Information to Start a Business

  1. Pick a Name
    Your first step is to come up with a name for your new business. Some things to consider are:

    • Is the name available in Missouri? Run a search here

      • This just shows if the name is taken in Missouri, if you have a reason to be concerned with trademarks, you need to consult a lawyer.

    • Does the name explain what you do or make it easy for people to find you?

    • Is this a name you will be happy with for a long time?

    • Is there a website and e-mail extension available that go with that name?

    • A great place to start your search is Go Daddy. 

  2. Choose an Entity Type

    • The Small Business Administration is a good primer, but it is strongly suggested you discuss your plans and the details of your business with an expert before making this important decision.

  3. Form Your Entity
    You have to create an account with the state of Missouri here:
    Then once you are logged in, select “Business Entity Online Filing” on the left.

    • Sole proprietors don’t have to do anything

    • Partnerships - talk to a lawyer about an operating agreement 

    • Corporation

    • Limited Liability Company

  4. Get an EIN: Get an EIN here

  5. Get a Certificate of Occupancy

    • Call Public Works at 417-237-7010.

    • They will come and look at your space to make sure everything is safe.

    • Even if you are renting a space and you aren’t doing any renovations, you still generally need this. Call them to make sure.

  6. Obtain a Carthage Business License 

    • To obtain a Carthage Business License you can choose to do one of the following:

    • This license costs:

      • $50 for up to $100,000 in gross sales

        • $100 for up to $300,000 in gross sales

        • $200 for up to $500,000 in gross sales

        • $400 for up to $1,000,000 in gross sales

    • They accept payment by cash, check, or credit card.

  7. Apply for a Sales Tax License

    • If you are selling things that are subject to sales tax, you need to get a sales tax license.

  8. Understand Rules About Signage

    • If you are going to have signs outside your business call Public Works and get it approved before you order anything.

    • Their phone number is 417-237-7010.

  9. Apply for a Liquor License

  10. Get a license from the Health Department

License Type & Fillable Application

Please feel free to contact the Business License Department regarding any questions you may have pertaining to Business Licenses.

City of Carthage
326 Grant Street
Carthage, MO 64836
Phone: 417-237-7000
Fax: 417-237-7002