Security guard

Missouri does not require security guards to be licensed on the state level, but Kansas City, St Louis, Joplin, St Joseph and Springfield require licensing.

Missouri Revised Statutes
Chapter 84
Police Departments in St. Louis and Kansas City
Section 84.340

September 10, 2014

*84.340. Board of police — power to regulate private detectives. — Except as provided under section 590.750, the police commissioner of the said cities shall have power to regulate and license all private watchmen, private detectives and private policemen, serving or acting as such in said cities, and no person shall act as such private watchman, private detective or private policeman in said cities without first having obtained the written license of the president or acting president of said police commissioners of the said cities, under pain of being guilty of a misdemeanor.

For more information, contact:
Department of Labor and Industrial Relations
3315 W. Truman Blvd., Rm 205
PO Box 449
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0449
573-751-3403
labor.mo.gov/div_pubs_forms.asp

Legal structure

Anyone conducting business in the State of Missouri under a name other than their own legal name (e.g., John Doe), must register the business name with the Missouri Secretary of State. Missouri law allows businesses to operate under four forms or organization:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Partnership – general and limited
  • Corporation – C-Corp; S-Corp; Professional, Not-for-Profit; Foreign Corporation
  • Limited Liability Company – LLC

Each structure has its own advantages and disadvantages and there are many modifications and variations within these forms. The key to selection revolves around the concept of liability and taxation. You must decide which of these structures best suits your business. In choosing your business structure, consult with a qualified accountant and/or attorney who are familiar with your resources and objectives.

A description of the forms of organization and some of the advantages and disadvantages are discussed in Legal structures and Starting a New Business in Missouri. Choosing a particular structure does not necessarily determine how the business will be taxed.

The Licenses and registration checklist is a guide to help you with the licensing and registration requirements for starting your new business.

You can download forms on the Web at s1.sos.mo.gov/business%5Ccorporations%5Cforms.asp or contact the Secretary of State’s Office at 573-751-4936.

Taxes

Understanding the taxes that apply to your business and how to meet the legal requirements of those taxes is critical. Consultation with an accountant or attorney is advisable.

Tax considerations are essential during the formation of a new business and during its entire life. When a business is just starting out, it may have little or no income or assets and the choice of structure may not seriously affect its tax liability. However, as the business grows, the tax implications become more significant.

Doing Business in Missouri: Legal Formation identifies the state and federal forms that must be filed for different business structures and compares the tax liabilities for the most common business structures.

For more information on taxes and access to printable copies of the required forms visit: Doing Business in Missouri: Taxes.

Hiring employees

Obtain a copy of  Employer’s Tax Guide (PDF)  from irs.gov or call 800-829-3676. This guide (“Circular E”) explains federal tax withholding and Social Security tax requirements for employers as well as containing current withholding tables for you to use to determine how much federal income tax and Social Security tax is to be withheld from each employee’s paycheck.

For a complete discussion on hiring employees, your responsibilities, and access to the required forms, refer to: Doing Business in Missouri: Hiring Employees.

Business resources and guides

You may also find the following information helpful as you begin your business:

  • Starting a New Business in Missouri is an excellent publication on the process of starting and operating a business in Missouri.
  • Evaluating Your Business Idea is a simple questionnaire-formatted document that helps you think through the elemental considerations in starting a business.
  • Guide to Writing a Business Plan provides a short, but thorough introduction to the process of writing a business plan and provides a simple outline of the contents of a standard plan.
  • MissouriBusiness.net is a network of key business resource providers in Missouri. The website contains a vast array of helpful documents, links and information on starting and operating your small business as well as a calendar of upcoming training and educational events throughout Missouri. Find a business counselor near you.
  • Contact your local (county, city, township) government offices early in the planning stages of your business. The requirement for local licenses and permits vary by county and city. Most cities, and some counties, require businesses to be licensed. Check with the city business/merchant license office and/or the county collector’s office for the requirements in your area. Be sure to check with the local city and/or county planning/zoning department to make sure that the site you have selected for your business is zoned to accommodate the activities of your business. These offices can be found in your local phone directory.
  • Missouri Lawyer Referral Service (mobar.org/LawyerSearch.aspx)
  • Missouri Society of Accountants 800-959-4276  or missouri-accountants.com
  • The Missouri Society of CPAs 800-264-7966 or mocpa.org