 days.
  • Signing: Ensure all information is accurate before signing. The form must be signed by either an LLC member, manager, or organizer.

How to Send Your Form:

  • Online: Submit your Articles of Organization through the Missouri Secretary of State’s online filing system for the fastest processing. This user-friendly platform ensures quick document submission and payment.
  • By Mail: If you prefer, you can file by mail. Please fill out the Articles of Organization form and mail it with the required fee to the Corporations Division, P.O. Box 778, Jefferson City, MO 65102.
  • In-Person: You can also file in person. Take your completed Articles of Organization to the 600 W. Main Street office, Room 322, Jefferson City, MO.

Filing Fee: The cost is $50 for online submissions and $105 for submissions by mail.

When creating an LLC in Missouri, filing the Articles of Organization wholly and accurately is crucial. This ensures a smoother approval process. Be sure to provide all the necessary information.

Step 4: Making an Operating Agreement for Your Business

Let’s discuss setting up some ground rules for your business. This is where an Operating Agreement comes in. Think of it as a handbook that explains how your business runs. It’s important because it helps everyone understand their role and what’s expected in your LLC.

Here’s what an Operating Agreement usually includes:

  • Ownership: This part talks about who owns what percentage of the business. 
  • Member’s Rights and Responsibilities: Here, you’ll write down what each person in the LLC can and cannot do and what they’re responsible for. It’s like a job description for each member.
  • Joining & Leaving: This section covers how new people can enter your business and what happens if someone decides to leave. It’s good to have this figured out so there are no surprises later.
  • Dissolution: This might sound a bit gloomy, but it’s practical. It’s about how to close down the LLC if you ever need to. It includes the steps to take and how to handle everything when wrapping up the business.

Creating an Operating Agreement is a smart move. It keeps things clear and organized so everyone knows what to expect, and it can save you a lot of time. 

Step 5: Getting Your EIN from the IRS

Your business needs a number called an EIN from the IRS. It’s like an ID number for your business. This number will help you as an identification number when getting bank accounts and credit accounts, filing taxes, and hiring employees.

It’s free, and you can get it from the IRS website.

Step 6: Steps After Forming Your LLC 

Open a Business Bank Account 

Keeping your personal and business finances separate is crucial for financial management and legal protection. Opening a business bank account requires your EIN and Articles of Organization. It makes tracking business expenses easier and simplifies tax filing.

Get a Business Credit Card

A business credit card is an excellent tool for handling business purchases and can help build your company’s credit history. Just like with personal credit, a good business credit score can make it easier to get loans and may qualify you for better terms. Visit our website to see our favorite business cards review.  


Check out our blog: Novo Review: The Best Business Banking Account in 2024?

Hire an Accountant

Managing finances can get complicated, especially as your business grows. An accountant can help you navigate tax laws, handle bookkeeping, and plan for financial growth. This professional guidance can save you time and money in the long run.

Create a Professional Website 

A website makes your business look legit. WordPress is a great tool to build your site. You can check out SiteGround or Hostinger for web hosting. They’re both good options to get your site up and running.

Missouri LLC: Permits, Licenses, Tax Requirements, and Annual Reporting

Following the state’s regulations after establishing your LLC in Missouri is essential to ensure your business thrives. This includes obtaining the necessary permits and licenses, understanding your tax obligations, and fulfilling annual reporting requirements. Complying with these regulations can help your business grow and succeed.

Obtain Any Additional Permits and Licenses

The specific permits and licenses required for your Missouri LLC will depend on the nature of your business activities and its location:

  • Local Business Licenses: Check with the city or county clerk’s office where your LLC is located for local business license requirements.
  • Professional Licenses: Some professional services in Missouri may require a license issued by the state. Specific state boards or agencies usually manage these licenses.
  • Health Permits: Businesses in the food service, healthcare, or beauty service industries may need health permits, which can be obtained from the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services or local health departments.

Tax Requirements in Missouri

Proper management of your LLC’s tax obligations is crucial:

  • Employer Taxes: If you have employees, register for Unemployment Insurance Tax through the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations and for Employee Withholding Tax through the Missouri Department of Revenue.
  • State Taxes: Missouri LLCs are treated as pass-through entities for tax purposes. If your LLC sells goods or specific services, you must register for a Sales Tax Permit with the Missouri Department of Revenue.
  • EIN: All LLCs need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS for tax purposes, hiring employees, and opening a business bank account.

Annual Reporting in Missouri

Maintaining good standing with the state requires filing an annual report:

  • Filing Requirements: Missouri LLCs must file an annual report with the Secretary of State.
  • Fees and Filing: The annual report can be filed online with a $20 filing fee, ensuring your LLC remains compliant and in good standing.

Following these permits, licenses, tax obligations, and annual reporting guidelines, your Missouri LLC will be well-positioned for successful operations in compliance with state laws. For the most current information and detailed guidance, visit the official Missouri Secretary of State website, and the Missouri Department of Revenue website is advisable. 

New 2024 Reporting Requirements (BOI)

Effective from January 1, 2024

Big news! Starting January 1, 2024, there are new reporting requirements for both domestic and foreign reporting companies. This includes LLCs, corporations, and other entities. Here’s what you need to know:

First Report Deadlines:

  • Existing Entities: If your LLC was already around before 2024, you’ve got until January 1, 2025, to submit your first report.
  • New Entities: If you’re forming your LLC in 2024, you must file your report within 90 days of your company’s creation.

Who Needs to Report:

  • Domestic Reporting Companies: This includes LLCs and similar entities within the U.S.
  • Foreign Reporting Companies: Entities registered foreign entities must also adhere to these new rules.

Exceptions to Reporting:

  • For specific exceptions, you’ll want to refer to the Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Regulations at 31 CFR § 1010.380(c)(2) and the Small Entity Compliance Guide.

What Must Be Reported

What you need to report is all about transparency. The exact details can be found in the compliance guide, but it generally involves information about your LLC’s ownership and control.

When Must Reporting File Reports

Remember, if you’re an existing entity, your deadline is January 1, 2025. For new LLCs formed in 2024, it’s within 90 days of creation.

Filing Reports & Noncompliance Penalties

Starting January 1, 2024, all BOI reports must be filed electronically. Here are some critical points:

  • Filing Before the Date: You must file on January 1, 2024.
  • Accuracy: Filer certification of accuracy is mandatory – you need to double-check that everything you report is correct and accurate.

Penalties for Noncompliance:

  • False Information Penalties: Mistakes or misinformation can lead to a fine of up to $10,000 or up to 2 years in prison.
  • Penalties: If you slip up here, you could face a fine of up to $10,000 or even imprisonment for up to 2 years.
  • FinCEN’s Approach: The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) focuses on education and outreach to ensure compliance. 
  • Safe Harbor Rule: Did you make a mistake? If you discover inaccuracies in your initial report, you have a 90-day grace period to submit a corrected report.

If you need more information or specific guidance, please visit the FinCEN website for all the details.

Starting an LLC in Missouri in 2024 is simple if you follow these steps. This business structure protects your assets, potential tax benefits, and the flexibility to run your business your way. Remember to check in with the Missouri Secretary of State and other relevant agencies to stay informed about any changes in laws or requirements. If you need help, services like Northwest Registered Agent, Swiftfiling, or Bizee exist. They can handle any legal details your LLC requires, like getting your EIN and sorting out your operating agreement.

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