Community Development
Share this page:

Itinerant Merchants Licenses

Basic Requirements to Obtain an Itinerant Merchant's License

Provided By:
Community Development, License Division
Independence City Hall 111 East Maple
Independence, MO 64050
(816) 325-7109

Apply Online

An itinerant merchant, transient merchant, or itinerant vendor is defined in Chapter 5, Article 4, of the City Code as a person engaged in a temporary or transient business selling and delivering merchandise or services or operating a commercial or promotional amusement activity within the City.

To operate a temporary business or amusement activity business in Independence, an Itinerant Merchant's License must be obtained from the City's License Division.


Before applying for an Itinerant Merchant's License, you should first obtain a location. Since you will be conducting a retail commercial activity, the property must be zoned C-1 or C-2. Please contact the Community Development Department at 325-7421 to assure the property is appropriately zoned for your intended business use.

If you do not own the property where your business will be located, a copy of a lease agreement or letter of approval from the property owner for the use of their premises must accompany your application.

Zoning Restrictions

The City's zoning ordinance requires that all merchandise displayed or stored must be set back a minimum of 25 feet from the front and street side yard property lines. As a general guideline, this setback would be 25 feet behind a sidewalk or a utility pole.

The City's zoning ordinance allows one portable sign of 32 square feet or less for a period of not more than sixty (60) days. The location of the sing shall not create a visual obstruction to traffic on either the adjacent street(s) or traffic entering or leaving the premises. Please contact the Community Development Department in regards to obtaining a sign permit and sign placement


Operators of commercial and promotional amusements activities are required to provide a Certificate of Public Liability Insurance in the following amounts:

  1. For bodily injury to or death of any person- in the amount of not less than $100,000.
  2. For any one accident - in the amount of not less than $300,000.
  3. For damage to the property of another person - in the amount of not less than $50,000.

Missouri Sales Tax Number

If your business is involved in the direct sale 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 a Missouri Sales Tax Number at the Missouri State Office Building, 615 East 13th Street, Kansas City, Missouri or by calling (573) 526-5102.

City Itinerant Merchant's License

The Itinerant Merchants' License is required before beginning to operate a temporary business or amusement activity and must be posted at the business premises.

To avoid delays in the opening of your business you should apply for a license as soon as you secure a location. The license fee is $50 for the first thirty (30) days or $100 for up to one hundred twenty (120) days. The fee must be paid at the time the application is submitted. This license may be renewed upon expiration. However, if you change locations or have more than one location, a separate license will be required.

You should submit your completed application for an Itinerant Merchant's License to the City's Finance Department, License Division, located on the second floor of City Hall using the forms provided by the City.

Temporary Charitable and Nonprofit Retail Event Fee Exemption

Temporary Charitable and Nonprofit Retail Events Guide

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 of the applicant. A request for inspection or review will be sent to each affected City department. Your business will be inspected by the Fire Department for compliance with City Code.

If your business involves the sale or preparation of food, the Health Department will also make an inspection of the premises. The business must be operated in accordance with the rules and guidelines established by the Health Department. A food handler's permit is required if a person is serving or preparing food. Contact the Health Department at 325-7803 regarding questions dealing with food preparation or sanitation requirements.

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 an Itinerant Merchant's License can be issued. It is important that you be aware of all inspecting department approvals or corrective 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 itinerant merchant's license more quickly.

Corrective Notice Questions

If you have any questions concerning correctives for City Code compliance, please contact the following departments as applicable:

Fire Prevention:
License Division:
Zoning Division:
Health Department:

If you need assistance or have questions concerning the Itinerant Merchant's License process, please contact the License Division at City Hall, second floor, or call 325-7079.