If you buy or sell several automobiles over the course of a year’s time in the state of Missouri, you may want to get a car dealer license. Not only can you save money on vehicle taxes by having your Missouri car dealer license, but establishing your auto dealership as a business in Missouri may entitle you to tax breaks on other business-related purchases as well. While it does take time and effort to go through the dealer licensing process in Missouri, your auto sales can quickly justify any costs and time expenditures.
Register your business with the Missouri secretary of state’s office (see Resources). Fill out the necessary forms to establish your business.
Send a request for a car dealer application packet to the Missouri Department of Revenue. The packets are also available at local offices of the Department of Revenue.
Collect the data requested in the packet. This includes both the physical address and a mail-to address if the U.S. postal service doesn’t deliver to your physical address. This full address should include street, city, county, state and zip code. List the name of the business. It must be identical to the name on the surety bond or irrevocable letter of credit or your application won’t gain approval. Indicate your business telephone number. You cannot list a cellular phone number as a primary number on your Missouri dealership application. Check the appropriate box in section 4 for the types of vehicles you plan to sell.
Make a list of the owners. While not all states require a criminal background check of prospective auto dealers, Missouri does.
Attend a dealer educational seminar offered by the Missouri Department of Revenue. This workshop takes you through the remaining steps to receiving your Missouri car dealer license. It is mandatory for first-time car dealers. Include the certificate of completion from the seminar in the application packet.
Acquire a copy of the franchise agreement if you are selling cars from a franchise to include in the application packet. If you are working on your own, skip this step.
Purchase a corporate surety bond or irrevocable letter of credit for $25,000. Place a copy of the bond or letter of credit on the approved form in the application packet.
Buy liability insurance for your business. Include in the application packet a copy of the policy along with its number, the name of the insurance company and the name of the insured party.
Schedule a business inspection through the local office of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The inspection verifies information you put in your application packet.
Write a check to the Missouri Department of Revenue for $150. Include an additional $10 fee for each owner of the business for the criminal background check. Submit the entire application to the Missouri Department of Revenue for approval.
You must renew your car dealer license annually in Missouri. To qualify for renewal, you must sell at least six vehicles annually.