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