If you are interested in starting a new business, the first step is Business Registration (www.dor.mo.gov/business/register).
Missouri law requires any person or business entity transacting business in the state under a name other than their own “true name,” to register that business name with the Secretary of State’s Office as a Fictitious Name Registration.
Online registration of a fictitious name with the Office of Secretary of State can be accomplished at www.s1.sos.mo.gov/business/.
Federal Employer Identification Number
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number and is used to identify a business entity. Generally, businesses need an EIN. Sole proprietors can use social security numbers as their federal government identification number. But if a sole proprietor has employees, you must obtain an EIN. Most financial institutions will require that you have an EIN for your business banking accounts.
You may apply for an EIN in various ways, including applying online. This is a free service offered by the IRS and you can get your EIN immediately.
When you’re ready to apply for the Federal EIN, you can do it online at the IRS EIN Form page. (www.irs.gov).
Business Tax Information
The Missouri Department of Revenue administers Missouri’s business tax laws, and collects sales and use tax, employer withholding, motor fuel tax, cigarette tax, tire and battery fee, financial institutions tax, corporation income tax, and corporation franchise tax. Different types of businesses must register for different types of taxes.
A business must obtain a sales tax license by registering with the Department of Revenue if it’s making sales of tangible personal property and taxable services (such as telephone service and fees paid into places of amusement including but not limited to yoga and fitness centers). A business should also register with the department if it is a corporation responsible for filing and paying corporate and/or franchise tax or if it has employees and is required to remit withholding tax. Also, a business selling batteries and/or new tires should register to collect and remit a fee to the department. To register a business, submit a Missouri Tax Registration Application (Form 2643). A business making retail sales must post a bond equal to three times the average monthly sales and use tax. Separate licenses for businesses wanting to operate as a motor fuel supplier, permissive supplier, distributor, terminal operator or transporter, and for businesses wanting to operate as a cigarette or other tobacco products wholesaler are required.
The information and links below will explain the process to apply, as well as assist new businesses to understand the requirements for business registration. If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact Business Tax Registration by email at [email protected] or call (573) 751-5860.
Register for a Tax Identification Number and an Unemployment Tax Number:
- If you plan to sell products or hire employees, you’ll need to register for several tax types. The Department of Revenue and the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations have provided a combined site, Online Business Tax Registration, which allows you to enter your information once and have it used for several registrations.
- Retail and wholesale businesses in Missouri must acquire a Missouri Retail Sales License from the MO Department of Revenue. If you are applying for a Missouri Retail Sales Tax License or Vendor’s Use Tax License, your application can be processed, but a Sales/Use Tax bond is required before a license can be issued. The bond is based on projected monthly gross sales and your local sales tax rate. For more information, see the Department of Revenue’s page or, to compute the Sales Tax Bond, you can use the Department of Revenue’s Sales/Use Tax Bond Calculator. (www.dort.mo.gov/tax/calculators/bond)
The Department of Revenue issues Sales Tax Exemption Letters to religious, charitable, civic, social, fraternal and service organizations.
Sales/Use/Employer Withholding Tax
You are required to file a return even if you have no tax to report, unless you are registered as a “Seasonal Business” with the Department of Revenue. For more information, please contact the department at [email protected]. Department of Revenue Business Tax Forms (www.dor.mo.gov/forms) has all of their reporting forms available online. You may also file your taxes online at Business Tax Electronic Filing (www.dor.mo.gov/business/electronic.php)
As a self-employed individual, generally you are required to file an annual return and pay estimated tax quarterly. You are self-employed if your carry on a trade or business as a sole proprietor, an independent contractor, a member of a partnership, LLC or are otherwise in business for yourself. You do not have to carry on regular full-time business activities to be self-employed. Part-time work, including work you do on the side in addition to your regular job, may also be self-employment.
Self-employed individuals generally must pay self-employment tax (SE tax) as well as income tax. SE tax is a Social Security and Medicare tax primarily for individuals who work for themselves. It is similar to the Social Security and Medicare taxes withheld from the pay of most wage earners. In general, anytime the wording “self-employment tax” is used, it only refers to Social Security and Medicare taxes and not any other tax (like income tax). You have to file an income tax return if your net earnings from self-employment were $400 or more.
To further understand and meet your federal tax obligations as business owners visit this website for a virtual workshop – “Small Business Taxes: The Virtual Workshop”, www.irsvideos.gov/SmallBusinessTaxpayer/virtualworkshop.
The Department of Revenue offers a Business Tax Page (www.dor.mo.gov/business) that covers the registration, tax types and other related questions you might have. The Division of Employment Security also offers help with your questions about unemployment insurance (www.labor.mo.gov/DES/Employers).
The Department of Revenue offers a Business Tax Page that covers the registration, tax types and other related questions you might have. The Division of Employment Security also offers help with your questions about unemployment insurance.
Ending a Business
In the lifecycle of every business, there comes a time when the business ends. Even at the end of the business’s life, there are still several rules to comply with:
- To close your account(s) with the Missouri Department of Revenue, you will need to mark your last business tax return “FINAL”, submit it to the mailing address indicated on your return/booklet and email your close date for each business tax type to the Missouri Department of Revenue at [email protected].
City, County Registration
Check with the city and county offices for regulations, licenses and permits required by the city and county in your area. Requirements may vary.
U.S. Patents – www.uspto.gov
- A patent is an exclusive property right to an invention and it gives an inventor the right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention for a period of 17 years.
Copyrights – www.copyright.gov
- Copyright is a form of protection to authors of original works including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. Preexisting rights must be established through use in the marketplace.
Federal Registration – www.uspto.gov
License and Permit Checklist
Missouri License and Tax Requirements for Small Business