A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is arguably the most popular business structure for budding entrepreneurs planning to start a business in Missouri. This popularity is due to the personal liability protection, flexibility, tax advantages, and other perks LLCs provide business owners.
Starting an LLC in Missouri is quite easy; it’s also one of the fastest ways to officially and legally start your Missouri business. Here, we have outlined a simple step-by-step guide for you to follow to start an LLC in Missouri.
Step 1: Decide (and Reserve) a Name for Your Missouri LLC
The first, most important step is to decide on a name for your Missouri LLC. However, you must be careful to follow the naming guidelines set by the state.
These include some important rules such as:
Your LLC name must include the words “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.” or “LLC”
Your LLC name must be unique and distinguishable from other entities in Missouri.
Your LLC name cannot include words that could confuse it with government agencies like FBI, CIA, State Department, Treasury, etc.
The use of certain restricted words (Credit Union, Attorney, Lawyer, Bank, etc.) may require additional paperwork for approval
Following these rules, you can pick a unique and distinguishable name for your Missouri LLC. You can also conduct a business name search on Missouri Secretary of State’s official website to check if your chosen name is available or not.
Also, consider checking the availability of a matching domain name and buying it, as this will help secure a relevant web address or URL for your LLC. There are plenty of free online resources to check domain name availability, like this one.
Step 2: Appoint a Missouri Registered Agent
The state requires you to appoint a registered agent to start an LLC in Missouri. Your registered agent can be an individual or a corporation licensed to do business in Missouri. Your registered agent can also be an individual within your LLC, including yourself.
Registered agents serve as a representative and available points of contact within the state for your LLC. They accept important legal documents, tax forms, official government correspondence, and notices of lawsuits on your LLC’s behalf.
According to Missouri guidelines, the registered agent must:
have a physical address in Missouri
be authorized to do business in Missouri
be available during normal business hours to receive legal documents
Hiring a registered agent service is recommended to avoid spam and ensure reduced phone calls and stress-free processing. You can find a whole list of registered agent services in Missouri by clicking here.
Step 3: Prepare and File the Articles of Organization
This is the core step for starting an LLC in Missouri because the approval of your Articles of Organization officially and legally establishes your LLC in Missouri. The articles include basic information like your LLC’s name, purpose, duration (can be perpetual), your registered agent’s contact information, the organizer’s signature, etc.
You can file it by mail, in person, or online with the Missouri Secretary of State. The filing fee for this document is $50 if you do it online and $105 for filing by mail or in person.
Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement for Your Missouri LLC
Once you file the Articles of Organization, create an operating agreement for your LLC. Missouri LLC laws require all LLCs in the state to have a written Operating Agreement.
The Operating Agreement is an internal legal document that ensures limited liability and establishes LLC members’ rights, powers, duties, liabilities, and obligations. This agreement between LLC members is recognized as a governing document by the state of Missouri. It establishes who owns your LLC and clarifies the standard operating procedures of your LLC.
You can draw up the Operating Agreement yourself, but this is not recommended. Instead, opt for a professional lawyer or find a suitable template agreement online like the ones provided here.
Step 5: Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
When you start an LLC in Missouri, you need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number (FTIN), from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This unique number is like a social security number for your LLC and helps identify your business.
You need it to open your business bank account, hire employees, and file and manage your taxes. Getting your EIN is the easiest step in starting an LLC in Missouri. You simply apply online on the official IRS website for free.
Step 6: Create Your Business Website and Start Marketing
A business website is the unofficial marketing hub of your LCC, and if you don’t invest in a good one from the start, your business may suffer among competitors. While the Missouri Secretary of State may approve your LLC officially in the state, a good business website is what approves legitimacy among audiences.
Having a robust business website will expand your reach, enhance your customer experiences, and make your business marketing more efficient. Ultimately, it helps you convert leads to prospects and gain new customers for greater profits.
It is a crucial investment that benefits you even more over time. However, if you lack the skills to create and maintain a robust business website while executing effective marketing through it, you will need help. It is a full-time job that requires expertise. Fortunately, you do not need to hire expert professionals full-time because a professional web-building service like Trady.com can help do it for you!
Trady.com is dedicated to trades and home services companies in Missouri. Partnering with Trady.com allows you to get a thoughtfully designed, robust website quickly and inexpensively while benefitting from exclusive features like online bookings and service-based billing. In addition, the platform also offers additional benefits such as scheduling, follow-ups, invoicing, reminders and website management so that you can focus on growing your business.
And the services do not stop there. Trady.com also provides high-quality and personalized marketing services to help increase web traffic, expand online reach, rise in search engine rankings, as well as promote businesses through traditional marketing channels.
Try Trady.com’s 14-day free trial to find out more.