Learn about certain requirements for all businesses, and other requirements related to specific industries.
Collect Documents and Meet Initial Requirements
What are business licenses?
Business licenses are required for all businesses in Kansas City. Certain other licenses are required for certain industries. You will also need a business license if you choose to work with the City of KCMO.
Do I need a business license?
Business Licenses are required by Sec. 40 of the Kansas City municipal code of any operation that generates revenue, transacts, or employs within City limits.
How do I obtain a KCMO business license?
New Businesses are required to meet the following requirements prior to the issuance of a business license. Proof of obtaining the following documents should accompany the initial request for a license. In addition to licensing, certain businesses must register to pay other taxes the City collects.
For All Businesses
Missouri Secretary of State Filing: Required for sole proprietorships and partnerships operating under a business name as well as limited liability companies (LLC), corporations, limited partnerships, non-profit organizations. Please see the checklist step "Register Your Business with the Missouri Secretary of State" on the "Set Up Your Business" page if you have not already.
Workers Compensation (Proof of Insurance or Exemption): Required for construction companies. Includes Workers Compensation Certificate of Insurance, Form MO-WC76 (Certificate of Insurer), and Form MO-WC65B (Exemption)
Additional paperwork and/or requirements may be required depending on the type of business activity. To verify documents needed, email email@example.com or call (816) 513-2491.
Apply for a Zoning Clearance Letter
What is a zoning clearance letter?
Before you lease or purchase a building, you will need to ensure it is properly zoned for your business through a Zoning Clearance Letter. This is required for all new and existing businesses, whether home or commercially-based, and must be obtained prior to receiving your business license.
Why do I need a zoning clearance letter?
This procedure helps the City to verify that a proposed land use or structure is allowed in the applicable zoning district.
How can I get a zoning clearance letter?
You can apply for a Zoning Clearance through our website here (next business day service) or in person on the 5th floor of City Hall. If your KCMO business address has changed, you will need to request a zoning clearance for the new location and update your business license at firstname.lastname@example.org. Zoning Clearance requests are free. You may also update the IRS by filing form 8822-B.
Disclaimer: Zoning Clearances approve a business to operate in a particular zoning area. They do not review the building itself and its code compliance, certificate of occupancy, etc. You will need to contact building staff for these other items.
Need a Zoning Clearance Letter?
Apply online for free by answering a few questions about your business.
This license is required for all businesses (sole proprietors, partnerships, and corporations) operating in Kansas City, Missouri. A license is valid for the calendar year in which it is issued. Business licenses expire on December 31 of each year.
How do I apply for a KCMO business license?
You can apply for a KCMO business license by choose from these 3 options:
Use the QuickTax system for online business license registration. If you have questions about the QuickTax system or more specific Business License questions, you should call (816) 513-1120 Ext. 3 [7-10 business days]
Visit City Hall at 414 E 12th St. Kansas City, MO 64106, Monday through Friday between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm to get your license issued on the spot.
How do I renew my business license?
You must renew your business license every year after January 1st but by the last day of February to avoid penalty. You will have to report your gross receipts for the previous year when you renew your license.
For more information about Kansas City, Missouri business licenses, please contact the Business License Section at (816) 513-1120.
Meet Additional Requirements
What additional requirements do I need to meet?
Additional paperwork and/or requirements may be required of your business, depending on your business activity.
Additional Requirements for Specific Industries:
Healthy Homes Inspection Certificate: Required for all residential rental properties
KCMO Police Clearance: Required for all security guard services and private investigator businesses.
Regulated Industries Approval: Required for all establishments serving liquor, as well as other types of businesses (i.e. tire sales, cigarette sales, etc.) that are regulated by the City of KCMO.
Permits for Animal-Related Businesses: Required for all animal-related businesses (hobby kennels, hobby catteries, rescue kennels, pet shops, boarding stables, boarding kennels)
Contractor Licensing: Required of certain construction trades. The Permits Division administers contractor licensing and registration. The division is located on the fifth floor of City Hall and accepts walk-in customers or call (816) 513-1500 or fax (816) 513-1456.
Medical Marijuana Dispensaries: Medical marijuana businesses seeking to operate within Kansas City must follow City Medical Marijuana Regulations defined by the City Ordinance.
Short-Term Rentals (AirBnB, VRBO, etc.): Each “dwelling unit” (a single-family house, one half of a duplex, or an individual apartment or condominium unit) offered for short term rental requires its own application and approval.