Missouri Business Entity Search

Missouri Business Entity Search makes it easy to look up entities registered in the state. You could use this information to find out more about a business entity operating in the state. Or, business owners can use the tool for managing their administrative responsibilities, including checking for filings and ordering copies and certificates.

Another important use is for name research when setting up a new business entity. The state requires a new business entity to have a name that is both unique and distinguishable from existing businesses. Running an entity search makes it easier to see if your chosen name is available. 

Since entities are registered with the Missouri Secretary of State, the entity search database is available on the SOS website. People can use this portal to get publicly available information related to businesses.

Using Missouri Secretary Of State Business Search

Once you reach the website, you’ll be presented with several options to streamline the business entity search. The primary options available are:

  • Search by entity name
  • Search by charter number

Missouri Secretary Of State Business Search by Charter Number is an exact search. This number is assigned to each entity by the office of the SOS. Entering the number will show the related entity as its result.

Searching by entity name is a more useful option for general search as well as for finalizing a new name for your Missouri LLC or another business entity. We recognize most businesses by name, so using their name for search is more intuitive. 

But then again, knowing the exact name of a business isn’t always possible. In that case, we make approximations, which are thankfully included with the business entity search in Missouri.

Using Name-Based Searches For Business Lookup In Missouri

There are two types of name-based searches available to use the business entity database.

The business search is the more intuitive one for many users. However, searches that use the name of the registered agent have their uses as well. It’s possible to better manage name searches using these options:

  • Contains Words: This search option checks business entity names for the entered words in search. The order is not important as long as the search query is present in the entity name.
  • Begins With: When working with this option, the tool looks for business entities whose name starts with the term entered. This doesn’t have to be an exact search. Results will be displayed as long as the beginning of the query matches an entity name.
  • Exact Match: The search term and the entity name have to be an exact match. This option is best used when you know the exact name of an entity.

All of these options are also valid for searches that use the name of the registered agent. The only difference is, that rather than matching with an entity name, the tool matches queries with registered agent names. Remember, a registered agent can represent several entities. As such, this option may show several entity names even for an exact search.

Other Options In The Missouri Entity Search

Other options available for entity search are:

  • Registration Date (From And To): This option limits the results shown to entity registration within selected dates.
  • Entity Status (Active): This option is available with a checkbox to only display active business entities. Leaving this box unchecked will show all entities, irrespective of their status.

Both these choices are optional and can be used at the user’s discretion.

Missouri LLC Lookup And Corporation Search

MO Business entity search is often called corporation search even though it includes several other entity types. Although it makes some sense as corporations and LLCs are generally the most common entity types. 

When using the Missouri LLC Lookup for a new business name search, don’t just be satisfied if your search shows no results. It is best to try some variations to ensure there are no entity names that are very similar to your chosen name. 

Also, apart from the MO corp search, make it a point to check the legal naming requirements to ensure you’re in the clear with name selection. 

How To Reserve A Business Name In Missouri

Choosing to go for a name reservation is a useful tool for entrepreneurs. If you have a great name for your business, but aren’t ready to officially form your business yet, going for a reservation can be very helpful. 

There can be any number of reasons for choosing to go for a name reservation. From setting up logistics and administration to better managing taxes and everything else. Reasons aside, name reservation should be used strategically to make the best use of the available opportunity.

Does Missouri Require A Business Name Reservation?

You don’t necessarily need to reserve a business name in MO. As already noted, there could be specific reasons for choosing to go for name reservation. However, if you’re not bothered by name availability, it might be a better option not to spend time and resources on a reservation.

What Does A MO Business Name Reservation Cost And How Long Does It Last?

Once the Missouri Secretary of State accepts your business name reservation request, the name is reserved for 60 days. The filing fee for the associated form is $25.

Once these 60 days are over, you can file for a renewal. This will extend the reservation for another 60 days and cost $25. Missouri doesn’t allow name reservation to extend beyond 180 days. 

Therefore, you can file two renewals. If you don’t form the business within this time, you won’t be able to reserve the name again.

Filing A Name Reservation Request With The Missouri SOS

Missouri allows filing the relevant forms through several methods. You can file it online, via postal mail, or by walk-in.

Filing online is the most convenient and efficient way. If you don’t already have an account on the Secretary of State website, you’ll be asked to create one. Creating an account is free. Besides, it is useful for managing your name reservation and for several administration tasks for your business (when you set it up).

If you choose to file via paper, you’ll need to use Form BE-1 (Application for Reservation of Name). You can download, fill, and print this form. The associated filing fee can be paid using a check made out to the “Secretary of State”. Once ready, mail the form and the fee to:

Secretary of State, Corporations Division
P.O. Box 778
Jefferson City, MO 65102

If you choose to file the form in person, the address is:

600 W. Main St., Rm. 322
Jefferson City, MO 65102

Filing online is usually the quickest method and the processing time can be as low as 24 hours. Filings made through paper take longer, usually between 4-5 business days. 

Before filing for reservation, it’s important to use the Missouri Business Entity search to check for name availability. It takes a few minutes and greatly increases the chances of a successful filing.