You have the mark of an entrepreneur with your self-confidence, perseverance and the willingness to take initiative. You have created a business plan that gleans clarity on your goals and objectives. As an entrepreneur, you have a clear understanding of both your personal and professional finances and the ability to track them. Now you need to decide what business format is best for you and your business.
One of the most common business structures for small business owners is a limited liability company (LLC). Launching and managing a business is hard work and it can be risky. So, finding ways to protect your personal liability is an important consideration. LLCs provide separation between personal assets and those of the company. Any claims or lawsuits are limited to the assets of the business itself.
Starting an LLC in Missouri
The Missouri Secretary of State website has step-by-step instructions about how to start an LLC on your own. Here are the major steps to apply for an LLC:
- Choose a name. Picking your business name is an important first decision. The name has to comply with Missouri naming requirements. The name cannot infringe on the trademark rights of another business and cannot already be taken. Search the database and confirm the name you want is not already taken. Lastly, ensure your business name is memorable and meaningful.
- File Articles of Organization. The Articles of Organization include basic information about the LLC, such as the LLC’s name and address and the nature of the business. The filing fee for a Missouri LLC is $50.
- Appoint a Registered Agent. A registered agent is legally authorized to receive subpoenas, tax notices and other official correspondence. You may act as your own agent so long as you have a physical address in the state and can be available during normal business hours.
- Get an Employer Identification number.
- Create an operating agreement. An operating agreement is a legal document that outlines the ownership and operating procedures of an LLC.
In a few simple steps, you will be on your way to launching your business. Continue forward with your perseverance. Consider consulting with an attorney to ensure your small business complies with state and federal laws.