Do you own a business operating in the state of Missouri? If so, you may need to acquire licenses and permits to ensure that your company operates in a compliant fashion.
But how do you determine which permits and licenses you need (if any), and where do you acquire them? In this guide to Missouri business licenses and permits, we’ll answer all the tough questions about this process.
Are There Federal Licenses That My Business Needs?
First off, let’s discuss the matter of federal licenses and permits. There are many business activities that are regulated by various federal agencies, from agriculture to transportation and logistics. We recommend taking a look at the U.S. Small Business Administration’s guide to federal licenses and permits to make sure you’ve got your bases covered.
In addition, most businesses should acquire a federal tax ID number, also known as an EIN (employer identification number). This is essentially a social security number for your business, and it enables you to hire employees, pay business taxes, open business bank accounts, and more. You can acquire an EIN from the IRS for free.
What State-Level Licenses and Permits Apply in Missouri?
There is no general business license requirement in Missouri. However, you may be required to obtain one or more local, professional, or environmental licenses, depending on the nature of your business.
The Missouri Division of Professional Registration can help you determine which (if any) professional permits your business needs. Additionally, the Department of Natural Resources manages permits for any commercial activities related to the following categories:
- Air pollution control
- Drilling and pump installation
- Hazardous waste
- Land reclamation
- Oil and gas
- Solid waste
- Water protection
Which Tax Registrations are Required for Missouri Businesses?
In addition to occupational licenses and permits, there are a number of state-level tax registrations, which are based on the industry you operate in and which business structure your company uses.
Most corporations in Missouri will need to pay corporate income tax, and most businesses of any type will need to pay property tax, withholding tax, and sales and use tax.
Additionally, there may be certain industry-specific tax requirements and exemptions that your business will need to meet. For example, food sales get a 3% sales and use exemption, while most transporters and distributors must acquire a special license from the Missouri Department of Revenue. You can learn more about industry-specific taxes in Missouri right here.
Are There Local Licenses, Permits, or Registrations in Missouri?
The answer to this question obviously depends on where in Missouri you’re operating your business, but there are indeed quite a few licenses, permits, and tax registrations required by Missouri localities.
Generally, you will need to contact the city or county clerk representing the city/county in which your business is located to inquire about local licensing requirements. However, many of the largest cities in Missouri provide business resource websites with information about local requirements, including Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield, and Columbia.
If we were to break down the exact rules and regulations regarding permitting in every locality in the state of Missouri, this article would become excessively lengthy. With that in mind, we’ll simply say that every business owner should check with their local government to determine whether there are licenses, permits, or tax registrations required to operate in compliant fashion.
Can I Hire Someone to Research Licenses and Permits for My Business?
If this process sounds like a bit of a hassle, that’s because it certainly can be. If you would rather hire a reputable business services provider to handle this for you, that is always an option.
Companies like Incfile can research the necessary licenses and permits for your company on the federal, state, county, and municipal levels. They will then send you the applications you need to acquire these permits and licenses, meaning all you need to do is fill them out and mail them in.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer for the question of which licenses and permits your business might require to operate in the state of Missouri. Instead, it’s important that you know how to access the resources to determine which permits your company needs to operate in a compliant fashion.
We hope this article helped you to do just that, and we wish you good fortune in your business future!