Opening a New Business in Kirkwood

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Welcome to 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 Approval

Contact City Planner Jonathan Raiche at 314-984-5926 or raichejd@kirkwoodmo.org 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.  To view the City's Zoning Map, visit this page of the website.

Step 2: Building Commissioner Approval

Commercial Occupancy:  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 and the separate fees that may be required for remodeling the property. The Building Commissioner's office will also inspect the property. Any deficiencies must be corrected before the Commercial Occupancy Permit will be issued and the space can be occupied. You may download the Commercial Occupancy Permit Application on the Building Commissioner's Office page of this website.

Signage and Exterior Modifications:  Signage and any exterior modification to the building must be reviewed by the Architectural Review Board (ARB). The ARB meets the first and third Mondays of the month (most months).  You may download the ARB Sign Application and the ARB Commercial Building Design Review Application on the ARB's page of this website

Home-Based Business or Occupation:   If you would like to run a business out of your residential dwelling, you must first seek approval for  "Home Occupation." The home-based business or occupation is clearly secondary to the use of the dwelling for living purposes and does not change the character thereof, require any structural changes in the dwelling, or have any exterior evidence of the home business or occupation.  This includes offices of an accountant, real estate agent, engineer, or other professional person, including an instructor of music, limited to a single client or pupil at a time.  You may download the Home Occupation Application and view the additional regulations on the Building Commissioner's Office page of this website

Step 3: Finance Department Approval

Business License:  After requesting and paying for your Commercial Occupancy Permit inspection or obtaining approval for your Occupation or Home-Based Business, you will be directed to the Finance Department window. You will complete a business license application, and if applicable, schedule utilities to be transferred to your business at the time of lease signing. A business license fee and a utility deposit, if applicable, will be required at this time. You will need to have a federal and state sales tax ID number for the business license.  For more information regarding business licenses, please review the additional requirements on this page: Obtaining a Business License in Kirkwood.

Liquor License:  A liquor license application may be obtained at the Finance Department window.  A background check and City Council approval are required.  For additional information and requirements, please see this page About Liquor Licenses.

Downtown Kirkwood Special Business District:  If your business will be located within the boundaries of the Downtown Kirkwood Special Business District (SBD), you will need an SBD business license from the Finance Department.  The SBD office may provide additional information for operating a business downtown, including advertising and marketing, special events, fa├žade improvement, gift certificates, and management of employee parking on public lots. Please visit the SDB website, or call 314-822-0084 for more information. The SBD office is located at 130 East Jefferson Avenue and is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.