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Business License
Occupation Taxes

Known by about a dozen different terms across the country, what is most commonly acknowledged or referred to as a "Business License" is a bit of a misnomer.  A "License" usually entails some regulatory control over a specific activity, or pre-qualifying criteria, credentials or testing, to engage in the activity (e.g. passing a medical board to be a doctor or being old enough to own a liquor store).  While there may be associated inspections and approvals for where a business may operate, most business activities do not face regulatory oversight.

All entities engaging in a business activity in Kansas City Kansas do need to register and file the occupation tax application.  In addition to the occupation tax, some business activities do also require a regulatory license or permit

Our processes are fairly quick, simple, and straightforward.  While there may be approval steps required in the process, they are neither complex nor cumbersome and our staff is available for any assistance that might be needed.  A business can usually accomplish our process on their own with little difficulty and there is no need to pay a third party company for forms and assistance that we provide at no cost.

The occupation tax is assessed by the Unified Government for the privilege of doing business in our jurisdiction, whether the business is physically located in the city or not.  

Some businesses are exempt by ordinance within specific criteria, to include but not limited:  Business individually operated by a blind person, Attorney's for the occupation of attorney, Agricultural growers for products grown within the state, Milk product production, Motor Vehicle fuel sales and distribution, Organizations operated wholly for charitable, religious, benevolent, fraternal, civic, educational- from which profit is not derived by any individual, Organizations qualified by the I.R.S. as 501(c)3.  Exempt entities still file with our office under the qualifying exemption.

The occupation tax ordinance is based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes, which are designed by the Federal government to classify and describe every imaginable business type. The Unified Government occupation tax ordinance attaches an annual fee to each of these codes, based on one of several possible factors:

  • Square footage All retail, wholesale, manufacturing, processing, and warehousing businesses are assessed a fee based on the physical size of their facility.
  • Number of employees Banks, insurance agencies, security guard services, employment agencies, engineering firms, and others are assessed a fee based on the number of people they employ.
  • Flat Fee Construction, Health, Educational, Professional, and Technical services are assessed flat fees prescribed by the ordinance.
  • Number of Units Taxi/Livery services, automobile tow services, hotels and motels, caterers, trash removal services, and a number of other businesses are assessed a fee based on the number of units operated or controlled by them.
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NRC offices Hours Phillip Henderson Phone Numbers
Business License 8:00 am to 5:00 pm   License Administrator P: (913) 573-8782 
4953 State Avenue Monday - Friday  Email F: (913) 573-8622
Kansas City, KS       

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