Missouri Employment Law Review & Registration Information

After your business entity is formalized with the Missouri Secretary of State and you have your EIN and governing documents, there may be other state agencies that you need to remain in compliance with. Please see below for an overview of agencies to register with once you’re ready to run your first payroll.

Income tax withholding and unemployment tax

Most companies are liable for state unemployment if they pay more than $1,500 of wages in a calendar quarter or have an employee for some part of a day in each of 20 different weeks.

To pay income tax and unemployment tax in Missouri, companies have to register with the Missouri Department of Revenue and the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Division of Employment Security.

New employers in Missouri can register for both income tax withholding and unemployment tax together by visiting the Missouri Online Business Registration website. Once on the site, click Continue at the bottom of the page to begin the process, and make sure to register for withholding tax and unemployment tax. Through this portal, companies can also register for the following tax types:

You can register your new business online for the following tax types:

· Sales Tax

· Vendor’s Use Tax

· Consumer’s Use Tax

· Withholding Tax

· Unemployment Tax

· Tire and Lead Acid Battery Fee

· Corporate Income/Franchise Tax

After you register with the Missouri Department of Revenue and the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Division of Employment Security:

  • You should receive your account numbers in 1–2 weeks. Keep this time frame in mind when planning your first Missouri payroll — you’ll need the tax account numbers in order to process payroll for Missouri employees.
  • Your Department of Revenue withholding tax identification number will be 8 digits.
  • You will also receive your assigned withholding tax deposit schedule.
  • Your Department of Labor and Industrial Relations employer account number will be 10 digits.

If you’ve run payroll in the past in Missouri, you can find your 8-digit Missouri Tax ID Number on the Employer’s Return of Income Taxes Withheld (Form MO-941) received from the MO Department of Revenue.

If you’re unsure of your Missouri tax ID number call the agency at (573) 751–3505.

Finding your tax deposit schedule

Missouri employers receive their tax deposit schedule after they register with the Missouri Department of Revenue. If you registered more than one year ago, or are uncertain what your tax deposit schedule is, call the Missouri Department of Revenue at (573) 751–3505.

State unemployment tax

If you’ve run payroll in the past in Missouri, you can find your Unemployment Account Number on the Notice of Liability sent to you by the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, or on your Quarterly Contribution and Wage Report (Form MODES-4). The account number contains 10 digits and is formatted as follows: 00–00000–0–00.

Unemployment insurance tax rate

Your Unemployment Insurance tax rate can be found on the most recent Notice of Liability received from the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. You can also get your account number and rate by calling the Department at (573) 751–3215.

Missouri city taxes

Kansas City Account ID

Employees who live or work in Kansas City are subject to a tax from the City of Kansas City, Finance Department. You can find your Kansas City Account ID by logging into your Quick Tax Account (click on ‘Individual or Business’) or by calling (816) 513–1120.

If you don’t have a number yet, you can register the business with the City of Kansas City, Missouri — Revenue Division online or call (816) 513–1135.

Quick Tax Account

To register for a Quick Tax Account, you can register the business with the City of Kansas City, Missouri — Revenue Division online.

For businesses without activity in Kansas City but who employ city residents: there is no legal requirement to withhold on Kansas City residents if there is no business activity taking place in Kansas City. The business may set up a withholding account as a courtesy.

St. Louis City Tax

For businesses with activity in St. Louis: in order to pay your St. Louis City Tax and Payroll Expense Tax you need to register with the St. Louis Collector of Revenue. You can do this by completing Form E-9 and faxing it to the St. Louis Collector of Revenue at (314) 622–4847, attention “Registration”. If you have any questions, you should call the agency at (314) 622–4111.

For businesses without activity in St. Louis, but who employ city residents: there is no legal requirement to withhold on St. Louis residents if there is no business activity taking place in St. Louis. The business may set up a withholding account as a courtesy by filing form E-9 and checking the “Withholding for City Resident Only” box.

If the business chooses not to offer courtesy withholding to their resident employees, there is a legal requirement to report to the city all city residents. The business will need to be set up as an agency for reporting purposes only. Contact the St. Louis office at (314) 622–4805.

Overview of Payroll Related Forms to be filed in Missouri

  • Employer’s Return of Income Taxes Withheld (MO-941)*
  • Quarter-Monthly Withholding Tax Payments (MO-941P) electronic filing only*
  • Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements (MO-W3)
  • Wage and Tax Statements (State W2)
  • Quarterly Contribution and Wage Report (MODES-4–7)
  • Quarterly Wage Report Continuation Sheet (MODES-10B)
  • MO New Hire Report

This article is an overview of Missouri employment law considerations, including compliance considerations and does not cover every legal right or obligation, consideration, exception, or restriction. These decisions are complex and should be well researched and discussed with a professional before being made.

To schedule a consultation with a SEED Law attorney, you can give us a call at (816)945–4249 or schedule your consultation today here.

Additional Resources:

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Adrienne B. Haynes

Adrienne B. Haynes

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My name is Adrienne B. Haynes and I focus my time, talents, and treasures on the intersection of law, entrepreneurship, and community designed innovation.