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Starting a Business in Missouri

A complete step-by-step guide to start your business and get on the fast track to financial success.

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Doing Business In Missouri

Business facts:

Missouri’s major industries include aerospace, food processing, chemicals, printing/publishing, electrical equipment and beer. Led by Monsanto— one of the largest gene companies in America that is based in St. Louis— the state has a growing science and biotechnology field. Missouri ranks third overall for its incentive offerings and economic development outreach

Small business and Startup environment

Missouri has 461,259 small businesses, according to the most current federal data available. Of those 461,259 small businesses in Missouri, 131,405 have employees. The remaining 329,854 are Missouri small businesses that have no employees.

From startup firms to global corporations, Missouri’s pro-business climate continues to offer a perfect location for all industries to thrive. The Show Me State offers a low tax rate, reduced red tape and business friendly regulations. Your business in Missouri will also benefit from the low utility rates, central location and cutting-edge workforce training solutions.

 The co-investment program Missouri IDEA funds provides early-stage capital to help startups leverage and attract private investments necessary to fund product development, commercialization, or to hire key staff to help your startup grow.

STEPS TO STARTING A BUSINESS IN MISSOURI

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Step 1: Choose A Business Structure

The most common business structures are sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and a few different types of corporations—the standard corporation (often called a C corporation or “C corp”), the small business corporation (often called an S corporation or “S corp”), and the benefit corporation (often called a B corporation or “B corp”).

The most common business structures are:

Step 2: Choose The Right Business Name

Choosing a business name is important, you want to make it easier for your customers to remember it, here are some tips:

  1. Avoid hard-to-spell names.
  2. Don’t pick a name that could be limiting as your business grows.
  3. Conduct a thorough Internet search.
  4. Search and purchase a domain name.
  5. Use a name that conveys some meaning.
  6. Conduct a trademark search.

Step 3: Register Your Business

Depending on the business structure you chose you will need to register your business.

Missouri Resale license 

Missouri Business Entity Search

Step 4: Obtain an EIN Tax Number

With limited exceptions, most businesses require an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Tax ID Number. An EIN is used to identify a business in its federal tax filings. Without an EIN, you can’t hire employees or open a business bank account.

Click Here to Apply for EIN number online

Step 5: Open A Bank Account

– Open a business bank account:

  • Separates your personal assets from your company’s assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
  • Makes accounting and tax filing easier.

– Get a business credit card:

  • Helps you separate personal and business expenses.
  • Builds your company’s credit history, which can be useful to raise capital later on.

Step 6: Licenses & Permits

Now that you’ve registered your business name you need to obtain a business license for your company – this authorizes your company to do business in your city or county. Typically this also involves registering for state taxes and permits (the city may require them as part of the business licensing process).

Here are some links for Missouri Businesses:

Selling products? Check Missouri Resale Permit

Business Licensing for the State of Missouri

Step 7: Branding & Marketing

Your brand is the image customers have of your business, so it’s important to determine who is your audience and what is the message that you want to project. That way, your company’s image will be what you intend it to be. It should be strategic and intentional.

Step 8: Establish a Web Presence

Creating an optimized website helps you to gain important visibility for the right terms. A website is a powerful sales tool and one that allows you to address your customers’ concerns, give them the information they need to make a decision and create compelling calls to action.

In addition to a website, you should also consider other avenues for promoting your business online:

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