How To Incorporate In Missouri

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1. Choose a Name for Your Missouri Corporation

Check on Available Names in Missouri: To incorporate your small business in the state of Missouri, you will need to choose a name for your corporation. You will need to choose a name that is not in use by another corporation. Before you can file to incorporate your small business, you will need to thoroughly search online and other records to make sure that the name that you would like to use to incorporate your small business is not already in use by another corporation. To search an online database of corporations registered in Missouri, go to Missouri Corporation.

Reserve a Corporate Name: You do not have to reserve a name before you file Articles of Incorporation, but you can apply to reserve a particular name before you file if you wish. You can download a name reservation application online at Reserve a Missouri Corporation Name. The fee is $25.00 and the name will be reserved for 60 days.

Filing Trademarks and Doing a Corporate Name Search: Even though the name that you choose for your corporation may not be in use by another corporation registered in the state of Missouri, a corporation in another state might be using the same name. You may find that there are restrictions on the use of the name that you have chosen. It is a good idea to consult an attorney to find out what these restrictions may be and how you can take steps to trademark the name that you have chosen for your corporation.

Missouri Corporate Name Requirements: The unique name that you choose for your corporation needs to include the word “corporation,” “incorporated,” “limited,” “company” or an abbreviation of one of these words.

2. Find a Registered Agent in Missouri 

You will need to choose a registered agent for your corporation. The registered agent that you choose will act as an agent for service of process and will be responsible for receiving all legal and tax documents on behalf of your corporation.  You can choose an adult Missouri resident or a corporation as your registered agent, but your corporation cannot act as its own registered agent. For a list of companies that provide registered agent services, go to Register a Missouri Corporation.

3. File Articles of Incorporation with the Missouri Secretary of State

Minimum Requirements: As soon as you have chosen a name for your corporation and a registered agent, you are ready to file Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State. The Articles of Incorporation for your company needs to include the name of your corporation, the name and address of your registered agent, the number of shares that your corporation is authorized to issue, and the name and address of each of the incorporators. Each of the incorporators must sign the Articles of Incorporation. You can find the Articles of Incorporation form online at Set up a Missouri Corporation.

Other Missouri Legal Provisions: The Articles of Incorporation document that you file can include additional articles if you wish. It is advisable to consult an attorney so that you can be sure to include any additional legal provisions that are relevant to your corporation.

Where to Submit Form: When you have completed the Articles of Incorporation document for your corporation, you should mail the document along with the filing fee to Corporations Division, James C. Kirkpatrick State Information Center, P.O. Box 778, Jefferson City, MO 65102.

Filing Fee: The filing fee for Articles of Incorporation in Missouri is depends on the number of shares authorized by the company. You can download the fee schedule at File a Missouri Corporation. The fee to incorporate starts at $58.00.

4. Create Other Missouri Incorporation Documents (Corporate Kits)

After creating and submitting the Articles of Incorporation for your corporation, you can begin to think about the next actions that you will take in your corporation. These actions may include appointing officers and directors, adopting corporation bylaws, issuing stock certificates, obtaining a tax ID number, and acquiring a business license. When you begin to take these actions, you should also consider creating other types of corporate documents such as buy-sell agreements, shareholders agreements that determine when stock can be sold, and documents that describe what happens if an owner decides to leave the company. These types of corporate documents are especially useful when a corporation has multiple owners. It is best to seek legal counsel when you are drafting these documents. An attorney can help you be sure that your corporate documents are in compliance with state legal requirements. You could also turn to one of the various corporate service companies that exist to help in the preparation of these corporate documents for a fee.

5. Qualify Your Missouri Corporation to Do Business in Other States

Once you have filed to incorporate your small business, you can find out what you need to do to qualify your corporation to do business in other states. If the main office of your corporation is located in another state, you will probably be required to qualify your corporation to do business in that state. You will probably need to pay taxes in your home state when you do business in other states. You can read more about how you can qualify your corporation to do business in other states online at Doing Business in other states.

6. Make Annual Filings and Pay Annual Fees and Taxes in Missouri

When your corporation is registered in the state of Missouri, you will need to file an annual report. You will be able to update information about your corporation such as your registered agent, your office address, and your officers and directors. The filing fee is $45.00 if you file a paper form or $20.00 if you file online. You can file your annual report online at Missouri Corporate Fee

Your corporation will be subject to Missouri state income taxes. You will need to file a corporate income tax form with the state. You can find and download tax forms and learn more about the corporate tax in Missouri online at the official website of the Missouri Department of Revenue at Missouri Corporate Tax. It is strongly recommended that you have a professional accountant prepare the tax documents for your corporation. An accountant can help you to avoid costly mistakes in the preparation of your tax documents.

You have to make many decisions when you are incorporating your small business, especially if your corporation has multiple owners. It is strongly recommended that you seek the help of an attorney and an accountant during this process. With the help of an attorney and an accountant, you can feel more confident that your paperwork is being processed correctly.

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This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.


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