Starting a Security Company in Missouri | A Step-by-Step Guide

Missouri Security Company

Starting a security company can be a lucrative business opportunity in Missouri, especially in today’s world, where the demand for security services is rising. However, Missouri requires careful planning, a thorough understanding of the industry, and diligent execution to ensure success. This article will provide a comprehensive guide on how to Start a Security Company in Missouri and help you navigate the various steps involved in setting up your own Limited Liability Company.

Webinarcare Editorial Team will help you gain knowledge through thorough research and market study. Before starting your Missouri security company, all the steps in this article must guide you.

What is a Security Company in Missouri

A security company in Missouri is a business organization providing varying protection services to individuals and other businesses. These services can range from personal protection, akin to bodyguard services, to security systems for large corporations. Such companies aim to safeguard their clients’ assets by mitigating potential threats and breaches. State laws regulate them; they must obtain appropriate licenses and certifications before starting their operations.

To start a security company in Missouri, one may form a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Setting up an LLC in Missouri adds credibility to the business, protects personal assets, and often simplifies tax filing processes. With an LLC, the company’s assets and liabilities are separate from those of its owners. Therefore, the owner’s personal property cannot cover the company’s debts.

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How to Start a Security Company in Missouri

To form an LLC for a security company, there are various steps you need to be aware of, especially if you will form it in Jefferson City. Here are the necessary steps and proper guidelines for starting a security company. 

Step1: Research the Market and Competition

Before starting a security company, studying the market and competition in Missouri is essential. This will give you a better understanding of the existing security companies, their services, and their target clients. You can use various resources such as the internet, local business directories, and networking with security professionals in your area.

While researching the market, focus on identifying the demand for various security services, such as armed or unarmed security guards, alarm monitoring, and security systems installation. This will help you determine the type of services your company will offer and the target audience.

Step 2: Develop a Business Plan

A well-thought-out business plan is crucial for starting a security company in Missouri. The business plan should outline your company’s goals, target market, services, marketing strategies, and financial projections. It should also include an analysis of the competition and potential challenges your company might face.

A solid business plan will help you stay organized and focused on your objectives and will also be required when seeking financing or investment for your security company.

Step 3. Choose a Business Structure

When starting a security company in Missouri, you must choose a business structure that best suits your needs and meets the legal requirements. Here are the most common business structures to consider:

Sole Proprietorship

This is the simplest business structure, where you, as the owner, have full control over the business and are personally responsible for all debts and liabilities. This may be suitable for small security businesses with minimal risk exposure.

Partnership

Starting a limited partnership or general partnership in Missouri is also an ideal business structure since it is owned by two or more individuals who share the profits, losses, and responsibilities. This can be a good option if you’re starting a security company with a partner and want to share decision-making and financial responsibilities.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

An LLC combines a corporation’s and a partnership’s benefits. Owners, called members, have limited personal liability for the company’s debts and actions while also enjoying flexible management options. This is a popular choice for small to medium-sized security companies, as it provides some protection for personal assets.

Corporation

A corporation is a separate legal entity owned by shareholders. It provides the most protection from personal liability but also involves more regulations, paperwork, and costs to set up and maintain. Corporations in Missouri are typically more suitable for larger security companies with multiple employees and substantial assets.

When starting a security company in Missouri, consult with a Business Attorney in Missouri to determine the most suitable business structure for your specific needs and goals. We recommend to start an LLC since it offers limited liability protection for your business.

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Step 4: Register Your Business

Once you’ve chosen a business structure, register your security company with the Missouri Secretary of State. This typically involves filing the necessary paperwork and paying a registration fee. Here are the things you need to apply for or hire to register your Missouri security company.

Choose a Name

Choosing a name for your Missouri security company is important in establishing your brand identity and reflecting your services. Here are some tips and suggestions to help you choose a name:

  • Keep it Simple and Memorable: Choose a name that is easy to pronounce, spell, and remember. This will make it easier for potential clients to find and remember your company.
  • Incorporate Keywords: Including words related to security, safety, or protection in your company name can help potential clients understand what services you provide. Some examples of keywords are “guard,” “patrol,” or “surveillance.”
  • Reflect on Your Niche: If your Missouri security company focuses on a specific niche, such as residential, commercial, or event security, consider incorporating this into your company name.
  • Consider Using Your Location: Incorporating the name of your Missouri or a specific city or region can help potential clients identify your company as a local business and establish a connection to your service area.
  • Check for Availability: Before settling on a name, ensure it is not already used by another security company in your area or registered as a trademark. You can check the availability of a name by searching the Missouri Secretary of State Business Services‘s website and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website.

Based on these tips, here are some sample names for a security company in Missouri:

  1. Missouri SecureGuard Services
  2. Missouri Sentinel Protection
  3. SafeShield Security Missouri
  4. Missouri Premier Patrol
  5. Missouri Homeland Security Solutions
  6. Missouri Watchtower Security Services

Remember to choose a name that reflects your company’s values, services, and target market while being unique and memorable. There is a complete guide on Missouri Business Name Search for you to have a proper Missouri security company name. 

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

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 Missouri DBA (doing business as)

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Hire a Registered Agent

In forming a security company in Missouri, the role of a Registered Agent is crucial for ensuring compliance with state regulations and maintaining a line of communication with the state government. A Registered Agent is a person or entity responsible for receiving important legal documents, and government notices on behalf of your security company. Here are some key roles and responsibilities of a Registered Agent in Missouri:

  • Legal Document Reception: A Registered Agent receives legal documents, including lawsuits (also known as service of process), subpoenas, and other official correspondence related to your business. They promptly inform you of legal actions or requirements affecting your security company.
  • Government Correspondence: A Registered Agent receives official notices, correspondence, and documentation from the state government, such as Annual Report notifications, tax notices, and other compliance-related information.
  • Compliance Assistance: A Registered Agent will help your security company maintain good standing in Missouri by promptly notifying you of legal and compliance-related matters. This can be crucial for avoiding penalties, fines, or even the dissolution of your business.
  • Maintaining a Physical Address: A Registered Agent must have a physical street address (not a P.O. Box) within Missouri, where they are available during normal business hours to receive legal documents and government notices. This is particularly important for businesses that do not have a physical office location in the state or for out-of-state business owners.
  • Record-Keeping: A Registered Agent may also offer additional services, such as maintaining and organizing your business records, tracking filing deadlines, and assisting with annual report submissions.¬†

You can serve as your Registered Agent, appoint a friend or family member, or hire the Best Missouri Registered Agent Services.

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File The Articles of Organization 

If you form an LLC for your security company, you must file the Missouri Articles of Organization, which costs $105. It is crucial to provide accurate and complete information on this document, as errors or omissions may result in delays or rejection of your filing.

Create an Operating Agreement

An Operating Agreement in Missouri is a legal document outlining the ownership structure, management, and operating procedures of a Limited Liability Company (LLC). While not always required by law, having an operating agreement is highly recommended for security companies in Missouri to ensure clear communication and expectations among the owners.

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Obtain an Employer Identification Number

You must first obtain an Employer identification number (EIN) in Missouri from the IRS if you will open a bank account or hire an employee for your Missouri security company. 

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.

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Step 5: Obtain Licenses and Permits

Starting a security company in Missouri requires obtaining specific licenses and permits. These may vary depending on your location and the services your company will offer. Some of the common licenses and permits needed for a security company include the following:

  • Security Company License: This mandatory license allows you to operate a security company in Missouri. The requirements for obtaining this license may vary depending on your location but generally include submitting an application, paying a fee, and passing a background check. The cost of filing a security company license ranges from $50 – $250 (depending on the license type).
  • Security Guard Licenses: If your company employs security guards, they must be licensed in Missouri. This typically involves completing a state-approved training program, passing a background check, and paying a licensing fee.
  • Firearms Permit: If your company provides armed security services, you and your employees must obtain firearms permits. The requirements for obtaining a firearms permit in Missouri may include completing a training course, passing a background check, and paying a fee.
  • Business License: Missouri may require a Business License. The business license fee in Missouri ranges from $50 – $300.

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Step 6: Get Insured

Insurance is crucial to starting a security company in Missouri. You’ll need to obtain various types of insurance to protect your business and employees, including:

  • General Liability Insurance: To protect your company from claims of bodily injury, property damage, and personal injury resulting from your services.
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance: To cover medical expenses and lost wages for employees who are injured on the job.
  • Professional Liability Insurance: To protect your company from claims of negligence or failure to perform professional duties.
  • Commercial Auto Insurance: If your company uses vehicles for business, you’ll need commercial auto insurance to cover accidents or damage.

You can apply for Missouri Business Insurance for your Missouri security company. 

Step 7: Hire and Train Employees

Hiring and training qualified employees is essential for the success of your security company in Missouri. When hiring security guards, look for individuals with previous security experience, military or law enforcement backgrounds, and strong communication skills.

Once you’ve hired your employees, you must provide them with the necessary training to perform their duties effectively. This may include state-approved security guard training programs, firearms training, specialized first aid, crisis management, and customer service courses. In addition, before hiring and training employees for your Missouri security company, you must obtain an EIN with the Internal Revenue Service.

Step 8: Invest in Equipment and Technology

Your Missouri company must invest in high-quality equipment and technology to provide top-notch security services. Some essential equipment for a security company in Missouri includes:

  • Uniforms and badges for your security guards
  • Firearms and non-lethal weapons (e.g., pepper spray, stun guns)
  • Security vehicles
  • Surveillance cameras and alarm systems
  • Communication devices, such as radios or smartphones
  • Computer hardware and software for managing your business operations

Step 9: Market Your Security Company

Effective marketing is essential for attracting clients and growing your security company in Missouri. Some marketing strategies include creating a professional website to showcase your services and expertise; printing and distributing business cards, brochures, and flyers; advertising online, in local newspapers, and on radio or television; offering discounts or promotions to attract new clients; networking with local business owners and community organizations; and participating in trade shows and industry events.

Step 10: Provide Excellent Customer Service

Providing excellent customer service is crucial for the success of your security company in Missouri. Strive to meet or exceed your client’s expectations by providing high-quality security services, addressing their concerns promptly, and maintaining open communication. You’ll build a strong reputation and encourage repeat business and referrals by consistently delivering exceptional customer service.

FAQs

What licenses do I need to start a security company in Missouri?
To start a security company in Missouri, you need to obtain a state license and a private security officer certificate.
What is the application process for obtaining a security company license?
To obtain a security company license in Missouri, you will need to complete an application, pay a fee, and undergo a criminal background check.
Are there any specific insurance requirements for starting a security company in Missouri?
Yes, you will need minimum liability and worker’s compensation insurance coverage to operate a security company in Missouri.
How much does it cost to start a security company in Missouri?
The costs associated with starting a security company in Missouri vary depending on the level of investment you want to make, but it typically ranges from $10,000 to $50,000.
Is there a difference between unarmed and armed security in Missouri?
Yes, there are different requirements for unarmed and armed security in Missouri. Armed officers must complete a more extensive training course.
Can I start a security company with no previous experience in the industry?
Yes, you can start a security company in Missouri with no previous experience, but it would be helpful to have some training or education in the field.
What are the training requirements for private security professionals in Missouri?
Private security professionals in Missouri must undergo a minimum of 48 hours of training within 90 days of being employed.
How do I get a private security officer certificate in Missouri?
To get a private security officer certificate in Missouri, you must complete an approved training program and pass a state exam.
Does Missouri recognize out-of-state security licenses?
No, Missouri does not recognize out-of-state security licenses.
How many security officers can one Missouri security company employ?
There is no specific limit to the number of security officers a Missouri security company can employ.
What kind of background checks are required for Missouri security officers?
Missouri security officers must pass a criminal background check.
Do Missouri security companies need to have a physical office location?
Yes, Missouri security companies must have a physical office location within the state.
Can I operate a security company out of my home in Missouri?
No, Missouri security companies must have a physical office location.
How often do Missouri security officers need to renew their certificates?
Missouri security officers must renew their certificates annually.
Are there any restrictions on who can operate a security company in Missouri?
Yes, individuals convicted of certain crimes are prohibited from owning or operating a security company in Missouri.
Are Missouri security companies allowed to carry weapons?
Yes, Missouri security companies can carry weapons, but this requires additional licensure.
Is there a minimum age requirement to become a security officer in Missouri?
Yes, you must be at least 18 years old to become a security officer in Missouri.
Can a security company be owned by a corporation in Missouri?
Yes, a security company can be owned by a corporation.
What is the process for obtaining an armed security license in Missouri?
To obtain an armed security license in Missouri, you must complete an extensive training program that includes weapon safety, handling, and use.
What is the average salary range for a security officer in Missouri?
The average salary range for a security officer in Missouri is $21,000 to $47,000.
What are the responsibilities of security officers in Missouri?
The responsibilities of security officers in Missouri include monitoring and responding to security threats, patrolling the premises, and maintaining order.
What kind of liability insurance does a Missouri security company need?
A Missouri security company needs minimum liability insurance to cover property damage and bodily injury.
Is there any ongoing training required for security officers in Missouri?
Yes, Missouri security officers are required to complete eight hours of ongoing training each year.
Can I provide security services in areas outside of Missouri?
Yes, you can provide security services in areas outside of Missouri, but you will need to follow the licensing requirements for each state in which you operate.
Can you transfer a security officer certificate from another state to Missouri?
No, Missouri does not recognize out-of-state security officer certificates.
How long does the Missouri security license application process typically take?
The Missouri security license application process typically takes four to six weeks.
What are the fees associated with starting a security company in Missouri?
The fees associated with starting a security company in Missouri include licensing fees, certification fees, and insurance costs.
How do I find clients for my security company in Missouri?
You can find potential clients for your security company in Missouri by networking with businesses, attending trade shows, and advertising online and offline.
Is a separate business license required to start a security company in Missouri?
Yes, a separate business license is required to start a security company in Missouri.
What are the state regulations for security companies in Missouri?
Missouri requires all security companies to be licensed and regulated by the Missouri Department of Public Safety.
What is the process for obtaining a security company license in Missouri?
The process for obtaining a security company license in Missouri includes completing an application, providing fingerprints for a background check, and passing a written test.
How can I apply for a security company license in Missouri?
You can apply for a security company license in Missouri by contacting the Missouri Department of Public Safety.
Are there any prerequisites to starting a security company in Missouri?
Yes, there are prerequisites to starting a security company in Missouri, including experience in the security industry and passing a background check.
Can an individual with a criminal record start a security company in Missouri?
It depends on the nature of the criminal record. The Missouri Department of Public Safety will evaluate each case on an individual basis.
What is the cost of a security company license in Missouri?
The cost of a security company license in Missouri varies based on the number of employees you have and whether you are armed or unarmed.
Are there any recurring fees for maintaining a security company license in Missouri?
Yes, there are recurring fees for maintaining a security company license in Missouri.
What insurance coverage is required for a security company in Missouri?
Missouri requires security companies to carry general liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance.
What is the process for obtaining a surety bond for a security company in Missouri?
The process for obtaining a surety bond for a security company in Missouri includes finding a licensed bonding agency, completing an application, and providing financial information.
Does Missouri have licensing requirements for individual security guards?
Yes, Missouri requires individual security guards to be licensed by the Missouri Department of Public Safety.
What training is required for security guards in Missouri?
Missouri requires security guards to complete a training course and obtain a certification.
Can security guards carry firearms in Missouri?
It depends on the type of license the security guard holds and the policies of the security company they work for.
What is the minimum wage for security guards in Missouri?
The minimum wage for security guards in Missouri is set by state and federal law.
What is the job outlook for security company owners in Missouri?
The job outlook for security company owners in Missouri is positive, with continued growth expected in the industry.
Is there a demand for security companies in rural areas of Missouri?
Yes, there is a demand for security companies in rural areas of Missouri.
Can a security company provide services outside of Missouri?
Yes, a security company can provide services outside of Missouri as long as they comply with the licensing regulations in the state they are operating in.
Can a security company offer armed and unarmed services?
Yes, a security company can offer both armed and unarmed services in Missouri.
What type of security services can a security company offer in Missouri?
Security companies in Missouri can offer a wide range of services, including access control, surveillance, and mobile patrols.
How can a security company differentiate itself from competitors in Missouri?
A security company can differentiate itself from competitors in Missouri by offering innovative solutions and exceptional customer service.
How soon can a new security company start operating in Missouri?
A new security company can start operating in Missouri as soon as it receives its license from the Missouri Department of Public Safety.
What are the consequences of operating a security company without a license in Missouri?
Operating a security company without a license in Missouri can lead to fines and legal action.
What are the most common reasons security company license applications are denied in Missouri?
The most common reasons security company license applications are denied in Missouri include criminal history, financial instability, and lack of experience in the security industry.
Are there any tax incentives for starting a security company in Missouri?
Missouri does offer tax incentives for certain businesses, but it depends on the specifics of the company and the location.
Do I need a lawyer to start a security company in Missouri?
It is not required to have a lawyer to start a security company in Missouri, but it may be advisable to consult one.
Can I have a police officer work for my security company in Missouri?
In most cases, no. Police officers are generally not permitted to work for private security companies in Missouri.
Can a security company offer personal protection services in Missouri?
Yes, a security company can offer personal protection services in Missouri as long as it complies with state regulations.
Can I operate a security company from home in Missouri?
Yes, you can operate a security company from home in Missouri as long as you have a physical address where records can be kept and meetings can take place.
Can I sell my security company if I decide to exit the business in Missouri?
Yes, you can sell your security company if you decide to exit the business in Missouri.

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Conclusion

Starting a security company in Missouri can be rewarding and profitable. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to establishing a successful security business in your area. Remember to be patient and persistent, as building your client base and reputation may take time. Your security company can thrive in the competitive Missouri market with dedication and hard work.

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