Business Name Generator

Business Name Generator

Enter words related to your business to get started.

How to Start a Business in Missouri — Checklist

Download our free checklist in PDF format with all the steps to starting a business in Missouri.

Download Now

How to Start a Business in Missouri:

$137.00 USD
1 Month
How to Start a Business in Missouri:

In 2014, Missouri became the number one state for business banking. The state continues to enjoy consistent employment growth in the financial sector. Low operating costs, high returns on investment, tax credit programs, and an abundance of grants and loans for small business all make Missouri a desirable place to start a business.

1. 

Form your business.

1.1 

Review Missouri formation options.

Review Missouri formation options.

Missouri offers four ways of forming your business. Review these closely and pick the one that fits your business best.

When starting a small business in Missouri, the legal entity you choose will have an impact on your taxes, paperwork, personal liability, and your ability to raise funds for your business.

1.2 

Name your business.

Name your business.

Before you can name your business, you'll have to determine the availability of your preferred name.

If you need help finding a business name, be sure to check out NameSnack's free business name generator.

Go to the Missouri Secretary of State website.

Select "Search" in the menu tab.

Ensure that you filter the results by business name. This should be the default selection.

Enter your proposed name in the search box.

Click "Search."

Read through the search results, which will include identical and/or similar names.

Click "Open" to read more about each registered business.

Perform a Google search to find out if anyone is currently using the name and whether the domain name is available.

After checking name availability at the state level, you should check for trademarks. Visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website and search the trademark database.

1.3 

Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

Nearly all businesses will need to register for federal taxes by applying for an Employer Identification Number. The fastest and easiest way to get your EIN is to fill out and submit an online application on the IRS website, and you'll receive your EIN via email within 24 hours. This service is free of charge.

The application must be finished in one session. You will not be allowed to save or return.

1.4 

Register your business in Missouri.

Register your business in Missouri.

Once you have chosen a business name and a legal structure, you can register your business with the state.

Visit the Missouri Secretary of State website and download the Registration of Fictitious Name form. You can do this by clicking on the file titled "Creation, Renewal, Correction and Amendment of Fictitious Name (Corp. 56)."

Complete the application form and submit it. The filing fee is $7.

A fictitious name registration lasts five years and may be renewed thereafter. Business owners have six months prior to the expiration date in which to renew their fictitious name.

Depending on your business structure, you may need to file articles of incorporation, articles of organization, or another formation document.

Pay the filing fee(s).

1.5 

Obtain necessary permits and licenses.

Obtain necessary permits and licenses.

Missouri businesses require licenses from the state. Depending on your type of business, you may need to obtain specific licenses or permits from your local city or county clerk's office. Keep in mind that certain professions may require special licenses or certifications. For a list of Missouri cities, municipalities, and counties, visit www.mo.gov.

Consult the Missouri Division of Professional Registration and the Resource Navigator to learn more about licensing requirements.

2. 

Register your business for taxes.

2.1 

Apply for a state tax ID number.

Apply for a state tax ID number.

Many business practices are subject to federal and state income taxes, which means you may need to register your business with the Missouri Department of Revenue. This can be done online.

After you have completed your online registration, you may receive a confirmation number and additional information about your registration. Allow two to three business days for processing.

Go to the Missouri Department of Revenue website.

Scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Start Registration Here."

Agree to the terms and conditions and click "Next."

Fill in the relevant information and follow the prompts to register your business.

2.2 

Register for sales tax.

Register for sales tax.

If you are a business in Missouri and you partake in the sale of tangible goods, you are required to register for a sales tax permit. You meet the criteria for sales tax registration if you have an office in the state, have employees present in the state, store goods in a Missouri warehouse, deliver goods in a Missouri licensed vehicle, or have independent contractors in Missouri.

Navigate to mytax.mo.gov.

Log in with your details and follow the prompts to register for a sales tax permit.

You will need to upload documents containing your personal and business identification information, estimated monthly sales to buyers in Missouri, and more.

You will receive your Missouri sales tax license number in 5–8 days.

2.3 

Register for consumer’s use tax.

Register for consumer’s use tax.

You are required to register for consumer’s use tax in Missouri if you make a purchase from a seller outside of Missouri and do not pay Missouri use tax, or if you make a purchase from a seller that is not engaged in business.

Navigate to mytax.mo.gov.

Log in with your details and follow the prompts to register for consumer's use tax.

2.4 

Register for unemployment insurance tax.

Register for unemployment insurance tax.

You will need to register for Missouri unemployment insurance tax with the Missouri Department of Labor & Industrial Relations.

Go to the Missouri Department of Labor & Industrial Relations website.

Click on the "Employers" tab.

Scroll down and select the "New Unemployment Tax Account" option.

Your business should already be registered with the Missouri Department of Revenue, so select "Yes."

Log in to the Missouri Online Unemployment System and follow the prompts.

2.5 

Register for withholding tax.

Register for withholding tax.

Withholding tax is the proportion of a worker's salary paid by an employer that is owed to the federal government. Missouri businesses that employ staff are required to register for withholding tax.

Refer to the Missouri withholding tax formula to determine how much you should withhold.

Navigate to mytax.mo.gov.

Log in with your details and follow the prompts to register for withholding tax.

3. 

Hire employees and report them to the state.

3.1 

Report your employees to the Department of Social Services.

Report your employees to the Department of Social Services.

All employers are required to report new and re-hired staff to the Missouri Department of Social Services within 20 days of the date they are hired or return to work.

3.2 

Obtain workers' compensation insurance.

Obtain workers' compensation insurance.

All employers in Missouri who have five or more employees are required to carry workers' compensation insurance, regardless if they are part-time or temporary workers. If you are in the construction industry, this number reverts to one or more employees. For more information, refer to the Department of Labor's website.

3.3 

Display mandatory posters in your place of business.

Display mandatory posters in your place of business.

The Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations mandates that all employers display the following posters for the benefit of employees and customers:

  • Notice to Workers Concerning Unemployment Benefits (MODES-B-2).
  • Workers' Compensation Law (WC-106).
  • Discrimination in Employment (MCHR-9).
  • Missouri Minimum Wage Law (LS-52).
  • Employer's Employing Workers Under the Age of 16 List (LS-43).
  • Discrimination in Housing (MCHR-6).
  • Discrimination in Public Accommodations (MCHR-7).

Go to the Missouri Department of Labor & Industrial Relations website.

Select the "Download mandatory posters" option at the bottom of the page.

Read through the list of posters required by the state and the federal government.

Click on each one to download a poster in PDF form.

Missouri Business Types:

1. Sole proprietorship.

Sole proprietorships are the simplest way to start a business in Missouri. Sole proprietorships offer ease of formation and complete ownership. Only form a sole proprietorship when you know all the risks associated with your business, as you will be personally liable for business losses.

Your main decision as a sole proprietor is to determine whether you will use your real name or create a fictitious business name. You only need to register with the Secretary of State if you'll be using a fictitious name. Registered sole proprietors are still required to obtain a sales tax and use permit and an EIN.

Sole proprietors are taxed on their income tax returns based on individual tax brackets, and they are not required to file for withholding tax or social security tax if they don't employ anyone.

2. Partnership.

Forming a general partnership in Missouri is easy. Partnerships are ideal if your business partner can bring capital and expertise to the table that you cannot. The profits and risks are shared equally among partners and you don't pay business tax.

Different registration rules apply to each kind of partnership in Missouri. General partnerships only have to register with the state if they are operating under a fictitious name. Limited partnerships are required to file a Certificate of Limited Partnership with the state.

Limited liability partnerships must file an Application for Registration of an LLP. Missouri also offers limited liability limited partnerships, which are required to file a Certificate of Limited Partnership.

When it comes to tax, the rules of partnerships are similar to sole proprietors. Partnerships in Missouri do not have to file any tax returns because their business income and personal income are inseparable.

3. Corporation.

Registering as a corporation in Missouri is more costly and takes longer, but the benefits are clear. A corporation will allow you to dip into a wider capital pool and protect your personal assets in the event of a business failure. Corporations need to pay business tax.

Registering as a corporation begins with filing articles of incorporation with the Corporations Division. This includes providing your business name, as well as the details of your registered agent, registered office, share authorization, Missouri incorporator, duration, purpose, directors, and effective date. You will also need to file Annual Registration Reports with the Missouri Corporations Division.

4. Limited Liability Company (LLC).

Incorporate as an LLC in Missouri if you operate in a high-risk industry and want more power over the operational activity of your company. LLCs afford better profit distribution among members as well as few ownership restrictions.

Registering as an LLC in Missouri is very similar to registering as a corporation. Missouri requires all registered LLCs to adopt a written operating agreement. Missouri law also requires all registered LLCs to include the words "Limited Liability Company" in its full or abbreviated forms if registering as this type of entity.

Fees for Registering a Business in Missouri:

Fee Type

Cost

Registration of Fictitious Name

$7

Certificate of Limited Partnership

$105

Application for Registration of a Limited Liability Partnership (two partners)

$55

Application for Registration of a Limited Liability Partnership (three partners)

$80

Application for Registration of a Limited Liability Partnership (four or more partners)

$105

Articles of Incorporation for a Profit Corporation

$50 for the first $30,000 of authorized shares + $5 per $10,000 thereafter

Articles of Incorporation for a Nonprofit Corporation

$25

Articles of Organization for a Limited Liability Company

$50 (online) or $105 (via mail)

Missouri Business Search

How to check business name availability in Missouri.

FAQs:

How do I obtain a business license in Missouri?

You can apply for a Missouri business license online or in person at your local city or county clerk's office. Missouri business licensing fees vary according to your type of business and location.

How much does it cost to start an LLC in Missouri?

Missouri LLC registration has two costs. It costs $55 to submit the formation documents online and $105 to register by mail.

How do I set up an LLC in Missouri?

  1. Choose a name for your LLC.
  2. File articles of organization.
  3. Choose a registered agent.
  4. Create an operating agreement.
  5. Comply with publication requirements.
  6. Obtain an EIN.

Do I need a business license in Missouri?

Missouri does not require a statewide business license. However, you may need to obtain specific licenses and permits from the city and local government, depending on your location and business type.

Do you need a business license to sell online in Missouri?

Not all businesses in Missouri require a business license. However, it's best to check the Missouri Business Portal to see if your business requires a business license or permit before starting an online business in Missouri.

How do I get an EIN in Missouri?

Complete and submit an online application form on the IRS website, and you'll receive your EIN via email within 24 hours. Read our step-by-step guide if you need help along the way.

How do I start a cleaning business in Missouri?

  1. Choose a business structure.
  2. Register with the Secretary of State (SOS).
  3. Take care of tax requirements and licensing.
  4. Hire employees and report them to the state.

How do I get a vendor's license in Missouri?

You may register your business via the Missouri Department of Revenue.

How much does it cost to register a business name in Missouri?

It cost $7 to register a business name with the Missouri Secretary of State.

How do I start a sole proprietorship in Missouri?

  1. Select your business name.
  2. File an application for a fictitious name with the Missouri Secretary of State.
  3. Acquire the applicable licenses, permits, and zoning clearance.
  4. Get an EIN.

How do I file for a fictitious business name in Missouri?

You can register a fictitious business name online with the Secretary of State. Alternatively, you can download and mail the registration form.

Does Missouri require an operating agreement for an LLC?

Yes. In the state of Missouri, LLC owners are required to complete an operating agreement. Our business formation guide has more information on how to start an LLC in Missouri.

How can I register a business in Missouri?

You can register your business in person, by mail, or online via the SOS website. Read our guide to learn how to register a business in Missouri.

How much does it cost to register a business in Missouri?

If you are a sole proprietor or general partner, fictitious name registration in Missouri costs $7. The cost to file formation documents starts at $55 and varies depending on the type of business structure.

What posters are required by the state of Missouri?

  • Notice to Workers Concerning Unemployment Benefits (MODES-B-2).
  • Workers' Compensation Law (WC-106).
  • Discrimination in Employment (MCHR-9).
  • Missouri Minimum Wage Law (LS-52).
  • Employer's Employing Workers Under the Age of 16 List (LS-43).
  • Discrimination in Housing (MCHR-6).
  • Discrimination in Public Accommodations (MCHR-7).

Do I need to provide workers' compensation in Missouri?

Yes. All employers in Missouri with five or more employees must provide workers' compensation insurance for their employees. In the construction industry, this applies to employers with one or more employees.

Related Articles

How to Start a Franchise

Find out everything that you need to know about starting a franchise.

How to Name a Startup

Create a great name for your startup today.

How to Name an LLC

Create a compelling name for your LLC today.

How to Write a Business Proposal

Learn how to write a professional business proposal with our step-by-step guide.

How to Write a Tagline

Learn how to come up with a tagline for your business.

Business Name Generator

Enter words related to your business to get started.