Operating Agreement for a Legal Entity

Although it is not required by Missouri law, it is advisable that legal entities have an operating agreement. This is often a policy requirement for banks to open a financial account for a Limited Liability Company (LLC).

An operating agreement is a legally binding document that governs the terms and internal operations as outlined by the entity’s own rules and specifications. It addresses structural items, including whether the organization is member-managed or manager-managed, and it outlines who is in control of the decision making and other legal matters. It must be signed and executed by all parties (members and/or managers). As your entity evolves, the operating agreement can be amended as needed; it is a living document.

If you are new to operating agreements and don't know where to begin, seek the help of area professionals. Small business service providers can offer guidance on operating agreements. Here are a couple free or low-cost local options:


When dealing with legal matters, it is prudent to engage with the services of legal professionals. For specialized services, consult with your tax professional and attorney. You can verify their license in the directories below. If you do not have legal counsel, the Missouri Bar Association has a lawyer search and referral service.


In addition, you may want to review templates that offer standard language so you can see the type of language and clauses which are generally included. However, it is imperative that if you use a template, it must be customized to your specific business and may be subject to complying with appropriate legal format. Click here for a sample Single Member LLC Operating Agreement.