Resources to Start a Business in Missouri
Corporation Name Choice
The Missouri Secretary of State Business Division regulates that a corporation name must contain one of the following business designators, or end with an abbreviated version of them: Company (Co.), Corporation (Corp.), Incorporated (Inc.), or Limited (Ltd).
The division also states that each entity name be distinguishable from any other on their records. If you select a name that is not distinguishable, you must either change the chosen name or find a way to make it distinguishable. You may search the entity name database for availability, and if it is available you may either proceed with the paperwork to organize the corporation, or file an application to reserve the name for 60 days.
The Legal Stuff
To officially start a business in Missouri, your corporation needs to file Articles of Incorporation with the office of the Secretary of State. The articles may be filed online or by mail and a $50 filing fee is assessed. These articles give details about the corporation such as its names, address and purpose, the name and address of a registered agent, and incorporators. The form will also ask for the number of shares the corporation will be authorized to issue, and whether its existence will be perpetual or limited.
In order to be taxed as an S-Corp on the Federal level, the corporation must elect this status by filing Form 2553: Election by a Small Business Corporation. This form will need to have signatures of each shareholder, and be filed no more than 2.5 months after the corporations first tax year.
The corporation will also need an Employer Identification Number (EIN). There is no filing fee to receive an EIN, and it can be downloaded immediately from the IRS website.
Once your S-corp is set up, remember to get a business license in the city you are operating. Most cities pull data from newly-registered businesses in the state so they can track down who in their city should have a license. While you can wait for your city to come knocking if you are on a tight budget (and many will simply give you a deadline to get a license), some municipalities may not be so friendly about it.