How to Create a Missouri LLC: A Step-by-Step Do It Yourself (DIY) Guide | Inc Authority
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How to Create a Missouri LLC: A Step-by-Step Do It Yourself (DIY) Guide

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Establishing an LLC in Missouri can be an advantageous step for many entrepreneurs, offering benefits like personal liability protection, potential tax advantages, and flexible management structures. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you set up an LLC in Missouri:

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STEP 1: Choose a Name for Your LLC

Naming Requirements: Your LLC name must contain “Limited Liability Company” or abbreviations like “LLC” or “L.L.C.”

Uniqueness: The name should be distinguishable from existing entities registered in Missouri.

Name Search: Check the availability of your desired name on the Missouri Secretary of State’s online business name database.

Optional Name Reservation: If desired, you can reserve your LLC name for 60 days by filing a Name Reservation application and paying a small fee.

Time it Takes to name an LLC

Researching and deciding on a name: 1-2 hours

If opting for a name reservation: The act of filing can take about 10-15 minutes.

If opting for a name reservation: Filing can take minutes, but approval might take a few days to a week.

STEP 2: Appoint a Registered Agent

Your LLC must have a registered agent who will be responsible for receiving official legal documents.

The agent can be an individual or business entity with a physical address in Missouri. P.O. Box addresses are not accepted.

Time it Takes to be a Registered Agent

Registered Agents MUST BE at the Business Address everyday during business hours. This is why Home Addresses Are Not Accepted.

If you already have someone in mind (like an attorney or a service), this can be quick. If you need to find and appoint a registered agent: 1-3 hours.

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·       Legal Compliance: Avoid fines, penalties, and possible dissolution

·       Convenience: Serves as your public & legal business address

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STEP 3: File Articles of Organization

To officially create your LLC, you need to file Articles of Organization with the Missouri Secretary of State.

You can file online, by mail, or in person. Include information like your LLC name, registered agent details, and management structure (member-managed or manager-managed).

Pay the appropriate filing fee.

Time it takes to write the Articles of Organization

Preparing the document: 1-2 hours

Filing online: 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Waiting for confirmation/approval: This can range widely, but typically, online filings can be processed in a few days to a couple of weeks.

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STEP 4: Create an Operating Agreement

This is an internal document that outlines the operational procedures of your LLC.

While not mandatory in Missouri, having an Operating Agreement (especially for multi-member LLCs) can provide clarity on roles, responsibilities, and processes within the business.

Time it takes to write an Operating Agreement

If using a template and making minimal changes: 1-3 hours

If drafting from scratch or having extensive negotiations among members: Several days to weeks.

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STEP 5: Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for tax purposes.

You can apply for an EIN online at no cost through the IRS website: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/apply-for-an-employer-identification-number-ein-online

The EIN will be used for tax filings, opening bank accounts, and hiring employees.

Time it takes to get an EIN / Tax ID

Filling out the online form and receiving the EIN: Approximately 0.5 to 1 hour (the online process is relatively quick if there are no complications).

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SO HOW MUCH TIME WILL IT TAKE TO FORM AN LLC MYSELF? DO IT MYSELF (DIY) an LLC?

Total Time Investment (Minimum): 5 hours (if you exclude the higher range estimates and name reservation)

Total Time Investment (Maximum): 11.5 hours (if you include the higher range estimates and name reservation)

This gives a ballpark range of 5 to 11.5 working hours for an individual, excluding all waiting times. It’s worth noting that these times can vary based on the person’s familiarity with the processes and any specific details or challenges related to the business being set up.

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