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Business Startup Guide

Thinking about starting a business in Smithville?

Starting a business is an exciting proposition, but it's also an incredibly challenging undertaking. The resources in this section will help you lean about what it takes to start a business.

Pick/Develop a marketable business concept.


Identify your target market, product, or service customer group.


Determine your business location.


Develop a business plan and marketing strategy.


Identify your operation needs


Identify your project startup expenses.


Create your projected financial statements for three business years (worst case, realistic case, and best case?


Research your competition.


Select your advisors (consultants, lawyers, accountants, etc...)


Explore loans, grants, and other funding resources.

Choose and register your business and business structure

Always consider the tax implications and legal liability as you select the business structure that's right for your business. In Missouri, all partnerships and corporations must be registered, as well as sole proprietors doing business under their own name do not need to register with the state of Missouri. While it is not required, it is recommended that you consult an attorney and/or CPA for advice as to which legal structure (sole proprietor, general partnership, etc...) best suits your needs.

Check on the availability of your business name by searching the Secretary of State's online database.

Register your business name and structure.

Register with authorities on city, county, state, and federal levels.

To run your business legally, there are certain federal, state, and city licenses and permits you will need to obtain. These resources will help you understand the requirements for your small business.

City licenses and permits:

County licenses:

(Food and daycare facilities need to register with Clay County Health Department)

State licenses, permits and sales tax registration:


Employers with employees, business partnerships, and corporations must obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the US Internal Revenue Service.

Select a business site.

When selecting a site, it is important to make sure the location is appropriate for you business. Among the factors  to consider are the type of building, location, zoning, and available parking. Consider working with someone with expertise in this area.

Obtain a zoning and building permits (if required)

A zoning permit is always required prior to receiving a building permit for a renovation (if the use in a building or commercial space is different from the previous use or if zoning approval is required for any other permit or license).

A building permit is always required if:

  • There is a change of occupancy, as defined in the Smithville Building Code (if there is a change in occupancy, ADA compliance is required, which may require changes to the building).

  • The customer elects to do interior changes (all elective work must be done to current building codes).

Contact the City of Smithville, Development Department.

Jack Hendrix (Director)

Other approvals:

Smithville Area Fire Protection District

Contact utilities and waste management

Hire and retain employees

Ready to hire employees for your business? Learn about employment and labor laws to make sure your business is in compliance:

Open your business

By completing these steps, you have built a strong foundation that, along with a lot of hard work and a little luck, will enable your business to thrive in the city of Smithville.

For more information about Smithville, please contact:

Smithville Area Chamber of Commerce

Smithville City Hall

Other resources:

Clay County Economic Development Council

KC SourceLink

US Small Business Administration

State Business Portal

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