How to Get Business Permits and Licenses in Chicago, Illinois

Are you looking to start a business in the City of Chicago, Illinois? If so, you'll need to acquire the necessary permits and licenses from the government. This guide will provide you with all the information you need to know about the process of obtaining permits and licenses for businesses in Chicago. The initial step in the process is to obtain a business tax identification number from the Illinois Department of Revenue. This number is mandatory for all businesses operating in Illinois and must be used for all future transactions with the Department of Revenue.

After filing your return, you will receive an Illinois business tax number. Although Illinois does not require a state business license, there are still some permits or licenses that may be necessary depending on the type of business you operate or work for. For instance, if you plan to carry out excavations in public areas, you must obtain a permit and fine from the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT). Additionally, certain businesses may require specific permits or licenses from local government agencies.

These can include signage permits (which determine if you can have a sign for your home business and what size it can be) and fire permits (which determine the occupancy of home care centers and other places where people gather in groups). To apply for a business license from the City of Chicago, you can use BACP's online business license application system, Chicago Business Direct. This system allows business owners or legal representatives of business owners to apply for most business licenses from the city. You can also visit the Chicago Small Business Center website for relevant regulations in Chicago proper, or check with your local jurisdiction if you are outside of Chicago.

Finally, it's important to remember that many permits and licenses need to be renewed on a regular basis. Make sure to check how often these licenses and permits need to be renewed when obtaining them.