How to Start a Business in Missouri


If you are thinking of starting a business in Missouri, start by researching your industry and determining which type of business will work best for you. Then, learn about the regulatory requirements for opening a new business in Missouri. Finally, find out what resources are available to help you get started on your journey to entrepreneurship.

Determine Your Business’s Structure

In Missouri, you can choose from six different business structures:

  • Sole Proprietorship. This is the simplest structure and is typically used by small businesses that have one owner and no employees.
  • Partnership. If your business will have multiple owners or employees, you should create a partnership or limited liability company (LLC).
  • Corporation (C-Corp). A corporation has its own legal identity separate from its owners’ personal assets, which means the owners are not personally liable for their actions in running the company.

Choose and Register a Name With the State

You must choose a name for your business that is available to use. This means the name you want isn’t already registered with the state. You can check at the Missouri Secretary of State site to see if it’s available in your county, city, or another area where you plan to operate your business (e.g., the county seat).

Acquire Licenses and Permits, if Needed

If you need a license or permit to start your business in Missouri, you will need to apply for it.

Licenses and permits are not required for all businesses; however, there are some that may be needed depending on what type of business you want to start. For example, if you plan on selling alcohol from your business location in Missouri, then a liquor license would be required.

Open a Bank Account

It’s a good idea to open up a business bank account. The following reasons explain why:

  • You’ll need an account to pay your employees. Not only do you have to pay taxes on wages, but employers are also required by law to withhold money from each paycheck for the employee’s share of social security and Medicare taxes. These amounts are electronically deducted from their paychecks and deposited into a special account set up for this purpose. An employee usually cannot access this part of their wages directly; they can only withdraw them after they’ve completed their tax obligations or when they reach retirement age.
  • You also need one if you plan on receiving payments from customers, paying vendors or landlords (such as rent), making charitable donations, or buying inventory on credit—all activities that require access to cash without having it physically present at all times so there’s no risk of theft or loss during transit between locations.

File an Application for EIN

Next, you’ll need to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which will be used as your business’s Social Security number. This can be done online via the IRS website and takes about two weeks to process. You’ll need to provide your Social Security Number and the name and address of your business.

Choose a Location and Contact the Zoning Department

You should choose a location that is accessible to your customers. Contact the zoning department to see if you are allowed to operate there.

If you are not sure, ask the zoning department if they can help you determine if your business is allowed in that location. You may need to apply for a zoning variance or conditional use permit, which would require city council approval.

Get Office Space and/or Establish a Virtual Office, if Needed

Once you’ve decided to start a business, the next step is to determine what type of office space you need. While this may seem like an easy decision, it’s important to keep in mind that renting an office can be expensive and time-consuming. If you own a home-based business or don’t have many employees, renting an office might not be necessary.

Determine Your Staffing Needs

To determine how many people you need to staff your business, consider the following factors:

  • What are the skills needed for each position? For example, if you need someone to clean and maintain the office space for a new business, this person will probably not require specialized skills. On the other hand, if you are opening an accounting firm that deals with complex financial transactions and requires specialized training, then it would be beneficial to hire someone who has been trained as an accountant or has experience in that field.
  • How much does it cost to hire each person? A good rule of thumb is to multiply their hourly pay rate by 40 hours per week—this gives them a monthly salary equivalent (assuming they work full-time). If their benefits package includes health insurance coverage or any other additional benefit costs like retirement savings plans or life insurance policies, consider these as well and add them into this calculation.


As you can see, there are many factors to consider when determining how much money you need to launch a business in Missouri. If you want your company to succeed—and avoid running out of cash before the end of its first year!


An important part of starting a business is knowing where to get the most information, and we hope this article has helped you on your journey. If you have any additional questions or need more help with starting a business in Missouri, please visit our website for more information.

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