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Locating Your Business in Clayton

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Clayton has certain requirements and regulations to protect your investment and to preserve the special nature of the City. Please review the following before finalizing your plans for a Clayton location.

Business License
Unless your business or occupation is exempt by Missouri law, a business license is required. Call 314-290-8442 to verify that a license is required.

Be sure that your type of business is legally permitted in the location you have selected. Please call 314-290-8453 to verify zoning information.

Permit Requirements
The City follows the 2015 International Code Council, the nationally accepted standard for building, mechanical and plumbing codes.

Most exterior signs require a Sign Permit.

Exterior Appearance
To preserve the quality of Clayton, architectural review is required for most exterior changes to your building. For more information pertaining to exterior appearance, permit requirements and signs, please contact Planning and Development Services at 314-290-8463 or 314-290-8453.

Fire Safety Permit
Fire Safety Permits are required for operations and construction as identified in the International Fire Code.

Operational permits include: Battery systems (UPS), compressed gases, cutting and welding and other hot work operations, candles in assembly areas and open flames, dry cleaning plants, exhibits and trade shows, explosives and fireworks, operation of a place of assembly, refrigeration equipment, service stations and repair garages, tents, torched-on roofs, and storage and use of flammable and combustible liquids, hazardous materials and LP gas (propane) including use for temporary heating appliances or outdoor dining.

Construction permits include: Automatic fire extinguishing systems, compressed gases, fire alarm and detection systems, fire pumps and standpipe systems, underground water supplies for fire service mains, flammable and combustible liquid storage tanks (installation or removal) and tents.

To obtain operational and construction permits, contact the Clayton Fire Department at 314-290-8485. Construction permits require 2 sets of sealed drawings and a completed permit application form.

Building Permit
A Building Permit is required:

  • for alterations or tenant finish work
  • to enlarge an existing structure
  • to build a new structure
  • to demolish a structure

Generally, permits are not required for repairs that do not involve the cutting away of part of the structure or partitions. Any changes made to the exterior that affect the appearance, such as a change in color or style, must be approved by the Architectural Review Board. To obtain a Building Permit, please submit 3 sets of sealed drawings, a completed permit application and the $35.00 application fee to Planning and Development Services. For more information, please call 314-290-8463.

Mechanical Permit
A Mechanical Permit is required to install new or replacement mechanical equipment, such as furnaces, air conditioners and duct work.

Plumbing Permit
A Plumbing Permit is required for all plumbing work other than ordinary repairs. A licensed Master Plumber (licensed through St. Louis County and the City of Clayton) is required to obtain the permit and perform the work.

Sign Permit
Any alteration to an existing sign or installation of a new sign requires a permit and, in many cases, the approval of the Director of Planning and Development Services, City Manager and/or the Architectural Review Board.

Commercial Occupancy Permit
All businesses are required to obtain a commercial occupancy permit and inspections from both the Planning and Fire Departments prior to occupying any commercial space. Applications are available on the City's Website or may be emailed to you upon request by calling 314-290-8463. Please submit your application at least one week prior to occupancy. Permit/inspection fee is $120.00.  If occupancy takes place before inspections, the fee is $210.00 and Temporary or Conditional Occupancy permit fee is $240.00. Applications should be directed to the Customer Service Desk at Clayton City Hall.

Conditional Use Permit (CUP)
All restaurants and food service applicants must apply for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) with the Planning and Development Services Department.

CUPs are required for all conditional uses listed in the Use Regulations of each Zoning District or for the enlargement, alteration or extension of existing conditional uses. Call Planning and Development Services at 314-290-8453 for more information.

Submit the completed CUP application (signed by the applicant and the property owner) and supporting documents to the Planning and Development Services Department. The supporting documents should include the following:

  • letter addressed to the Honorable Mayor and members of the Board of Aldermen describing the proposal
  • copy of the lease
  • typical floor plans
  • kitchen equipment schedule
  • all information requested on the application checklist

NOTE: Separate annual permits are required for outdoor dining/seating and valet parking.

Each CUP requires a recommendation from the City's Plan Commission for approval by the Board of Aldermen. Applications and materials must be submitted 14 days prior to the Plan Commission meeting at which the matter will be reviewed.

Contact the Planning Department at 314-290-8453 regarding outdoor dining/seating permit information.

Contact the Police Department at 314-290-8402 regarding valet parking permit information.

The City  accepts these permit applications via email: Plumbing, Mechanical, Dumpster, Sign (with 8.5 x 11 scaled drawings), Residential Occupancy and Commercial Occupancy. EXCEPTION: Permits with scaled plans/drawings larger than  11 x 17 must be submitted in person, delivered or mailed. Completed applications may be emailed to

Issued permits must be picked up at City Hall. Payment may be by check (payable to the City of Clayton) or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover)

Business License
Individuals interested in opening a business in Clayton must follow these procedures:

  • Retail businesses must apply for a Missouri State Sales Tax number. Contact the Department of Revenue, 3256 Laclede Station Road, Maplewood, MO 63143, 314-877-0177. All retail applicants must present a Missouri No Tax Due Certificate issued by the Missouri Department of Revenue.
  • All businesses must obtain an Occupancy Permit. Call the City's Planning and Development Services Department at 314-290-8463 for an Occupancy Permit application. Upon receipt of the completed application, a date must be set for an inspection.
  • Restaurant and food service applicants must apply for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) with the Planning and Development Services Department.
  • If you are considering sale of alcoholic beverages, please contact the Finance Department at 314-290-8442.

Under Clayton ordinances, every merchant, business or occupation not exempt by Missouri law must obtain a Business License to operate a business within the City of Clayton. A Business License will be issued upon completion of the above related items. Contact the Clayton Finance Department at 314-290-8442 to obtain the appropriate business license application.

Business Licenses must be renewed on July 1st and are valid through June 30th of the following year.

Liquor License
A Liquor License application can be obtained from the Clayton Finance Department at 314-290-8442. Upon receipt of the completed application, the Finance Department will forward a copy to the Clayton Police for the required background check.

Restaurants must obtain an Occupancy Permit to qualify for a Place of Assembly and an Occupancy Load Limit sign from the Fire Department.

After all departments have approved the application, the request for a Liquor License will be presented to the Board of Aldermen for approval. The applicant will be notified of the date and time of this meeting and is required to attend.

General Information

Board of Aldermen Meetings
2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month
Discussion Session at 6:15pm
Board Meeting at 7:00pm

Plan Commission/Architectural Review Board Meetings
1st and 3rd Monday of each month at 5:30pm

Board of Adjustment Meetings
1st Thursday of each month at 5:00pm

Hearings and meetings are held at
Clayton City Hall
10 North Bemiston Avenue
Clayton, MO 63105

Clayton City Hall Office Hours
8:00am through 5:00pm
Monday through Friday

Permit applications and forms are available for download on the City's Website.

We will assist you in any way we can.
Call the City's one-stop information source at