Starting a company

How To Form A Corporation In Missouri 

Key Takeaways

  • Understand the legal requirements for forming a corporation in Missouri.
  • Get to know why it is essential to fix a unique yet easily memorable name for your corporation by keeping web availability in mind.
  • Be ready to note all the fees required to pay while registering your corporation in Missouri.
  • Gather insights about the tips and tricks to draft effective corporate bylaws.
  • Identify the mandatory licenses and permits for the smooth functioning of your corporation.
  • Know the different taxes and obligations in maintaining a corporation in Missouri.

Missouri is one of the most tax-friendly states in the United States. The corporate tax is only 4%, and Missouri is considered one of the greatest places to start a business corporation. Missouri corporation formation is never a tiring or tongue-tied task when you have authentic and perfect assistance at every step with transparency. From creating to regulating, drafting, executing, and maintaining all the compliances to smoothly function your Missouri LLC formation, here is everything you need to know.

Benefits of incorporating a business in the state

Apart from 4% being the tax rate in Missouri, incorporating your business in Missouri helps you to pass through taxation easier than in other states. Additionally, by registering the company as an S corporation, the company is not required to pay income tax, and any corporation loss will be passed on to the stockholders.

Understanding Missouri Corporation Formation

To begin with, the first step of incorporation is filing the Articles of Incorporation with the Missouri Corporations Division. For this, you need to pay a fee of $59.75 online. Please note for your ease of work that Articles of Incorporation can be filed online at the official website of the Missouri Corporation Division.

Legal requirements for forming a corporation in Missouri

The Articles of Incorporation and the Sale Tax License, also called the seller's permit, are the two most mandatory documents that are required for Missouri LLC formation.

Below mentioned are the details that need to be included in the Missouri Articles of Incorporation:

  • Name of the Corporate
  • Purpose of the Corporate
  • Names and contact details of incorporators.
  • Name and contact details of registered agent and registered office
  • The structure of the stock
  • Number of years the corporation will exist or alternate information regarding the same

Steps involved in the corporation formation process 

  • Deciding on a Missouri business name (ideally web-friendly)
  • Filing Articles of Corporation
  • Appointing the registered agent
  • Drafting corporate bylaws
  • Appointing initial directors followed by hosting the first board meeting
  • Drafting annual report
  • Applying for EIN ( employer identification number)
  • Applying for essential business licenses and permits
  • Procedures of corporate taxation
  • Checking and maintaining the compliance

Choosing a Business Name and Structure

The importance of choosing a unique and memorable business name

Choosing a unique name yet easy and memorable will help you sustain your brand name in your customer's mind effortlessly, which is nothing less than efficient marketing for your business venture. Incorporating in Missouri will become even more accessible with this tiny step potential of creating an impact on a higher magnitude.

Different types of business structures are available in Missouri, and choosing one by your need entitles you to one of the most critical steps in your Missouri small business incorporation.

Different types of business structures available in Missouri

The multiple Missouri business structures available for forming a corporation are as follows:

  • Sole Proprietorships: When a company or a business corporation is owned by a single owner, who is also responsible for all the liabilities and debts.
  • Partnerships: When the business corporation is owned by two or more like-minded individuals, sharing the responsibilities, profits, liabilities, and debts jointly.
  • Corporations: A separate legal entity apart from the owners, capable of making arrangements and contracts and doing business without having their names officially mentioned.
  • S Corporations: S corporations or Subchapter S of chapter-1 are generally not federally taxed, passing more money to shareholders (vice-versa in a negative situation)
  • Limited Liability Company: They are a flexible business structure where the shareholders and owners prevent individuals from being held personally responsible for the company's loss.

Here are the essential factors you need to keep in mind while trying to understand the type of business structure that best suits your corporation:

  • Limitation of personal liability
  • Taxes
  • Ease of transferability
  • Ease of admission of new owners
  • Expectations of investors

Registering Your Corporation with the State

A detailed guide on how to register your corporation with the state of Missouri 

Missouri business registration with the state is not as hard as how some people might claim it to be, and here are the steps for you to refer to:

  • Finalize the name of your business entity
  • Register your corporate's name with the Missouri Secretary of State's office
  • Obtain an EIN (Employer identification number) through the IRS portal
  • Register for your business taxes
  • Complete the paperwork for hiring employees (general papers like agreements, offer letters, etc.)

Fees and timeline associated with registering a corporation

The fee structure for registering with Missouri is $25, and $58 for registering your business name with the Missouri Secretary of State and Articles of Incorporation. 4-6 weeks is the expected time for registering a business corporation in Missouri after keeping sufficient time for both online and offline Missouri business filings.

Drafting Corporate Bylaws

Importance of drafting corporate bylaws

Corporate bylaws are as crucial as the whole purpose of your venture. They are the ruling and functioning manual of your business LLC in Missouri. Apart from this, bylaws are applicable as they avoid uncertainties and comply with legal formalities. This, in turn, provides the smooth functioning of your corporation in Missouri.

Missouri Corporate Bylaws also have information on the number of board directors, strategies undertaken to elect them (also, how they will be elected in the future), the required qualification for these members, and the tenure of their boards.

Steps to creating effective bylaws

Below mentioned are the systematic steps to be followed while building corporate bylaws for your venture:

  • Write down detailed information on the corporation.
  • Choose the initial directors and give details about the board of directors.
  • Decide and note down the entity rules.
  • Write corporate bylaws after checking numerous perspectives and opinions.
  • Host meeting and revise the draft
  • Understand the conflicts of interest.
  • Make the necessary changes.
  • Establish the bylaws.
  • Obtaining Necessary Licenses and Permits

The seller's permit or Sales Tax Permit is your only and most necessary license for your Missouri Business regulations and filings. However, special licenses and Missouri business permits might tag along depending on the goods you intend to sell. Missouri business license is applied for with the Missouri Department of Revenue.

Additionally, federal licenses or permits are required in the following fields of the corporation:

  • Agriculture
  • Alcoholic sales, serving, distribution, or importing
  • Aviation
  • Firearms, ammunition, and explosives
  • Fish and wildlife
  • Commercial fisheries
  • Maritime transportation
  • Mining and drilling
  • Nuclear energy
  • Radio and television broadcasting
  • Transportation

How to obtain these licenses and permits

  • After deciding on a business structure, register with the Missouri Secretary of State.
  • Business licenses can be obtained by applying through the Missouri state government portal.
  • Apply for the sales tax permit by visiting the official website of the Department of Revenue and filling up the details cautiously.

Resources for further information 

Missouri Corporate Taxation 

The three main types of taxes included in Missouri Corporate Governance are:

  • Income taxes: The tax the government imposes on the income generated by the business entities. It is used to fund public services and government obligations.
  • Sales taxes: The type of tax imposed for selling and purchasing goods.
  • Property taxes: The tax paid for the property owned by any individual or entity

How to register for Missouri business taxes

Missouri business  taxes can be registered via an online application found at Online Business Registration to register with the Missouri Department of Revenue. Or through physically filling out the paper Form 2643, Missouri Tax Registration Application, and submitting the form to the Missouri Department of Revenue.

Tax obligations and deadlines for Missouri corporations

In the usual scenario for Missouri Business Compliance, the income tax is paid based on the income at the end of the taxable year. The 15th Day of the fourth month after the close of the taxable year is the expected due date for paying the same.   

Maintaining Your Missouri Corporation

How to maintain your corporation's compliance with state regulations

Keeping up with the Missouri regulation and Obligations of owning a corporation in Missouri include:

  • Proper maintenance of annual report with the secretary of state
  • Filing and paying all the taxes, inclusive of income taxes, sales taxes, and employment taxes
  • Receiving and renewing all the business licenses and permits on time, depending on the nature of your business
  • Assigning a registered agent and maintaining legal and corporate records for the smoother functioning
  • Keep up with different compliance as it is required to abide by various laws to form and run a corporation in Missouri

Benefits of using a registered agent for ongoing compliance

It is essential to hire and appoint a Missouri registered agent for your entity as they/authority acts as the point of contact between you and the government to ensure compliance with the state's regulations. Proper communication, adequate privacy, legal compliance and flexibility are advantages of having a registered agent for your corporation in Missouri. 


Your journey towards setting up a Missouri business entity in Missouri begins with choosing a name that is memorable, followed by checking the availability of the name. Filing is the second essential step in rooting your business initiative in Missouri. Articles of incorporation should be filed with the respective fees for legally forming your corporation. Another quintessential step that needs to be done along with the Articles of Corporation is to complete all the legal papers required. To proceed further, you are required to create corporate bylaws after selecting the initial board members. It is suggested to develop bylaws after full inclusion and revisions. Other steps involve hiring a registered agent, registering for your state taxes, Missouri business licenses, special permits, filing corporate taxation and maintaining compliance. You can easily achieve business success by cautiously following the procedures and taking one step at a time!

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At Levy, we help early-stage founders streamline and automate regulatory and legal ops, HR, and finance so you can focus on what matters most — your business.

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