A Missouri LLC registration is the process of forming an LLC, or limited liability company, in the state. You'll have to follow specific guidelines when creating one. Once your LLC is registered, you're ready to do business.

How to Form an LLC in Missouri

LLCs are an easy and affordable business structure to form. If you're interested in forming an LLC, you'll have to register with the Missouri secretary of state. The steps you'll take include the following: 

  • File any necessary forms 
  • Pay required fees 
  • Meet all requirements for naming and creating your business

To file your Articles of Organization to start an LLC, you'll pay a $105 filing fee if you mail it in. It costs less to file online. If you submit your Articles online, your fee will only be $58, and the filing can be completed in about one day.

Naming Guidelines

One of the first, most important steps you'll take when forming an LLC is coming up with a name for it. Your LLC name has to include one of the following at the end: the words Limited Liability Company or an abbreviation for it, such as LLC or L.L.C.

You'll be restricted from using certain words, including university, bank, or attorney, unless you submit additional paperwork. You might also be required to have a licensed professional (such as a lawyer or doctor) as part of your LLC to use one of the restricted words. 

Some words are prohibited, such as Secret Service, FBI, or Treasury, because having those words as part of your LLC name can create confusion by associating your LLC with a state or federal agency.

You'll have to make sure your desired business name is available. You can do this by conducting a name search at the state website.

If you want to reserve a name, you can do so for up to 60 days. There's a maximum extension of 180 days. You'll have to make this request by mail or online to the secretary of state.

If your business name is available, you might want to buy a domain name for it, even if you don't have plans to create a business website right away. By securing the domain name as soon as possible, you prevent someone else from getting it. You might also want to think about creating a business email address.

Other Requirements

Select a registered agent for your business. This is an individual or company that accepts and sends legal papers on your business's behalf. Types of documents that registered agents handle include state filings and service of process.

Your registered agent must have a physical address in Missouri. You can act as your own registered agent, or it can be someone else within your company or an outside third party.

The secretary of state office handles LLC filings. If you mail in filing paperwork, it can take about four to seven business days to process. If you file online or by fax, it will only take about one to three days to process.

Your Articles of Organization must include the following: 

  • Your LLC name 
  • Registered agent's name and address 
  • The purpose of formation 
  • Business management type, i.e., manager-managed or member-managed 
  • Effective date, if different than the filing date 
  • Duration, if not perpetual 
  • Each organizer's name, address, and dated signature

You'll also need an operating agreement to form an LLC in the state. It can be written or verbal. The operating agreement outlines the ownership and operation of your LLC. It's a legal document.

Secure an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Federal Tax ID Number, for your business. It's like a Social Security number for your business. You'll need an EIN to file taxes. Some banks require companies to have an EIN to open a checking account.

You can get an EIN from the IRS after forming your LLC. You can apply online or mail in a paper application. Obtaining an EIN is free.

Registering an LLC is a simple and inexpensive process, and many people can create their own LLC without help from an attorney. By adhering to the required guidelines and deadlines and submitting necessary paperwork and fees, you can form an LLC without a lot of trouble.

If you need help with registering an LLC in Missouri or another state, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.