How to Look Up an LLC in Missouri? (A Complete Guide)

Delina Chantel Yasmeh
Published by Delina Chantel Yasmeh | Author
Last updated: February 14, 2024
Methodology
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Performing a business entity search is a crucial step when starting a business in Missouri to determine whether your preferred name is already in use by other business entities.

To determine the most efficient way to look up an LLC in Missouri, our team of business experts specializing in LLCs collaborated and conducted thorough research to guide you in conducting an effective search.

We also gathered some crucial tips and insights for conducting the search and choosing a name for your business.

Quick Summary

  • To look up an LLC in Missouri, go to the Missouri Secretary of State website and search by name, registered agent, name availability, and charter number.
  • The search will reveal basic information about the entity, including business type, status, legal standing, and formation date.
  • Over 85% of searches using the charter number find the needed LLC information on the first try, as per the Missouri Department of Revenue.
  • Navigating each step of the search process has significantly helped me minimize the risk of legal disputes, giving me the confidence to verify my business's legitimacy.


How To Look Up an LLC in Missouri?

Top view of a man looking up an LLC in Missouri

To look up an LLC in Missouri, go to the state website and search by the following methods:

1. Use the Missouri State Search Tool

The Missouri online search option is one of the most effective methods. You can search by business name, registered agent, name availability, and charter number options.

To perform the search, do the following:

  • Visit the Missouri Secretary of State website and click on the "Search" tab.
  • Choose your preferred option from the drop-down menu in the search bar.
  • You can opt to limit your search to active corporations.
  • Explore the results page to find the business name, charter number, status, and registered agent information.
  • Click on the desired business name or charter number to learn more about the company.

The information for Missouri LLC lookup contains details about the company, which includes:

  • The business name
  • Charter Number
  • Type
  • Status
  • Formation date
  • Registered agent name

You will also be able to access more details about the limited liability company, such as:

  • Domesticity
  • Home State
  • Duration
A person writing down notes in front of a laptop

The following search options allow you to customize your search for business entities in Missouri:

a. Select Business Name

Under the search tab, click "Business Name" and then enter the desired business name. You can simplify the work by choosing "Starting With," "Any Word," "All Words," or "Exact Match" options from the drop-down menu.

The "Any Word" option searches for a word that appears in the business name. To illustrate, if you are searching for a business named "Smith and Sons Plumbing," you can enter "smith," "sons," or "plumbing" to retrieve relevant results.

The "All Words" search will display businesses that contain all the words you entered in their names.

You can use the "Exact Match" option to show results for businesses whose names match what you typed in the search bar.

Once you have selected your preferred Missouri LLC name search option, you can click the "Search" button to view the results.

"Including inconsequential or filler words such as "the", "a", "an", "and", "&", "of", or "or" does not contribute to distinctiveness."

- Delina Yasmeh, J.D./Tax LL.M, Distinguished Expert in Mergers & Acquisitions

b. Search by Registered Agent

The second option for a Missouri LLC name search is through its Missouri registered agent. To do this, you will need to select the "Registered Agent" drop-down menu and then type in the name of the registered agent you are searching for.

Once you click the Search button, a results list will populate below the search bar.

You can learn more about a specific business by clicking on the registered agent's name. This will take you to a page with additional information about the LLC.

c. Name Availability Search in Missouri

The third option for a Missouri LLC name search is through name availability. To do this, you will need to select "Name Availability"  from the drop-down menu and then type in the business name that you are searching for.

If the LLC you're looking for doesn't appear in the search results, the name is likely available for you to use.

d. Search by Charter Number

The fourth and final option for a Missouri LLC name search is through its charter number [1]. To do this, you must select the "Charter Number" from the drop-down menu and then type in the charter number you are searching for.

A comprehensive analysis revealed that utilizing the charter number for searches is highly efficient, with over 85% of users successfully finding the LLC information they need on their first attempt, according to guidelines provided by the Missouri Department of Revenue.

You can find the charter number on the website of the Missouri Secretary of State.

2. Call The State

Other than using the search option, you can also contact the Missouri Secretary of State's office at (573) 751-4936. 

They will offer you immediate assistance, but you need to be aware of the information you're seeking. This may include the LLC's name or registered agent. You may also inquire about any associated fees for obtaining this information.

3. Send An Email

If the process is not urgent or more demanding, emailing is ideal. For email inquiries, you can contact the office at Info@sos.mo.gov.

Compose a clear and concise email with the necessary details about the LLC you're searching for. Include any required attachments or forms if applicable. Consider specifying the expected response time and mention that follow-up emails may be necessary.

4. Other Business Entity Search Alternatives

I must emphasize the importance of respecting legal and ethical boundaries when using unorthodox methods to obtain information about any entity, including an LLC.

Unauthorized or unethical methods of gathering information can lead to legal consequences and are against privacy and data protection principles.

If you need information about an LLC, consider using legitimate and lawful means such as:

  • Business Directories: Utilize business directories that provide publicly available information about companies. Industry-specific directories may be helpful.
  • Local Chamber of Commerce. Chamber of Commerce websites or offices may provide business directories and information about local businesses, including contact details and basic business information.
  • Social Media: Companies may have a presence on social media platforms, offering insights into their activities, events, and interactions. However, be cautious not to infringe on privacy or violate terms of service.
  • Networking: Connect with individuals in the industry or related companies through professional networking platforms. Building genuine relationships can provide valuable insights.
  • Official Company Website: Companies often provide information about their business, team, and operations on their official website. This can include contact information, services offered, and key personnel.
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB): The BBB maintains business profiles and reviews. While it may not have exhaustive information, it can be a useful resource for consumer reviews and complaints about the LLC.
  • Professional Licensing Boards: For professional LLCs, professional licensing boards or agencies may maintain public records related to licensed professionals and businesses.

Remember that privacy laws and regulations vary, so it's crucial to ensure that your methods comply with the legal framework in the jurisdiction where the LLC operates.

How to Check If A Business Name Is Trademarked in Missouri?

Checking if a business name is trademarked in Missouri is crucial in establishing a new business. This is something that most business owners factor in to avoid violating copyright law.  According to the United States Sentencing Commission, copyright and trademark offenses have decreased by 56.1% since the 2017 financial year [2].

In Missouri, you can conduct thorough checks using federal and state resources.

1. Federal Trademark Check (Through the USPTO)

To conduct this check:

  1. Access the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website.
  2. Utilize the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) to search for federal trademarks.
  3. Conduct a comprehensive search by entering your proposed business name and exploring similar or identical trademarks.
  4. Pay attention to various classes and categories to ensure a thorough examination.
  5. The check assures your business name if no conflicting trademarks are found at the federal level.

2. State Trademark Check (SOS Website)

With this approach, you need to:

  1. Visit the Missouri Secretary of State (SOS) website.
  2. Navigate to the Business Services section or the Trademarks and Service Marks page.
  3. Use the online search tool provided by the state to check for existing trademarks within Missouri.
  4. Enter your desired business name and review the results for any matches or potential conflicts.
  5. Consider variations in spelling, punctuation, and spacing during the search.
  6. If there are no conflicting trademarks at the state level, it strengthens the case for your chosen business name within Missouri.

Conduct checks at both the federal and state levels, as trademark protection can exist independently at these two levels.

Utilizing these resources can mitigate the risk of infringing on existing trademarks and ensure a smoother registration process for your business in Missouri.

Performing an LLC look up in Missouri is essential for various reasons, such as: 

  • Checking if the entity name complies with Missouri's naming regulations and does not infringe on existing businesses' trademarks or intellectual property.
  • Verifying the legitimacy of an LLC by confirming its existence, status, and registration details with the Missouri Secretary of State.
  • Making informed decisions regarding partnerships or collaborations by verifying their credibility and standing.
  • Confirming if you're dealing with a legitimate and legally recognized entity before entering into contracts or agreements with an LLC.
  • Minimizing the risk of legal disputes by confirming that your chosen LLC name does not infringe on the rights of existing businesses.
  • A search can provide insights into the necessary steps and compliance requirements if an LLC is considering changing its business structure.

By performing an LLC search in Missouri, you can make informed business decisions, reduce legal risks, and ensure compliance with state regulations, contributing to your business's overall success and legitimacy.

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FAQs

How Do I Find out Who Owns an LLC in Missouri?

To find out who owns an LLC in Missouri, visit the Secretary of State's website, Business Services Division and enter the registered business name. Basic information about the company, including the owner, may be found on the website.

How Much Does It Cost to Use Missouri SoS's Online Search Tool?

It costs zero fee to use the Missouri SOS's online search tool. However, you may have to pay a small fee to obtain certified copies or specific detailed reports.

Can I Look Up an LLC's Past Filings and Changes in Missouri SOS Website?

Yes, you can look up an LLC's past filings and changes in Missouri SOS website. You'll have to navigate to the filing history section to view past filings, amendments, and changes made by the LLC


References:

  1. https://dor.mo.gov/pdf/business_registration_checklist.pdf
  2. https://www.ussc.gov/research/quick-facts/copyright-and-trademark-infringement

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