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The Guide to Getting Your Missouri Contractors License

3-minute read

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Emily Thompson

Emily Thompson

21 February 2024

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

Do You Need a License to Be a General Contractor in Missouri?

There is no state-level requirement to have a contractor license, but there are often requirements at the county and city levels.

Fortunately, for general contractors in Missouri, 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 can:

  • Allow you to work on larger jobs and earn more.
  • Build credibility with customers. Even for smaller jobs, people want to hire contractors with a stamp of approval.
  • Help market your business. You’ll appear in public lists of licensed contractors.
  • Give you a competitive edge over unlicensed contractors.
  • Protect your business because having a license in MIssouri requires you to carry general liability and business insurance.

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

Does a Handyman Need a License in Missouri?

Much like with a contractor’s license, there is no statewide requirement to be licensed if you’re working as a handyman. But don’t grab your toolbelt just yet. Handymen, like contractors, may need to meet certain local licensing and registration requirements.

These can be at the county or city level, so it’s best to check with the appropriate agencies where you plan to perform work.

There may be limits on the kind of work you can do as a handyman in certain parts of Missouri. In general, you’re legally allowed to perform maintenance, minor jobs like installing trim, power washing and deck staining, trash hauling, touch-up painting, minor dry rot repairs, and furniture and cabinet assembly.

Missouri Contractors: You May Need Business Insurance to Get Your Contractor License

Because Missouri contractor license requirements vary across the state, it’s easy to feel like you have your hands full just trying to understand what's needed, and that can include insurance. For example, Kansas City, St. Louis, and Springfield have their own business insurance requirements.

Not to worry. We help insure small business owners like you all over the U.S. Different requirements, different policies, different coverage amounts. We can make sense of it for you. And often in just 10 minutes, online or on the phone.

We work with the nation’s top insurers, so we can shop for policies that have the coverage you need while fitting within your budget. We’ll show you the coverages and quotes, then you’ll choose the one that works best for you. And just like that, your business is insured.

Still have questions? Give one of our licensed small business insurance pros a call at 844-654-7272. They’re here to help Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET).

Next up? It’s time to complete the paperwork.

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 insurance quotes today.

Start Here >

How Do You Get a Missouri Contractor’s License?

If you live in Missouri, you can get your license in your local city or your county. There isn’t a Missouri contractor’s license that applies statewide, so it’s a process that’s defined at the local or county level. That means the process may be different in Kansas City than it is in St. Louis and might involve doing some follow-up with your town or city hall to make sure you have followed the correct process.

General Missouri contractor license requirements.

While the contractor license requirements in Missouri are at the local or county level, there are some other statewide requirements for contractors that you should be aware of as well.

Missouri Division of Professional Registration

Your contractor business is required to be registered through the Missouri Secretary of State. They have a Starting a Business section on their website that provides information on how to do it.

Along with helpful posts on topics such as naming your business, there is also a step-by-step guide for registering the business and accessing a variety of relevant downloadable forms.

Missouri Tax Identification Number Application

There are a number of taxes that you may be subject to in Missouri, so you may have to register for one or more tax-specific identification numbers, licenses, or permits. These include income tax withholding, sales and use tax (seller’s permit), and unemployment insurance tax.

The Missouri Department of Revenue can provide more information and help you with business registration and understanding your tax obligations.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

If you’re in the construction industry and have one or more employees working for you, either full-time or part-time, you’ll need workers’ compensation insurance in Missouri.

It’s best to check with the local government agencies in the areas where you’ll be working.You also may need to obtain a Missouri business license.

Do Missouri contractors need additional licenses?

Potentially — different types of work require different types of licenses. For example, if you’re a plumber, you’ll likely need aplumbing license . It’s granted in your local city or the county. 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. An application can be found here.

Send all your application materials to:

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

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

St. Louis

If you're a contractor or subcontractor looking to ply your trade in the Gateway to the West, you’ll need to have a Graduated Business License. You can learn about the specific requirements here.

Getting Licensed and Getting Started

Getting licensed and insured are important steps in starting your contractor business. With a Missouri contractor’s license, you can help grow your business, take on bigger jobs, and earn more in the long run.

A new business often comes with questions and new challenges. It can help to know where to look for answers and guidance. We’d like to recommend our Resource Center. It’s filled with information, tools, and tips that many small business owners can use.

We’ve pulled out a few here to get you started.

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.

Emily writes on a number of topics such as entrepreneurship, small business networking, and budgeting.

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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