How to Start an LLC in Missouri | 2023 Guide

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Start a LLC in Missouri

How to Start an LLC in Missouri: If you’re looking to launch a business in Missouri, starting a Limited Liability Company (LLC) may be the right choice for you. An LLC provides personal liability protection for its owners while giving them flexibility in managing and taxing the business. This guide provides a step-by-step process for starting an LLC in Missouri. From choosing a unique name to registering with the state and obtaining necessary licenses and permits, Webinarcare Editorial Team will walk you through setting up your new business entity. So grab a pen and paper, and let’s get started!

What is a Limited Liability Company?

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a type of business entity that combines a corporation’s limited liability protection with a partnership’s tax benefits. LLCs are popular among small business owners for their flexibility and ease of formation. In Missouri, an LLC must have a unique name and file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. Depending on their business needs, LLCs may also elect to be taxed as a corporation or an S-corp. Owners of an LLC, called members, are not personally liable for the company’s debts and losses, and the company’s profits and losses are passed through to the member’s personal tax returns. This makes an LLC an attractive option for those seeking personal liability protection and simplified taxation.

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Steps on How to Start an LLC in Missouri

To form an LLC for your business, you must follow the guidelines that include naming your LLC, hiring a Registered Agent, filing your Articles of Organization, creating your LLC operating agreement, getting an employer identification number, opening a bank account and getting business licenses and permits.

Step 1: Name your LLC in Missouri

After you have decided on the idea to form an LLC in Missouri, deciding the name for your LLC is significant. There is a complete guide on LLC name guidelines for you to have a proper LLC business name. Here are some regulations you must follow while naming your LLC,

  • The name should not be confused with a government entity.
  • The name should be unique.
  • The name should be available to use.
  • Any other business does not use the name.
  • The new name must include “LLC” if it is a limited liability company.

In Missouri, if you do not wish to file your LLC right away but want to hold the name that you have decided on, then you can reserve your LLC name for 60 days. You must file a name reservation application in Missouri Secretary of State to keep the name. 

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You can register your business under a different legal name if your preferred name isn’t available. Once you have chosen a name, you can submit an application for filing Missouri DBA (doing business as). In this manner, you can choose any name you desire for your business. A DBA allows a company to operate under the name of the person or entity who owns it. If you have decided to file for a DBA, you can file it in three methods, online, by mail, and in person filing. However, before filing a DBA, you should know that you need to renew your DBA from up to five years, which costs around $7.

Step 2: Hire a Registered Agent in Missouri

Hiring a Registered Agent in Missouri is a must since a Registered Agent is a person or business entity responsible for receiving important legal documents on behalf of your Missouri LLC. Most states require you to designate a Registered Agent when forming your LLC. 

The qualifications of a Registered Agent vary depending on the jurisdiction. Still, generally, a Registered Agent must meet the following criteria:

  • Availability: A Registered Agent must be available during regular business hours to receive and process legal documents and official correspondence.
  • Physical Address: A Registered Agent must have a physical street address within the state where the LLC is registered. This address, known as the registered office, cannot be a P.O. Box.
  • Residency or Authorization: For individuals serving as Registered Agent, they must be residents of the Missouri where the LLC was formed. A business entity acting as a Registered Agent must be authorized to do business within that state.
  • Age: A Registered Agent must be at least 18 years old.
  • Good standing: A Registered Agent should not have any legal or financial issues that impede their ability to fulfill their duties.

Choosing a reliable and responsible Registered Agent is essential, as failure to receive and respond to legal documents can seriously affect your business. Some businesses use professional Registered Agent services to ensure compliance and proper handling of legal matters.

However, if you would like to have an easier process in filing the necessary documents, you can get Missouri Registered Agent Services.

Step 3: File your Articles of Organization in Missouri

The Articles of Organization for an LLC is an important document to start your limited liability company (LLC). Missouri Articles of Organization is a simple document that contains the business name and address as well as the name and address of the person who received lawsuits on behalf of the organization. 

Here are the guidelines and specific requirements in filing your Articles of Organization in Missouri.

1. Obtain the Necessary Forms: Visit the Missouri’s business filing office website, usually the Missouri Secretary of State’s office, to download the required forms or file online. 

2. Provide the Required Information: Fill in the necessary details in the form, which typically include:

  • The name of your LLC (must include an LLC designator such as “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” or “Limited Liability Company”)
  • The purpose of your LLC (a general statement or specific business activities)
  • The address of your LLC’s principal place of business
  • The name and address of your registered agent (the person or business entity responsible for receiving legal documents on behalf of your LLC)
  • The management structure of your LLC (member-managed or manager-managed)
  • The duration of your LLC, if not perpetual
  • The names and addresses of the LLC’s organizers or members

3. Sign and File the Form: Submit the completed form in the {state} state office, either by mail, in person, or online. You may mail it at Corporations Unit, James C. Kirkpatrick State Information Center, P.O. Box 778, Jefferson City, MO 65102.

4. Pay the Filing Fee: When you submit your Articles of Organization, you’ll need to pay a filing fee of $105. Make sure to check and include the correct payment with your submission.

5. Receive Confirmation: After your Articles of Organization have been filed and processed, you’ll receive a confirmation from Missouri, typically a stamped and approved copy of the document or a Articles of Organization.

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Once you have successfully filed your Articles of Organization and it has been approved, your Missouri LLC is officially formed. However, remember to complete additional steps, such as creating an Operating Agreement, obtaining an EIN, and registering for any required licenses and permits.

Step 4: Create Your Missouri Operating Agreement

An operating agreement is a document that contains all of your company’s organizational details. Drafting an operating agreement in most states is not required. Yet, having one as an internal document is strongly advised. An operating agreement includes information like-

  • About Business
  • Members and management
  • Capital contribution
  • Profit Distribution
  • Change of membership
  • Dissolution

To understand how an operating agreement works, you should check out how to create an operating agreement in Missouri.

Recommended: Get oprating agreement drafts ready on your table with a help of a professional service. We recommend using –

LegalZoom – ($0 + State Fee for LLC formation)

Step 5: Get an EIN

After documenting the operating agreement, you should get or request an Employer Identification Number (EIN) in Missouri. An EIN will serve as the tax ID for your professional corporation. EIN can be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It is a 9-digit number similar to Social Security Number. EIN, however, is distinct from SSN. It is only used for business-related activities, particularly for submitting general taxes. The form must be completed and uploaded to the IRS website. 

The application of an EIN in Missouri can be through the following:

  • Apply Online- The online EIN application is the preferred method for customers to apply for and obtain an EIN.
  • Apply by Fax- Taxpayers can fax the completed Form SS-4 application to the appropriate fax number), after ensuring that the Form SS-4 contains all of the required information.
  • Apply by Mail- The EIN application Form SS-4 can be filed via mail. The processing time frame to receive the mail is four weeks.
  • Apply by Telephone-International Applicants – International applicants may call 267-941-1099 (not a toll-free number) from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday to obtain their EIN.

In obtaining an EIN for your LLC, you should be aware to ensure that your LLC is eligible for an EIN. You need an EIN if you have employees, operate as a corporation or partnership, or meet other specific IRS criteria. Before applying, gather the required information, including your LLC’s name, mailing address, and the responsible party’s Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Also, you can apply for an EIN through various methods, including online, by fax, mail, or telephone (for international applicants).

Recommended: Professional services have the EIN included in their LLC formation package. We recommend using –

LegalZoom – ($0 + State Fee for LLC formation)

Step 6: Open a Bank Account and Prepare for Taxes

After you have filed for and received your Employer Identification Number, you should open a bank account because you will use this account for yourself, your clients, and your employees.

Your business dealings in Missouri might be simpler with a US business bank account because it boosts your company’s legitimacy and liquidity. Most banks demand an EIN to create a business bank account for firms other than sole proprietorships. Also, having an EIN makes tax preparation easier. You can anticipate paying employment and corporate taxes with Missouri LLC.

Opening a bank account is necessary for Missouri business. If you are still wondering where to open an account in your Missouri, you should check the Best Bank for Small Business in Missouri.

Step 7: Get a Business and License Permit

You must get a business license in Missouri before establishing your LLC. A business license is a legal document granted by a state government body that permits you to conduct business within the area under its jurisdiction. The price of business licenses and permits in Missouri ranges from $50 – $300. If there is a requirement for a specific license or city-based permit, you must inquire with the Missouri Secretary of State.

Cost to Form an LLC in Missouri

Even if you have a business name and structure in mind, you should consider whether you can afford the costs of forming an LLC in Missouri. Articles of Organization costs around $105. The initial filing fee is $105 (by mail and $50 online), and the annual fee is $7. 

If you forget to pay the annual fee for your Missouri LLC, you will have a penalty of $15. However, you can check the Missouri LLC Cost for additional information.

Advantages of Creating Missouri LLC

Even though some people decide on what to do with their businesses, some choose to put it in their own individual name, while others still choose to set it up via LLC in Missouri. Important benefits will help you set up an LLC in Missouri. 

  • Pass-Through Taxation: The pass-through structure will make the company not pay twice the tax. Most start-ups and entrepreneurs in Missouri apply for an LLC because of this structure. Pass-through taxation refers to how income and losses from an LLC (Limited Liability Company) are passed through to its members (owners) for tax purposes rather than being taxed at the business entity level. This means the LLC does not pay federal income taxes; the members’ profits and losses are allocated based on their interests. Each member then reports their share of the LLC’s income or losses on their personal tax returns and pays taxes at their individual tax rates.
  • Ownership Flexibility: If you need sole and primary control over your company’s operations, a sole proprietorship will allow you to do so. If you apply for an LLC in Missouri with flexibility, you will have default rules set by law and need an operating agreement.
  • Personal Liability Protection: Personal Liability Protection protects your business from damage, debts, or legal obligations. In personal liability protection, the company’s profits and earnings will stay as is even if your company is about to be sued. This protection of having an LLC in Missouri can also be extended to the company’s properties and assets. Many start-up companies will benefit from this since most are starting to build a company. Even if liability exists, the LLC in Missouri will protect its assets. 


What is an LLC?
LLC stands for Limited Liability Company. It is a type of business structure that provides personal liability protection for its members.
How do I form an LLC in Missouri?
To form an LLC in Missouri, you will need to file articles of organization with the Missouri Secretary of State.
Can I form an LLC on my own or do I need an attorney?
You can form an LLC on your own, but it is recommended to consult with an attorney to ensure that all legal requirements are being met.
Does Missouri require a business license for LLCs?
Yes, Missouri requires all businesses, including LLCs, to obtain a license.
What is the cost to form an LLC in Missouri?
The filing fee to form an LLC in Missouri is $50.
How long does it take to form an LLC in Missouri?
The processing time for forming an LLC in Missouri generally takes around 3-5 business days.
Can I operate my Missouri LLC in another state?
Yes, you can operate your Missouri LLC in another state by registering as a foreign LLC in that state.
Do I need to file annual reports for my Missouri LLC?
Yes, Missouri LLCs are required to file annual reports and pay a fee of $25.
What is an operating agreement? Do I need one for my Missouri LLC?
An operating agreement is a legal document that outlines the ownership and operating procedures of an LLC. While an operating agreement is not required in Missouri, it is recommended.
Can a single person form an LLC in Missouri?
Yes, Missouri allows for single-member LLCs.
What tax forms do I need for my Missouri LLC?
Missouri requires LLCs to file a Form MO-1065 for partnership income tax, or a Form MO-1120 for corporate income tax.
Can I change the name of my Missouri LLC after it’s formed?
Yes, you can change the name of your Missouri LLC by filing a Name Change Amendment with the Missouri Secretary of State.
How do I dissolve my Missouri LLC?
To dissolve your Missouri LLC, you will need to file Articles of Termination with the Missouri Secretary of State.
Can a foreign individual own an LLC in Missouri?
Yes, a foreign individual can own an LLC in Missouri.
Do I need to file for a Certificate of Good Standing for my Missouri LLC?
A Certificate of Good Standing may be required to obtain financing or to do business in another state. You can obtain one from the Missouri Secretary of State.
Can I start an LLC with no money?
Yes, it is possible to start an LLC with no money but you will still be required to pay the $50 filing fee to the Missouri Secretary of State.
How many people are needed to start an LLC in Missouri?
Only one person is needed to start a Missouri LLC.
What is the difference between an LLC and a corporation?
LLCs and corporations both provide personal liability protection for their owners, but LLCs offer more flexibility in terms of ownership and taxation.
Does Missouri have any unique requirements for forming an LLC?
Missouri does not have any unique requirements for forming an LLC.
Do Missouri LLCs need to have a registered agent?
Yes, Missouri LLCs are required to have a registered agent that is authorized to receive legal mail and official documents.
Can a foreign LLC do business in Missouri?
Yes, foreign LLCs can do business in Missouri by registering as a foreign entity with the Missouri Secretary of State.
What happens if I don’t file an annual report for my Missouri LLC?
If you don’t file an annual report, your Missouri LLC may be dissolved.
Can I change the ownership structure of my Missouri LLC after it’s formed?
Yes, you can change the ownership structure of your Missouri LLC by amending the articles of organization with the Missouri Secretary of State.
Do Missouri LLCs need to have an EIN?
If your LLC has employees or will be taxed as a partnership or a corporation, you will need to obtain an EIN from the IRS.
Does Missouri require LLCs to maintain a business bank account?
There is no legal requirement for Missouri LLCs to maintain a business bank account, but it is recommended for accounting and liability purposes.
Can I be personally liable for my Missouri LLC’s debts?
No, as long as your LLC is in good standing and you have maintained separation between personal and business finances, your personal liability is limited.
What are the annual fees for a Missouri LLC?
The annual fee for a Missouri LLC is $50.
Can I manage my Missouri LLC myself without hiring anyone?
Yes, as the owner of an LLC, you may act as the manager and take control of day-to-day operations without the need for additional hiring.
Does Missouri allow for Series LLCs?
No, Missouri doesn’t provide the option for Series LLC or type of LLC.
What is an LLC in Missouri?
LLC in Missouri is a limited liability company, a business structure that combines the flexibility of a partnership with the limited liability of a corporation.
Who can start an LLC in Missouri?
Any individual, group of individuals, or entities interested in conducting business activities in Missouri can start an LLC in the state.
What is the cost to start an LLC in Missouri?
It costs $50 to file Articles of Organization for a Missouri LLC.
Can I file articles of organization in person in Missouri?
Yes, you can file articles of organization in person in Missouri by visiting the Secretary of State’s office.
How long does it take to start an LLC in Missouri?
It usually takes 3-5 business days to process a completed Articles of Organization filing for an LLC in Missouri; expedited filing is available for an additional fee.
Can I name my LLC anything I want in Missouri?
No, some names are prohibited in Missouri, such as anything that suggests connection with a government agency or infringes on someone else’s trademark.
What is a registered agent and does my Missouri LLC need one?
A registered agent accepts legal and official documents on behalf of an LLC and must be appointed at the time of formation in Missouri.
Can I act as my LLC’s registered agent in Missouri?
Yes, you can act as your own LLC’s registered agent in Missouri if you are a legal resident of the state, have a physical street address in Missouri, and are available during normal business hours.
Can I change the registered agent for my LLC in Missouri if necessary?
Yes, you can change the registered agent for your LLC in Missouri by filing a Change of Registered Agent form with the Secretary of State’s office.
Does Missouri require LLCs to have an operating agreement?
No, Missouri does not require LLCs to have an operating agreement; however, it is still a good idea to have one in place.
What should be included in an LLC operating agreement in Missouri?
An LLC operating agreement in Missouri can include provisions to describe the management structure, membership rights, profit and loss distribution, and other operating rules and regulations.
Can I draft my own operating agreement for my Missouri LLC?
Yes, if you are comfortable drafting legal documents, you can draft your own operating agreement for your Missouri LLC.
Do I need to obtain a business license to operate an LLC in Missouri?
It depends on the nature of your business, as some activities may require specific licenses and permits in Missouri.
What taxes does an LLC in Missouri have to pay?
An LLC in Missouri has to pay state and federal income tax, as well as personal property tax and sales tax (if applicable).
Can I elect my Missouri LLC to be taxed as an S Corporation?
Yes, Missouri LLCs can elect to be taxed as an S Corporation if certain requirements are met.
How do I file taxes for my Missouri LLC?
You need to file a Missouri annual report and a federal tax return for your Missouri LLC by the due dates.
Do I need to file my Missouri LLC’s annual report every year?
Yes, LLCs in Missouri are required to file their annual reports every year, which are due before April 1st.
Can I access other LLC formation documents online in Missouri?
Yes, Missouri’s Secretary of State website provides access to various other LLC documents online, including amendments and statement of correction filings.
What happens to my Missouri LLC if I don’t file annual reports?
Your Missouri LLC may be administratively dissolved or terminated if you fail to file annual reports as required (and pay any associated fees).
What is the name reservation process for Missouri LLCs?
You can reserve your LLC’s name in Missouri for a period of up to 60 days by filing an Application for Name Reservation and paying the filing fee.
How do I change my Missouri LLC’s name?
You can change your Missouri LLC’s name by filing an Amendment to Articles of Organization and paying the filing fee.
Can I foreign qualify my out-of-state LLC in Missouri?
Yes, you can foreign qualify your out-of-state LLC in Missouri by filing a foreign registration application and appointing a registered agent in Missouri.
What is the difference between a foreign LLC and a domestic LLC in Missouri?
A domestic LLC is formed in Missouri, while a foreign LLC is formed outside of Missouri and registers to do business in the state.
Can I appoint officers for my Missouri LLC?
Yes, you can appoint officers for your Missouri LLC in accordance with the provisions of your LLC’s operating agreement and state law.
Are there any Missouri-specific regulations for LLCs owned by veterans, minorities, or women?
Missouri does not have any specific LLC regulations for businesses owned by veterans, minorities, or women, but there are other support systems in place for these groups.
Can I manage my Missouri LLC from outside of the state?
Yes, you can manage your Missouri LLC from outside of the state, but you must appoint a registered agent in the state to accept official documents.
What is the role of an operating agreement in a Missouri LLC?
An operating agreement sets out the rules and procedures for running your Missouri LLC and aids in preventing disputes between members.
What is Missouri’s statutory limitation on liability for LLC members/managers/directors/officers?
Section 347.135 RSMo. limits the liability of an LLC’s members to their capital contribution, so they don’t become personally liable for the LLC’s debts.

Also Read

How Fast Can I Form an LLC in Missouri

One of the key factors that can impact the speed of forming an LLC in Missouri is your preparedness with all the necessary documentation. Before starting the filing process, you should ensure that you have a clear understanding of all the documents that will be required. This includes drafting and finalizing your LLC’s Articles of Organization, which typically outline the company’s name, address, purpose, and other vital information.

Additionally, you will need to appoint a Registered Agent, an individual or entity responsible for receiving and handling legal documents on behalf of the LLC, and obtain the necessary licenses and permits relevant to your industry. It is crucial to gather all these documents and requirements before initiating the formation process to avoid any unnecessary delays.

Once you have all the necessary paperwork in order, you can commence the filing process with the Missouri Secretary of State. This can generally be done online, enabling a swift submission of your LLC’s Articles of Organization. While the online option offers convenience and expedites the processing time, it’s important to ensure that all information provided is accurate, as incomplete or incorrect submissions can lead to delays or even the rejection of your application.

The processing time for an LLC formation in Missouri, from the point of filing, can range from a few days to a few weeks. However, some expedited options are available for those in urgent need, such as the Secretary of State’s expedited filing service. By paying an additional fee, you can fast-track your LLC formation process, which may be especially beneficial for entrepreneurs under time constraints.

Nevertheless, it’s important to note that while forming an LLC may be a relatively quick process, ensuring full compliance and understanding of the legal obligations should not be rushed. The formation of an LLC is just the first step towards building a successful business. After receiving your LLC certificate, there are various additional tasks to complete, such as obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) and preparing an Operating Agreement (though not required by Missouri law).

Furthermore, consulting with legal and business professionals experienced in LLC formation is often recommended to ensure accuracy and navigate potential complexities. Identifying experts who can guide you through the various aspects of forming an LLC can not only speed up the process but also help establish a strong foundation for your business, increasing the likelihood of long-term success.

In summary, while forming an LLC in Missouri can generally be accomplished within a reasonable timeframe, it is crucial for entrepreneurs to be adequately prepared and ensure the accuracy of their submitted documents. By following the necessary steps, entrepreneurs can effectively expedite the formation process and focus on making their business prosper in the Show-Me State.


In conclusion, starting an LLC in Missouri is a strategic choice for entrepreneurs seeking a flexible, straightforward business structure with limited liability protection. By following the essential steps, including choosing a business name, filing Articles of Organization, appointing a Registered Agent, creating an Operating Agreement, obtaining an EIN, and securing the necessary licenses and permits, you can successfully establish your LLC. This business structure offers numerous advantages, such as pass-through taxation and ownership flexibility, making it an attractive option for small business owners looking to grow and protect their ventures. As always, consult legal and business professionals for guidance specific to your situation and state requirements.

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