Business Tax Registration

I am starting a new business in Missouri, do I need to be registered with the Missouri Department of Revenue?

Retail Sales Tax - Any person or company that has a business location in Missouri from which they sell or lease goods or provide a taxable service to a final consumer is required by law to collect and remit Missouri sales tax. It is the taxpayers responsibility to ensure that sales tax is collected at the correct rate. Taxpayers are required to have a Missouri retail sales license prior to making sales. A bond must accompany the application. Any person making retail sales without a Missouri Retail Sales Tax License is subject to a penalty of $500 for the first day of operation and a $100 fine every day thereafter, with a maximum penalty of $10,000. See the penalties defined by Section 144.118. Operating without a license is a misdemeanor and can result in criminal prosecution.

Vendors Use Tax - If an out-of-state vendor makes sales of goods to a final consumer located in Missouri and the vendor has sufficient nexus with Missouri, the vendor is required to collect and remit Missouri Vendors Use tax. The vendor is required to obtain a Missouri Vendor Use tax license and post a bond.

Consumers Use Tax - Missouri cannot require out-of-state companies that do not have nexus or a "direct connection" with the state to collect and remit use tax. If an out-of-state seller does not collect use tax from the purchaser, the purchaser is responsible for remitting the use tax to Missouri.

A seller not engaged in business is not required to collect Missouri tax but the purchaser in these instances is responsible for remitting use tax to Missouri. A purchaser is required to file a use tax return if the cumulative purchases subject to use tax exceed two thousand dollars in a calendar year.

Employer Withholding Tax - Every employer maintaining an office or transacting any business within the state of Missouri and making payment of wages to a resident or nonresident individual must obtain a Missouri Employer Tax Identification Number.

Corporate Income Tax :

Corporation Franchise Tax - All domestic corporations and all foreign corporations engaged in business* or qualified to do business** in Missouri must file and/or pay franchise tax. 

*If a corporation has destination sales in Missouri, it is engaged in business in Missouri.

**If a corporation has received a certificate of authority from the Secretary of State, it is qualified to do business in Missouri.

S-Corporations please note:  Qualified Subchapter S Subsidiaries (QSSS) must file a separate Form MO-1120S and attach their separate balance sheet if they are engaged in or qualified to do business in Missouri.  The return will be filed for Franchise Tax only.

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Do I need to obtain a retail sales tax license?

Anyone making sales of tangible personal property and services such as telephone, room rental, fitness club and movie/theatre shows are taxable unless there is a specific statutory exemption.

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Are Wholesalers required to register for a retail sales tax license?

If you are 100% wholesale, you are not required to register for a retail sales tax license.  When you purchase tangible personal property to be resold to a retailer, you will need to provide the seller with  your completed Missouri Form 149, Sales/Use Tax Exemption Ceritificate.   If you are the seller, you will need to collect the Form 149 from the purchaser. 

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How do I obtain a sales/use tax, corporate income tax or employer withholding tax number?

You can complete the online registration application that can be found at Online Business Registration to register with the Missouri Department of Revenue, or, you can complete the paper Form 2643, Missouri Tax Registration Application, and submit the form to the Missouri Department of Revenue.

Please note: If your business is registering for Retail Sales Tax or Vendor’s Use Tax and you are completing the online application, you will need to go to the forms page to obtain the necessary bond forms and mail the bond to the department. A Retail Sales Tax or Vendor’s Use Tax license will not be issued until a proper bond is received.

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Do I have to post a bond to obtain a tax number?

All applicants for a Retail Sales Tax or Vendor’s Use Tax license must post a bond equal to three times their average monthly sales or use tax liability.

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How do I compute the bond?

If you are purchasing a business from a previous owner, the bond should be computed based on the previous owner's sales. If this is a brand new business, you must estimate your average taxable sales for a three-month period.

You can use our Sales/Use Tax Bond Calculator to compute the amount of bond you will need to submit for your Retail Sales Tax license or Vendor's Use Tax license.

Please note: The Department of Revenue uses established bond guidelines based on business location and type in determining if a submitted bond is sufficient to cover sales tax or use tax liability.

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Do I need to complete the entire Form 2643, Missouri Tax Registration Application?

You must complete Sections 1 through 32 (general information, instructions, and application) of Form 2643 and all applicable tax sections of the application. When completing the application, please answer all questions in full, failure to do so may delay the processing of your application. If you are required to post a bond, you must also complete the appropriate bond form for the type of bond you are submitting.

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How can I be certain that I won't be liable for the previous owner's tax liability?

As a successor/purchaser, you shall withhold a sufficient amount of the purchase money to cover taxes, interest, or penalties due and unpaid by all former owners or predecessors, whether immediate or not, until the former owner or predecessor produce a receipt from the director of revenue showing that all taxes have been paid (a Certificate of No Tax Due or Tax Clearance); otherwise, you shall become personally liable for the unpaid tax, penalty, and interest accrued.

All purchasers have a duty to discover whether taxes are due and unpaid by any former owner or predecessor, whether immediate or not. The lack of knowledge about successorship will not relieve a purchaser from successor tax liability. Reliance on any statement or affidavit stating there were no creditors of the business, also will not relieve a purchaser from successor tax liability.

Below is a list of questions you may want to ask yourself when purchasing an existing business:

  1. Are you purchasing the building (real estate)?
  2. Are you purchasing the inventory?
  3. Are you purchasing the equipment?
  4. Are you purchasing the fixtures?

If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, please obtain from the seller before you purchase the business either a Tax Clearance or a sales tax Certificate of No Tax due. Request the sales tax Certificate of No Tax due if the seller was responsible for collecting and remitting only sales tax. Request a Tax Clearance if the seller was responsible for collecting and remitting more than one tax type, including sales, use, withholding, corporate income and corporate franchise.

A Tax Clearance must be requested by the previous owner. The previous owner may apply for a Tax Clearance by completing and mailing Form 943 to the Department of Revenue, PO Box 3666, Jefferson City, MO 65105-3666. A Certificate of No Tax due for sales tax can be requested by email at [email protected] or by mail at Department of Revenue, PO Box 3300, Jefferson City, MO 65105-3300. If you have additional questions or comments regarding the purchase of an existing business that were unanswered, please email us at [email protected].

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What owner, officer, partner, and/or member information is required?

The name, title, title effective date, social security number, date of birth, home address, city, state and zip code is required for each owner, officer, partner and/or member. Your registration may be delayed or not completed without all necessary information.

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I don't like giving out my social security number. Do you really need it?

Yes. Your social security number is needed for identification purposes. It is considered confidential information and is not made available to the public.

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How long does it take to receive my tax number?

Your tax number will be issued within 10 business days from the date we receive your properly completed application; in the case of a Retail Sales Tax or Vendor’s Use Tax license the bond is a part of the complete application.

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How can I be certain that my business is properly registered?

Once the registration application has been received and your account is properly registered, you will receive notification of your tax identification number by mail. If additional information is required in order for the department to properly register your business, you will receive notification, by mail, of the additional information needed.

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Who must sign Form 2643, Missouri Tax Registration Application?

Form 2643 must be signed by the owner, if the business is a sole ownership; by a partner, if the business is a partnership; or by a reported officer, if the business is a corporation. The signature must be of the owner, partner, officer, member or responsible person reported on the application.

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How do I register my vending machine locations?

When registering vending machine locations, you are only required to provide the city and/or county in which the machine is located.

In the "Business Name and Physical Location" section of Form 2643, Missouri tax Registration Application, indicate the business name, city, state, zip code, and county. In the street address field, indicate the word "vending".

You are only required to list the city and/or county once, regardless of how many vending machines are located in that area. For example, an owner places three machines located inside the city limits of St. Charles (St. Charles would only need to be listed once), and placed two more machines in unincorporated St. Louis County (St. Louis County would only be listed once). Attach additional pages to the application if more than one city and/or county needs to be listed.

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How do I add additional business locations to my already existing account?

Complete and sign Form 126, Registration Change Request, to add or close additional location.

If you already remit sales tax for multiple locations on Form 53-1, Sales Tax Return, you may write in any new sales tax locations, immediately following the preprinted locations.

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Do I need to register for corporate income tax?

Any corporation that has a gross income from sources within this state of $100 or more shall register for corporate income tax. (Section 143.481.6 RSMo)

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Do I need to register for corporate franchise tax?

All Missouri domestic corporations are subject to franchise tax.

All foreign corporations qualified to do business in Missouri and/or engaged in business (whether or not they have a Missouri charter number) are subject to franchise tax. (Section 147.010 RSMo)

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If you still have questions, please check out other Business Tax FAQs.

Can't find an answer to your question(s)? Email us! We look forward to hearing from you!

Related Forms: MO-1120S and MO-1120