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Missouri Business License

Once you have decided to form a business in Missouri, how do you make your business operational? Apart from the registration or incorporation of your business, you will require a business license or permit to operate in the state. The permits or licenses, their fee, and issuing authority vary according to the type of business or industry and the physical location of your business.

It is important to know that not every business requires a license to operate in the state of Missouri. At the same time, some businesses require state-wide business licenses while others have to apply for a license issued by the city or county the business is based in. Some of the general categories of permits and business license in Missouri are:

  • Professional licenses
  • Agricultural license and permit
  • Environmental permits

Missouri Business License Requirements

What are the requirements for obtaining a business license in Missouri? Which business entities require a license and which requires permits? Who is the issuing authority for these licenses? These are some of the important questions that you might be confronted with.

Here is a step-by-step approach towards acquiring a business license in the state of Missouri.

Step#1: The Industry or Business Type

How would you know what type of business or professional license is required to operate in Missouri? The type of industry or the activities of a business entity helps in identifying the type of business license required.

Let’s look at an example to understand this well.

Type of Business/Industry

  • Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs) – License is issued by Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services
  • Commercial Lodging for Tourists – License is issued by Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services
  • Liquor Manufacturing and Retail – License is issued by Missouri Department of Public Safety; Alcohol & Tobacco Control

The above example clearly shows that different businesses need to approach different state and city organizations to get their Missouri company license. It is also important to note that a specific business type may require more than one license or permit to operate in the state.

Step#2: Licenses issued by City/County

If your business or industry type doesn’t fall under a state-wide license then you will have to check with the local city or county office. A business license in Missouri can also be issued by local counties or cities in which the business is located.

Let’s take a look at an example to understand this better.

If you establish a Permanent Food Service Establishment in the City of Jefferson, then the Missouri company license will be issued by the Environmental Health Division of the Department of Planning & Protective Services. The process of application and issuance of the license can be understood from the following steps:

1. Identify the type of permanent food service establishment from the ones below:

  • Restaurant
  • Grocery Store
  • Convenience Store
  • Catering
  • Tavern
  • Mobile Food Unit
  • Mobile Push Cart
  • Child Care Food Establishment
  • Others

2. Inspection needs to be coordinated. The fee varies according to low, medium, or high assessment. Low assessment inspection fee is $255.00 annually while that of high assessment is $383.00 annually.

3. Download “Food Establishment Permit Application

4. Completed application needs to be submitted at least 30 days prior to opening date of your establishment

Note: It is important to note that you will require a valid food service operating permit as well as a Jefferson City business license prior to opening your food establishment.

Step#3: Issuance of a Business License

How is a business license in Missouri issued? Once you have identified the type of business and whether it will be issued by the state or the county, you need to download the proper application and submit it along with the required fee.

The fee would be different according to business types and the location. The licenses will have to be renewed annually to keep the business operational.

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