Ready to register your business? You'll need to take the following steps. You can begin wherever you like and complete only those steps you feel you need at this time. You may return for other registrations at a later date.
As you prepare to register your business, please use our Business Registration Checklist to ensure that you have the information needed to successfully complete your registration.
Create Your Business Entity
- You’ll need to choose a business entity type. The Secretary of State's office offers useful information in this area and the ability to perform many required filings online at the Starting a Business site. However, it is best to consult an attorney or tax advisor before filing. Downloadable forms are also available at the same site, if desired.
Obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number
- You may need a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN). Most businesses do, but you can find out for sure at the Internal Revenue Service EIN page. When you are ready to apply for the EIN, you can do it online with the IRS EIN Form . If you do not acquire an EIN, then your Social Security Number (SSN) is used instead.
Register for a Tax Identification Number and an Unemployment Tax Number
- If you plan to sell products or hire employees, you’ll need to register for several tax types. The Department of Revenue and the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations have provided a combined site, Online Business Tax Registration, which allows you to enter your information once and have it used for several registrations.
If you are applying for a Missouri Retail Sales Tax License or Vendor's Use Tax License, your application can be processed, but a Sales/Use Tax bond is required before a license can be issued. For more information, see the Department of Revenue's Sales/Use Tax page or, to compute the Sales Tax Bond, you can use the Department of Revenue's Sales/Use Tax Bond Calculator.
The Department of Revenue issues Sales Tax Exemption Letters to religious, charitable, civic, social, fraternal and service organizations.
For Out-of-State Contractors Doing Business in Missouri:
Under Missouri law, whether an entity is transacting or doing business in the state is determined on a case-by-case basis. There is no statutory standard or bright-line rule to apply to determine if an entity must register with the Secretary of State’s office. Many entities enlist the assistance of an attorney to make a determination as to the entity’s obligation to register; this analysis is often based upon past court decisions. The Foreign Entities Section of the Frequently Asked Questions provides more information about registering a foreign entity with the Secretary of State’s office.
Out-of-state companies who temporarily transact any business in the state of Missouri are defined as transient employers and are required to register, file a bond, and remit withholding tax to the Missouri Department of Revenue. Form 3032 and Form 2643A will help you in this process.
Should you have any questions pertaining to the Transient Employer License you may also contact their office by telephone at: (573) 751-0459 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Obtain Licenses and/or Permits From State Agencies
- Many businesses are required to obtain licenses and/or permits from state agencies. You can contact these agencies by first checking on our State Government Offices page. This page provides the online web address for each agency in state government. [ see also Permits ]
Obtain Certification as a Minority or Women Business Enterprise
- To obtain certification as a Minority/Women Business Enterprise, you can check with the Office of Equal Opportunity.
Obtain Professional Licenses
- If you or your employees are required to be licensed with the State of Missouri, you can find the information you need at the Professional Registration web site.
Request Background Checks
- If you are in an industry that requires background checks of employees, or if you have another valid reason to request background checks, you will need to submit your requests to the Missouri State Highway Patrol Criminal Record Checks. The request form is SHP-158 .
Register With the Attorney General
- Several specific types of businesses are required to register with the office of the Attorney General. These include Non-Profits, Health Spas, Telemarketing and Travel Clubs. The IRS also has information for Non-Profits and Charities.
City and County Licenses, Permits and Taxes
- When you've completed your registration with state agencies, you’ll need to obtain the appropriate business licenses and permits (if any) required by the city and county where your business is located. Your business may also be liable for Business Property Tax. We offer a listing of online web sites for Counties and Municipalities in Missouri.
- Once your business gets started and you need to hire employees, you find some excellent Missouri citizens at the Jobs.mo.gov website.
When you hire employees, you’ll want to make appropriate arrangements for Workers' Compensation Insurance. For more information contact the Missouri Division of Workers' Compensation or the Department of Insurance, Finance and Professional Registration.
There are a number of tasks associated with hiring employees. View a guide to those hiring tasks.
We wish you great success in your business venture. Remember to bookmark this portal so you can return to make your various filings and research the benefits of doing business in Missouri.
List of web sites for agencies referenced on this page:
- Secretary of State
- Internal Revenue Service (Federal Government)
- Online Business Tax Registration
- Department of Revenue
- Department of Labor and Industrial Relations
- State Government Offices
- Professional Registration
- Office of Equal Opportunity
- Missouri State Highway Patrol
- Attorney General