How Do I Start an LLC in Missouri?
An LLC provides protection for business owners against the debts of the company, but it can take some work to get it up and running. It is not a lengthy or expensive process, but there are requirements before a business can be an LLC. There are certain steps that must be followed to make sure the LLC is set up properly and ready for business. If you’re planning on starting an LLC, make sure you go through the following steps to get everything in order.
Choose the Registered Agent
A registered agent is required in Missouri. While anyone can be a registered agent, it’s recommended for business owners to work with a service instead of being their own agent. The registered agent’s information will be a part of the permanent record for the LLC, so it’s a good idea to pick someone before forming the LLC. The information that will be recorded in the documents and available in the public record will include the physical location of their office as well as other contact information.
Pick Out a Name
What’s going to be the name of the company? It can take some time to find the perfect name for the business if you don’t have one yet. It is vital to make sure the name isn’t already taken, but this can be done using Missouri’s online database. Most business owners will want to add LLC or Limited Liability Company to their business name, so it’s easily identifiable as an LLC.
Fill Out the Articles of Organization
The Articles of Organization is a form required by the state to create an LLC. These documents are generally processed through the Secretary of state and will have various items that need to be filled out. The Articles of Organization will include basic information about the business and the registered agent. There is a minimal filing fee required to submit this document.
Apply for an EIN
An EIN is an Employer Identification Number. Instead of a social security number, this is the basic number that is used to identify the business for federal tax purposes. Every business needs this to pay taxes or hire an employee. The EIN is obtained from the IRS directly. This is free, and there are various ways to fill out the application, including online, to make it more convenient.
Create the Operating Agreement
An operating agreement needs to be created to show how everything is going to work. This includes how any funds are distributed, who owns the company, the structure of the company and employees, and more. This is not something that will be filed with the state. It stays with the business, but it is a crucial document for getting everything set up and running and will likely be referred to again in the future.
Get a Bank Account
It’s important to keep business and personal assets separate in an LLC, so a bank account specifically for the business is a good idea. The bank may require various documents, such as the EIN number and the Articles of Organization, to create the bank account. The bank used should have information on how to create a business bank account and what will be required to get it set up.
Find the Right Funding
Funding is necessary to launch any business. If the business is changing from a sole proprietorship to an LLC, there may be funding available to transfer to the business bank account. If this is a new business being launched, however, it’s necessary to secure funding for the business. Determine the amount needed to get started and who is going to provide the funding. If multiple people are creating the business together, they may go in equally on the funding. If one person is creating the business, they may need to provide all of the initial funds.
Fill Out State Reports or Taxes
Each year by the registration anniversary date, an LLC must provide a state report to update or confirm the information for the business. There is a minimal filing fee for this, and it must meet specific requirements provided by the state. There are also federal or state tax forms that will need to be filled out yearly. Depending on the type of business, there may be other reports required by the state or the federal government to keep everything updated.
Creating an LLC in Missouri isn’t a difficult or costly process, but it will take some time to make sure everything is done right. Start with the first step of finding a registered agent for the business to have help available through each step of the creation process to set up your new LLC. Start working on these steps today to get everything set up properly, make sure the business is ready to launch, and start offering your products or services for sale.
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