What Is a Missouri Secretary of State Business Search?

A Missouri Secretary of State Business Search needs to be completed before you can form an LLC in Missouri. You need to search the names of existing LLCs to make sure the one you want hasn't already been registered. The name of an LLC must end with “Limited Liability Company,” or either of the abbreviations: “L.L.C.” or “LLC.” The name of your LLC can't imply that it is a corporation. You cannot use the words “corporation,” “incorporated,” “inc.,” or “corp.” anywhere in the name of the LLC.

The LLC name must be different from names of registered entities found within the database. The state refers to the differences between business names as “distinguishable.”

Adding different designators, or the identifiers found at the end of the name of a business, will not make the name distinguishable. For example, if a business exists called “Jones Investments, Inc.,” you couldn't form a business called “Jones Investments, LLC.” Modifying the grammar, such as using possessive, plural, or singular forms of words in the name will not make it distinguishable. If you found a business named “Orange's Farm, LLC” (with an apostrophe and an s) will not be distinguishable from one called “Orange Farm LLC.”

Changing the article, such as using “a” or “the” also does not make a name distinguishable. If a business already exists named “The Printing Shop, LLC,” your business couldn't be called “A Printing Shop, LLC.” Using conjunctions also doesn't make a name distinguishable. Examples include “or,” “and,” and “&.” If you wanted to name your business “Day & Night, LLC,” an existing business called “Day or Night, LLC” wouldn't be acceptable.

Adding or modifying the punctuation in a business name, including slashes, commas, hyphens, and periods, is not distinguishable. For example, an existing business called “Larry, Moe, and Curly, LLC” would not be distinguishable from one called “Larry-Moe-Curly LLC.” Spelling out the numbers or using the numerical symbols also isn't distinguishable. Using the name “Two Tutors Consulting, LLC” wouldn't be distinguishable from one called “2 Tutors Consulting, LLC.”

Using a name that is similar to an existing business creates confusion and is not distinguishable. The name “Speedy Delivery Service, LLC” would be too similar to examples like “Super Speedy Delivery Services, LLC” and “Speedy Delivery Services, LLC.”

You can figure out if the name you want for your LLC is available by searching the database of Missouri business entities. During a search, leave off the “LLC” at the end. The search is not case sensitive and punctuation doesn't matter within the database. If the name you want for your LLC is already taken or too similar to an existing business name, get creative and think of new variations of the words or phrases.

If the search of the Missouri database brings back no results, the name you want for the LLC is likely available for use. Choosing a name with geographical words can limit your company's ability to expand or relocate without having to change the name.

Missouri LLC Registered Agent

After you finish the search process and you have a unique LLC name, you can now take the next step and choose the registered agent for your LLC. In order to complete and file the LLC formation documents, you will need a registered agent and registered office. After you have chosen the LLC registered agent, you can then complete the necessary forms.

You must include a street address for the registered office within the state in which your LLC will operate, as P.O. boxes are not accepted. Your LLC's registered agent can be either a company or individual who is willing to accept legal documents on behalf of the company.

The registered agent should be:

  • Available during business hours and located at the office address listed on your forms.
  • Anyone you know, including a friend or family member, can serve as the registered agent, as long as they are willing to accept the responsibilities on behalf of the LLC.
  • The registered agent must also accept the “Service of Process,” which is the delivery of documents and legal mail to the LLC.
  • You can also serve as the registered agent for the LLC. By choosing yourself, you must sign the forms and accept the responsibility associated with the task.

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