To get your general contractors license in Missouri, you will have to apply for approval at the local level. Similar to specialty trades including electrical and plumbing, Missouri does not offer a statewide general contractors license, so your application process, requirements, and fees to become a licensed general contractor will depend on the local issuing authority of your city. As you can see below, getting a contractors license in Kansas City will be much different from becoming a general contractor in St. Louis.
To further convolute things, business entities operating in the state of Missouri will need to be registered with the Missouri Secretary of State as well as have obtained all tax ID numbers, a certificate of insurance, and contractor bonds for all projects. Additionally, if you are aspiring to perform contracting services in St. Louis, you will need to meet the city’s contracting business requirements to do so. Many factors will have to be accounted for when becoming a licensed general contractor in Missouri, but knowing what cities carry which requirements can make becoming a general contractor much easier.
Kansas City General Contractor License Requirements
All contractors licenses in KC will be issued through the Kansas City, MO City Planning and Development – Developmental Services department. The KC licensing process will ask you to meet several prerequisites and obtain the necessary documents to complete your contractor licensing application. The KC City Planning and Development – Developmental Services division will require that you satisfy the following requirements before submitting your application:
- Be at least 21 years old.
- Hold a high school diploma or GED
- Provide documentation of applicable experience and skills.
- Appoint a supervisor who must pass a Prometric or ICC accredited exam.
- Businesses must register with the Missouri Secretary of State.
- Obtain general liability insurance
- Obtain workers’ compensation insurance.
- Complete and sign application.
- Pay all licensing and application fees.
For a detailed account of performing construction work in Kansas City, refer to the regulations set by the Kansas City Building and Rehabilitation Code.
Who Needs a Kansas City General Contractors License?
The KC City Planning and Development – Developmental Services Bureau offers a variety of licenses, including:
- Fire Protection
- Gas Fired Appliances
- Heating and Ventilating
- Pipe Fitting
- Sign Contractor
- Residential Building
Applying for a residential building contractors license may best suit an aspiring general contractor in Kansas City. A residential building contractor “may construct, structurally alter, or enlarge any one- or two-family detached dwelling or townhouse, including detached accessory building in excess of 400 square feet in area…” For any category of contractor, including a residential building contractor, you must fulfill the requirements above to be licensed to perform any work.
Kansas City Contractor Licensing and Registration Fee Summary
Your KC general contractors license will come with a $55 application and a $167 license issuance fee. Additionally, there will be a $167 renewal fee every four years. For more information on your contractors license application and fees, contact:
City Planning & Development Department
Contractor Licensing Branch
5th Floor, City Hall
414 East 12th Street
Kansas City, Missouri 64106
Telephone: (816) 513-1500 x 6
Fax: (816) 513-1456
St. Louis General Contractor License Requirements
The St. Louis Building Division – Permit Section will require you to obtain a building permit to perform contracting work in the city. Before starting any work in St. Louis, you will need to understand if the project is big enough to warrant a building permit. According to the St. Louis Building Division:
“A building permit is required when any structural change or major alteration is made to an existing building or when any new construction is undertaken. Normal building maintenance does not require a building permit in most instances. Separate permits for plumbing, mechanical and electrical work are also required when applicable.”
All contractors and subcontractors are also required to maintain a Graduated Business License to perform contracting services in St. Louis. The requirements for a Graduated Business License, as established by the City of St. Louis will have you complete the following:
- Register for a state sales tax number through the Missouri Department of Revenue.
- Visit the License Collector’s office for your Graduated Business License application, or download it online.
- Receive clearance from the Collector of Revenue’s Office to make sure you are operating within St. Louis City Ordinance.
- Receive an Occupancy Permit from the Building Division if your business is located in St. Louis.
- Acquire proof of workers’ compensation insurance coverage.
- Complete the Contractor Business License Application.
- Pay all application fees and licensing fees.
After you acquire your Graduated Business License, you are ready to apply for a building permit — which comes in many forms.
St. Louis City Building Permits
The City of St. Louis Building Division – Permit Section offers several different building permits to cover the span of all contracting work including:
- Fire Alarm/Fire Suppression
- Above Ground Tanks
- Commercial Exhaust Hoods
- High Hazard/Special Conditional Use
- Residential Construction
- Commercial Construction
- Provide an address for the project.
- Disclose information of the building owner, occupant, architect, and general contractor.
- Organize five sets of professionally prepared, signed, and dated construction drawings; two sets of project specifications, structural calculations, geotechnical soils reports; and one set of site and/or building photographs.
- Pay the application fee.
For more information on St. Louis building permits, including the permit process, fees, and review procedures, visit the St. Louis Building Division – Permit Section website, or contact the City of St. Louis City Hall at 314-662-4800. The city of St Louis also requires contractors to have a surety bond before they begin construction.
St. Louis Contractor Licensing and Registration Fee Summary
Your Graduated Business License fee will be determined by the number of employees you have, or plan to hire. A Graduated Business License fee schedule can be found at the St. Louis License Collector website.
Similarly, your building permit fee will depend on the estimated construction cost. The building permit application fee, for any building permit, is fixed at $25. For more information about the application and licensing costs of a building permit in St. Louis, visit the St. Louis Building Division – Permit Section site.
State of Missouri Business License and Registration
All business entities operating in the state of Missouri will be required to register through the Missouri Secretary of State. Here, you can find information on registering your business, as well as all associated tax and insurance requirements.
Missouri Tax Identification Number Application
Businesses that operate within Missouri are required to register for one or more tax-specific identification numbers, licenses or permits, including income tax withholding, sales and use tax (seller’s permit), and unemployment insurance tax. Contact the Missouri Department of Revenue for more information about business registration and your tax obligations.
Missouri Workers’ Compensation Insurance Requirements and Forms
Contractors with employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage through a commercial carrier, on a self-insured basis, or through the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Many counties in the state of Missouri also require you to have some sort of contractor bond, such as:
Bonds must be acquired before work can begin. Your city planning department or licensing body will have more information about the type of bond required for your project. You can obtain a bond through bonding companies or through certain business insurance policies.
Missouri Contractor License Lookup and Verification
To look up and verify licensed contractors in Kansas City, visit the KCMO Licensed Contractors database.
To find and confirm building permits by address in St. Louis, refer to the St. Louis Permits webpage.