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by Mike Vestil 

The Cost Implications Of Starting An LLC In Missouri

Starting an LLC in Missouri can be a great way to protect your assets while growing your business. However, it’s essential to understand the rules and costs involved before you make any decisions. In this article, I'll walk you through some of the critical considerations when forming an LLC in Missouri.

Filing Fees Required

Knowing which filing fees are due and when to pay them is essential to starting a business in Missouri. Here are the main costs you’ll be responsible for registering your LLC.

Filing Fee

The fee for filing a limited liability company (LLC) in Missouri is $50. This fee applies to the initial 10,000 dollars of capitalization and increases for each additional 10,000 dollars.

351 Close Corporations

In addition to filing fees, it is essential to consider whether you plan on doing business outside your home state. In this case, Missouri law permits entrepreneurs to create close corporations under Section 351.750. A close corporation is one that limits ownership and transferability of shares, as well as provides maximum protection from personal liability for owners. It also enables entrepreneurs to access multiple states without needing to register their corporation separately in each one they intend on doing business within.

Tax Considerations

You should also consider potential tax implications when establishing an LLC in Missouri or any other state. Depending on your circumstances, specific tax requirements or incentives may be available to help you save money and minimize liabilities down the line. It is always best practice to speak with a qualified accountant or tax attorney who can help ensure all necessary filings are completed correctly and efficiently so as not to incur any unnecessary penalties or fines later on down the line.

Starting An LLC In Missouri

The first step is filing Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. This can be done online or through mail or fax. Once the Articles of Organization have been approved, your business will officially become an LLC. 

When starting an LLC in Missouri, one of the first steps is to select a reliable registered agent. It’s essential to find a registered agent who meets the state’s requirements and is always available during regular business hours. This individual or service helps ensure that your business is up-to-date on all legal requirements, including receiving essential documents such as notices of action.

The next step is getting yourself a registered agent. A registered agent is an intermediary between your business and the state government. They are responsible for handling official communication and paperwork related to your LLC and must be registered with the Secretary of State to be considered valid. The registered agent must also reside within Missouri so that it could be an individual such as yourself or someone from your organization. It could also be a service provided by an authorized company that operates within the state.

Although choosing a reliable individual can work well for smaller businesses, larger companies may benefit more from working with a professional service specializing in registered agent services in Missouri. Such a team will have extensive experience helping LLCs maintain compliance with state regulations, so you can rest assured that they will keep you informed about any changes or updates (such as changing tax laws). Additionally, having access to a specialized knowledge base can save you time and money when filing documents like annual reports ($45) for your business.

If you already have an existing foreign LLC that needs to be formed in Missouri, that's easy, too - it'll cost you just $105. All you need to do is submit an Application for Registration by a Foreign Limited Liability Company with the Secretary of State. After approval, your foreign LLC will be granted "foreign qualification" status in Missouri and can do business within the state.

Obtaining A Missouri Business License

As a new business owner in the state of Missouri, you may feel overwhelmed by obtaining all the necessary permits and LLC licenses. You must obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  It’s used to identify businesses and organizations for tax purposes. If you’re starting an LLC in Missouri, you need to get an EIN as soon as possible. 

Here are the steps to follow.

Step 1: Determine Eligibility For An EIN

Before applying for your EIN, you must ensure your business is eligible. Most companies will qualify—including sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, non-profits, estates, trusts, and more—but there are some exceptions. For example, if you’re starting a single-member LLC or the LLC is classified as a disregarded entity under IRS guidelines (which means it will use the owner's Social Security number instead of obtaining its own EIN), then you won't need to apply for an EIN.

Step 2: Fill Out Form SS-4

Once you determine that your business qualifies for an EIN, you can fill out Form SS-4 from the IRS website. This form requires basic information about your company, such as the name of the business entity, type of organization (LLC), principal address of the business, mailing address (if different than the primary address), contact information (phone number and email address), responsible party information (name/title/SSN of individual responsible for taxes), and other relevant details about your business. You can submit Form SS-4 electronically or via paper mail; both options are available on the website.

Step 3: Submit Your Application And Receive Your EIN

Once you complete Form SS-4 and click “Submit” at the end of the process, you will receive your nine-digit EIN via email within four days. Please keep this number handy; it will be necessary when filing taxes in Missouri or anywhere else in the US. You may also receive notifications via postal mail confirming receipt of your application. 

These notifications should arrive within two weeks or so after submitting via paper mail or one week after submitting online. 

Once you have obtained an EIN, it’s time to look into any specific licenses or permits required by your industry's federal, state, or local regulations. Note that this number does not replace any existing Social Security numbers or Taxpayer Identification Numbers associated with your business. Depending on what type of services or products you provide in Missouri, additional requirements, such as specialized licenses or permits, are needed before you begin operating your business. It’s essential to do thorough research on these requirements before embarking on any significant business operations within the state. Additionally, some industries may require special licensing at the state and local levels; check with both entities if this applies to you.

Your Missouri LLC Business Name

Knowing how to name your Missouri LLC is essential.

Here are the primary considerations.

Filing For An LLC Name Reservation With Form BE-1

Form BE-1 is the form used to reserve your LLC name with the state of Missouri. It costs $25 and ensures that your desired name is reserved while you complete other steps of forming your business. Once you submit this form, it should take approximately ten days to process. When you receive confirmation that your name has been approved, keep it handy, as you will need it when filing for other documents, such as Articles Of Organization with Form    LLC-1.

Understanding Legal Requirements for Naming an LLC in Missouri

Certain restrictions exist on what words or phrases can be included in your LLC's name. For example, the name cannot contain any language that implies an illegal purpose or suggests that the company has some government connection. Additionally, it must include either “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.," or “LLC” at the end of its name, so people know what kind of entity they're dealing with. These are essential considerations when choosing an LLC name because you may be subject to fines and penalties if you don't adhere to these rules.

Avoiding Common Mistakes When Choosing An LLC Name

When selecting your LLC's name, ensure it doesn't contain words that could be confused with another business entity type, such as “Corporation” or “Incorporated." Avoid names that are too long or difficult to pronounce, as this can make them hard for people to remember. Even if you think you have an excellent idea for a business name, it’s a good idea to double-check with a lawyer before finalizing it, just in case of any issue with using certain words or phrases in your state.

Registering A Fictitious Name (Doing Business As)

Fictitious name registration allows entrepreneurs to do business under different names than what is listed on their Articles Of Organization or certificate of incorporation. This registration adds credibility and will enable customers to quickly identify who they are doing business with, which is particularly useful if conducting business online or through mail-order services. Filing the right form with the Secretary of State is free and, once completed, gives owners exclusive rights to use the registered name. The form is valid for five years.

Obtaining Certificates Of Good Standing From The Secretary Of State

Certificates of good standing let entrepreneurs prove that their company is current on all taxes, fees, and other obligations due in Missouri. These documents can be requested online or by mail for $10 plus .50 cents per page if receiving paper copies, all within 12 months before LLC formation.

Once received, these certificates prove that your company is up-to-date on its obligations which could come in handy when applying for specific grants or loans from government agencies or banks. They are instrumental when dealing with suppliers who may require proof that you are a legitimate licensee before doing business together.

How To Register Your LLC In Missouri For Tax Compliance

Starting an LLC in Missouri requires you to take specific steps to ensure that your business complies with state regulations.

Registering With The Department Of Revenue

When you establish an LLC in Missouri, you must register with the local Department of Revenue (DOR) to collect and pay taxes on any profits the business earns. Depending on how you set up shop - as an S Corporation or a pass-through organization - determines what rate your business will be taxed at; 6.25% flat tax for the former or personal income rates applicable to members associated with the latter option.

In addition, if you plan on hiring employees, you must register with DOR's Employer’s Withholding Tax Division (EWT). This division requires that employers withhold state income taxes from their employee's wages and remit them to the DOR on behalf of those employees. The amount withheld is based on each employee’s taxable wages per paycheck and is determined using withholding tables provided by the DOR. It is important to note that failure to comply with this requirement could result in fines or other penalties imposed by DOR.

Registering With The Department Of Labor And Industrial Relations

You may also need to register your LLC in Missouri with the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR). This department regulates labor laws within the state, such as minimum wage requirements, overtime rules, workers' compensation insurance coverage, and more. If your business has ten or more employees (including yourself), you must register through DLIR's Business Registration Unit within 30 days of hiring your 10th employee. Failure to do so could also result in fines or penalties.

You should also consider registering for unemployment insurance coverage if you plan on hiring employees; this will allow you to receive unemployment benefits when needed. You can register online or by mail through DLIR's Unemployment Insurance Division. Once registered, employers must pay unemployment insurance taxes quarterly based on each employee's wages during that period.   

The Pros And Cons Of Starting An LLC In Missouri

Here are the main pros and cons of forming an LLC in Missouri

Pros Of Starting An LLC In Missouri

One of the main advantages of forming an LLC in Missouri is limited liability protection. This means that members are not held personally liable for any debts or liabilities incurred by their business. Their assets are safe from creditors or litigants should something go wrong with the company.

Filing documents with the Secretary of State's office is also a simple process. After filing these documents with the Secretary of State’s office, the state will issue a Certificate of Organization (also known as Articles of Formation), confirming that your business has been registered as an LLC in Missouri.

Furthermore, taxation is much simpler as owners only need to pay taxes at their business-income level rather than paying double with a tax on corporate income. Additionally, there is no limit on how many members can be part of the business, making it easier for entrepreneurs to get started without raising large amounts of capital upfront. Finally, administrative requirements are much lower than traditional corporations, making maintaining the company more accessible and less costly over time.

Cons Of Starting An LLC In Missouri

The biggest downside to starting an LLC in Missouri is that they cannot offer stock or have shareholders as C Corporations do. This makes it impossible for them to raise money through investments since they lack supply and shareholders who could contribute capital to the venture. 

Furthermore, while administrative requirements are lower than traditional corporations, they still require more paperwork than sole proprietorships do, so this is something that potential owners should take into account when deciding which form of business entity works best for them. Lastly, depending on how profitable your business becomes over time, you may eventually outgrow your structure and need to convert it into a corporation which can be costly depending on your circumstances.

What Kind Of Insurance Does My Missouri LLC Need?

Here are the key types of insurance every Missouri LLC needs to consider.

Workers' Compensation Insurance

If your business has five or more employees in the state of Missouri, you’re required to purchase Workers' Compensation Insurance. This type of insurance provides payment to employees who suffer an injury while working on behalf of your company, which helps protect your business from lawsuits resulting from those injuries. It also covers medical costs, lost wages, and death benefits if necessary.

General Liability Insurance

Businesses in the construction trade must have General Liability Insurance to cover any property damage or bodily injury incurred while working on a job site. This type of coverage can help protect against claims related to accidents, personal injuries, advertising and libel suits, and other forms of negligence caused by the company’s operations or employees.

Professional Liability Insurance

LLCs providing professional services—such as consulting firms, law offices, and accounting firms—will benefit from Professional Liability Insurance. This coverage protects from costly financial losses due to the company's errors in providing its client's services. Professional Liability Insurance can also include coverage for copyright infringement and breach-of-contract damages that may result from mistakes made during service delivery.

Your Operating Agreement: Key Steps To Starting An LLC In Missouri

Crafting an effective Operating Agreement is one way to give your LLC the best chance at success. A good Operating Agreement can help ensure everything runs smoothly and your business entity is set up for success. This document outlines each member's ownership structure, roles, and procedures for leaving or winding down the business entity - plus how you've chosen to be taxed.

This type of agreement ensures everyone involved with your business knows what’s expected of them and helps prevent misunderstandings from occurring down the road. It also creates stability within your organization.

As a result, your LLC will be less likely to experience significant disagreements if all parties are aware of their roles and responsibilities upfront. An Operating Agreement also establishes taxation procedures and protects members against personal liability when it comes to debts or lawsuits incurred by the company itself. Without one, you could potentially be held liable for such debts or judgments against your company!

An experienced lawyer can help you create an Operating Agreement that meets all requirements of Missouri law while still being tailored to fit the needs of your specific business entity. Your lawyer should also provide guidance on applicable state laws that may affect how you operate and structure your LLC—taxes, financial reporting requirements, annual registration fees, and more. Additionally, they can advise on any other factors that should be included in your agreement, such as vesting schedules for ownership shares or provisions related to leaving or winding down the business entity.

Conclusion

Starting an LLC in Missouri is a great way to build a successful business entity that provides long-term stability and success. It is important to remember that Missouri has specific requirements for LLCs to comply with their laws.

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About the author 

Mike Vestil

Mike Vestil is the author of the Lazy Man's Guide To Living The Good Life. He also has a YouTube channel with over 700,000 subscribers where he talks about personal development and personal finance.

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