Missouri Startup

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 circumstance.

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
  • Incorporator
  • 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

A C corporation has no limitations on the citizenship or number of shareholders; it does, however, experience double taxation.

S Corporation

An 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.

Missouri LLC

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

A 501c3 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.