How do I create an LLC in Missouri?

How do I create an LLC in Missouri?

Choosing the right business structure is an important decision. By researching your options and considering your future business goals, you can make the best choice. There are currently about 127,000 active LLCs in Missouri. If you’re wondering how to create an LLC in this state, read on for important ideas.

The first thing to do is hire a qualified business attorney who can partner with you to efficiently and comprehensively complete paperwork required by the state to create an LLC.  Leveraging a skilled attorney’s past experience can help you avoid pitfalls and benefit from his legal acumen.  To create an LLC in Missouri, follow these steps:

  1. Select a name for your business.
  2. Designate a registered agent.
  3. Complete a Missouri LLC articles of organization form.
  4. Craft an operating agreement.
  5. Contact other state and federal agencies as needed.

These four steps will get you started on your path.  To find out more, you can check out the Missouri Secretary of State’s office and its business launch recommendations.  If you have questions or would like some legal guidance in creating your LLC, Birk Law Firm would be glad to help.  We have a team of experienced and knowledgeable business attorneys who have helped many entrepreneurs create a business structure for their start-up.  To find out more about our services, call us at 573-332-8585.

How do I set up an LLC in Missouri?

There are several tasks to setting up an LLC that a business attorney can help you with. While you brainstorm, identify marketing opportunities, and hire managers and staff, your attorney can take care of the legal paperwork. Let’s examine these steps in greater detail …

Choosing a Name

You want to choose a business name that helps you stand out from the crowd and build your brand.  Therefore, you want to make sure the name is unique and easy to remember.  And you want to avoid copyright infringement by double-checking and confirming that no other business in the state is already using this same name.  In Missouri, you can search existing entity names to see if the one you have in mind is available.  The name of every Missouri limited liability company must contain the word “limited company” or “limited liability company” or the abbreviation “LC”, “LLC”, “L.C.” or “L.L.C.”, and may not contain the word “corporation”, “incorporated”, “limited partnership”, “limited liability partnership”, “limited liability limited partnership”, or “Ltd.” or any abbreviation of one of those words.

Your preferred name for a business can be reserved, providing you exclusive rights to the name for 60 days.  A name reservation can be extended for two additional 60-day periods, meaning you can make a name reservation for a total of 180 days.  This is a good way of making sure your get the name you want while you’re in the process of filing the necessary paperwork.  The fee to reserve a name for an LLC in Missouri is $25.  Click here to file a name reservation.

Selecting a Fictitious Name

Many entities file for a “fictitious name” for their business, in addition to the legal name.  Often, the fictitious name is the same as the legal name except that the letters “LLC” are dropped off of the fictitious name. The phrase, “doing business as” (DBA) is another label for this naming strategy. We encourage our clients to select a fictitious name and our attorney can facilitate registration of that name with the Secretary of State. There are several requirements to register a fictitious name with Missouri, and failure to register another name by which your LLC carries out business can lead to a misdemeanor charge. Unlike your LLC’s legal name, you have no protection of your DBA name, so other entities can use it as well.

Designating a Registered Agent

All businesses, including LLCs, are required by law to designate a registered agent to receive service of process and legal notices on behalf of the business. This individual represents the legal “point person” of the company.

Filing Articles of Organization

The Missouri limited liability company (LLC) statutes require that you file articles of organization with the Corporations Division of the Secretary of State’s Office. Section 347.039 lays out the information needed to file articles of organization.  An LLC can designate one or more “managers” to operate the business, or you can decide to operate under the direction of its members.

Crafting an Operating Agreement

Missouri statutes require all new LLCs to have an operating agreement. The operating agreement is an internal document (not required to be filed with the State) that establishes the rules and regulations for the conduct of the company’s business and affairs, as well as matters such as voting structure for business decisions, allocation of income and losses among members, and tax issues.

Contact Other State and Federal Agencies

New businesses have filing and communications obligations to the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office and other state and federal agencies.  Staying current on these obligations is important.  The Secretary of State’s Corporations Division offers a list of state agencies that a new business needs to contact.  Click here for the list.

For more information about creating an LLC, see the Missouri Secretary of State’s FAQs. 

How long does it take to get an LLC in Missouri?

Processing time for getting an LLC is relatively immediate when filing online, and it takes roughly 5-10 business days when filing by mail.

How much does an LLC cost in Missouri?

The filing fee for LLC Articles of Organization in Missouri is $50 if you file online and $105 when filing by mail.

Benefits of an LLC

There are several benefits of forming a Limited Liability Company. Some of these include:

  • Limiting your personal liability
  • Reducing the paperwork and administrative responsibilities of running a business
  • Being your own boss and running the show
  • Avoiding pass-through deduction and double taxation
  • Easily sharing profits
  • Remaining nimble and adaptive
  • Having the most flexibility of any business structure, allowing for several options regarding how the LLC and its members are taxed.
If these benefits sound ideal to you, then an LLC may be the right structure for your company. A business attorney, especially one with in-depth financial experience, can help you flesh out your future goals and advise you about additional LLC benefits and requirements.
As a businessman, CPA and attorney, Kelvin Birk knows the ins-and-outs of structing an LLC. He is ready to guide you through the process.

Let’s get your LLC started today

If you’ve decided that an LLC is the best option for your new business start-up, then we can move forward on filing the necessary paperwork with government entities. Birk Law Firm can help you do this. We’ve partnered with many new business owners in drafting and filing documents. On the other hand, if you’re not sure whether an LLC or a different structure is your best bet, then we can review your options for a structure and discuss the pros and cons of each. This kind of background research is essential to giving your new business a firm foundation. To find out more about how Birk Law Firm can help, call us for an initial consultation at 573-332-8585. We look forward to hearing from you!