Business & Development

Merchant Licenses

Merchant Definition

Missouri Law 150.010 RSMo 1994 indicates that every person, corporation, co-partnership, or association of persons who deals in selling goods, wares, and merchandise at any store, stand or place occupied for that purpose is a merchant.

When to Get a Merchants License

A Merchants License is required when all of the following are true:

  • You own or operate a business
  • The business is located in Butler County, either within or outside the city limits of any incorporated area
  • There is a sales tax number issued to the business by the Missouri Department of Revenue
City Licensing Requirements

If your business is within the city limits, you should also check with the city for their licensing requirements.

Businesses That Do Not Require a License

You do not need a Merchants License if any of the following apply:

  • You are a registered motor vehicle dealer and your primary business is selling motor vehicles
  • You are a physician, dentist, or veterinarian selling medicines, at either wholesale or retail, used in your practice
  • You are a farmer who grows or processes any article of farm produce or farm products on your farm, as long as you do not have a regular stand or place of business away from your farm
How to Get Merchants License

To get a Merchants License, visit the Butler County Collector’s Office or call 573-686-8088 for a Merchants License Registration Form (PDF).

State Sales Tax Number

Your state sales tax number must be included on the form. If you need more information regarding state sales taxes, please contact the Missouri Department of Revenue in Jefferson City at 573-751-5860.

Submitting the Form

Return the completed form and check for $25 made out to Butler County Collector to the Collector’s office at:
100 N Main Street
Room 105
Poplar Bluff, MO 63901

Methods of Payment

For more information on paying for licenses and tax bills, see our Methods of Payment page.

Receiving Your License

Your validated license will be mailed to you at the address included on the application.


Paying Taxes


Pay By Mail:

Payments can be mailed to:
Emily Parks, Collector
100 N Main Street
Poplar Bluff, MO 63901

Check Information

One check may be written for multiple tax bills. Please remit the correct total due, include the account numbers on your signed check, and make checks payable to Emily Parks, Collector. Unsigned checks will be returned and applicable late charges may apply.


The entire amount due must be paid before a receipt will be mailed.

Mail Policies
  • Payment must have a U.S. postmark date no later than December 31 to be timely.
  • Payments with postmarks after December 31 will be assessed applicable penalties and fees.
  • Please do not mail cash.
  • The post office date (postmark) determines the timeline for the payment
  • Unless the postmark is cancelled by the U.S. Postal Service, any meter applied postage must be dated and received by the collector on or before December 31 to be timely.
Paying by Phone

Call 573-686-8088 to pay by credit or debit card. More than one bill may be paid in 1 transaction.


When using a credit card, a convenience fee of 2.50% of the total bill will be charged to each transaction.

Paying In Person

Visit the Butler County Collector to pay your taxes in person. When paying property taxes in person, the collector’s office accepts tax payments by:

  • Cash
  • Cashier’s check
  • Credit card
    • American Express
    • Discover
    • MasterCard
    • Visa
  • Money order
  • Personal check
Paying Multiple Bills

Multiple bills of real estate, personal property, special assessments and licenses may be processed together in one transaction.

Receipts will be provided at the time of payment

Drop Box Location

A drop box is located on the east side of the Butler County Courthouse at 100 North Main Street. Please do not place cash in the drop box. The drop box is emptied several times daily and at midnight on December 31.

Tax Rates 

Setting Tax Rates:

Property tax rates are set each year by local taxing jurisdictions within the limits set by the Missouri Constitution and laws. Rates are based on the revenues that had been permitted for the prior year with an allowance for growth based on the rate of inflation.

Rate Calculation

Projected revenue needs for the current taxable year are divided by assessed valuation of the taxing jurisdiction with values from new construction and improvements, and any increments in personal property valuation, held aside. The resulting tax rate becomes the permitted rate for the year if it falls within the ceiling permitted that local government.

Property Tax Formula

Property taxes are found using this formula: Property Tax = (Assessed Value/100) * Tax Rate

Levying Taxes

Taxes are levied against property based on the rates as permitted by voters, collected by the collector and then distributed back to the taxing entities. In other words, the Butler County Collector bills and collects property taxes on behalf of the taxing entities within the county.

Total Tax Rate

The total tax rate is based on property location and applicable taxing entities.

Tax Relief 

Monthly Budget Pay Plan

The Monthly Budget Pay Plan (Budget Plan) is a free service that is offered by the Butler County Collector’s Office to help taxpayers budget their tax payments. Many people prefer to budget their money on a monthly basis. They allow so much for the house payments, the car payment, groceries, phone bill and so on. Now you can pay your real estate or personal property taxes each month too and avoid being surprised when the tax bill shows up.

Monthly Payments

You make monthly payments that are then applied to your tax bill. This program is designed to help you plan and save for your taxes before they are due. To sign up now for the Monthly Budget Pay Plan, please download the Monthly Budget Pay Plan Authorization form for the tax account you wish to pay monthly, complete the form and return to the Butler County Collector’s Office.

More Information

Should you have questions or require additional information please feel free to email or call the office at 573-686-8088.