Business Assistance Center Services

Read more about the steps BAC can assist you with when opening a business in the City of St. Louis.


Opening a business can be a long and complicated process. The Business Assistance Center (BAC) is an important resource available to businesses of any size and should be the first stop when deciding to open, expand, or move businesses in the City of St. Louis. The BAC can help streamline the process and do much of the legwork for business owners.

Below is a list of tasks the BAC can help you with as you open your business.

Fictitious Name Registration/Articles of Incorporation

You may apply for the Fictitious Name Registration and Articles of Incorporation by applying online or by visiting the local office in the Old Post Office Building:

815 Olive Blvd, Suite 210
St. Louis, MO 63101

Registering a domestic Limited Liability Corporation LLC is only $55 when done through the online portal at the Missouri Secretary of State site. Be careful! There are MANY sites that will try to scam you by charging more for the transaction.

Federal Employer Identification Number

Information on applying for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) is available as part of the IRS Web Site. Obtaining an EIN is FREE when you use the IRS site.

Missouri Sales Tax Number

If you sell goods, pay employees, or if your business has multiple partners, you must register your business with the Missouri Department of Revenue. You can complete an application by visiting the Missouri Department of Revenue. The Department of Revenue will take about a week to process your application and a month to mail you a welcome packet with necessary documents. If you are doing retail sales you will need a Certificate of No Tax Due Letter.

One week after completing your online application with the Missouri Department of Revenue, you can call to request they e-mail your Certificate of No Tax Due Letter and/or Retail Sales License by calling (573) 751-5860. You will need a Certificate of No Tax Due Letter to obtain a St. Louis City Business License if you do retail sales.

Home Occupation Waiver

If you operate a business in your home, you need a Home Occupation Waiver. The Home Occupation Waiver allows an individual to operate a business out of their home under certain circumstances. You can apply for a Home Occupancy Waiver at Some Home Occupancy Waivers require a Zoning Conditional Use Hearing. For more information, please contact the City of St. Louis Building Division Zoning Section at (314) 622-3666.

Commercial Occupancy Permit 

If operating a business out of a commercial space, an inspection is required. This is an inspection by the City Building Division to determine if the property meets the existing building code. If the total square footage is less than 3,500 square feet, the fee is $80.00. If the total square footage is greater than 3,500 square feet, the fee is $160.00. Make check payable to the City of St. Louis.

Depending on the type of business, a zoning hearing may be required. If you do not own the property, a notarized letter of authorization must be completed by the property owner. A lease signed by the owner and occupant can be used as well. You can apply for your Commercial Occupancy Permit in person at City Hall or online at

Office and Kitchen Incubators 

If operating your business out of a commercial kitchen or office incubator, you must submit a Business Assistance Center Incubator Claim Form signed by the incubator manager. To get your business license you must also have a copy of the commercial kitchen or incubator occupancy permit.

Earnings Tax Account 

All Businesses need a St. Louis City Tax Clearance. If you do not currently have a St. Louis City Tax account please complete an E9 form. All information must be completed and signed. If the business is a corporation or partnership, please list all officers. You can submit the E9 form in person at 1200 Market Street St. Louis, MO 63103 Room 410 or via email at

Business License

A license is required for all businesses to operate in the City of St. Louis. The fee for the business license is based on the number of employees. The initial fee for the Graduated Business License (GBL) is $200.00, unless it is a (city) home-based business then the fee is $25.00. If the business is located outside of the city the Business License is $200.00. The License Collector’s fiscal year is June 1st through May 31st. If you are opening a business between January 1st and May 31st the business license for that calendar year is $100.00, but renewal is still due June 1st for an additional $200.00

Review the requirements and fees for over 125 types of business licenses and download this information at the License Collector site.

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