Forming your own LLC isn’t rocket science, but if you need some help weighing the pros and cons of choosing to operate as an LLC, sample forms, instructions on how to get an EIN for banking and tax purposes, as well as an operating agreement, we’ve got a free, downloadable “do it yourself” kit you can use. In other words, the price you pay to purchase equals “zero.” That kit provides more information about LLCs and includes a couple of free LLC operating agreements. (We used to sell the kit but since the Covid-19 pandemic have simply given the kit away.)
For your convenience, if you just need some help getting the forms filled out and sent in to create your Missouri LLC, those steps are available: (These instructions are up-to-date as of August 4, 2020.)
1. Check if the LLC name you want is available
Your first step in setting up an LLC is to check if the name you want to use is even available. To do this, you can use the Missouri Secretary of State’s corporations search form at:
By entering the name you want to use in the search form, you’ll be able to see if there’s another business already using the name that you want. You can’t use a name, by the way, that’s the same or deceptively similar to another existing LLC’s name.
2. Download the Articles of Organization form from the Missouri Secretary of State’s web site, then print this form
The URL, or web page address, for this form is as shown below.
As an alternative, you can file online at:
The mailed application has a $105 filing fee. Online filings have a $50 filing fee.
3. Identify the name you want to use for your new LLC
After you download and print the three page LLC application form with instructions, you’re ready to fill the form out. To start, enter your business or investment name into top line labeled, “Name of Limited-Liability Company.” The name must include one of the phrases or acronyms, “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Liability Co.,” “LLC,” or “L.L.C.” For example, all of the following names should be acceptable:
- Acme Explosives Limited Liability Company
- Acme Explosives Limited Liability Co.
- Acme Explosives LLC
- Acme Explosives L.L.C.
4. State the purpose of your business
Briefly state the nature of your business. For example, “to sell wholesale mining supplies,” “real estate,” professional practice of accounting,” or “commercial printer.”
5. Identify the registered agent
Missouri state wants to know the name and contact information for a real person within the state of Missouri whom can act as the contact person should the state have questions or concerns about an LLC’s operation. You can pay someone else to be this registered agent, but it’s really easiest and cheapest to just be your own registered agent.
Accordingly, enter your name and address information into the line labeled “Name and Address of the LLC Company’s Registered Agent.”
6. Indicate how your LLC will be managed
LLCs can be managed either by all of their members, or owners, or they can be managed by only one or some of their members, who are in this case called managers or manager-members. To indicate how your LLC will be managed, mark the appropriate checkbox: “Managers,” or “Members.”
7. State the dissolution date
The period of duration is the life span of your LLC. Some LLCs are created for a specific purpose and are intended to exist for a specific period of time. You can list a specific number of years, or simply write “perpetual.”
8. Identify the people forming the LLC
Missouri also wants to know the names and contact information for the person or people organizing the LLC. To provide this information, enter the names and addresses of the organizer or organizers onto the line labeled, “Names Addresses, of Each Organizer.” Note that you’ll also need each of the organizer’s (or organizers’) signatures for page 2 of the standard Missouri form.
9. Specify the effective formation date
The effective date of the form will be the filing date unless you specify otherwise. If you choose a different date, keep in mind it must be within 90 days of filing.
10. Provide your name and address to the Secretary of State’s office
In the box at the bottom of the page, enter the name and address of where the Secretary of State should mail the LLC certificate.
11. Have organizers sign the Articles of Organization
I don’t show page 2 of the standard form because all it does is provide lines for signatures, but you need to have each organizer sign page 2.
The downloadable kit shows an example of the first page of a completed Missouri LLC application.
12. Mail in the LLC application
After you complete the application to form a limited liability company, mail the completed form and a check for $105 to:
Secretary of State
P.O. Box 778 / 600 W. Main Street
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Processing lead times vary, but in general, it takes several weeks to get your LLC certificate back from the Secretary of State’s office. Online applications have only a $50 filing fee and are usually processed faster.