If you're considering a Missouri startup business, you may be looking for information
on incorporation or forming a DBA. Perhaps an LLC would best meet your needs.
Whatever type of business you're looking for, we have information about the main
entity types so that you can help determine which is best for your unique, specific
Missouri Fictitious Name
A DBA is known
as a Fictitious Name in Missouri (in other states different terminology is used).
It is used any time an individual or business conducts business under a different
name, and it must be filed with the Secretary of State.
A Missouri fictitious name is required to be kept on file, but there is no name
protection granted by the state by this filing.
Incorporate in Missouri
In order to take advantage of the limited liability protection for the business's
owners, you might choose to
incorporate in Missouri. In order to do so, you will submit Articles of
Incorporation. These Articles will include:
Corporate name, subject to
name availability limitations
Registered agent's name and address, which must be in Missouri
Amount of shares
Other corporate officers
The filing fee depends on the amount of shares the corporation issues; if a corporation
has over 30,000 shares, the filing fee increases incrementally.
For-profit corporations will choose one of two tax classifications at the federal
level: C corporation, or S corporation.
C corporation has no limitations on the citizenship or number of shareholders;
it does, however, experience double taxation.
S corporation is a pass-through entity, avoiding the double taxation of
a C corporation, but it is limited to no more than 100 shareholders, and each of
these shareholders must be a US citizen or legal alien.
Missouri Foreign Corporation
Before doing business in Missouri, a corporation that has been formed in another
state must register as a
foreign corporation. Once registered, a Missouri foreign corporation will
be listed in the corporate database just like any domestic corporation, and it will
receive a state ID number.
Foreign corporations are subject to the same name availability limitations as domestic
corporations. If the legal name of a foreign corporation is not available in Missouri,
it must choose a fictitious name with which to do business in the state.
An LLC is a type
of entity that is much like a corporation—it provides the same limited liability
protection as a corporation, and it can elect to be taxed as one—but it also
has characteristics of a partnership. All fifty states recognize LLCs (a relatively
new entity type, compared to corporations) but the IRS does not; an LLC will elect
to be taxed as one of a few options.
Missouri Nonprofit Corporation
organization is one that is exempt from federal taxes because it is formed for one
of the purposes laid out in IRS Code 501c3 (including such purposes as literary,
scientific, or religious). First, a 501c3 must organize at the state level—typically
as a nonprofit corporation.
In Missouri, a nonprofit corporation would first file with the Secretary of State's
office in Jefferson City, and then apply for 501c3 status from the IRS. Only once
this application has been officially accepted is the nonprofit exempt from taxes.