The New Missouri Minimum Wage Law Does Not Apply to Very Small Businesses

January 10, 2020

On November 6, 2018, the Missouri voters approved Proposition B to amend Missouri law to increase the state minimum wage 85 cents each year until 2023 when it will reach $12.00/hour. This takes effect quickly, as the new minimum wage for January 1, 2019 will be $8.60/hour.

However, this does not apply to very small businesses. If your business grosses less than $500,000 each year, your employees may not be subject to this new law. The state statute, RSMo 290.500(3)(m), exempts individuals "employed by a retail or service business whose annual gross volume sales made or business done is less than five hundred thousand dollars" from the state minimum wage law.



  • Very small businesses, as defined by this statute, may not have to let people go. They can continue to do business without making tough staffing decisions in the short amount of time to implement the law between November 6 and January 1.

  • Employees who work for such small firms and who have only made minimum wage may seek work at larger businesses for the sake of a wage increase. It may be good business practice to increase the pay of your employees regardless of whether this new statute applies to your business.

  • Talk to your employees about their wage and salary expectations. This issue became top-of-mind in this fall's election season. If you are not having open conversations with your staff about this issue, morale and productivity may go down.


Please consult with a business attorney that understands HR law to get specific advice for your business situation.


GrowMidMo (MAEDC SBTDC) is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

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