Kansas City Business License

Kansas City, Missouri, requires virtually every business operating within the city to have a business license. This is essentially a tax for operating in Kansas City.

This post is provided for general information only. Please confirm the details and circumstances of your unique situation with your tax accountant or other appropriate advisor before taking action.

Who needs a business license?

Generally, every business that’s operating within Kansas City needs to have a business license. You must obtain the business license before you begin operating, or you may be subject to fines.

The business license is valid for the calendar year and must be renewed annually.

What if I have a DBA?

Sole proprietors and partnerships need to have a business license whether or not they have a DBA. A DBA registers the business name with the Missouri Secretary of State and doesn’t substitute for local business licenses.

What if I have a corporation or LLC?

Having a corporation or LLC does not meet the licensing requirements. Forming a corporation or LLC is not a license.

Legal business entities need to both establish their legal status with the state and secure needed local licenses and permits.

What if I have a professional license?

Professional licenses are separate from business licenses.

A professional license qualifies you for a specific line of work.

A business license allows you to do business in a specific location.

In most cases, you will need both types of license to conduct business activities.

How do you apply for a Kansas City, Missouri, business license?

To apply for a business license, contact the Business License Office. Be careful not to apply for a Kansas retail license through Kansas City, Kansas unless you do business there as well.

The business license process helps make sure your business meets local zoning requirements and other legal requirements. For example, you can’t get a business license to open a factory in a residential neighborhood.

You may be asked questions to verify that your business will meet occupancy requirements for your business or comply with other safety requirements.

Some businesses may need inspections for building codes, fire safety, or health department requirements. The police department may also conduct background checks on certain types of businesses, such as those selling alcohol or providing security services.

How much does a Kansas City business license cost?

The cost for Kansas City, Missouri business licenses varies based on the type of business activity and size of the business.

Larger businesses typically pay more. Business activities that require more inspections or other oversight will also typically pay more to offset those costs.

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