Welcome to our Start a Business page catered to the Missouri business filer looking to create a new business, or register a foreign entity, with the Secretary of State. Within this webpage, you will be able to find a number of detailed tutorials designed to assist you in any way possible as you navigate through the government website and various PDF documents they’ve administered. The Secretary of State online portal has provided a streamlined registration process which eliminates the need to apply for authority to transact business through the mail. However, we have also supplied direction through the paper filing system for those who are less inclined to create an online account and manage their business filings electronically. To learn more, please take the time to navigate through our website and peruse the variety of tutorials made available to you.
Start an Entity
Missouri Online Registration
As with many states, the online filing process requires that filers first create an account with the Secretary of State website. You will find that once the account has been logged in to, the management of your business filings will be significantly simpler and more organized should you decide to commit to this registration method. Functions such as name reservations, annual report updates and certificate of existence applications can be conducted in a matter of minutes. To learn more about how to register for your proper online account, review our tutorial found here.
Search for a Name
The Business Entity Search function, when utilized on the Secretary of State website, can provide a number of services for Missouri business representatives. First and foremost, you will be able to use its name availability function to research the name database thus investigating whether your current corporate designation is usable in the state of Missouri. Through this area of the government website you will also be able to purchase certificates, research detailed business filings and investigate registered agents. Click on the link found in this paragraph to learn more about how to conduct such a search.
How to File in Missouri
Step 1 – As mentioned in the previous paragraph, the Business Entity Search should be applied prior to filing regardless of the entity type being registered. This will allow you to perform a preliminary name availability search of the Secretary of State online database. Many entities will benefit from the use of a Name Reservation filing, an online submission (typically) in which you can place a hold on your company name prior to filing for a period of 60 days ($25).
Step 2 – You will now be able to choose which tutorial suits your needs best. Below are all the entities available for formation/registration in the state of Missouri; linked in the names are detailed tutorials for each. You will have the luxury of choosing between submitting the documents through the mail or online (account registration tutorial found here).
- Domestic Corporation
- Foreign Corporation
- Domestic Limited Partnership
- Domestic Limited Liability Parntership
- Domestic Limited Liability Limited Parntership
- Foreign Limited Partnership
- Foreign Limited Liability Parntership
- Foreign Limited Liability Limited Partnership
Step 3 – Once the filing forms have been completed, either online or by PDF, you will need to pay the requisite filing fee associated with your entity type. This fee can be provided by e-check/credit card online, or by check made payable to the Secretary of State if filing through the mail. All foreign entities, at this point, will also need to supply a certificate of existence or similar document issued within 60 days of this filing. Mail all items to the below address if you’ve chosen the PDF filing route. Otherwise, the payment of the filing fee online will mark the completion of the filing process.
PO Box 778 / 600 W. Main St., Rm. 322
Jefferson City, MO 65102
- Domestic Profit (Professional, General, Close, Industrial Development) Corporation- See filing fee schedule
- Domestic Non-Profit Corporation-$25
- Foreign Profit Corporation-$155
- Foreign Stock Coop-$155
- Foreign Non-Profit Corporation-$25
Limited Liability Companies
- Domestic Limited Liability Company-$50 online, $105 paper
- Foreign Limited Liability Company-$50 online, $105 paper
- Domestic LP-$105
- Domestic LLP- $55 (2 partners), $80 (3 partners), $105 (4 or more partners)
- Domestic LLLP-$55 (2 partners), $80 (3 partners), $105 (4 or more partners)
- Foreign LP-$105
- Foreign LLP- $55 (2 partners), $80 (3 partners), $105 (4 or more partners)
- Foreign LLLP-$55 (2 partners), $80 (3 partners), $105 (4 or more partners)
A Name Reservation can prove useful for those wishing to reserve the rights to their name prior to registering with the Secretary of State. You can choose to file through the mail using the PDF application, or online using your account with the business registration online portal. Regardless of the filing method, a name reservation will cost you $25 and will last for a total of 60 days before expiration. Two additional 60 day renewals can be administered for the same fee if you need an extension on the reservation.
Certificate of Good Standing
A Certificate of Good Standing (often referred to as a certificate of existence or status) is a document which is used to demonstrate legitimacy and legality to foreign secretaries of state and financial institutions. The purchasing of this certificate can be executed online and will require that you have registered an account with the Missouri Secretary of State online portal. Like most government websites, you can retrieve this document through the application of a Business Entity Search. Once completed you will simply need to provide the $10 filing fee before downloading the PDF of your certificate. More information on the process can be found here.
In the State of Missouri, you are not legally obligated to draft an agreement amongst members of your entity. In fact, the Secretary of State website specifically asks that you do not file one with them as they do not accept documents of this variety. However, this does not mean that this internal document will not prove useful to the organization of your particular business entity. Linked in each of the examples below are MS Word and PDF templates of an agreement catered to your business type. We recommend that you have your attorney review its contents before supplying the requisite information into the fields and incorporating it into your business structure.
Employer Identification Number
Domestic entities, after the completion of the registration process, should immediately apply for an Employer Identification Number on the IRS website. This number will allow you to legally hire employees and conduct financial transactions while using the business name. An EIN is used by the IRS to identify businesses as legitimate, tax paying entities in the eyes of the federal government. For more information, please take the time to review our online tutorial which features both the Online application guide as well as the PDF version.