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The Guide to Getting Your Missouri Contractors License

4-minute read

Getting a contractor’s license in Missouri makes it possible for you to work on larger projects, like this contractor building a wall.
Emily Thompson

Emily Thompson

19 November 2019

Have you been thinking about getting your contractor’s license? Whether you’re an electrician, plumber, or general contractor, we have the step-by-step guide to becoming official in Missouri.

Best of all, we dug through all of the research out there so you don’t have to. From government sites to articles, we collected the data on what it takes to get a contractor’s license in Missouri so you don’t have to waste your time searching around for this crucial information.

Ready to get licensed?

Why Do I Need to Get My Missouri Contractors License?

We get it. Whether you’re just starting out your contracting business or you’ve been doing it for a few years, getting a contractor’s license in Missouri can feel like a pain in the you-know-what. It takes paperwork, paper checks, and lots of mailing to even get licensed…

So what’s the point of doing it all?

Well, here’s the biggest reason: Getting a license takes your career to the next level — and makes you official as a contractor, handyman, electrician, home improvement renovator, or whatever else your business might be.

Plus, a license is required to work in many locations, but it’s also a way you can earn more. Lots of customers may not work with you if you don’t have a contractor’s license, and we can’t exactly blame them.

After all, without a license, you could be leaving yourself - and your customer - in legal hot water. In fact, in many states, it's illegal to operate as a contractor or handyman without a license.

Fortunately, it’s fairly simple to pursue licensure once you know the steps. And, there are a lot of good reasons to do so. Getting a license:

  • Allows you to work on bigger jobs and earn more.
  • Builds credibility with customers. Even for smaller jobs, people want to hire contractors with a stamp of approval.
  • Markets your business. You’ll appear in public lists of licensed contractors.
  • Gives you a competitive edge over other contractors.
  • Protects your business by requiring you to carry general liability and business insurance.

Sound like a good idea? We think so, too. Now here’s how to get started.

You May Need Business Insurance to Get Your Contractor License

Step one? Look for a solid business insurance plan. In your line of work, accidents and injuries happen. Protect your business and its employees by purchasing general liability and worker’s compensation insurance plans.

These plans also cover unexpected losses and damage to your property, including tools, vehicles, and other equipment.

Applying for a MO Contractor’s License?

You may need to show proof of business insurance to get your license.

That’s where we come in. Compare free insurance quotes for policies as low as $25.95/month.*

Start Here >

Next up? It’s time to fill out the paperwork.

Getting a Contractor License in Missouri: What You Need to Know

If you live in Missouri, you can get your license in your local city or county. There isn’t one statewide license, so it’s a process that’s defined at the local level. That means the process is different in Kansas City than it is in St. Louis, so it may involve doing some follow up with your town or city hall to make sure you’ve got the right license.

General Requirements for Licensure

Before visiting your local municipal department, Missouri requires all licensed contractors to:

You may also need to get a Missouri business license.

Do You Need Additional Contractor’s Licenses?

Yes — in Missouri your license is granted in your local city or state. To help, we’ve outlined how it works in two of Missouri’s largest cities, Kansas City and St. Louis.

Kansas City

You can apply for a license at the City Planning & Development department. First, read about the different license categories and decide which one you want to apply for. Options include:

  • Demolition contractor class I
  • Demolition contractor class II
  • Electrical contractor class I
  • Electrical contractor class II
  • Electrical contractor class III
  • Elevator contractor class I
  • Elevator contractor class II
  • Fire protection contractor class I
  • Fire protection contractor class II
  • Fire protection contractor class III
  • Gas-fired appliance contractor
  • Heating and ventilating contractor
  • Pipe fitting contractor
  • Plumbing contractor
  • Refrigeration contractor
  • Residential building contractor
  • Sign contractor

Next, in order to qualify for a license, you need:

  • A completed and notarized application form.
  • Proof that you’re at least 21 years old.
  • A high school diploma or GED.
  • Information about your skills and experience.
  • Exam results from a recognized examination agency.
  • A certificate showing you have general liability coverage with a minimum of $1,000,000 per occurrence.
  • A cash deposit (depending on which license you’re applying for).
  • A $55 nonrefundable application fee.

Send all of your application materials to:

City Planning & Development – Development Services
Contractor Licensing Branch, City Hall #503
414 East 12th Street, 5th Floor
Kansas City, Missouri 64106

After getting your first license, you can pay $167 every four years for its renewal.

St. Louis

To get your Graduated Business License in St. Louis, you need to:

  • Get a state sales tax number through the Missouri Department of Revenue.
  • Provide proof of having workers’ compensation insurance.
  • Obtain clearance from the Collector of Revenue’s Office.
  • Get an Occupancy Permit from the Building Division.
  • Pay an application fee ($100 to $200 depending on what time of year you apply).

Getting Licensed Doesn't Have to Be a Hassle

At first glance, applying for a license and purchasing business insurance might seem tedious. After all, there’s a lot of paperwork involved in getting your contractor license.

But, the benefits greatly outweigh any hassles. With a Missouri contractor’s license, you can grow your business, take on bigger jobs, and earn more in the long run.

It’s worth the time it takes to make yourself official with a license!

* Monthly payment calculations (i) do not include initial premium down payment and (ii) may vary by state, insurance provider, and nature of your business. Averages based on January - December 2020 data of 10% of our total policies sold.

Emily Thompson

Written by

Emily Thompson

I earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin at Madison (go Bucky). After realizing my first job might involve carrying a police scanner at 2 am in pursuit of “newsworthy” crimes, I decided I was better suited for freelance blogging and marketing writing. Since 2010, I’ve owned my freelance writing business, EST Creative. When I’m not penning, doodling ideas, or chatting with clients, you’ll find me hiking with my husband, baby boy, and 2 mischievous mutts.

This content is for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting, or financial advice. Please obtain expert advice from industry specific professionals who may better understand your business’s needs. Read our full disclaimer

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