Missouri Filing Fees

What are the Business Filing Fees in Missouri?

Starting a business in Missouri means paying a variety of government filing fees. We’ve compiled the most common ones here so that you’ll know what to expect.


Opening a small business in Missouri takes a lot of time and effort. There are several things you need to take into account when opening a new business. One of the easiest things you could overlook is filing, license, and permit fees. You can’t run your business if you don’t have all the necessary paperwork filed and fees paid.

We can help small businesses owners in Missouri stay organized and in compliance with Missouri, federal, and local laws. You can get your business formed and run smoothly in no time. We are a partner you can trust to watch the details of legal compliance, so you can focus on what you do best. If you need to create your business, we can help with our LLC Formation service or Corporation Formation service.

Missouri business filing fees

Paying Missouri formation fees is a necessary part of starting a business. Business entities that are creations of statutory law, such as corporations, limited partnerships, limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships, and limited liability limited partnerships must pay a fee when filing their formation paperwork. Owners of common law business entities such as sole proprietorships and general partnerships don’t have to file any paperwork to start up their businesses. 

That doesn’t mean common law business entities are exempt from paying all fees. Every business will incur fees for licenses, permits, and complying with other filing requirements with federal, state, and local governmental agencies. Knowing what they are ahead of time can help you budget your expenses.

Step 1:  Pay your Missouri business’s initial filing fees 

Statutory entities have to pay fees associated with forming their business initially. The amount of the fee varies depending on the type of business entity you’re forming, the number of owners or shares involved, and how you file your paperwork.

The fees can change from year to year. The Missouri Secretary of State maintains a list of the current fees.

Online filing with the Missouri Secretary of State’s office is the fastest way to get your documents on file. You can save money by filing online as well. Processing times can vary, but the state encourages online filing. The state doesn’t list a fee for expedited filing.

We can help you form your corporation or LLC in no time at all. When you use our expedited filing service, you can have your initial paperwork on file in no time. You can get your business started faster the sooner you have your formation documents on file. 

Step 2:  Reserve your Missouri business’s name

One of the first things you may want to do when forming your business is reserve a name for your business. You don’t have to do this, but reserving a name prevents other entrepreneurs from using your proposed name for a limited time. 

Missouri allows you to reserve a name for 60 days. You can renew twice, but the total reservation time may not exceed 180 days. You lose the right to reserve that name after 180 days. You can still use the name after 180 days as long as no other person reserved it.

Our name reservation service takes care of all of the details. We can help you reserve the name you want hassle-free and renew when the time comes if you need to renew your reservation.

Step 3:  Reserve a “doing business as” name in Missouri

Missouri allows registered entities to use fictitious names. Using a fictitious name means you’re “doing business as” a name that isn’t the legal name of your entity. Using a fictitious name allows you to market your company with a trade name or brand name that isn’t necessarily the legal business name. You must use the legal name for your business unless you filed a fictitious name certificate.

You have to pay the Missouri Secretary of State a fee to register your fictitious name. Registering a fictitious name doesn’t reserve the right to use the name. You would need to reserve your fictitious name as well. 

Some local governments require you to register a fictitious name with them as well. The local government might charge you a DBA fee in addition to the state fee. Your local government office can assist you with obtaining a fictitious name certificate if it requires you to use one.

Step 4:  Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

The federal government identifies your business by its EIN. You might have to obtain an EIN if you have any employees. The responsible party files to get an EIN. Depending on the tax implications of your business and the type of entity you formed, the IRS might issue the EIN for an individual or to the corporation. Even common law entities have to get an EIN if they have employees.

The IRS issues free EINs at irs.gov. Their site is difficult to navigate. Using us is much easier. We can get you your EIN quickly and efficiently without the hassle of trying to figure out the IRS webpage through our EIN reservation service. Don’t forget to get a Missouri tax identification for your business as well. You’ll need one to file your annual tax return with the state. 

Step 5:  Draft an operating agreement, corporate bylaws, or partnership agreement for your Missouri business

These documents are the rules for running your business. Corporations have to enact bylaws so the directors and management know their responsibilities and the shareholders understand their rights. Having a written operating agreement for your LLC or a partnership agreement for your partnership is highly recommended. The members or managers will have an easier time understanding their duties and responsibilities when you put them in writing. That way, there’s no ambiguity or confusion. 

Missouri law is the default position for LLCs and partnerships that don’t have written agreements or whose written agreements fail to resolve an issue that arises. Having a written agreement in place allows you to run your business the way you want. Defaulting to Missouri law to fill in the blanks could leave you with a result you didn’t want.

You might think you could save money by drafting an agreement personally. Doing so isn’t advisable unless you have extensive knowledge and experience drafting operating agreements or partnership agreements. You could hire a lawyer to do it for you. However, the cost might be exorbitant depending on the amount of time and work required. 

Our online operating agreement template gives you the information you need to create your own operating agreement or partnership agreement. 

Step 6:  Apply for your Missouri business’s necessary licenses and permits

Most businesses will have to apply for a license or permit at some point. Missouri has no general business license requirement. Notwithstanding, your business might need to get a license to perform its essential functions. 

License and permit requirements vary depending on your industry. You may need to obtain permits or licenses from agencies at the federal, state, or local levels. For example, if you’re a trucking company, then you will need licenses from the Department of Transportation to run your business. Another example would be an architectural firm that runs as a corporation or LLC. The Missouri board of professional licensure may require you to have a certificate of authority for your business before you can provide your services to a customer. You might need a variance permit from local zoning regulations to hang a sign for your business.

How do you know what licenses or permits you might need? You’ll have to do a fair amount of leg work to find out. It’s time-consuming and frustrating because there’s no clearinghouse for licensing and permitting requirements in Missouri. Let us help you out. By accessing our Business License Report, you can have the information you need to run your business legally. 

Step 7:  Pay Missouri registration fees for out-of-state businesses

Foreign businesses, meaning those that formed in another state, have to register to do business in Missouri. A foreign corporation, limited partnership, or limited liability company has to file a qualification fee.

If you’re interested in registering your Missouri business in another state, then you will need to have either a Certificate of Fact or a Certificate of Good Standing from the Missouri Secretary of State, for which you will need to pay a fee. The state law of the state you want to register dictates which document you’ll need.

Step 8:  Check Missouri’s annual report requirements & fees

Missouri corporations have annual reporting requirements. No other business entity has to file an annual report. Missouri allows your corporation to file annual reports or biennial reports. The fees vary depending on whether you’re filing an annual or biennial report and whether you file online or by paper.

We can take the stress out of annual report filing with our annual report filing service, and then you can concentrate on what matters most to your business. 

Step 9:  Keep your Missouri business legally compliant

Most business owners have to amend their initial documents from time to time. Any changes that you make to the foundation of your business need to be reported to the Missouri Secretary of State. These changes include amending your Articles of Incorporation or Articles of Organization, changing your principal address, changing your registered agent for service of process, or changing ownership. Sometimes you might need to add to your foundational documents. Similarly, you might need to file Articles of Correction to fix an erroneous filing.

The Secretary of State charges a fee when you file amendments or updates to your initial documents. The amount of the fee varies depending on the type of business entity you have and the type of change you’re making.

If you want help filing the amendments you need, then look no further than our amendment filing service. It’s quick, efficient, and easy. If you want more comprehensive help, then consider our Worry-Free Compliance service. This comprehensive tool comes with two yearly amendments among a host of other compliance services you need to keep your business running smoothly. 

We have the tools you can rely on to stay in compliance with Missouri law

Our Worry-Free Compliance Service has the tools you need to comply with Missouri law. We can help you stay compliant with Missouri’s corporate rules, so you can avoid costly mistakes, fines, or even involuntary dissolution of your business. 

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.


  • Are there penalties for paying my fees late in Missouri?

    The State of Missouri will charge you a late fee for every 30 days your annual report is late.

  • What happens if I can’t pay my fees to the Missouri government?

    The Secretary of State may involuntarily dissolve your business. It’s important to contact the Secretary of State’s Office if you can’t pay your fees.

  • Who receives the fees for forming my Missouri business?

    The Missouri Secretary of State receives all fees.

  • What is usually the biggest fee I will pay when I form my Missouri business?

    Your incorporation fee or organizational fee will be the largest fee you pay to the state.

  • What payment methods can I use to pay my LLC or corporation filing fees to the Missouri government?

    You can use a credit card to pay for online processing. You can mail a check made payable to the Missouri Secretary of State to accompany your paper filings.

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