STEP 1) VERIFY & SECURE YOUR LLC NAME

Choose a Business Name

To secure and register your brand name it must be unique, not too similar to another registered name, and shouldn’t contain any restricted wording. To check, conduct a Business Entity Search through the Sec. of State, and if there are potential trademark issues conduct another quick search using the TESS System through the U.S. Patent Office.

Keep in mind your LLC name should contain the words ‘Limited Liability Company’ or ‘Limited Company’. Abbreviations for these words like ‘L.C.’ or ‘L.L.C’ are also acceptable. If needed, you can file an Application for Reservation of Name through postal mail.

Filing Fee: $25

STEP 2) CHOOSE A REGISTERED AGENT

Choose a Registered Agent

A Missouri Registered Agent can be an individual resident of the state or a legally registered domestic/foreign business entity with a physical street address and regular business hours. On behalf of your brand they receive and help process important business documents like state filings, tax forms, legal notices and so on. They’re essential and required by law.

That said, you can hire 3rd party professional and expect to pay up to $160/year, or get a Registered Agent free when you start an LLC with IncFile or BizFilings. They handle this along with much more depending on your startup package.

STEP 3) FILE ARTICLES OF ORGANIZATION

Register an LLCTo legally register an LLC in Missouri, download, complete and file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State’s office when you’re ready to set up shop. You can submit through postal mail for $105, or File Online for a little over $50, but keep in mind you need to set up an account with the state to do so.

This is an official declarative document that submits the basics of your company to the public record: name, address, purpose, ownership, hours of operation, registered agent info, etc.

STEP 4) GET AN EIN

Get an EIN for Your LLCLike a social security number for individuals, an EIN, or Employer Identification Number is used by the state and federal government to track your business activity. It’s used for tax purposes, to allow you to set up business bank accounts, legally hire employees and more. So yes, it’s mandatory.

The good news it’s very easy to get these days and get synced with the system. To get your free EIN, you can apply online using the IRS Website.

STEP 5) OPEN A BUSINESS BANK ACCOUNT

Best Business Bank AccountFirst of all, make absolutely sure that no other accounts of any kind or any other income/expense steams of data get mixed in! This is a costly and completely avoidable mistake for too many entrepreneurs stumble into. Secondly, do some homework and research different options between local, state, and federal banks along with credit unions.

Don’t be too quick to decide here! The amount of costs/savings per year from one bank to the next, relative to their other services, is a critical consideration. Here’s a quick breakdown article of Business Checking Accounts from some of the biggest banks to begin your research.

STEP 6) DRAFT AN OPERATING AGREEMENT

Create an Operating AgreementWhat is this? Well, the first thing to know is that it’s not required by law or mandatory. We think it should be though because it puts down on paper the official duties and responsibilities of owners/managers. Furthermore it outlines financial matters like ownership percentages, any profit sharing information and so forth. Starting to see why we recommend this even for solopreneurs?

To get started, consider using an online Operating Agreement template which you can customize yourself.

STEP 7) HANDLE BUSINESS TAXES & LICENSING

Small Business Taxes

Depending on a number of variables there’s some forms to fill out and fees to be paid. The good news is that Missouri is a business-friendly state with a number of incentives, kickbacks, and streamlined regulatory paths. Just be sure to do your homework.

To get started bookmark the St. Louis district office of the Small Business Administration, and the Sec. of State’s Business Services page because they’re likely going to be go-to sources. If you need help with this step, consider professional Business License Research packages that handle the legwork for you.

OPTIONAL) SOLIDIFY YOUR BUSINESS PLAN

Write a Business PlanTruth is there’s some sort of planning in place, question is how effective will it end up being a year from now? A year from now, how far will your current approach to business planning have gotten you? How defined will your executive summary and pitch be? How tight of a grasp on your fundamentals?

It’s never too early, or too late, to begin establishing a presentation-ready plan you would proudly show to potential partners, investors, VCs, and so forth. The process itself will open so many doors, and dramatically increase your awareness of your business potential.

QUICK LINKS TO BUSINESS PLANNING

  • This Comparison Guide is our quick breakdown of all the software solutions to help you plan better. We’re huge fans of LivePlan, so if your looking for the best business plan software, be sure to read our review and grab the discount they offer our readers.

OPTIONAL) BUILD YOUR WEB PRESENCE

Build a Business WebsiteDo you already have a functional website bringing in sales, generating engagement, expanding brand awareness and driving inbound leads? If so, great! If not, then now’s a great time to get this ball rolling. And don’t worry if you aren’t a gifted designer, or you don’t have one working in-house, because there are so many startup-friendly options!

Be sure to check out ecommerce platforms like Shopify, or modern new website-builder platforms like Wix and SquareSpace. All three are extremely reliable and easy to use.

Need Help Forming Your LLC?

Have a reliable LLC filing service like IncFile or LegalZoom do the work for you. Just answer a few questions about your business and they’ll take care of the paperwork.

Although both offer virtually the same service, IncFile is $100 less and our top pick. Enjoy!

Visit IncFile Or Visit LegalZoom

Note that this article on how to form an LLC in Missouri isn’t a legal document or legal advice. It’s for informational purposes and the information above is subject to change. For specific legal questions regarding how to form an LLC in Missouri or business in general, please consult with a lawyer or other accredited professional.