New startups in Missouri are often registered as LLCs because they give entrepreneurs more freedom. An LLC in Missouri combines the benefits of a corporation, sole proprietorship and partnership without the drawbacks that are associated with them. This article will show you how you can easily form your own LLC in Missouri.
Name your LLC in Missouri
Via brainstorming, you can develop several names which make your business easy to find. However, some of these may be similar to names that already exist and the law requires each new business in Missouri to have a name that is unique.
Under the law, pluralization, identifiers and other minor changes will not make your name unique. For example, Sarah's Quick Pastry Limited and Saras Quick Pastries LLC look almost the same. If one of these companies already exists, a filing that uses the other name may not be approved by the Secretary of State.
The name cannot contain any words that indicates that your LLC is a government agency or has a business structure that's different from that of a LLC. For example, do not use Sara's Pastry Incorporated or Sara's CIA Pastry Shop. If a special license, such as that of a lawyer, is required to open your type of business in the state, you'll have to submit additional documents before you're allowed to include "lawyer" in your name.
Your limited liability company must include an identifier which makes its business structure clear. For example:LC; L.L.C; Limited Company.
You can call the Secretary of State in Jefferson City, to find out whether the name you want is available. Alternatively, you can do a Business Entity search on the Secretary of State's website. If the name is available but you aren't ready to use it, you can reserve it. Just complete an Application for Reservation of Name via the website or mail, along with a name reservation fee of $25.
You can reserve your name for 60 days and no one will have access to it. If you wish, you can extend the reservation for two additional 60-day periods. However, after 180 days, you can't reserve that particular name again. If you wish, you could have someone else reserve that name for you after that time or hope no one else uses it.
If you want your Missouri LLC to do business under a name that's different from the one you register, you can complete a Fictitious Name Registration. This is also known as Doing Business As (DBA ) registration and must be done with the Secretary of State. The fee is $7 and this allows you to market your business under a different name. You can renew your DBA name every five years.
Appoint A Registered Agent
Every LLC in Missouri is required to have a registered agent, who can accept legal documents for the LLC. If your LLC gets sued, the papers will be delivered to your registered agent, so they must have a physical address. A business that is registered to trade in the state can act as your registered agent.
Your registered agent must consent to this role in writing. They can accept all legal papers on your behalf, including tax documents and other government documents. In Missouri, you can change your registered agent whenever it becomes necessary.
File your Articles of Organization
Every LLC in Missouri is created through its Articles of Organization. This is a short document that is filed with the Missouri Secretary of State and it tells the government everything that they need to know about your organization.
Filing can be done online or by mail. However, there is a price difference. Filing online only costs $50 and processing is done almost instantly. If you send your Articles of Organization by mail, it will cost $105 and take up to six business days.
Create your Operating Agreement
Your LLC in Missouri must have an operating agreement. This is not optional, as it is in some other states. You must detail how your business will be run, the rights members have and the duties of all employees. It also details the scope of authority of managers. Although this is an internal business document and you don't have to file it with the Secretary of State, your LLC will only be in full compliance once it has been created.