Guide to Operating a Business
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 Community Development Department 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 Community Development
Department regarding zoning laws, call 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
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 $25.00; for gross receipts over $25,000, the fee is $25.00 plus
$0.29 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 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, the Health Department
will also make an inspection of the premises. The Community Development Department,
which includes Zoning and Building Inspection, 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: 325-7122
Building Inspection: 325-7401
License Division: 325-7079
Zoning Division: 325-7421
Health Department: 325-7194
Water Poll. Control: 325-7711
If you need assistance or have questions concerning the occupation license process,
please contact the License Division at City Hall, second floor, or call 325-7079.
You may apply for utility connections or obtain information for utilities from the
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 (325-7930), or at 11610 E. Truman
Natural gas is provided by Missouri Gas Energy. They can be contacted at 756-5252.
Independence is served by Southwestern Bell Telephone and United Telephone of Missouri.
Southwestern Bell can be contacted toll free by calling 1-800-400-9050. United Telephone
can be contacted toll free by calling 1-800-788-7084.
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
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 889-2944. 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.