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Business Licenses & Permits Guide

To start a business in Independence, you are required to have an occupation license and, if your business includes retail sales, a State of Missouri Sales Tax Number. In addition, you will need to have utilities connected for your place of business.

This brochure explains the process of opening a business in Independence.


The first step in opening a business is to obtain a location. Please check with the Planning and Zoning Division to assure the property is appropriately zoned for your intended business use. Zoning laws restrict the use of property and may limit the use of the location you have selected. To contact the Planning and Zoning Division regarding zoning laws, call (816) 325-7421.

Missouri Sales Tax Number

If your business will be involved in direct sales of merchandise to the public, you are required by both State and City laws to have a Missouri Sales Tax Number. You may obtain an application for your Missouri Sales Tax Number at the Missouri Office Building, 615 East 13th Street, Room 127, Kansas City, Missouri, or by calling (573) 526-5102.

City Occupation License

Each business operating or providing a service in Independence, Missouri, is required to have a City Occupation License. The occupation license is required before you can begin operating. To avoid delays in the opening of your business you should apply for your occupation license as soon as you secure a location, since it may require from two to six weeks to obtain your license. The initial occupation license fee is based on the estimated annual gross revenue to be generated by the business. The fee for an occupation license is as follows: for gross annual receipts of $25,000 or less, the fee is $75.00; for gross receipts over $25,000, the fee is $75.00 plus $0.31 for each $1,000 or part thereof over $25,000. You should submit your completed application for an occupation license to the City's Finance Department, License Division, on the second floor of City Hall using the forms provided by the City.

Inspection and Review

Upon receipt of your application, the City will begin a review process including the inspection of the business location and a background check of the business owners. A request for inspection will be sent to each City department/division that is affected. Your business will be inspected by the Fire Department for compliance with the City Code. If the business involves the sale or preparation of food, a Public Health Inspector will also make an inspection of the premises. The Planning and Zoning Division and Building Inspections Division, and the Water Pollution Control Department will review the application and may perform an on-site inspection, if necessary. If the application is approved, your City Occupation License will be mailed to you within four to five days. If your application is denied, you will be notified within thirty days with an explanation.

The inspection and review process is provided to assure City Code compliance and public safety. Should a Code correction be required, you will be notified by the appropriate City department. All corrections must be made before the occupation license can be issued. It is important that you be aware of all inspecting department approvals or correction notices before you begin to make any required corrections. Knowing what has been approved and what needs to be corrected before you begin can save time and help you obtain your occupation license more quickly.

Corrective Notice Questions

If you have any questions concerning correction notices for City Code compliance, please contact the following department as applicable:

  • Fire Prevention: (816) 325-7122
  • Building Inspections: (816) 325-7401
  • License Division: (816) 325-7079
  • Zoning Division: (816) 325-7421
  • Health Inspections: (816) 325-7803
  • Water Pollution Control: (816) 325-7711

If you need assistance or have questions concerning the occupation license process, please contact the Regulated Industries Division at City Hall, second floor, or call (816) 325-7079.

Utility Connections

You may apply for utility connections or obtain information for utilities from the following:

Electric, Water, Sewer

Electric, water and sanitary sewer service is provided by the City of Independence. You may contact Customer Service at 111 E. Maple ((816) 325-7930), or at 11610 E. Truman ((816) 325-7700).

Natural Gas

Natural gas is provided by Spire. They can be contacted at (816) 756-5252.

State and Federal Requirements

Fictitious Name Registration

Registration of a fictitious name may be made with the Missouri Secretary of State, State Office Building, 615 East 13th Street, Kansas City, Missouri, or you may call (816) 889-2925.

Registering as an Employer

Every business employing people is subject to State withholding taxes for those individuals. To obtain information regarding withholding tax, you may call the Missouri Revenue Department at (573) 526-5102. The office is also located in the State Office Building, in Kansas City.

Federal Employer ID Number

Each business employing people is also required to apply for a Federal employer identification number. A number may be obtained by calling (512) 462-7843 or you may call 1-800-829-1040 for forms or more information.