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How to Form an LLC

Forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Missouri is an easy and quick process. In fact, the State of Missouri has created a very useful resource to guide you through every step of forming an LLC, which you can find here.


Before you decide to do anything you should determine whether forming an LLC is the right option. You should take time and care to consider which business entity is the right fit.


You may also find it helpful to consult an accountant who will help you understand the tax consequences of your decisions. Discussing your decision with an attorney to understand the legal implications and requirements may also be helpful.





When, or if, you decide an LLC is the right business entity to meet your needs, forming an LLC is an easy and inexpensive process. Honestly, for the formation itself, you really do not need an attorney or to pay for an online service like LegalZoom, it is really easy.


Here is how you form an LLC in the State of Missouri.


 

The first thing you need to do is choose a name for your business. Missouri requires that an LLC's name contain some indication that the company is an LLC, like “Limited Liability Company, LLC, L.L.C. etc. See the full requirement and list of acceptable names, here.


This is not a big thing, consider our name, Hometown Law, LLC. The fact that the business is an LLC must be announced by the name. If you would prefer not to have “LLC” in your company's name you can always file for a fictitious name and use that name publicly instead. But the name of the company when you form an LLC must provide some indication that the company is an LLC.


Additionally, the name must be unique. If you come up with a name and want to make sure that no one else is already using it, you can check here. Alternatively, if you come up with a name but you are not ready to form your LLC and want to reserve that name, you can do so for 60 days here (Missouri’s online business portal), for a $25 fee.


The next step is to appoint a registered Agent


A registered agent is a person designated to receive service of process in Missouri on behalf of the company. This person must have a physical address in Missouri.


You can name yourself as a registered agent (although if you use your home address that address will be made publicly available). If you would prefer not to name yourself or another person in your business there are companies that will act as your registered agent for a fee.


Next you actually file Articles of Organization. This can be done online in a matter of minutes, just create an account with Missouri and file. The fee for online filings is $50. You can also file via paper, but it is more expensive, and... why?


Missouri’s online portal will guide you through the process and ask for all of the information the state requires.


A couple of notes:


  • The LLC’s purpose can be what you intend to do to earn a profit, or typically people will use this, or similar, language: “The Company’s business is to transact any or all lawful business for which a limited liability company may be organized under the laws of the State of Missouri.”

  • The LLCs duration can be perpetual.

  • Member-managed means the business owners will be managing the day-to-day business operations, manager-managed means you will be hiring someone to take care of day-to-day business operations.


When you finish this process and pay the fee you will be officially organized as an LLC in the State of Missouri, feels good, doesn’t it?


But you aren’t done just yet.






Next you should create an Operating Agreement. This is where working with an attorney or online service can come in handy. You can find free Operating Agreement forms online, but they are typically quite simple, if you want any customization it is worth talking to an attorney for help.


An operating agreement establishes the rights and obligations of the LLC’s members to the LLC and between the members themselves. You may not necessarily need an operating agreement (especially if your LLC is just you) but it will provide you with additional protection and provide evidence of your organization structure.


The bigger your company becomes the more vital having an operating agreement becomes. If you have employees or multiple members, working with an attorney on your operating agreement should be a priority.


And then there are taxes.


You may need to file for an IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN) if your LLC has; multiple members, if you have any employees, or if you choose to be taxed as a corporation instead of pass-through taxation. This is an easy, and free (well except for all the taxes you are expected to pay) process which can be done here.


If you have employees or are selling goods and collecting sales tax, you will need to register with the Missouri Department of Revenue, here.


And finally you will need to obtain local business licenses. Business licenses may be required from both your state and county. This process can typically be started with a simple google search. In Kansas City you can e-file your business license/tax form here.


When you complete these steps you are ready to conduct business as an LLC in the State of Missouri. Forming an LLC takes a little bit of time and effort, and a small upfront investment, but the liability protection it will offer your personal assets (so long as you operate the business separately from your personal assets) is well worth the time and effort.


 

If you would like to speak with an attorney to help guide you through this process, and make it a little bit easier, please contact Hometown Law.

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