Most businesses starting in Missouri selling a product or offering certain services will need to register for a sales tax license. This is commonly referred to as a seller’s permit, sales tax permit, sales tax number, or sales tax registration.
The sales tax license is obtained by submitting the Missouri Tax Registration Application. This is a joint application between the Missouri Department of Revenue and Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations to register businesses for sales tax and employee withholding taxes.
Check out the rest of this guide to determine who needs a sales tax license, what products and services are taxable, how to register for a permit, and reporting requirements.
Who needs a sales tax license in Missouri?
A business must register for a sales tax license in Missouri when:
- A business has sales tax nexus. Nexus means having a physical presence in the state, such as having a physical location like a retail store or office or using a warehouse or fulfillment center to store inventory.
- Selling products and taxable services in Missouri (includes occasionally selling items at craft shows, fairs, seminars, conventions, etc.)
- Employees (including sales representatives, agents, or independent contractors) are working in Missouri
- An online business located in Missouri is selling taxable products to Missouri residents
- A remote seller or out-of-state dealer surpasses $100,000 in sales to Missouri residents in the 12 months preceding the current quarter.
What products and services are taxable in Missouri?
There are a few exceptions, but almost all physical products are taxable when sold at retail in Missouri. Common examples include:
- General merchandise like furniture, appliances, and clothing
- Titled or registered items like vehicles
Some prescriptions and medical devices are tax exempt in addition to machinery used in agriculture and manufacturing. See the full list of sales tax exemptions in Missouri.
Digital products are tax exempt in Missouri.
Most services aren’t taxable in Missouri, however, there are a few exceptions, some of which include:
- Charges for rooms, meals, and drinks furnished at any hotel, motel, cabin, etc.
- Places of amusement, entertainment or recreation, games, and athletic events
- Labor used to fabricate a product that will be sold at retail
See the full list of taxable services in Missouri.
How to register for a sales tax license in Missouri
Out-of-state businesses will register for a Missouri Vendor Use Tax License in addition to posting a bond.
Information needed to register includes:
- Names, addresses, and SSN of owners/officers/members
- Business address
- Legal business name and DBA / Fictitious Name Registration if applicable
- Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS, or owner’s Social Security Number if a sole proprietorship with no employees
- Types of products
- Type of business entity: Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Limited Liability Partnership, Corporation, Limited Liability Company (LLC)
- Charter number or certificate of authority number (corporations and LLCs only) from the Missouri Secretary of State
- Date taxable sales will begin
- Projected sales tax liability
- Seasonality of the business
How much does a sales tax license cost in Missouri?
There is no cost for a sales tax license in the state of Missouri.
Sales Tax Bond
All businesses registering for a sales tax license will have to post a sales and use tax bond in the amount of three times their monthly sales and use tax liability. The bond amount is estimated for new businesses and then based on the previous 12 months after the business is established.
The Department of Revenue has a sales/use tax bond calculator to figure the cost of a bond. This bond is refundable after two years of good payment history.
How long does it take to get a Missouri sales tax license?
Expect 2 business days to receive a sales tax license and state sales tax number when registering online or up to 2 weeks when applying by mail.
Do you have to renew your Missouri sales tax license?
The sales tax license is a one-time registration, and no renewals are needed. Be mindful that if any information about the business changes, such as the mailing address, additional locations, or change in ownership, those changes need to be updated with the Department of Revenue.
Sales tax reporting
How is sales tax collected?
When a business sells a taxable product or service, the business charges the appropriate sales tax rate to the customer. This tax is collected by the business who then sends it to the Missouri Department of Revenue.
How much sales tax is charged?
The sales tax rate that is charged varies depending on the address of the business if the purchase is made in the store. When shipping in-state, the sales tax is based on the address of the purchaser.
Out of state businesses collect a Vendors Use Tax, which is similar to the sales tax.
In addition to the statewide tax, there are additional sales taxes that may be added by cities and municipalities. To find sales tax rates, see the sales tax rates by address from the Missouri Department of Revenue.
When are Missouri sales tax returns due?
The Department of Revenue will determine a filing frequency based on the expected sales volume, which will be monthly, quarterly, or annually. Generally, a business collecting over $500 each month will file monthly.
Filings are due the 20th day of the month following the reporting period, unless the 20th falls on a weekend or federal holiday, which would move to the next business day.
Even if the business had no sales during the reporting period, a filing is still required indicating no sales.
Sales tax on purchases for resale
A business can purchase items to resell without paying state sales tax. The tax liability is passed from the wholesaler or distributor to the retailer, who will then charge sales tax to the end-user of the item.
Wholesalers and distributors will require a sales tax number and complete a Missouri Sales Tax Exemption Certificate (also referred to as a resale certificate) to document the items being purchased are for resale.
In addition to registering for a sales tax permit, there may be other business licenses needed before starting a business in Missouri. Learn what business licenses are needed in Missouri.
If you have questions about the sales tax license, the Missouri Department of Revenue has FAQs for business tax registration in Missouri. They can also be contacted by calling 800-735-2966 or 573-751-0840 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.