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Business Licensing

All businesses operating within city limits of Kirksville are required to have a business license. This includes businesses that operate from home. Owners of all home-based occupations should contact the Codes and Planning Department at 660.627.1272 concerning the regulations pertaining to home-based occupations. The City of Kirksville has established various zoning regulations that control the location and the operation of all commercial activities. A brief check with Codes and Planning prior to signing a lease agreement or purchasing commercial property may prove to be valuable. A business license will be denied if zoning requirements are not met.

The City of Kirksville Finance Department issues business licenses and regulates the business activities of industries such as: retail, food and liquor establishments, entertainment venues and theaters, service for hire, manufacturing facilities, and motor vehicle repair shops.

Business License Process

Step One: You must first obtain a Missouri Sales Tax Number (if you will be selling any type of product). Allow up to six weeks from the date the Missouri Department of Revenue (MDOR) receives your application for a number to be issued. A city or county business license will not be issued in accordance with Missouri State Statutes without proof of the valid Missouri Sales Tax Certificate.

Small businesses that need assistance with their incorporation paperwork have an excellent resource to lean on with the Missouri Rural Enterprise and Innovation Center! They employ a Small Business Counselor who is happy to help you through this process. They can be contacted at 660.665.2003 or by visiting

Step Two: Apply for a City and/or County business license in the Finance Department at City Hall, or email skensy@kirksvillecity for an application.  The following must be submitted by mail along with the application:

  • General liability and workers compensation insurance (if applicable).
  • Paid Kirksville/Adair County property tax receipts or waiver from the Adair County Assessor.
  • Missouri Sales Tax Certificate (if applicable) listing Kirksville and/or Adair County as the business location.
  • Certificate of No Tax Due Statement (if applicable) issued by the MDOR dated within 90 days of business license application.
  • Payment of the applicable license fees.

Step Three: Applications will be reviewed and licenses issued or denied based upon the criteria outlined in Section 12-18

  • No outstanding obligations to the City of Kirksville.
  • Approval from Codes Department, Fire Department and potentially Adair County Health Department. The Codes Department will call YOU to schedule a time for inspections. Departments prefer to do all inspections at one time to make it easier for you and your potential business.
    • Plumbers, electricians, or contractors may be required to pass a written test showing competency in the field in which a business license is being applied for. However, there are many circumstances in which testing can be waived. Click here to see exemptions in the municipal code, section 14-33, item (f)(4).
    • It is the applicant's responsibility to initiate testing through Codes & Inspections. Tests are administered by Codes & Inspections on the first floor of City Hall and do not require an appointment. To take the test, or check out a study guide just stop by Codes & Planning between the hours of 8:00 am to 12:00 pm or 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
    • Questions regarding the testing or waiving circumstances can be answered by visiting our Codes & Planning webpage under the Contractor Testing Requirement section. You can also contact Codes and Planning at 660.627.1272.
    • CAUTION: Once a business license is obtained, be sure to renew on time by following the guidelines below. If not renewed, all steps prior (including contractor testing/waiving process) must be completed again.

Business License Fee

Every application requires a one-time $25 processing fee.

For help with licensing fees, we have created the below reference sheet to make the fees easier to understand. The official fees are listed in the Municipal Fee Schedule Exhibit A.

View the Licensing Fee Reference Sheet

*If there is ever a discrepancy between this chart and the Municipal Code, the Municipal Code will always be the official rate used by the City of Kirksville.

Business License Renewals

All business licenses expire annually on the last day of February. Renewal forms are mailed out at least 30 days before expiration. The renewal form and required documents must be returned in full to Business Licensing for a new license to be issued. Any license renewals received on or after March 1 or are not complete as of March 1 will be assessed a late fee plus be subject to misdemeanor violation. Contractors not renewing before March 1 will be required to retest or proceed with the waiver process again, in addition to paying a recertification fee.

Additional Info

  • Retail
    • If your retail business is in Adair County, an Adair County merchant license must be purchased for $25 annually.
    • If your retail business is in Kirksville City Limits, you must purchase an Adair Country merchant license ($25 annually) AND pay the $25 retail license fee annually. Retail businesses are also required to report and pay quarterly gross receipts fee. Forms are mailed quarterly to applicable businesses.
    • Two or more retail licenses required on one premises, can combine all gross receipts from all such retail transactions for computing the gross receipts fee thereon.
    • An additional retail license is required on one or more separate premises, they may combine all gross receipts from all such retail transactions from all premises for computing the gross receipts fee thereon.
  • Gross Receipts
    • Unless provided, every person engaged in business excluding not-for-profit corporations, on which the gross receipts fee shall be assessed, shall pay fifty cents ($.50) per one thousand dollars on gross receipts exceeding thirty thousand dollars (30,000).
    • If the gross receipts fee shall be assessed, then the business must submit quarterly reports to the City Clerk; due January 30, April 30, July 30, and October 30.
    • Gross receipts are imposed on all businesses within the city engaged in the business of selling tangible personal property or rendering taxable services at retail or wholesale.
  • Contractors
    • Plumbers
    • Electricians
    • Building contractors
    • $40 fee for each of the above specific trades
  • ATTENTION CONTRACTORS: The City of Kirksville requires Contractors to pass comprehensive testing before they can be approved to be a general contractor, electrician and/or plumber with in the City of Kirksville. If tests are failed, there are additional testing fees. There are options available to waive out of testing. For more information, please visit our webpage regarding Codes & Planning.
  • The City of Kirksville does not refund business license fees for any reason.
  • Using the City brush site for business operations = annual fee of $500 in conjunction with the application for renewal or new annual license.