The Missouri House has voted to reduce Missouri’s business filing fees to $5 – a $6 million savings for employers setting up shop or expanding in Missouri. More than 60 business filing fees are reduced through House Bill 513, sponsored by Rep. John McCaherty, a Republican from High Ridge. The legislation would give Missouri the distinction of the lowest filing fees in the nation. HB 513 now awaits a second vote by the Missouri House before it can be considered by the Missouri Senate.
“Anything we can do to lower the barriers to entry for Missouri entrepreneurs welcomes these opportunities to our state,” said Dan Mehan, Missouri Chamber president and CEO. “This is also about Missouri’s business image. We are sending an extremely strong message to existing employers and businesses that are looking to move or expand operations in our state: Missouri is doing what we can to lower your business costs and help your business grow.”
The House action is a small but positive step to address a finding from a recent Gallup survey of more than 1,000 Missouri employers that regulations are stifling growth. When asked to cite the biggest obstacle to growing their businesses, Missouri employers answered “government regulations” at twice the rate of any other factor, according to the survey. Specifically, 21 percent cited regulations as their biggest obstacle to growth, compared to next highest factors of availability of a skilled workforce (10 percent) and tax environment (10 percent).
“Business fees are just a part of the regulatory burden on Missouri employers,” said Mehan. “This measure would allow Missouri employers to keep more than $6 million that once went to filing fees. It’s a good first step toward our goal to eliminate all unnecessary red tape holding back business growth.”
A similar bill in the Senate awaits a vote by a Senate Committee. That bill is Senate Bill 157, sponsored by Sen. Wayne Wallingford, a Republican from Cape Girardeau.
The Gallup survey was part of a 12-month effort by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry to produce a 15-year strategic plan for Missouri, called Missouri 2030: An Agenda to Lead. The goal of the plan is to empower Missouri employers with a long-term vision to make Missouri a global economic leader. Missouri 2030 will help our state transcend political cycles, term limits and parties and provide long-term and strategic plan for economic growth. Reducing regulatory burden is part of that plan. To learn more about the plan, go to mo2030.com.