The City of St. Louis has a responsibility to maintain the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens. Therefore, the Board of Aldermen and the Mayor enact ordinances that govern operations of businesses that impact the citizens of St. Louis City. State statutes and City ordinances give the duty and responsibility to the License Collector of the City of St. Louis to enforce the business license ordinances and statutes. You will need a business license if you are working or doing business within the City of St. Louis or if your business is located in the City of St. Louis. This is true even if the business is located elsewhere. City code requires any person who engages in any business, occupation, pursuit, profession, calling, avocation, or trade within the City limits of St. Louis to have a business license, unless specifically exempt by law. You may wish review theSt. Louis City Revised Code Chapter 8.02 and Chapter 8.06 for full information about business licenses.
2. Are there any businesses exempt from a business or occupation license?
Yes, there are some businesses exempt by law from municipal business or occupational licenses. For information regarding whether or not your business is exempt from a license, click on the "Exempt Businesses" link in the navigation menu on the left hand side of your screen
3. How many types of business licenses are there?
The City of St. Louis requires and levies a variety of municipal business licenses and taxes. Depending on the type of business you operate, you may be required to pay one or more of the following business taxes:
The cost of a business license varies by specific type. Please refer to the category of license types to find the one most appropriate for your business. If you cannot find your business type listed on the "business license information" page, please contact our office at 314-622-4528 to find the category your business is classified as.
State law allows each county and municipality to impose its own business or occupational licenses. In general, business licenses issued by one political subdivision are not recognized within another political subdivision.
Only an auctioneer’s license issued in one county is recognized by the other 113 counties in Missouri and the City of St. Louis.
St. Louis and St. Louis County have reciprocal agreements only for taxi cabs and tow trucks.
Some business licenses require the posting of a bond. A bond is an insurance policy providing protection for customers and the City of St. Louis in the event the license holder does not fulfill all legal obligations.
You may obtain a bond through an insurance company.
An Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, is a nine-digit number that the IRS assigns to business entities. The IRS uses this number to identify taxpayers that are required to file various business tax returns. EINs
are used by employers, sole proprietors, corporations, partnerships, non-profit
organizations, trusts and estates, government agencies, certain individuals and
other business entities.
A State Sales Tax number is assigned by Missouri Department of Revenue to identify and collect state sales/use tax. You do not pay tax on the resale of any product. You may obtain a State Sales Tax Number from:
What is a fictitious name? Why do I need one? How do I obtain a fictitious name?
If you conduct business in Missouri under an assumed name (a name other than your real name) or if you are a partnership or corporation, you are required to file with the Missouri Secretary of State the fictitious name or the name of your organization. Filing with the Secretary of State is not a license to conduct business in the City of St. Louis.
You may register a fictitious name with the:
There are hundreds of different types of businesses. We have not tried to list all the different kinds of business occupations or activities that you may want to engage in. Basically, business activity falls into the following categories: manufacturing, wholesaling (distributors), retailing, and servicing. All of these activities require a business license unless specifically exempt by law. Businesses not covered under a specific license category are typically required to be licensed under the Graduated Business License.