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Registrations, Licenses and Permits

You'll want to make sure your business is legal. The first step is to decide what kind of business entity (legal structure) is best for you. For a description of the pros and cons of legal structures, go to the Missouri SBTDC's guide to forms of business organization. You can also look at a comparison of legal forms of business. And the UMKC School of Law has a video on Initial Legal Considerations of Starting a New Business

Once you've decided on a legal structure, you'll need to:

  • Register your business with the Secretary of State
  • Corporations Division
    600 W Main St.
    Missouri State Information Center, Room 322
    Jefferson City, MO 65101-0778
    (573) 751-4153
    Toll free: 1-866-223-6535

  • Contact the Missouri Department of Revenue to complete tax forms based on your business activity including products sold and used in your business. You can register online. 

    If you will have employees, apply for an employee identification number through the Internal Revenue Service. Obtain a Missouri Withholding Number (form 2643) and an Unemployment Tax number (form 2699). Complete the application for these numbers online with the Department of Revenue and the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

  • If you will be selling items, submit a Missouri Tax Registration Application through the Missouri Department of Revenue.

    Some professions, occupations or activities require special licenses or certifications. Click on Industry Licenses to find out if your industry has any special requirements. The Missouri SBTDCs also offer a guide to licenses and permits which includes where to find out information on Occupational Licenses. Finally, check with the Missouri Division of Professional Registration.

    The Missouri Department of Agriculture maintains information about licenses and permits specific to agriculture.

    The imposition of tax and license fees on certain professions is prohibited by Missouri. For information go to the state statute on exempt occupations.

    The Missouri SBTDC has developed a  Starting a Business checklist that may also be helpful.