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Starting a Small Business in O'Fallon: DBAs, Licenses and Permits

"O'Fallon Patch" rounds up tips, resources and advice for registering your small business name and for obtaining city licenses and permits.

Welcome back to our series on .

This week, we're offering tips and resources on how to register your business name and obtain local licenses and permits. Next week, we’ll discuss how to deal with your business taxes.

Last week’s experts, and , are back with more tips for potential small business owners.

Now that you’ve , you’re ready to register your business name.

Registering Your ‘DBA’ Name

First, you’ll decide what to call your business—if you’ll be using a name other than your own, you’ll need to register it with the Secretary of State as a “fictitious name.”

That’s because, according to the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA), Missouri law requires “any person or business entity which transacts business in the state under a name other than their own ‘true name’ to register that business name with the Missouri Secretary of State as a Fictitious Name Registration.”

If your business is already incorporated but you want to do business under a different name, you’ll need a “Doing Business As” (DBA) name as well.

“The Secretary of State’s website makes it fairly easy both check availability of business entity names and to register them,” Coleman said.

Shoaf agreed, pointing out that “in the State of Missouri it is one of the simplest processes to complete.”

The Registration of Fictitious Name forms can be completed and submitted online at Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan’s website.

“One word of caution, consult your tax professional and an attorney before filing,” Shoaf added. “This may save you some duplication of work and money in the long run.”

Registering Your Business with the City of O’Fallon

In order to do business in the , you’ll need to complete and receive approval on the city’s Business License Application. The form asks for basic information about the business and the owner, plus asks questions about any employees you’ll have, the location of the business and more.

Special Conditions for Home-Based Business Owners

If you’ll be running your business from your home in O’Fallon, you need to know that there are a number of restrictions and limitations to consider.

For example, the city permits home-based businesses “as an accessory use to a residential use in any zoning district subject to the requirements of this Section, with the exception of (certain) uses which are prohibited.”

Prohibited home businesses in O’Fallon include:

  • Appliance repair
  • Auto, truck, trailer or motor vehicle repair, service or painting
  • Restaurants or bars
  • Equipment rental
  • Furniture stripping, etc.
  • Mortuaries and embalming
  • Daycares, preschools, etc. that have more than four kids at any one time (excluding the owner’s relatives.)
  • Private clubs, including fraternity and sorority houses.
  • Retail or wholesale shopping establishments where the customer comes to the home to make purchases.
  • Stables or kennels.
  • Storage of contractor equipment or storage of construction material.
  • Animal-related services, such as animal hospitals, pet grooming and pet adoption services.
  • Any other use listed as a conditional use in a commercial or industrial zoning district.

Additionally, there are a number of requirements to follow if your business doesn’t fall under this list. Check out the Supplemental Information regarding Home Based Businesses in the City of O’Fallon checklist for more information.

Home-based business owners will also need to complete and receive approval on the Application for Home Based Business Permit.   

Other O’Fallon Registrations You Might Need to Consider

Shoaf said that depending on the type of business you’re doing, you may need additional licenses and registrations.

O’Fallon may require special licensure based on your profession while others require none at all,” he said. “Examples would be a plumber usually has city and county licenses while in-home care (other than health care) does not require any license at all.

In Case You Missed It

In case you’ve missed previous editions of , we have shared ideas for choosing a business concept, including the and .

We’ve also discussed , given tips and ideas on ways to and offered expert advice on . Last week, we offered information and resources on .

About the Experts

owns several locally-based businesses, including and .

Chris Coleman owns St. Louis-based FranNet, a company that helps would-be business owners choose and develop franchise businesses. FranNet's clients include several O’Fallon area business owners, Coleman said.

Have you always dreamed of starting your own business? Subscribe to our daily newsletter so you won’t miss a single part of this ongoing series! Next week, we’ll offer tips and resources for handling your taxes as a small business owner.

Do you own your own business in O’Fallon? We want to share your story with the community! Contact Patch reporter Angela Atkinson at angela.atkinson@patch.com to arrange for an interview.

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