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Starting a Business in Missouri

Four easy steps to starting a business in Missouri

Register with the Missouri Secretary of State

  • Sole proprietors using own name DO NOT need to register
  • Check on the availability of your business name by searching the Secretary of State’s online database.
  • Sole proprietors using a name other than your own, Register the name of your business with the Secretary of State, (573) 751-4153, by filing a Fictitious Name Registration.
  • Corporations file articles of incorporation or articles of organization (LLC). Also be sure to read about federal requirements for LLCs
  • LLCs can file online
  • S-corporation status requires that you form your Missouri corporation or LLC and file IRS Form 2553

Missouri business taxes

If hiring employees

  • Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) online
  • Obtain a Missouri Withholding Number (form 2643) and an Unemployment Tax number (form 2699). Complete the application for these numbers online with the Department of Revenue and the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

Check city/county licenses and permits, industry and professional registrations

Contact your Missouri local city or county clerk office to see if you need any specific licenses and permits. 

The imposition of tax and license fees on certain professions is prohibited by Missouri. For information go to the Department of Revenue's page on exempt occupations, or check with your local city/county clerk office for license-exempt occupation lists.

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    You're a member of the start-up group. Brand new to the entrepreneurial world, your ideas and energy will take you far. Welcome to the family.


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    You're a member of the microenterprise group. Your small business is not only your dream job, but also gives you the flexibility to do things on your time.


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