Fact checked for accuracy by Billie Anne Grigg, a bookkeeper and Mastery Level Certified Profit First Professional.

For many entrepreneurs, forming an LLC is the best way to protect their assets from the risks of business ownership. An LLC is a business structure that offers its owners limited liability protection from debts and lawsuits.

There are many advantages to forming an LLC in Missouri. LLCs offer personal asset protection, which means that your assets (such as your home and car) are protected from creditors if your business is sued. LLCs also have flexible management structures, meaning you can choose how to manage your business. LLCs are also easy to form and maintain.

In Missouri, forming an LLC is a relatively simple process. This article will outline the steps you need to form an LLC in Missouri. Let’s explore the cost involved in forming an LLC and the steps you need to take for a smooth process.

Step 1: Choose a Name for Your LLC

The first step in forming an LLC is to choose a name for your business. Your LLC name must be distinctive and end with one of the following:

  • Limited Liability Company
  • Limited Company
  • LLC
  • L.L.C.
  • LC
  • LLC

You can check if your chosen name is available by searching the Missouri Business Entity Database. Your LLC name should be unique, so it’s essential to avoid names that are too similar to existing businesses. You will also want to make sure your name is easy to remember and spell.

Once you have chosen a distinct name for your LLC, reserve it with the Missouri Secretary of State.

Step 2: Get a Registered Agent

When you form an LLC, you will need to choose or hire a registered agent. A registered agent is a person or business that agrees to receive legal documents on behalf of your LLC. The registered agent can be an individual, such as a friend or family member, or a business, such as a law firm or another third-party company. The registered agent must have a physical address in Missouri and be available to accept legal documents during business hours.

Step 3: File the Articles of Organization

Once you’ve chosen a name for your LLC and have appointed a registered agent, file the Articles of Organization with the Missouri Secretary of State. The Articles of Organization is a simple document that provides basic information about your LLC, such as the LLC name, address, and contact information. You can file the Articles of Organization online, by mail, or in person.

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement

Although it is not required by Missouri law, creating an Operating Agreement for your LLC is a good idea. An Operating Agreement is a document that outlines the ownership and operating procedures of your LLC. This document can help prevent disputes among the LLC members and keep your business running smoothly.

It will also be helpful if you ever need to prove to a court that your LLC is a separate legal entity.

Step 5: Apply for an Employer Identification Number

If your LLC has employees, you must apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. You can apply for an EIN online, by mail, or by fax. It is a good idea to apply for an EIN even if you do not have any employees, as you can use it to open a business bank account and file taxes.

Step 6: Comply with Missouri Business Taxes

All businesses in Missouri are required to pay state and local taxes. LLCs are also required to pay federal taxes. You must register your LLC with the Missouri Department of Revenue and obtain a tax identification number. You will also need to file quarterly tax reports and annual tax returns.

Cost to Start an LLC in Missouri

The first step to starting any business is coming up with an idea. Once you have a business idea, the next step is researching the best legal entity for your business. If you plan to do business in Missouri, you may want to consider forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC). 

LLCs are popular for small businesses because they offer personal asset protection and flexible management structures. Also, they cost less to form and maintain than other business entities.

The cost to start an LLC in Missouri depends on a few factors, such as the number of members in your LLC and whether you plan to file online or by mail. The filing fee for the Articles of Organization is $50 if you file online, but it costs $105 if you file by paper. There is also a $25 fee when you reserve your LLC name. You do not need to pay for an Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service. It is a free service provided by IRS.

In total, the cost to initiate an LLC in Missouri is between $57 and $112. This is just the filing fees and does not include any fees to actually run the business.

What To Do After Forming Your LLC in Missouri

After you have completed all the necessary steps to form your LLC, it is time to start operating your business. Here are a few things you need to do after forming your LLC.

Open a Business Bank Account

Once you have obtained an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS, you can open a business bank account. This will allow you to keep your personal and business finances separate. It is also a good idea to get a business credit card to build up your business credit score as well.

Get a Business License

Depending on the type of business you are starting, you may require a state or local business license. You can check with the Missouri Business License Office to see if you are required to obtain a business license for your company.

Comply with Employer Obligations

If you have employees, you must comply with all the employer obligations, such as withholding taxes and providing workers’ compensation insurance. You can find more information on employer obligations from the Missouri Department of Labor.

Get Business Insurance

Getting business insurance to protect your business from any potential risks is always a good idea. You can get liability insurance to protect your business from lawsuits and property insurance to protect your business premises and equipment.

Register Your Business Vehicles

If you have any vehicles you will use for business purposes, you will need to register them with the Missouri Department of Revenue. You will need to provide proof of insurance and pay a registration fee.

File Annual Reports?

We found multiple sources that indicate LLCs in Missouri do not need to file an annual report. Non-profits and general business corporations should file annual registration reports, but not LLCs.

File Taxes

All businesses in Missouri are required to file state and federal taxes. Depending on your tax structure and whether or not you have employees, some limited liability companies are required to pay quarterly tax reports in addition to annual tax returns. You can find more information on business taxes from the Missouri Department of Revenue.

Maintain Your LLC

If you want your LLC to remain in good standing, you need to comply with all Missouri LLC operating requirements. This includes holding annual meetings, keeping up-to-date employee records and tax returns records, and maintaining accurate financial records. As part of the annual filing requirements, you will also have to submit an annual report to the Secretary of State.

How to Keep Your LLC Compliant in Missouri

Starting an LLC in Missouri is a relatively simple and straightforward process. However, once your LLC is up and running, there are a few ongoing requirements you need to comply with to keep your LLC in good standing. These requirements include holding annual meetings, keeping records of all LLC meetings, a record of recent years’ tax returns, and maintaining accurate financial records.

If you are not sure how to comply with these requirements or need help getting your LLC started, you can contact a business attorney or even some LLC formation companies and registered agent services in Missouri. They can help you complete all the necessary paperwork and make sure you comply with all the state requirements.

Tax Filing Requirements for LLCs in Missouri

Tax filing can be confusing for some, but with the support of professionals, you can easily sort out all your paperwork and finances. All businesses in Missouri are mandated to file state and federal taxes.

For a single-member LLC, you can simply report any income on the member’s tax return. However, if you are electing to get your LLC taxed as a corporation, you must fill out Form 2553 with the IRS as well as Form MO-1120 in Missouri. And an LLC taxed as a partnership will have to fill out Federal Form 1065 and a Missouri Form MO-1065. You can find more information regarding taxes from the Missouri Department of Revenue.

The tax filing requirements for LLCs in Missouri are relatively simple. However, it is a good idea to consult with a tax advisor to ensure you comply with all the state and federal tax laws.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to form and register an LLC in Missouri?

It usually takes about 2 to 3 weeks to form an LLC in Missouri. The registration process can take an additional 2 to 4 weeks. Depending on the business type you are starting, you may need to get a business license. Find out if you need a Missouri business license for your LLC by contacting the Missouri business license office. This may take some additional time too.

What tax structure should I choose for an LLC in Missouri?

The tax structure you choose will be completely up to you and what works for your specific business and situation. Seek the advice of a tax advisor to understand what tax structure you should choose and ensure your business complies with all state and federal tax laws. You can structure your LLC as a partnership, S corporation, or C corporation.

Should you hire an LLC formation service in Missouri?

You are not required to hire an LLC formation service in Missouri. You can form an LLC on your own. However, an LLC formation service can certainly be an asset in helping you complete all the necessary paperwork and making sure you comply with every state requirement. For recommendations, head over to our guide on the best LLC service comparison.

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