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 (for example, possessing the educational qualifications to be a massage therapist or being old enough to operate a drinking establishment). 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, KS, do need to register and file the occupation tax application. In addition to the occupation tax, some business activities also require a regulatory license or permit.

The Unified Government charges an occupation tax for business within our jurisdiction, regardless of physical location.

Some businesses are exempt by ordinance within specific criteria, including but not limited to businesses individually operated by a blind person, attorneys for the occupation of attorney, agricultural growers for products grown and sold within the state, Milk product production, Motor Vehicle fuel sales, 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 Sec. 34-37 Exemptions.

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

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 or credentialed professionals.

Flat Fee

Construction, Building Services, Educational, Support, and Technical services are assessed flat fees prescribed by the ordinance.

Number of Units

Taxi/Livery services, automobile tow services, hotels and motels, trash removal services, and several other businesses are assessed a fee based on the number of units operated or controlled by them.

Business Entity Types & Activities

No prior business record in KCK

There are varying requirements between business entity types and activities.

Non-Construction Business Activities

This page is still being developed. To make an application, contact our office at (913) 573-8780. We will help determine what additional requirements may be necessary and forward the business application.

Contractors & Construction Trades