What Is an LLC in Missouri?

An LLC Missouri is a limited liability company that is started and run in that state of Missouri.

Starting LLC

If you have decided to start an LLC in the state of Missouri, you will need to start at the beginning with the most important step, completing research and coming up with the business name that best suits your business, what the LLC offers, and whether or not the name can be found easily by individuals who are searching for it.

Follow the Naming Guidelines

Your LLC name will need to include and exclude a few things. It has to contain the abbreviation LLC or the words limited liability company. You also will need to stay away from words and phrases that are considered restricted by the state. Things like University or Bank cannot be included in the name, unless you file specific paperwork and can show that your business is involved in the venture described by the restricted word.

You also must stay away from any name that includes words, phrases, or initials that make it seem as though it is an official entity like a state or federal government agency.

Is the Name Available in Missouri?

Names also need to be original and exclusive, meaning that it cannot be one that has already been taken by someone else in the state. You can check on this by searching a database through the state of Missouri’s government website.

Is the URL Available?

Even if the name of the business is not taken, the website and email associated with it may be. This can keep you from starting a website or communicating with customers or clients through an email specific to your brand. If the name is available and so is the website, acquire these things with the email together.

What Is a Registered Agent?

A registered agent is a specific individual who you assign who can receive papers or documents that are officially drafted for your business. This typically means the person will be able to accept legal and tax papers. State filling documents and lawsuit paperwork are a few examples of the things that the registered agent must accept.

Who Can be a Registered Agent?

This individual does not need to be a professional, but they do need to be someone living in the state of Missouri and someone who is able to do business in the state too. This person may or may not be involved in your business directly. This means that you can decide on whether or not you want a member of the LLC to be your agent or not.

To Register an LLC, You Will Need to File the Articles of Organization With the State of Missouri

LLCs can only be started in Missouri if Articles of Organization are drafted and filed. When you start to fill out the documents, you will need to make some decisions. For example, do you want the business to be managed by a manager or by the members who make up the LLC?

What Is the Operating Agreement?

Operating agreements are important and valuable documents that you need to draft when you start your LLC. They are legal papers that outline who owns the LLC and also how the business operates.

What Is an EIN?

An EIN is an Employer Identification Number. The EIN, which is sometimes called a federal tax identification number, is an identification that tells the federal government who you are. The EIN is something like a Social Security Number, only it is the legal identification for a business, not a person.

Why Do I Need an EIN?

The EIN is required, and it is needed when you go to fill out and file your federal and state income tax forms. If you start opening business accounts through the bank and apply for loans, you will also need the EIN in most cases. The EIN is free to apply for and acquired through the IRS.

Opening a Business Bank Account and Credit Card

Once you have your EIN, it is wise to open both a business bank account and a business credit card. This allows you to track the business assets, profits, and costs much easier. It also separated your personal accounts from the business ones and makes it easier to file tax papers down the road.

The business accounts allow the business to build its credit history that is distinct and separate from your own. This allows others, like investors and banks, to see that your business is in good standing financially.

If You Are Selling Taxable Goods and Services in Missouri

If you are selling anything through the LLC, then you will need to obtain and register for Missouri Sales Tax. You also should start your business with an appropriate accounting software in place. This will allow you to keep your records and paperwork organized and in good order.

Do I Need Business Licenses and Permits?

Operating your LCC legally means that you need to comply with the laws and regulations that are set forth by the state and federal governments. Local municipalities also have their own rules when it comes to LLCs. You will need permits. A few examples of ones that may need to acquire include building and health permits.

You can find information online about permit and other regulations. The Small Business Administration is a great resource to use. Missouri’s online business portal and websites set up by the Chamber of Commerce can provide you with essential information, too.

Professional services are available to help you search, located, and find the permits and regulations that you need to file. However, you should make sure to use a state or local service since permits, licenses, and regulations can vary greatly from state to state.

Sometimes you will need to take classes to gain permits or licenses, and the classes are often required, so do not be alarmed if you have to spend a bit of time in the classroom before you are provided with the necessary paperwork.

What Is Workers Compensation Insurance?

Workers compensation is a special form of insurance that allows employees to receive money if they become injured on the job. It is often required for businesses that have any employees. However, the requirements vary by state.

What Is General Liability Insurance?

General liability insurance protects your business in the case of a lawsuit or injury. The insurance may or may not be required. Most states do not require you to hold or purchase it, but it is quite beneficial.

If you decide to hire any employees for your business, there will be some obligations that you must follow legally. A few examples include:

  • Making sure employees can work in the U.S. legally
  • Filing paperwork to declare new employees with the state
  • Buying and keeping workers compensation insurance
  • Keeping taxes out of paychecks
  • Putting up posters that inform employees of their rights and your compliance as an employer
  • Paying employees in designated increments according to contracts

File Articles of Organization

Once you have come up with a name for your LLC that is considered eligible by the state of Missouri, you can file paperwork to reserve the name with the Missouri Secretary of State office. You can reserve the name for a total of 60 days, and you can renew if you need to for additional time.

When you reserve the name, you will need to pay a fee for holding it. The fee is $25.

Once the name is reserved and you are ready to form the business, you will need to draft papers that are called the Articles of Organization. The papers need to include a few things, including the name and address. Also, the purpose of the business in relation to the state of Missouri must be supplied and so must the name and address of the registered agent.

Some LLCs will only be set up for a short period of time. For this reason, the articles must include the duration period of the business and whether this is an open timeframe or not. The article paperwork can be either filed online or through the mail with the Secretary of State office.

Keep in mind that online filings are a bit cheaper and will cost $50. The traditional paper ones cost $105.

Prepare an Operating Agreement

As previously mentioned, you will need to assign a registered agent who lives in the state of Missouri. You also should draft an operating agreement. It is a document that shows who is involved as a member of the business and who will run it. Also, how the business is run should be included in the documentation.

The agreement is not required in all states, and Missouri specifically does not require the drafting of the agreement. However, it is helpful to have a drafted piece of paper that outlines the business specifics. The state does recognize such a document as a governing document.

Regulatory Requirements

To ensure that your business remains in good standing, you will need to file an annual report either online or through the mail. To complete the filing, you will need some information for the articles of organization. For example, the business charter number is needed.

The document must include an email address where the Missouri Secretary of State can reach you. There is a small fee associated with filing the annual report. Fees are also charged if the paperwork is late. You can expect a $15 fee for each month that the report is not filed.

There are some other important obligations that you need to follow like paying state taxes. If you do not, then you may be charged with fines or the LLC may be broken apart. Licenses and permits must be kept up to date, and you also must respond to paperwork in a timely manner. This is one reason why a registered agent is required when you start your LLC.

Some LLCs decide to use registered agent services, and this may be a good choice. The services often keep documents on hand, send copies to you, and understand who to contact if paperwork needs to be sent back to the state in a quick manner.

Foreign LLCs Doing Business in Missouri

If you have decided to start your LLC in Missouri and you also do business in other states, then you will need to set up a foreign LLC. The paperwork is similar to creating the LLC, and you will need to file and register as a foreign LLC in the state of Missouri. The document must show that you already have a business in good standing, and you must pay a filing fee of $105, depending on whether or not you decide to register online or through the mail.

Even if you have a registered agent, you will need to appoint another one. Locate an individual who is living in the state of Missouri.  You will then need to complete an Application for Registration of a Foreign Limited Liability Company.

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