The A to Zs of Opening a Business in Kirkwood


The City of Kirkwood is happy and excited that you want to locate your business here.  We are here to help you.  Below you will find the steps for opening a business in Kirkwood.  Follow these simple steps, and your experience will be a smoother, more productive one.  We wish you the best of luck with your new business!

Step 1: Planning and Zoning

Contact the Assistant City Planner, at 314-822-5815 or, before you sign a lease. You want to make sure the business you plan to open is a permitted use for the location you are considering.  If the use is not permitted, you may need to request a Special Use Permit, which must be approved by the Planning & Zoning Commission and by the Kirkwood City Council.  The City Planner will help you with this part of the process. 

Step 2: Building Inspections 

If the use is approved, you must obtain a Commercial Occupancy Permit from the Building Commissioner's office, located at City Hall, 139 S. Kirkwood Road, on the lower level.  The Building Commissioner will discuss with you the permits required for remodeling the property.  The Building Commissioner's office will also inspect the property.  Any deficiencies must be corrected before a the space can be occupied.

FEES:  The flat fee for the Commercial Occupancy Permit inspection process is $100Please note:  Remodeling or construction permits may be required and will have separate fees.

Step 3: Finance  

After requesting and paying for your Commercial Occupancy Permit inspection, you will be directed to go to the Finance window.  Turn in the pink copy of the Commercial Occupancy Permit application, complete a business license application, and schedule utilities to be transferred to your business at the time of lease signing.  A utility deposit and a business license fee will be required at this time.  You will be required to have a federal and state sales tax ID number for the business license. 

EXTERIOR SIGNAGE:  All signage requires a Sign Permit from the Building Commissioner's Office and must be reviewed by the Architectural Review Board, which meets the first and third Mondays of the month (most months).  Applications must be submitted to the Building Commissioners' Office. Please Note:  Awnings with lettering are considered a sign.


If your business will be located within the boundaries of the Downtown Kirkwood Special Business District, please contact them for additional information.  The SBD manages parking permits for parking on public lots.  If you need parking permits, please call their office.  Their hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and the phone number is:  314-822-0084.