Start a Business

Small Business Development

For businesses such as family restaurants, auto repair, professional services, offices, small retail shops like gift shops or boutique clothing.

When opening a small business in Kirksville, your first step will be to identify your resources and what they can assist you with! There are two resources that you should be familiar with, the first being the Missouri Rural Enterprise and Innovation Center (MREIC) and the second being the City of Kirksville. Each of these entities has a different purpose and will help with different steps throughout this process.

Kirksville is lucky to have a local Missouri Rural Enterprise Center housed at our Economic Development Alliance building. MREIC has an extremely helpful staff that is dedicated to helping your small business get started and succeed. You will work one-on-one with a Small Business Counselor, who is here to help determine your needs and provide individualized services catered to you, including your start-up paperwork, financing, marketing, and technology commercialization.

Missouri Rural Enterprise and Innovation Center

Bryce Cardwell
Small Business Counselor

Although MREIC can help you through many steps of the start-up process, for certain steps you will work directly with us at the City of Kirksville. For general questions regarding Economic Development, contact Ashley W. Young, Community and Economic Development Director.

Community and Economic Development Department

Ashley Young
Community and Economic Development Director

Commercial Development

For large retail box or chain stores, this category also includes restaurant chains and fast food establishments.

Kirksville is the perfect location for your next commercial development project. Founded in 1842, as the county seat for Adair County, Kirksville serves as the center for the region’s business, industry, retail, health care, education and recreation. In addition, hundreds of people from surrounding communities come to Kirksville for work, shopping, education and recreation. We can’t wait for you to benefit from our low tax rates, strong workforce, and abundance of economic resources.

Ashley Young, Community and Economic Development Director, is here to assist you through the process! We have provided a quick step-by-step guide to give you a better understanding of the things the City of Kirksville requires and hope it can be useful as a quick reference for your questions. Although this guide is here as a quick reference, the City understands commercial development can often have specialized needs. Ashley Young is eager to work with you to establish how the City can accommodate your needs.

The City of Kirksville is not only familiar with but also encourages new businesses to take full advantage of programs through Missouri Works. Besides Missouri Works, we offer several incentives at a local level, these can be found on our Economic Development Incentives webpage.

Industrial Development

For specialty industries such as manufacturing, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art/Design & Math) projects, service industry (ex: hospitals) and educational institutions.

Kirksville Regional Economic Development, Incorporated (K-REDI) has been working to bring more business opportunities to our area since 2003. K-REDI works to provide family-supporting jobs to the Kirksville region within the industry clusters that include agriculture, education, healthcare, manufacturing, and technology. Executive Director Anastasia Tiedemann can answer questions regarding Kirksville’s workforce, the local and state incentives available, and potential locations. Use the contact information below to get connected with K-REDI today and start finding out all the great things that Kirksville has to offer for your company.

Kirksville Regional Economic Development Inc.

Anastasia Tiedemann
Executive Director

The City of Kirksville is also available to help coordinate your needs. While K-REDI is your main contact for Industrial Development, when it comes to zoning, licensing, permitting, certain incentive programs, etc. the City is here to assist you! 

One of K-REDI’s main focuses is to help answer your questions about all the local and state incentive programs available, but for a quick glimpse of our City incentives, visit our Economic Development Incentives webpage.

Proceed with Step 2 to become more familiar with City paperwork and requirements. We have provided a quick step-by-step guide to give you a better understanding of the things the City of Kirksville requires and hope it can be useful as a quick reference! For general questions regarding Economic Development contact, Ashley W. Young, Assistant City Manager.


First things first, check your zoning!

Whether it’s an existing location or a potential new property, it is important to know your zoning before completing any other steps of this process. The City of Kirksville is divided into distinct zoning districts that reflect the diversity of business and neighborhood uses. Each zoning district has different regulations about the types of business activities that are permitted.

It is important that you check the zoning requirement of your proposed business location carefully. It is critical that you:

  • DO NOT enter into any financial commitments (i.e. sign a lease) unless you are certain that you are in proper zoning district that allows the proposed business activity
  • DO NOT assume the previous owner’s zoning designation applies
  • DO NOT proceed with business license paperwork. If you are not zoned properly, it will result in a denied application.

To check your zoning, visit our Zoning Page. For in depth zoning information beyond what's provided, contact the Codes and Planning Department at 660.627.1272 or visit the second floor of City Hall.

If your zoning is not correct, and you want to apply for consideration of rezoning, visit the rezoning link below. This webpage explains the rezoning process through our Codes & Planning Department before you proceed to the next step.

How to Apply for Rezoning

If your zoning is correct, then proceed to the next step 3: completing your business license application.

What do I do if my lot needs split?