Opening a New Business in the City of Kirkwood

For questions about obtaining a business license, contact the following staff:
Kris Houska, Business License Collector 314-984-6944 Fax: 314-984-6931
City Hall – Finance Department – 139 S. Kirkwood Road
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Any person who engages in any business, occupation, pursuit, profession, calling, avocation or trade within the City limits of Kirkwood is required to have a business license, unless specifically exempted by law (see list below). The requirements to obtain a business license vary depending on the type and location of business. Please review the business license ordinance (Chapter 13) to determine if additional information is required for your business.  For help with opening your business, please refer to the following (the link will open in a new window).

The A to Zs of Opening a Business in Kirkwood

Business licenses are issued on a calendar-year basis and expire on December 31 of each year. Renewal fees and forms are due by the last business day of the month in February for that calendar year. A fee of 5% will be assessed for late renewals, with an additional 1% per month charged for each month thereafter (with a maximum penalty fee of 25% for one year).

A separate license is required for each location of your business within the City of Kirkwood. A separate license is also required for each trade name under which you operate. Business licenses are not transferable. A new license must be obtained when owners, locations or trade names change.

When applying for a business license, the business owner is required to obtain a Commercial Occupancy Permit (COP) for any City location and a Missouri retail sales tax license. Certain types of businesses may have additional requirements imposed by City ordinance (please see the link above - The A to Zs of Opening a Business in Kirkwood). The State of Missouri may also have additional requirements for certain trades or professions. Please contact the Wainwright State Office Building at 314-340-7490 for additional information.

Failure to comply with City of Kirkwood ordinances, apply for or renew a business license, or pay fees or taxes may result in a summons being issued. The Police Department will enforce the City’s ordinance and will prevent anyone from carrying on any business activity without a business license.

The following businesses or professions are not required to obtain a municipal business license, per Missouri statutes: Certified Public Accountant, Chiropodist, Chiropractor, Christian Science Practitioner, College Professor, Credit Union, Dentist, Lawyer, Minister, Nursing Home (All care), Optometrist, Physician, Priest, Psychologist, Savings & Loan, Surgeon, Teacher, Veterinarian

The following businesses or occupations are required to have a business license if they have an office in the City of Kirkwood: Architect*, Auctioneer, Engineer*, Land Surveyor, Real Estate Broker, Real Estate Salesman

* State Law (Section 71.620.2) authorizes the City of Kirkwood to require an occupational license for architects and professional engineers if they have an office within the City limits.

Business Fees:
A list of most business fees can be found in the Flat-Fee Business Schedule on this Website. Please see the City of Kirkwood’s Code of Ordinances, Section 13-39, for additional information about fees. If a particular type of business is not listed on the schedule, the business fee will be calculated based on gross receipts from the previous year. Business fees that are calculated on the basis of gross receipts are charged $1.00 per $1,000 in gross receipts, with a minimum fee of $35.00. Exception: If the business is located within the Downtown Kirkwood Special Business District (SBD), the fee is $1.50 per $1,000 in gross receipts. 

For questions about this process, please do not hesitate to contact the City's Business License Collector at 314-984-6944.