Merchant License

According to Missouri Statue Section 150, every person, corporation, partnership or association of persons who deals as a merchant is required to obtain a county merchant license. If the merchant has multiple locations, a separate license is required for each location. The license is in addition to, not in lieu of, any other federal, state or local licensing requirements. A business who offers only a service is not required to have a merchant license. Basically, if a business is required by the state of Missouri to have a sales tax number, the business would need a merchant license.

You Do Need a Merchant License If:

A merchant is defined in the Missouri Statues as: a person, corporation, partnership or association of persons who engages in the selling of goods, ware and merchandise at any store at whole at wholesale or retail. The sale may be made for profit or they may be accommodation sales. They may be made from a stock of goods on hand or by ordering goods from another source, and whether the subject of said sales be similar or different types of goods than the type. If any, regular manufactured, processed or sold by said dealer.

Beginning January 1, 2009, the possession of statement from department of revenue stating NO TAX IS DUE under sections 143.191 to 143.265 RSMo or sections 144.010 to 144.510 shall also be a prerequisite to the issuance or renewal of any city of county occupation license or any state license required for conducting any business where goods are sold as retail. The statement of no tax due shall be dated no longer than 90 days before the date of submission for application or renewal of the city of county license.

For more information on the no tax due letter, you can call department of revenue tax clearance department at 573-751-9268 or visit their website at www.dor.mo.gov.

To find out if you are required to have a Missouri retail sales license for your business you can contact the Business Registration Department at 573-751-5860, press #4, then #1.

You Do NOT Need a Merchant License If:

  • You are a registered motor vehicle dealer and your primary business is selling motor vehicles; or
  • You are a physician, dentist, or veterinarian selling medicines, at either wholesale or retail, used in your practice; or
  • You are a farmer who grows or processes any article of farm produce or farm products on your farm as long as you do not have a regular stand or place of business away from your farm.