How to Start an LLC in Missouri (Step-by-Step) 2024 Guide

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Starting an LLC, step-by-step

Starting a Missouri LLC costs $50. And it takes 1 day.

How to start an LLCHere are the 5 steps to forming an LLC in Missouri:

  1. Choose an LLC Name
  2. Select a Registered Agent
  3. File Articles of Organization
  4. Create an Operating Agreement
  5. Get an EIN

If you want to form your LLC yourself, follow our free guide below.

If you want someone to take care of it for you, we recommend hiring Northwest Registered Agent

Need to save time? Hire a company to form your LLC:
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

(We recommend Northwest. We've reviewed all the top companies in the industry. And Northwest is our #1 pick for prices, customer support, and address privacy. Check out Northwest vs LegalZoom to learn more.)

How much does it cost to start an LLC in Missouri?

It costs $50 to start an LLC in Missouri.

This $50 is to file the Articles of Organization – the document that creates an LLC.

To learn more about LLC Costs, see LLC Costs in Missouri.

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

If you file your LLC by mail, it will be approved in 3-4 weeks (plus mail time).

But if you file online, your LLC will be approved immediately.

Please see How long does it take to get an LLC in Missouri to check for any delays.

Here are the steps to forming an LLC in Missouri

1. Search your LLC Name

LLC namesSearch your Missouri LLC Name to make sure it’s available in the state.

You need to do this because two businesses in the state can’t have the same name.

First, search your business name and compare it to existing businesses in the state. You can make sure the LLC Name you want is unique from existing business entities using the Business Entity Database Search.

Second, familiarize yourself with the naming rules in Missouri (so your LLC gets approved).

We’ll explain both in more detail here: Missouri LLC Name.

2. Choose a Registered Agent

The next step is to choose a Missouri Registered Agent.

Registered AgentA Missouri Registered Agent is a person or company who accepts legal mail and state notices on behalf of your Limited Liability Company.

Who can be an LLC Registered Agent?

You have 3 options for who can be the Registered Agent:

  • You
  • A friend or family member
  • A Registered Agent Service

Missouri law requires that all LLC Registered Agents have a physical street address in the state. PO Boxes aren’t allowed.

And the Registered Agent’s name and address will be listed on public records.

If you don’t have an address in Missouri, or you want more privacy, you can hire a Registered Agent Service for your LLC.

We recommend Northwest Registered Agent

Our favorite feature about Northwest is they’ll let you use their office address throughout your LLC filing. This way, you can keep your address off public records.

They’ll also scan any mail sent to your LLC and upload it to your online account.

Northwest has excellent customer service, and they’re who we trust to be our own Registered Agent.

Special offer: Hire Northwest to form your LLC ($39 + state fee), and you'll get a free year of Registered Agent service.

(Why is Northwest the best? Read our Northwest Registered Agent review)

3. File LLC Articles of Organization

Articles of OrganizationTo start an LLC, you need to file the Missouri Articles of Organization. This is a one-time fee to create your LLC with the Missouri Secretary of State.

It costs $50 to file your Missouri Articles of Organization online.

If you want to file this yourself, see our step-by-step guide: Missouri Articles of Organization.

Or, you can hire a company to do it for you.

Need to save time? Hire a company to form your LLC:
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

(Learn why Northwest is #1 in Northwest vs LegalZoom)

4. Create an LLC Operating Agreement

Operating AgreementA Missouri LLC Operating Agreement serves as a “companion” document to the Articles of Organization.

The Articles of Organization creates your LLC, and the Operating Agreement shows who owns the LLC.

Additionally, some banks require an Operating Agreement when you open an LLC bank account.

And having an Operating Agreement will be very helpful if you ever end up in court. Reason being, it helps prove that your LLC is being run properly.

That’s why we recommend that all LLCs have an Operating Agreement – including Single-Member LLCs.

Furthermore, an Operating Agreement is an “internal document“. Meaning, you don’t need to file it with any government agency (like the Secretary of State or the IRS). Just keep a copy with your business records.

You can download a free template below.

Then, learn how to fill it out by watching our step-by-step Missouri Operating Agreement video.

Download a free LLC Operating Agreement:
Member-managed: Google DocWordPDF
Manager-managed: Google DocWord

(What's better? See Member-managed vs Manager-managed LLC)

5. Get an EIN for your LLC

The next step is to get a Missouri EIN Number from the IRS for your LLC.

Note: An EIN Number is also called a Federal Tax ID Number or Federal Employer Identification Number.

EIN Number for an LLCAn EIN Number is used to:

  • identify your LLC for tax purposes
  • open a business bank account
  • apply for business licenses and permits
How much does an EIN cost?

Getting an EIN Number from the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) is completely free.

How long does it take to get an EIN?

If you apply online, it takes 15 minutes.

If you apply by mail or fax, it can take 1-3 months.

How can I get an EIN?

US Citizens/US Residents: If you have an SSN or ITIN, you can apply for an EIN online. Follow these instructions: Apply for an EIN online.

Non-US Residents: You can’t get an EIN online, but you can still get one by fax or by mail. Follow these instructions: How to get an EIN without an SSN or ITIN.

What do I do after my LLC is approved?

After your LLC is approved, there are some additional steps.

LLC business bank account

You’ll want to open a business bank account for your LLC.

This makes accounting and record-keeping much easier for your business finances.

Having a separate business bank account also maintains your personal liability protection. This is because it keeps your business entity finances separate from your personal finances.

Get business licenses and permits

Business LicenseGood news, Missouri doesn’t have a state general business license.

However, depending on where your LLC is located, you may need a local business license or permit.

For example, if you want to start a daycare, you may need a business license from the city or county.

You can learn more on our Missouri Business License page.

File and pay taxes

LLCs don’t pay federal taxes. Instead, the LLC Members pay the taxes for the LLC.

Said another way, the owners pay taxes for the LLC as a part of their personal tax return.

How will my LLC be taxed?

By default, a Missouri LLC is taxed by the IRS based on the number of owners your LLC has:

  • A Single-Member LLC is taxed like a Sole Proprietorship.
  • A Multi-Member LLC is taxed like a Partnership.

Alternatively, you can ask the IRS to tax your LLC like a C-Corporation or S-Corporation.

Besides federal income tax, there are also state and local income taxes – and sales tax.

If your business activities require you to collect sales and use tax, your LLC must register with the Missouri Department of Revenue.

Learn more in Missouri LLC Taxes.

How to Start an LLC in Missouri FAQs

Can I start an LLC online in Missouri?

Yes, you can file your LLC online in Missouri. The Articles of Organization filing fee is $50.

When you start your LLC online, it will be approved immediately.

What are the benefits of an LLC?

The first benefit of an LLC is protecting your personal assets. Meaning, if your business is sued, your personal assets – like your home, cars, and bank accounts – are protected.

This protection applies to all LLC owners (called LLC Members). It doesn’t matter if you have a Single-Member LLC or Multi-Member LLC. All of the LLC owners are protected from the business debts and liabilities.

This type of protection wouldn’t apply if you operate as a Sole Proprietorship or Partnership. With these types of informal business structures, the owners aren’t protected in the event of a lawsuit. For that reason, Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) are a much more popular business structure.

Another benefit is LLC pass-through taxation. This means the LLC itself doesn’t pay federal income taxes. Instead, the profits “pass through” to the LLC Members. And the Members pay the taxes on their personal tax return.

And Missouri state income taxes are very similar, since the state honors the federal tax treatment of your LLC.

To learn more, please see How are LLCs taxed.

Is Missouri a good state to start an LLC?

Whether Missouri is a good state to start an LLC depends on where you live – and where you’re doing business.

Meaning, if you live in or do business in Missouri, then you should start your LLC there. While many websites talk about tax rates and advantages of certain states, none of that applies if it’s not the state where you live and do business.

For example, if you form an LLC in Wyoming, but live in and conduct business in Missouri, you’ll also need to register your Wyoming LLC in Missouri (and pay extra fees). And you’ll end up paying Missouri taxes anyway. This ends up leading to more costs and more headaches with no advantages.

In summary, if you live in and conduct business in Missouri, then yes, it’s a good state to start a business. If you don’t live in and do business in Missouri, then no, Missouri isn’t a good state to start a business.

Real estate exception: If you’re purchasing real estate outside of Missouri, you should form your LLC in the state where the property is located.

For more information, please see Best State to Form an LLC.

Do I have to file a Missouri LLC Annual Report?

LLC Annual ReportIn most states, LLCs must file an Annual Report every year to keep the LLC in good standing with the state.

However, unlike most other states, Missouri doesn’t require Annual Reports for LLCs.

That means your Limited Liability Company doesn’t have to pay a fee each year, or file an informational report each year.

You can read more here: Missouri LLC Annual Report.

Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz is the leading expert on LLC education, and has been teaching for 15 years. He founded LLC University in 2010 after realizing people needed simple and actionable instructions to start an LLC. He's cited by Entrepreneur Magazine, Yahoo Finance, and the US Chamber of Commerce, and was featured by CNBC and InventRight.
 
Matt holds a Bachelor's Degree in business from Drexel University with a concentration in business law. He performs extensive research and analysis to convert state laws into simple instructions anyone can follow to form their LLC - all for free! Read more about Matt Horwitz and LLC University.

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34 comments on “Missouri LLC”

Disclaimer: Nothing on this page shall be interpreted as legal or tax advice. Rules and regulations vary by location. They also change over time and are specific to your situation. Furthermore, this comment section is provided so people can share their thoughts and experience. Please consult a licensed professional if you have legal or tax questions.

  1. I want to sign up with an online company so as to get some dividends. It’s an advertising company that’s based 100% online. They want me to apply as an LLC. I live in Missouri and want to apply for an LLC in New Mexico or Wyoming. Would I have to pay any LLC fees in Missouri?

    • Hi Olu, if you’re running the business from home in Missouri, the LLC will be “transacting business” in Missouri. So technically, if you formed an LLC in New Mexico or Wyoming, it’s supposed to be registered in Missouri as a Foreign LLC.

      Having said that, foreign qualifications aren’t always strictly enforced. Can I ask the reason why you want a New Mexico or Wyoming LLC… is it for privacy reasons? If so, Missouri is also a private state. Meaning, the Articles of Organization doesn’t require any Members or Managers to be listed. And there is no LLC Annual Report in Missouri. You’d just want to hire a company to form the LLC for you (so they sign as the LLC Organizer and ideally, act as the LLC’s Registered Agent too). Hope that helps.

  2. Hi. I live in the Caribbean and I am thinking about setting up an LLC somewhere in the US for an Online Business. Besides the different state fees does the state I choose matters for an online business?

    Also, I have an EIN number from a previous business with another partner but the business didn’t work out and everything crashed. Can i use that EIN from the previous business or do I need to cancel it then apply for a new EIN?

    • Hi Sherwin, no, you can’t use that EIN for your new LLC (that would cause issues). And because you’re a non-US resident with no employees or offices/storefronts in the US, you can pick any state you’d like. Missouri is a good option. Also, check out an Ohio LLC. I personally like Ohio and recommend the state to non-US residents with online businesses.

  3. Hello. I’ll be doing online consultancy and my customers all over us. Is creating an LLC in misssouri enough for me?

    • Hi Ömer, are you a non-US resident looking to save money on the LLC formation? If so, check out Ohio. It’s a bit simpler than Missouri for that purpose. Hope that helps.

  4. Hi Matt,

    I live in California and have my own small business as a real estate transaction coordinator. I am considered a sole proprietor and have a DBA.. and use an EIN. I might be moving to Missouri soon and will continue working with my California agents as well as expand in Missouri. I need to create an LLC but want it to be for both California and Missouri… and maybe other states that I expand to later on?

    I’m also hoping to purchase rental properties once in Missouri by an LLC. Is there a way to open one LLC that can incorporate rentals and the TC business?

    Will the EIN that I already have be used for the LLC?

    Thank you for your help!
    Jessica

    • Hi Jessica, you’re supposed to get a new EIN for the LLC after it’s approved. Because you’ll be doing business in both states, if you form an LLC in California, it would need to be registered as a foreign LLC in Missouri. And the inverse is true: if you form an LLC in Missouri, it’ll need to be registered as a foreign LLC in California. This is because you’re doing business in two states. It might be easier to think of having a Domestic LLC in Missouri and then foreign qualifying that LLC in the states where it’s doing business. Either way, your LLC will need to adhere to filing requirements and maintenance in both states (and a California LLC tax return and franchise tax).

      You may want to consider not bundling up your transaction coordinating business and real estate rentals. This will “lump” all liability risk into one entity. Regarding the rentals, it’s worth considering a separate LLC (or separate LLCs) to own your rentals. If the rentals are in Missouri, then you’ll want to form a Missouri LLC. If the LLC is formed out of state, it would need to be registered as a foreign LLC in Missouri since business is being done there (based on the location of the rentals).

  5. Thank you so much for your reply.
    About 6 years ago.
    Yes please do remove the name.
    (NAME REMOVED)
    (NAME REMOVED)
    I registered in Kansas and Missouri since the states are so close to each other and I work in both States.

    • Hi JT, okay, cool. You have two DBA (Doing Business As) names. We could see them both on the Missouri Secretary of State website. They aren’t on the Kansas Secretary of State website because in Kansas, DBAs are registered with the county, not the state. I’m going to assume you also have the two DBA names registered at some county in Kansas. So you have 4 DBA registrations.

      Let’s pretend the two DBA names are “The Slopes KC” and “The Slopes Services”. Going forward, if you form an LLC, do you want both of those business activities under 1 LLC… or would those be 2 separate LLCs? Please read this: Can I have two businesses under one LLC?

  6. Hello Matt,
    I have an EIN number but I don’t know that I ever set up an LLC. I registered my name with the state and paid that fee. According to your steps I might have done some things backwards what I still follow your steps to set up an LLC?

    • Hi JT, many people do make this same mistake (think they are forming an LLC by getting an EIN from the IRS). When you say registered the name with  state, can you share the name (we can remove it later if you’d like)? We can verify if it’s a DBA or a legal entity. How long ago did you get the EIN?

  7. Hi. Thanks for all of the info you are providing. I really appreciate it.

    How do I go about putting properties ive owned fir years under an Llc that was just formed this month?

    • Hi Alexander, you’re very welcome. You need to transfer ownership of the properties into your LLC. You can work with a title company or an attorney to facilitate the transfers. If you have financing in place, you’ll also want to speak to the bank. And insurance policies and utilities will need to be placed in the LLC’s name after the property is re-titled. Hope that helps.

  8. Hi,

    What is the advantage of opening the LLC where the property is located? I live in Kansas City. I have properties in Kansas and Missouri, but to open and maintain an LLC in Missouri is less expensive.

    Kansas City is on the state line, so we can go to Kansas and Missouri in a few minutes.

    Do I need to open LLCs in KS and MO? or just all in MO?

    Thanks.

    • Hi Carlos, it’s about the laws of “transacting business”. If you form an LLC in one state, but that LLC is transacting business (collecting rents, for example), in another state, you need to register your out-of-state LLC as a foreign LLC in the state where it is transacting business. Another structure that real estate investors consider is a forming a holding company LLC. That holding company LLC can be located in any state (since it’s usually not transacting business). Then the holding company LLC owns other LLCs (child LLCs). The Child LLCs are formed in the state where they are transacting business. Hope that helps.

  9. Wanting to form a llc in Missouri for my rental properties in Illinois, would a s corporation be the best option, thanks

    • Hi Richard, if your rental properties are located in Illinois, then that’s where you’re transacting business. You’ll need to either form an Illinois LLC for the properties or form a Missouri LLC and then register it as a foreign LLC in Illinois. While an LLC can be taxed as an S-Corp, it is usually not a good idea for rental properties. You’ll want to speak with an accountant regarding the details. Hope that helps.

  10. We are considering starting / setting up an LLC in Missouri to purchase a farm with our daughter.
    Does it have to generate a profit in order to have it set up as an LLC?

    • Hi Michael, no, your LLC doesn’t have to generate a profit.

  11. If I file an LLC in MO just to hold property, I don’t get an EIN # because it just j holds property correct?

    • Hi Sandy, will the LLC have any income? Any expenses, credits or deductions it’ll take? How is your LLC taxed? How many members does the LLC have?

  12. If I wanted to create a llc in misssouri and I’m the only employee will I still have to get a tax if? And there is no annual fee that I will have to pay for my llc in MO?

    • Hi Starr, why wouldn’t you want to get an EIN? While Single-Member LLCs don’t technically need one, you’d have to use your SSN on a W-9, for example. Most banks also want an EIN to open an account. While there is no Annual Report due to the Secretary of State, you may have tax filings that are due. You’ll want to speak to an accountant about that. Usually based on where you’re located and your industry.

  13. I’d like to create a series LLC for multiple child rental LLCs in Missouri. Do you have similar lesson for “How to form a series LLCs in Missouri”? Especially, the focus is more on the operating agreement as it will be different from the current operating agreement for regular single LLC formation. For clarification, the operating agreement is an internal document to maintain within my company only and not a requirement to be submitted when filing anything with the state or the IRS, correct?

    • Hi Nancy, you are correct; the Operating Agreement is an internal document. There are too many variables to series LLCs and they are unestablished in many regards. Maybe in the future we’ll have more about them. We recommend speaking with a business attorney. Hope that helps.

  14. I have a single member llc. How do I make it a multi member so I can add my wife? I am in Missouri.

    • Hi Dayton, since no LLC Members get listed in the Missouri Articles of Organization, you don’t have to file an Amendment with the Secretary of State. Instead, amend your Operating Agreement or create a new Operating Agreement with you and your wife. Then you can either mail a letter to the IRS notifying of the change in taxation (LLC taxed as a Sole Proprietorship is now going to be taxed as a Partnership since a new Member was added), or you can complete IRS Form 8832 and elect Partnership taxation that way. Hope that helps.

  15. My HOA here in Missouri operates under a manager-managed LLC and lists managers as President, VP, Treasurer and Secretary. The term of our Secretary expired and a new Secretary was elected. What MO form needs to be submitted to note the name change of our Secretary?

    • Hi Jim, when the LLC was filed, was the state’s Articles of Organization form used? If so, Managers aren’t listed there. Instead, they’d be listed in the LLC’s Operating Agreement, so you’d just need to amend the Operating Agreement. You can also create meeting minutes and an LLC Resolution about the change of Secretary. Hope that helps.

      • Hello if you have a property that has multiple owners can just the 2 of the 4 in this case file for a LLC. (Missouri) without naming the other two in the Articles of Organization? The other 2 owners are out of state the 2 that filed the LLC live in state. The 2 that filed then created a lease with a renter. Is this legit and allowed?

        • Hi Cassie, that doesn’t sound kosher to me. Unless the 2 people are forming an LLC for another business purpose… one that doesn’t have to do with the property in question… and one that isn’t trying to cut out the first two people.

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