Business Licenses Q&A: Do I Need a License Or Not?

Audience Question: I am currently working on a business license for Kansas City MO. There is confusion as to filing a business license or not. Our registered agent contacted the authority and they were not very clear. Can you make any recommendations on what I can do to get clarification or a site that I can go to that might have clear business license guidelines for this particular jurisdiction?

Joe Vitulli's Response: Kansas City has very vague and very broad license requirement. Most businesses will require a license but the category of license varies greatly. In this case, the best option will probably be to read the Code and website information.

Andrea Jaffe's Response: This is a common scenario. The person that you reach on the phone may not be completely knowledgeable regarding the requirements of imposition, especially if the business activity is “non-standard.” We always recommend that you do some background research and try to identify any potential relevant references in the municipality’s statutes. These can often be found on the municipality’s website, or at Once you have that information in hand, it is a good idea to ask for the City Attorney, rather than a clerk in the licensing office, who may be able to clarify a more obscure determination for imposing a business license.

(Author's Note: Business Licenses, LLC hosted a webinar on June 10th, 2014. During the Q&A, the audience submitted questions. We are going to periodically post those questions to this blog along with answers from the panelists.)

By Alan Ruttenberg