How to Start a Business in Missouri

Steve Goldstein
Steve Goldstein
Business Formation Expert
Steve Goldstein runs LLCBuddy, helping entrepreneurs set up their LLCs easily. He offers clear guides, articles, and FAQs to simplify the process. His team keeps everything accurate and current, focusing on state rules, registered agents, and compliance. Steve’s passion for helping businesses grow makes LLCBuddy a go-to resource for starting and managing an LLC.

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Start a Business in Missouri

Starting your own business in Missouri is one of the most exciting and profitable things you can experience. But where do you begin? There are numerous strategies to establish a business, each with important factors to consider. If you wish to start a business in Missouri, there are many things that you should consider. Doing business in Missouri, popularly known as The Show-Me State, will give you many opportunities because of the current estimated population, which consists of 6,204,710. Considering the large numbers, you will cater to a lot of customers.

Follow our in-depth guide on how to start a business in Missouri. We will help you remove the doubt from the process and explore your chances of success. It will start from defining your business idea to establishing, launching, and expanding your business. And we will guide you every step of the way.

How to Start a Business in Missouri?

To form a business in Missouri, you must follow a few steps that include creating a business plan, choosing a business entity type, determining your Missouri business costs, naming your business, registering a business, and lastly, marketing your Missouri business. Starting a business is not something you can do overnight. The processing, planning, and preparation take a lot of time. If you want to start a business in Missouri, you must have everything ready beforehand.

Continue reading to learn more about the procedure as a whole and what new small business owners should keep in mind as they carry out each phase.

Step 1: Create a Business Plan

The first thing you need to start your business is a solid plan. In creating a business plan, you should consider many things when you are in the decision-making phase. Your business plan in Missouri is a road map for your successful business.

A business plan should consider the detailed purpose of your business. You should know what product or service you will serve in Missouri. A purposeful business plan is important because that plays a key role in knowing how your business will make a profit. If the purpose of the business plan is vague and not aligned with what service you are giving, it will affect the business you are forming. Make sure to be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and in a certain timeframe) with your business goals. Also, researching your competitor’s service is a great deal to knowing what strategy you will form for your Missouri business. And lastly, you should include the funding of your business.

A business plan should be created before you start a business. Without it, you have nothing but a blank slate. This document will help you understand the key parts of your business and the plan for success. Regarding the potential funding for your business in Missouri, you can avail of business loans in bank and investor funding.

You can continue working on the legal structure of your business once you have the whole plan in your possession. You may create an LLC for your business legally. You can check other business guides shared by the LLCBuddy Editorial Team.

Step 2: Choose a Business Entity in Missouri

A business entity refers to a legal structure formed to conduct business activities. It is a separate and distinct organization recognized by the law, which possesses rights, responsibilities, and liabilities distinct from its owners or members. Choosing a business entity for your Missouri business is significant.

You must decide on a business entity structure while beginning your own business. The form of company entity you choose will significantly impact how well your personal assets are protected, how much tax you pay, and how much paperwork you have to deal with. You should consider forming a business entity in Missouri through having Sole Proprietorship, LLC, LLP, and Corporation.

Sole Proprietorships

A sole proprietorship is a simple and common type of business structure where an individual owns, operates, and manages the entire business. It is the easiest and least expensive form of business organization to establish and maintain. One of the most appealing aspects of a sole proprietorship is the owner’s direct control over all aspects of the business.

A key characteristic of a sole proprietorship is that the owner and the business are considered a single legal entity. This means that all profits, losses, assets, and liabilities are the owner’s personal responsibility. Although this can lead to increased risk exposure, it allows the owner to control their business operations completely.

Consider a sole proprietorship if you want to start a business in Missouri by yourself. For legal and tax reasons, the owner and the business are regarded as one and the same. The business owner takes on liability for the business. Therefore, the owner is liable for all business debts in the event that the company fails.

Limited Liability Company

A Limited Liability Company, also known as an LLC, is a business structure ideal for entrepreneurs and start-ups. It is perfect for start-ups and aspiring entrepreneurs since it has limited liability issues for a company. The Missouri LLC is mainly used for the legal structure of a business between two or more companies that share management and profits. It also protects its owners from liabilities, debts, and responsibilities that may cause them in the future.

LLCs offer pass-through taxation, meaning that the profits and losses flow through to the members’ personal tax returns, avoiding double taxation that corporations may experience. Additionally, LLCs have fewer formal requirements and administrative burdens compared to corporations. Read Missouri classification of LLC tax to get more information about tax.

Another advantage of an LLC is the flexibility in the management structure. Members can choose to manage the company themselves or appoint managers to oversee the business operations. This allows for customization based on the unique needs and preferences of the owners.

Limited Liability Partnership

Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) are a unique business structure combining partnerships and corporations’ elements. An LLP offers limited liability protection to its partners, meaning that each partner is only responsible for their actions and debts rather than jointly and severally liable for the entire partnership’s obligations.

This structure is particularly popular among professional service providers such as lawyers, accountants, and architects, as it allows them to maintain the collaborative nature of a partnership while enjoying the liability protection typically associated with corporations.

In an LLP, each partner’s income is subject to self-employment taxes, and the profits and losses are passed through to the partners’ personal income tax returns, similar to a general partnership. This pass-through taxation avoids the double taxation issue faced by some corporations.


Forming a Missouri corporation reduces your personal liability for business debts as an LLC does. A corporation can be taxed as an S-corporation (S-Corp) or a C-corporation (C-Corp). If a small corporation satisfies certain Internal Revenue Service (IRS) standards, then S-corporation status is available, providing pass-through taxation. However, most larger businesses and startups seeking venture financing are taxed as C-corps.

Step 3: Determine your Missouri Business Costs

In Missouri, you should determine the business costs that you will form. You should consider paying the Articles of Organization fee for LLCs, Articles of Incorporation fees for corporations, business licenses fee, office supplies and equipment, payroll, office rent, utilities, transportation, and taxes.

Usually, filing an initial Missouri Articles of Organization fee costs $105 (by mail and $50 online), while the annual fee costs $7 in Missouri. Read about the overall cost of LLC registration in Missouri cost to know more about Missouri LLC cost. If you wish to know more about how much it costs to form an LLC, you should look up and be guided by the LLC formation costs. For a corporation, you must pay the $50 fo filing online, $105 for filing by mail. Besides, you need to pay taxes as a corporation.

Step 4: Name Your Business in Missouri

Naming your business doesn’t take a lot of time. With the help of Missouri LLC name search, you can acquire a name for your business. If you form an LLC in Missouri, you must follow the below rules while naming your business-

  • The name should not be confused with a government entity.
  • The name should be unique.
  • The name should be available to use.
  • Any other business does not use the name.
  • The new name must include “LLC” if it is a limited liability company.

In Missouri, if you do not wish to file your business right away but want to hold the name that you have decided on, then you can reserve your business name for 60 days. You must file a name reservation application in the Missouri Secretary of State to keep the name. There is a complete guide on LLC name guidelines for you to have a proper LLC business name.

Step 5: Register Your Business in Missouri

In order to register a business in Missouri, you need to file it with the Missouri Secretary of State. Before that, you must have a Missouri Registered Agent for your business. The Registered Agent is a person who is responsible for receiving important legal documents on your behalf.

Get the Missouri Registered Agent

You must get your Missouri Registered Agent before you file your business. The person should be eligible to conduct business in Missouri. Also, they must be aged above 18 years. You can be your own registered agent. However, that will not be a wise decision. Appointing a professional will be much more beneficial for your business than doing it on your own.

Apply For Missouri Formation Document

After you have a Registered Agent, you need to file the Missouri formation document. If you are filing an LLC in Missouri, you must file the Articles of Organization and if you want to have a corporation structure, you need to file the Missouri Articles of Incorporation.

Request For an EIN

In addition to the paperwork, you should apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN). An EIN will serve as the tax ID for your professional corporation. EIN can be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It is a 9-digit number similar to Social Security Number. EIN, however, is distinct from SSN. It is only used for business-related activities, particularly for submitting general taxes. The form must be completed and uploaded to the IRS website. You can obtain the EIN for free from IRS.

The application of an EIN in Missouri can be through the following:

  • Apply Online- The online EIN application is the preferred method for customers to apply for and obtain an EIN.
  • Apply by Fax- Taxpayers can fax the completed Form SS-4 application to the appropriate fax number), after ensuring that Form SS-4 contains all of the required information.
  • Apply by Mail- The EIN application Form SS-4 can be filed via mail. The processing time frame to receive the mail is 4 weeks.
  • Apply by Telephone (for International Applicants)– International applicants may call 267-941-1099 (not a toll-free number) from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday to obtain their EIN.

After you have your EIN number, you can benefit in a number of ways. It will give your LLC the final advantage necessary to operate at full capacity without encountering legal or judicial issues.

Step 6: Apply for Business License and Permit

Obtaining a business license and operating permit is necessary to run any business in Missouri. Before launching your new business, you should request any required business license or permission. Most Missouri businesses need licenses or permits to operate. Federal, state, and local governments may all require businesses to have licenses and permits. The business license fee depends on the type of license you are applying for. You must contact Missouri Secretary of State for more details.

Step 7: Get a Bank Account

Your business dealings in Missouri might be simpler with a US business bank account because it boosts your company’s legitimacy and liquidity. Most banks demand an EIN to create a business bank account for firms other than sole proprietorships. Also, keeping separate finances helps you avoid combining personal and professional finances.

Step 8: Market your Business in Missouri

Now that your Missouri business is already registered, you can market it with an ideal marketing plan. An ideal marketing plan can help a start-up business to become known. Making a comprehensive social media network like META, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube falls within this category. While creating an SEO campaign for your company website, you may also look at specialized communities on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Important Information

Do you need to have Business Insurance?

Your company needs insurance even if it’s a home-based business or you don’t have employees. Depending on your business planning and the risks you face, you may require different types of insurance. As your business expands, you might require more than one type of insurance. If you have employees, you are typically legally required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. You must contact Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration to ensure what type of insurance is required for your business.

What is the most profitable type of business?

The most profitable type of business will vary depending on a number of factors, including your industry, location, target market, and business strategy. However, some companies, such as those that provide expensive products and other services, tend to be more profitable than others. If you’re unsure about the kind of business to launch, think about your abilities and interests and the demands of your target market to guide your decision on an effective business.


What is the process for starting a business in Missouri?
The process for starting a business in Missouri begins with deciding on a business structure and registering with the state. You will also need to obtain any necessary business licenses and permits, and register with the IRS. After that, you will need to open a business bank account and file your taxes.
What type of business structures are available in Missouri?
The most common types of business structures available in Missouri are sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), corporations, and non-profit organizations.
How do I register a business in Missouri?
To register a business in Missouri, you will need to apply for a business license, obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS, and register with the Missouri Secretary of State.
What taxes do I need to pay as a business in Missouri?
Depending on your business structure, you may need to pay state and local taxes, including sales tax, payroll taxes, and personal property taxes.
Is there financial assistance available for businesses in Missouri?
Yes, there are several financial assistance programs available for businesses in Missouri, including grants, loans, tax incentives, and other business resources.
What licenses and permits do I need to obtain to operate a business in Missouri?
Depending on the type of business you operate, you may need to obtain licenses or permits from the state, county, or city. Additionally, you may need to obtain federal permits or licenses depending on the type of business you operate.
What are the zoning regulations for businesses in Missouri?
Each county and city in Missouri has its own zoning regulations, so you will need to check with your local zoning authority to make sure your business complies with local laws.
What resources are available to help me start a business in Missouri?
Missouri offers a variety of resources to help you start and grow your business. The Missouri Department of Economic Development offers a free online resource directory, which contains information on financing, licenses, permits, and much more. Additionally, the Small Business & Technology Development Centers across the state provide free business advice and consulting services.
How do I register my business in Missouri?
To register your business in Missouri, you must first decide which type of business entity you would like to register. This can be a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or limited liability company. Then you must file the appropriate documents with the Missouri Secretary of State.
What taxes do I need to pay in Missouri?
Businesses in Missouri are required to pay state income taxes, federal income taxes, and the state’s business privilege tax. Additionally, employers must pay the state’s unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation taxes.
Are there any special regulations I need to be aware of?
Yes, businesses in Missouri must comply with local, state, and federal laws, regulations, and licensing requirements. Depending on the type of business you are starting, you may also need to obtain additional permits or licenses from the state or local government.
Do I need to have a physical presence in Missouri to do business?
Yes, businesses in Missouri must have a physical presence in the state in order to do business.
What licensing requirements are there in Missouri?
Licensing requirements vary depending on the type of business you are starting. Generally, businesses in Missouri need to obtain a business license, a federal employer identification number, and other permits or licenses from the state or local government.
How do I find employees in Missouri?
The Missouri Department of Labor provides job seekers with resources to help them find employment. Additionally, there are job postings on employment sites like Indeed and Glassdoor, as well as other job boards and classified ads.
What are the labor laws in Missouri?
The labor laws in Missouri are outlined in the Missouri Minimum Wage Law. This law states that employers must pay employees at least the federal minimum wage, which is currently $7.25 per hour. Employers must also comply with other federal labor laws, such as those related to overtime, minimum wage, and child labor.
What are the requirements to start a business in Missouri?
To start a business in Missouri, you’ll need to register with the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office and obtain a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN). You will also need to obtain any necessary permits, licenses, or zoning that may apply for your particular business.
What types of businesses can I start in Missouri?
You can start any type of business in Missouri as long as you obtain the necessary permits and licenses required by state and local regulations.
Do I need to register my business with the state of Missouri?
Yes, you need to register your business with the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office. This will help ensure that your business is in compliance with state and local laws.
How much does it cost to register a business in Missouri?
The cost to register a business in Missouri varies depending on the type of business and the number of documents you need to submit. Generally, the cost is around $50.
What are the taxes I need to pay to start a business in Missouri?
Businesses in Missouri are required to pay income taxes, sales taxes, and possibly other taxes such as payroll or property taxes. The exact amount of taxes you need to pay depends on the type of business you are starting and the specific regulations in the state of Missouri.
How long does it take to start a business in Missouri?
The process of starting a business in Missouri can take anywhere from a few days to a few months, depending on the type of business and the permits and licenses you need to obtain.
Is there any help available to those starting a business in Missouri?
Yes, there are a number of resources available to those starting a business in Missouri. The Missouri Small Business Development Center provides free resources and counseling to entrepreneurs, while the Missouri Enterprise Business & Industry Assistance program offers grants and other forms of financial assistance.
What types of legal structure should I choose for my business in Missouri?
The type of legal structure you choose for your business in Missouri will depend on the type of business you are starting, the number of owners, and other factors. The most common legal structures for businesses in Missouri include sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and limited liability company (LLC).
Do I need to form an LLC in Missouri?
It is not necessary to form an LLC in Missouri, but it is recommended for businesses that want to limit their personal liability. Forming an LLC in Missouri is a relatively simple process and can provide added protection to business owners.
What are the licensing requirements to start a business in Missouri?
Depending on the type of business you are starting, you may need to obtain a state license or permit in order to operate legally in Missouri. You should contact the Missouri Department of Revenue for more information about obtaining the necessary licenses for your business.
Does Missouri have an income tax?
Yes, Missouri has an individual income tax that applies to individuals, businesses, and other entities. The exact rate of income tax depends on the type of business and the amount of income earned.
Are there special tax incentives or deductions for starting a business in Missouri?
Yes, Missouri offers several tax incentives and deductions for businesses. These include the Missouri New Business Investment Credit, the Missouri Quality Jobs Program, and the Missouri Technology Corporation Tax Credit.
Is there help available for financing my business in Missouri?
Yes, there are several options available for financing a business in Missouri. These include bank loans, venture capital, angel investors, and grants from the state and federal government.
What are some of the best cities to start a business in Missouri?
Some of the best cities to start a business in Missouri include St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, and Columbia. Each city has its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages when it comes to starting a business.
What laws and regulations should I be aware of when starting a business in Missouri?
When starting a business in Missouri, you should be aware of various laws and regulations including those related to taxes, labor, and environmental protection. Additionally, you should ensure that you are properly registered with the state and obtain any necessary licenses or permits.
Are there any networking or mentoring opportunities for entrepreneurs in Missouri?
Yes, there are several networking and mentoring opportunities available for entrepreneurs in Missouri. The Missouri Small Business Development Center offers mentoring through its SBDC Counselors, while the Missouri Enterprise Business & Industry Assistance Program provides free counseling and resources to entrepreneurs. Additionally, there are numerous local business organizations and chambers of commerce that offer networking and mentoring opportunities.

Also Read

Why Start Business Missouri is So Important

One of the main reasons why starting a business in Missouri is important is the positive impact that it has on the local economy. Small businesses are the backbone of communities, creating jobs, driving innovation, and contributing to the overall economic health of a region. When entrepreneurs start businesses in Missouri, they are not just creating opportunities for themselves; they are also creating opportunities for others by hiring new employees and supporting local suppliers.

Moreover, starting a business in Missouri fosters competition, which is critical for a healthy economy. Competition encourages businesses to innovate, improve their products and services, and offer better prices to consumers. This not only benefits consumers but also forces businesses to operate more efficiently and effectively, ultimately leading to a more competitive and dynamic market.

In addition to economic benefits, starting a business in Missouri can also have a positive impact on the community as a whole. Entrepreneurs often give back to their communities through donations, volunteering, and supporting local causes. They also help build a sense of community pride and identity by creating unique businesses that reflect the culture and values of the region.

Furthermore, starting a business in Missouri can provide individuals with a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. Many entrepreneurs are passionate about their ideas and dreams, and starting a business allows them to bring those ideas to life and make a difference in the world. The process of building a business from the ground up can be challenging and rewarding, and entrepreneurs often find personal growth and satisfaction in the journey.

Starting a business in Missouri also offers individuals the opportunity to be their own boss and have more control over their career and future. Entrepreneurs have the freedom to make their own decisions, set their own schedules, and pursue their passions. This level of autonomy and independence can be empowering and fulfilling for many individuals who are tired of corporate culture or looking for a new challenge.

Overall, starting a business in Missouri is crucial for the state’s economic growth, community vitality, and individual fulfillment. Entrepreneurs play a significant role in driving innovation, creating jobs, and supporting local economies. By fostering competition, giving back to the community, and empowering individuals, starting a business in Missouri is not just important – it is essential for a thriving and vibrant state.

Why Missouri Property Management Business is So Important

One of the key reasons why Missouri property management businesses are so important is their expertise in the local real estate market. By having a deep understanding of the local market conditions, property managers can help property owners price their rentals competitively to attract suitable tenants. This knowledge also allows property managers to screen potential tenants effectively, ensuring that they are reliable and financially stable.

Property managers also help to alleviate many of the burdens associated with owning rental properties. By handling tasks such as collecting rent, responding to maintenance requests, and enforcing lease agreements, property managers allow property owners to focus on other aspects of their lives or businesses. This hands-on approach helps to protect property owners from potential legal issues or conflicts that may arise with tenants.

Additionally, property managers play a key role in maintaining the value of rental properties over time. By conducting regular inspections and addressing maintenance issues promptly, property managers can help prevent small problems from turning into costly repairs down the line. This proactive approach not only benefits property owners but also ensures a safe and comfortable environment for tenants.

Moreover, property management businesses in Missouri provide a valuable service to tenants by acting as a point of contact for any concerns or issues they may have. From arranging for repairs to handling emergency situations, property managers offer tenants peace of mind knowing that their needs will be addressed promptly and professionally.

In conclusion, Missouri property management businesses play a vital role in the real estate market by providing valuable services to both property owners and tenants. Their expertise in the local market, ability to alleviate burdens associated with property ownership, and commitment to maintaining the value of rental properties make them an essential component of the housing industry in the state. Without the services of property management businesses, the rental market in Missouri would be far less efficient and secure for both property owners and tenants alike.

Why Open a Bakery in Missouri

One of the primary reasons why starting a business in Missouri is so important is the impact it can have on the local economy. Small businesses are the backbone of any economy, and they play a vital role in creating jobs, driving economic growth, and supporting local communities. By starting a business in Missouri, entrepreneurs can contribute to the state’s economic prosperity and help create a more stable and thriving economy.

Furthermore, starting a business in Missouri can also lead to increased innovation and creativity. Entrepreneurs are often at the forefront of innovation, as they are constantly striving to find new and better ways of doing things. By starting a business in Missouri, entrepreneurs can bring new ideas, products, and services to the market, driving innovation and competition.

Moreover, starting a business in Missouri can also help create job opportunities for local residents. Small businesses are typically major job creators, as they often hire local workers and provide opportunities for personal and professional growth. By starting a business in Missouri, entrepreneurs can help reduce unemployment rates, provide stable and meaningful employment opportunities, and contribute to the overall well-being of the community.

In addition to economic reasons, starting a business in Missouri can also play a crucial role in promoting community development. Entrepreneurs often establish strong ties within their local communities and actively participate in community events, projects, and initiatives. By starting a business in Missouri, entrepreneurs can help strengthen the social fabric of the community, foster connections between residents, and contribute to the overall quality of life.

Moreover, starting a business in Missouri can also help promote diversity and inclusion within the state. Small businesses are often more inclusive and diverse workplaces, as they tend to hire employees from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. By starting a business in Missouri, entrepreneurs can help promote diversity and inclusion within the workforce, create opportunities for underrepresented groups, and contribute to a more equitable and just society.

Overall, starting a business in Missouri is a vital and crucial endeavor that can have far-reaching effects on the state and society as a whole. Entrepreneurs who choose to start a business in Missouri are not only contributing to the economic growth of the state but also fostering innovation, creating job opportunities, and promoting community development. By supporting and encouraging business creation in Missouri, we can build a more vibrant, diverse, and inclusive society that benefits everyone.qed


In conclusion, embarking on the entrepreneurial journey of starting a business in Missouri, also known as The Show-Me State, requires thorough research, planning, and dedication. Understanding the local business landscape, choosing the right structure, and complying with all regulatory requirements are essential steps to ensuring your venture’s success. This article has provided valuable insights and guidance for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to seize the opportunities present in Missouri’s dynamic economy. By leveraging available resources and approaching the process with diligence and determination, you can lay the foundation for a thriving and prosperous business in Missouri.

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