Starting & Locating a Business

Developing a Business Plan
Any new or expanding business should develop a business plan to guide them. There are several agencies that can provide assistance either free or at a nominal cost. This help, along with developing marketing plans, assistance in locating trade associations, etc., is available through the city's Department of Planning and Development office.

Financing & Funding Options
Financing is one of the most critical and often the most frustrating part of starting a business. While state and county programs are available primarily for industrial businesses, there are other funding sources that can provide assistance to the small retail / service business.

The first place to start is with your local banker. Many times the existing relationship you have with your bank is all you need to secure the financing you require. Other than conventional financing, your bank can assist with programs such as SBA loans and loan guarantees. Often, though, there is a gap between your equity and the amount you require. There are also programs available that can provide this gap financing such as the RMI (Rural Missouri Inc.) Microloan Program, Justine Petersen Housing, and the Reinvestment Corporation Microlending Program.

UMB bank, in cooperation with the City of Ferguson, has developed a low-interest loan program for any Ferguson business. These loans can be used for interior and exterior improvements or to address certain safety concerns. You can contact the UMB Bank Loan Department at 314-612-8632.

Development Procedures
Under the City's Zoning Code, some projects may require review by the City's Plan Commission. If your project meets one of these requirements, the City's Zoning Administrator can guide you through the development procedures.

City Inspections & Occupancy Permit
Before you can occupy your business space, the City requires that a commercial exterior inspection be completed. To inquire about scheduling an inspection you can call the Inspection Department at (314) 521-7721. The space must pass inspection in order to obtain an occupancy permit.

Business License
A Business License is required before you can operate most businesses in Ferguson. To obtain your Business License you will need to bring your approved Commercial Occupancy Permit and your Missouri Business Sales Tax I.D. number, along with the Business License Application to City Hall. The City Collector will then issue a Business License. The Collector can be reached at (314) 524-5254.

Opening a Business in Ferguson
Now that you have a business plan and financing, the next step is to get started in opening your business. The good news is that we have made the process simple and, even better, it doesn't take very long. Follow the steps set forth in the chart below.

Download a PDF version of the chart here.

Contact Us

  1. Dan Bish
    Community Development Coordinator

    110 Church St.
    Ferguson, MO 63135

    Ph: 314-524-5196
    Fx: 314-524-5173

    Monday - Friday
    8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
How to Start a Business in Ferguson 2014