Buying or Starting a Business

If you are starting a new business or have purchased an existing business, welcome! We are glad to have you in St. Charles. To make things run as smoothly as possible, here are some helpful checklists.

Minor Changes

To change ownership of an existing business or to change the business, but not the type (for example, restaurant to restaurant, bar to bar, retail store to retail store, etc.), with no change to the building:

  1. Make an appointment with the Building Division at 636-949-3227 for an occupancy (building) inspection. This inspection should take place before the tenant moves in to the place of business.
  2. Make an appointment with the Fire Department at 636-949-3250 for an occupancy (fire) inspection. This inspection should take place after the tenant moves their furnishings in to the place of business and before it is open to the public.
  3. Apply to the Collections Office for a business license. The cost of the license varies according to the business type. The following items are required in order to receive the business license:
    1. A certificate of occupancy from Community Development
    2. A paid personal property tax receipt in the business name from the St. Charles County Collector or a Personal Property Tax Waiver from the St. Charles County Assessor. Both offices are located in the County Administration Building at 201 N. 2nd Street, across the street from City Hall. The phone number for the County Collector is 636-949-7470. The phone number for the County Assessor is 636-949-7423.
    3. A state sales tax number (if required by the State) from the Missouri Department of Revenue.
  4. Apply for a sign permit for any new signs located on your building or lot. Sign applications may require review by the Landmarks Board.

If you are opening an establishment that serves food, you must also comply with the regulations of the St. Charles County Health Department. Their phone number is 636-949-7404.

Major Changes

To change the type of business (for example, retail store to restaurant, restaurant to bar, auto sales to auto body shop, etc.), create a combination of uses, or change the building in any way (new electrical service, repair or replace plumbing, put up new walls, remove existing walls, put in a new doorway, close an existing doorway, etc.):

  1. Before signing a lease or a deed to the property, contact the Building Regulations Division at 636-949-3227 to discuss the required building permits.
  2. Contact the Fire Department to discuss change of use.
  3. Contact the Planning Division at 636-949-3222 to discuss zoning regulations.
  4. And when you have received both zoning and final building approval, proceed with steps 1-4 at the top of this page.