Apply For A Business License Columbia, Missouri

Are you interested in obtaining a business license in Columbia, Missouri?

If your plan is to open a business in Columbia, MO, you are going to need to apply for and be issued a business license from the Columbia Business License & Permits Department. You can either request a business license application in person by visiting 701 East Broadway, or print a business license application from the City of Columbia website.

What is the process for applying for your Columbia, MO business license?

In addition to your business license application, you will need to be zone-approved prior to opening your doors for business. Be sure to contact the Columbia Planning and Development Department at (573) 874-7239. It is generally advised that you contact the Planning and Development Department before leasing or purchasing any commercial properties to be sure you are not financially responsible for property that is unusable for your business needs. If you plan to remodel your business property, you will need to contact the Columbia, MO Protective Inspection Division for information regarding building inspections and building permits. They can be reached by phone at (573) 847-7474. 

There are several other permits and approvals that you may be required to obtain to legally operate a Columbia, MO business. For example, you may need to apply for a alcoholic beverage license if you plan to sell or serve any alcohol on your business premises. If you are planning to open a pawnshop or secondhand shop, you will need to apply for special licenses. Those that plan to handle food may be required to obtain a special health inspection. You may need to contact the IRS for information regarding an federal employer’s tax identification number and/or the Missouri Department of Revenue for a state sales tax ID number. It is important that you have any and all additional permits, licenses, or approvals for your business before your business commences. 

Contact the Columbia Business Licenses & Permits Department at (573) 847-7378 to discuss additional licenses, permits, inspections, and approvals. Once you have all of your proper paperwork in order, you will then submit it to the Business Licenses & Permits Department at 701 East Broadway in Columbia, Missouri. 

What information is needed to complete your Columbia, Missouri business license application?

After receiving your business license application, you will need to gather specific information pertaining to your Columbia business. The business license application is a short, two-page document which should be filled out completely. If you wish, it may be filled out on the City of Columbia website and printed. The information that needs to be provided includes (but is not limited to) the following list:

  1. Type of ownership whether partnership, individually owned, LLC, or corporation
  2. Name of each owner, partner, or officer
  3. Name, current contact information, date and place of birth, name and address of nearest relative, and criminal history of applicant
  4. Name of business, mailing and physical address of business, and all contact phone numbers for business
  5. Detailed description of business activities
  6. State sales tax number
  7. Number of employees
  8. Information on any previous businesses owned by applicant
  9. Signature of business license applicant
  10. Information on any debts or obligations to the city of Columbia
  11. Fee determinations for business

When you have completed your business license application, you will return it to the City of Columbia, MO Business Licensing & Permits Department at 701 East Broadway. If you have any questions regarding your business license application, contact the Business Licensing & Permits Department by phone at (573) 874-7378. 

Do you plan to operate a home-based business in Columbia, MO?

Home businesses are acceptable in Columbia, providing that you adhere to certain regulations set in place by the Columbia Planning and Development Department. Some of these regulations include not creating, using, or storing potentially harmful materials as part of your business; using your home, first and foremost, as a residence and using only 20% of total floorspace for your business; not hiring persons outside of those living in your home as employees for your home business; not creating traffic in excess of what is found in a residential area, etc. Contact the Columbia Planning and Development Department at (573) 874-7239 if you have any questions pertaining to home businesses.

What are the costs associated with obtaining a Columbia, MO business license?

Your Columbia business license application fees will vary, depending on the amount of gross receipts, whether you will be required to have a criminal background check, building permits, alcoholic beverage licenses, etc. Contact the Business License & Permits Department at (573) 874-7378 or (573) 874-7747 for help in calculating your Columbia business license fees.

Do you need more information?

Business Licenses & Permits 
701 East Broadway, Columbia, MO  65205 
Phone: (573) 874-7378 or (573) 874-7747  
Fax: (573) 874-7761

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This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.


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