Business Licenses

Regulations & Fire Inspections

Per Section 8-37 in the St. Joseph Code of Ordinances, "any person engaged in any business, occupation, pursuit, profession, or trade or to keep / maintain any institution, establishment, article, utility, or commodity" must first obtain a city of St. Joseph business license.

Per Section 16-35 of the city Code of Ordinances, you may also be required to obtain a Fire Inspection Permit by contacting the fire marshal at 816-271-4623 for further details.

If your business is also selling food, liquor, cigarettes, motor vehicles, or has an alarm system, additional permits may be required. Please email building development to get more information.

View business license applications

Existing Businesses

Existing businesses will be sent a renewal notice each year on or around May 1 and are due on or before June 30. Instructions will also accompany each renewal. If there are any changes to the operations of the business, you are required to email building development.

This includes, but is not limited to, change of:

  • Mailing address
  • Managing officer
  • Ownership / corporate status
  • Site address

Temporary Businesses

Temporary business licenses are required for the following businesses:

  • Hawkers and Hucksters
  • Peddlers
  • Shows and Exhibitions
  • Transient Merchants

Complete the application form and provide the Customer Service Division with a State of Missouri Sales Tax Certificate prior to setting up business in St. Joseph.


Contractors performing work inside city limits are required to obtain a business license prior to beginning the project, as well as obtaining the appropriate building permits. For more information on required permits, contact the Building Development Division at 816-271-4757.

Usage of Fees

$0.82 of every business license dollar is used for police, fire, and court operations.