City of Columbia, Missouri – Business License Division

The Business License Division is responsible for accepting, investigating, processing and determining approval or denial of all applications. Additionally, cigarette taxes and hotel/motel taxes are collected and managed by the Business License Division.


If you are starting or operating an existing businesses city limits of Columbia, Missouri, you must acquire a business license. Specialty licenses related to specific industries are also obtained through this division.

Visit our website for more information and requirements

Create and account and apply online via the Columbia Community Development Portal.

Any person shall be deemed to be in business or engaged in nonprofit enterprise when he/she does one act of: (a) selling any goods or services; (b) soliciting business or offering goods or services for sale or hire; or acquiring or using any vehicle or any premises in the city for business purposes.

A business is defined as “all kinds of vocations, occupations, professions, enterprises, establishments and all other kinds of activities and matters, together with all devices, machines, vehicles and appurtenances used therein, any of which are conducted for private profit or benefit, either directly or indirectly, on any premises in this city, or anywhere else within its jurisdiction, as permitted by the statutes of Missouri, and as provided for by the charter of the City“. (Section 13-18, Columbia Code of Ordinances)

Services Provided

Public Policy and Government Relations

  • Business Issues Related to a Specific City (Specialty)

Selling to the Government and Large Corporations

  • Obtaining Certification

Regulatory Compliance

  • Bonding
  • Government Requirements
  • Registration, licenses and permits (Specialty)

Starting a Business

  • Registration, Licenses and Permits (Specialty)
  • Site Location
  • Forming a Business (Specialty)
Contact Information
Customer Support
City of Columbia, Business License Division
PO Box 6015
Columbia, MO 65205