How to Start a Nonprofit Corporation in the State of Missouri

by Joe Stone

Missouri law allows nonprofit corporations to engage in a variety of activities, such as religious, charitable and social, with a complete list of approved activities set forth in Chapter 35 of the Missouri Revised Statutes at section 355.025. The primary prohibition is that the nonprofit cannot engage in any for-profit activities. To start a nonprofit corporation, you must file articles of incorporation with the Missouri Secretary of State that comply with Missouri corporation law.

Step 1

Search the Secretary of State records to determine if the proposed name for your nonprofit is available. Missouri law requires that the name of a new corporation be different from existing registered business names. You can conduct a name search through the secretary's website.

Step 2

Prepare the articles of incorporation for your nonprofit that comply with Missouri law. The Secretary of State's website provides a preprinted form of articles that requires the following information: the name of your nonprofit; a statement whether the nonprofit is a public or mutual benefit corporation; the duration of the corporation (i.e., either perpetual or ending on a specific date); the name and address of a registered agent in Missouri who agrees to accept legal documents for your nonprofit; your name and address, as well as the name and address of any other of the nonprofit's incorporators; a statement of whether the nonprofit will have members and the purpose for creating the nonprofit.

Step 3

Sign and date the articles at the bottom and include the signatures of any other incorporators.

Step 4

File the articles of incorporation with the Corporate Division of the Secretary of State located at Corporation Division, P.O. Box 778, Jefferson City, Missouri 65102. A filing fee must accompany the articles of incorporation. Current fee information is available by calling the secretary's office at (866) 223-6535.