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City Of Chicago Business License

Get A Permit Expediting Service

Obtaining a Liquor License in the City of Chicago

Because it can take months to get a Chicago business license, you may want to seek permit expediting services to help speed up the process. With the right permit specialist, you can have a seasoned professional guide your application through the myriad of hoops that are required to get a Chicago business license. If getting your business up fast is important, then a Chicago building permit expeditor is going to be a smart investment.

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Business Support Tools

The Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection licenses, educates, regulates and empowers Chicago businesses to grow and succeed as well as, receives and processes consumer complaints. BACP provides bi-weekly and monthly informative sessions to help businesses act responsibly and create economic vitality and vibrant communities for the people in Chicago. BACP also educates small business and consumers to ensure the public is protected against fraudulent practices, and investigates for business compliance in areas such as: sales practices, fuel, natural gas, electricity, durable and non durable merchandise and services. Additionally, BACP enforces rules and regulations relating to liquor establishments, weights and measures, public chauffeurs, public passenger vehicles, ambulances, and transportation network providers.

Click on the numbers above to learn more. The underlying data behind the license clock can be found on the Data Portal.

Public Way & Large Sign Approval

Public Way: Any item that extends on or over the Public Way requires a permit issued by the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection. The permit application also requires Alderman Reillys approval.

Please visit the Online Permit Portal to apply for new permits, renew existing permits, and pay fees online.

Large Signs: Signs that are over 100 square feet and / or 24 feet above grade require a Council Order.

Liquor Licenses

If you are interested in opening a liquor establishment in the 42nd Ward, please complete this form and submit it to our office via email along with a menu.

You are strongly encouraged to determine whether or not a liquor license is permitted in a location before signing a lease or investing in a business. Several neighborhoods in the 42nd Ward are under moratoria that prohibit new liquor licenses in the area. Liquor licenses are also prohibited within 100 ft. of a school, church or library.

Special Events and Permits

Please click here to access the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events special event permit packet. Please notify Alderman Reillys Office once an application has been submitted to DCASE. Please contact the DCASE Permit Team for more information.

Cannabis Licenses

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License Application Requirements Information

Applying for a City of Chicago Business License

Every business operating in the City of Chicago requires a City of Chicago business license. A Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection business consultant is available to help you obtain a City license.

STEP 1: Business Information Sheet or Chicago Business License Application System

Complete a BIS pre-application form . The following information must be provided by in-person and online license applicants:

  • The business name and ownership information
  • The business address
  • Square footage of the business location
  • A detailed description of all business activities conducted on, and off, the business location
  • Identification from all of applicants, such as a valid drivers license, state ID card, or other government-issued photo ID
  • Federal Employer Identification Number if applicable

Additional Requirements:

  • Depending upon the license type, additional documents may be required.
  • Some business license applications require a fingerprint-based criminal history investigation for every owner, corporate officer, member or any person with a 25% or more interest in the business, as well as every on-site manager a cost recovery fee of $40 person will be assessed for the service of fingerprint processing.
  • A separate license is required for each separate business location.

Please check our Business Licenses web page for additional information regarding specific documentation and application requirements.

STEP 2: Zoning

A New Way To Manage Your Business Online With Thecity Of Chicago

City of Chicago :: Business Licensing: What Do I Need?

Welcome to Chicago Business Direct. Our new and improved site combines all of your city license and tax needs in one place. Business owners, and/or their legal representatives, may apply for City of Chicago business licenses, renew business licenses, file tax returns, and make tax payments online.

For existing license holders, updating your business account information has never been easier! Chicago Business Direct has greater functionality that allows entrepreneurs to focus more time on their own business and less time at City Hall.

Taxpayers familiar with our previous site will notice the changes immediately. Our system enhancements have made the process of filing tax returns and making tax payments more intuitive and efficient. Register for a user profile, get linked to your tax account, and you’re ready to file and pay.

Thank you for doing business in the City of Chicago and for using Chicago Business Direct. Please contact our Small Business Center if you need assistance.

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Focus On One Permit At A Time

When opening a business in Chicago, youll find that there are a number of permits that you are going to have to deal with. In order to ensure the least amount of delays, it is best to focus on one permit at a time. This will allow you to submit an error free application that satisfies everything that city officials need in order to grant your permit.

What Are The Steps To Obtain A Business License

Prior to applying with the City of Chicago, applicants must determine their legal entity and file for a DBA/Assumed Name Certificate with the Cook County Clerk’s Office. If one will be doing business as a legal business entity – regardless of whether or not the company is Illinois-based – it is also required to file with the Illinois Secretary of State.

Businesses must also obtain an Employer Identification Number and an Illinois Department of Revenue Account ID Number prior to applying for a City of Chicago business license of any type.

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Do You Have Additional Questions

If you have additional questions, visit the City of Chicago Business License website or visit the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection: Business Assistance Center at City Hall, Room 800, 121 N. LaSalle Street, Chicago, IL 60602. You may also want to visit www.cityofchicago.org/businessaffairs.

Business Licensing: What Do I Need

BACP Webinar: Business Licensing 101

The Small Business Center issues business licenses and regulates the business activities of industries as diverse as retail, food and liquor establishments, entertainment venues and theaters, day care centers, manufacturing facilities and motor vehicle repair shops just to name a few. If you have not already registered your business with the appropriatecounty, state, and federal offices, please do so before applying for a business license.How to ApplyTo apply for a business license, you may APPLY ONLINE, or meet in-person with one of our Business Consultants at the Small Business Center. Appointments are recommended for in-person license applicants and may be made by calling 312-74-GOBIZ . Application RequirementsStandard application requirements and documentation may be found in our License Application Requirements Informationpage. License-specific requirements may be found by clicking on the business activity links in the Business License Guide below. Depending on your business activities, you may need more than one business license in order to be able to operate your business in Chicago. Please contact us, at 312-74-GOBIZ , to help you determine which license you need to obtain.

Business License ExemptionsThere are business activities regulated by the State of Illinois that may be exempt from City licensing. Please review our Business License Exemptions page for a sample list of occupations/professions which do not require a Chicago Business License.

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Renew Your Business License

The Online Business License Renewal System allows business owners, or legal representatives of the business owners, to renew their expiring City of Chicago Business Licenses. As a reminder, all business license renewals must be processed online. Things to keep in mind before you get started: Business License Renewal NoticeYou will need the Account Number and Personal Identification Number that was mailed to you with the business renewal notice at your business location address before your renewal deadline. Your Account Number and PIN are needed to access the Online Business License Renewal System. If you need help with your Account Number and PIN, please contact us at 312-74-GOBIZ . License fees that are not paid on time will result in late fees, and may also result in interest charges, fines and penalties.

Who Is Exempted From Getting A License In Chicago

There are a number of different businesses that are licensed by other agencies and they are exempted from having to obtain a Chicago business license. Heres a look at a sampling of business that are exempt from having to obtain a Chicago business license:

The following business are licensed and regulated by the IDFPR Division of Professional Regulation:

A more comprehensive list of exempt companies can be found at the IDFPR website.

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What’s The Cost Of A Limited Business License

In 2018, the Mayor and Chicago City Council passed an ordinance that decreased the Limited Business License fee from $250.00 to $125.00 for new licenses. The change in fee structure is expected to sunset on June 30, 2019, and all new qualifying licenses will be issued at the reduced rate.

Other licenses have additional fees, up to $6,600 for a caterer’s license with establishment located outside of the City of Chicago.

Most business licenses are valid for two years, and may require zoning review, site inspections, and a criminal background check. While only certain licenses can be applied for online, all renewals can be completed using the City’s portal.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Business License In Chicago

City Of Chicago Business License

After a business has completed the application, paid the appropriate fees, and met with the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection the City of Chicago will take up to 90 days to review the application. After the 90 day period, the City of Chicago will usually approve and mail the business license.

That being said, the actual waiting time can vary depending on the business. For instance, a liquor establishment will have to wait for a minimum of 35 days.

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Why Does The Application Process Take So Long

One of the reasons for the long processing time has to do with zoning. The business has to be zoned correctly. For some businesses, the zoning process can be more involved.

The application process can also take a long time if the business did not complete the application properly and submit it to the right office. This can be common for businesses who do not have much experience dealing with permits and license applications in Chicago.

Finally, businesses will find the process will take longer if they dont have an experienced permit expeditor working with city officials. An experienced permit expediter will know exactly how to complete the application, where to submit it and what steps to take to expedite the entire process.

Who Needs A Chicago Business License

If you are looking to open a business in Chicago, then there is a good chance that you will need to obtain a Chicago business license. Like many other permitting processes, obtaining a Chicago business license can take months without the right permit expeditor. Here, we will explain what a Chicago business license is, who is required to get one and how to easily expedite the entire permitting process.

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Work With A Top Business Expeditor In Chicago

When it comes to experienced permit expediting services, Permit Studio should be at the top of your list. We have the unique experience in the City of Chicago to provide your business with the permit expediting service that you need. Whether you are looking to obtain a Chicago business license or a construction permit quickly, we have the relationship with Chicago city officials and the know-how to get things done.

What Are The Penalties For Running An Unlicensed Business In Chicago

BACP Webinar: Business Licensing 101

Penalties for not maintaining a Chicago business license can include a fine or a closure order issued to the business owner. Further, per Chapter 4 of the Municipal Code, unlicensed businesses are the liability of the property owner and fines will escalate with each subsequent violation. Both the business owner and the property owner are liable for unlicensed business practices, making it imperative that property owners ensure their tenants are licensed with the City.

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What Services Does A Permit Expeditor Provide

The main goal of the permit expeditor is to ensure that your construction or business provides the government with all the requirements needed to obtain the necessary permits . Here is a look at the more specific services that a permit expeditor will offer during the process:

  • Research zoning, codes and planning associated with your project.

  • Work and coordinate with the client, city officials and plan reviewers.

  • Make sure that the construction drawings are in compliance with city codes and ordinances.

  • Review construction materials.

  • Work with city officials and complete pre-submittal proposals.

  • Negotiate an expedited process for an RTI .

A permit expeditor will have years of experience working with city officials and they can really smooth out the process, detect potential red flags and expedite your construction schedule. Chances are that you will have many things to think about why opening your business. An experienced permit expeditor will free up your time to work on other parts of your business. In short, the right permit expeditor is going to be the one of the best permit solutions for your project.

Are You Planning To Open Or Operate A Business In The City Of Chicago Illinois

Those that operate a business in Chicago will need to be issued a business license by the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection at 121 North LaSalle Street, room 800. You may request a business license application in person between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. You may also apply for a business license online by visiting the City of Chicago website. Online application is reserved for those that are opening a retail business. You are encouraged to set up an appointment with a business consultant before you begin the application process. You can make an appointment online.

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Do You Have All The Necessary Documents And Information To Complete A Chicago Business License Application

You will need to have a valid drivers license, an approved name for your business, the square footage of your business location, IBT and FEIN. In addition, you will need to have a business information sheet which is available online at the City of Chicago website. This information sheet is used as a pre-application for a business license. It requests information that is equivalent to what you may find on a business license including information such as your business ownership type , information about you as the business owner including your legal name, social security number, date of birth and all contact information.

This information should be provided for all additional owners, managers, vice presidents, shareholders, and secretaries of your business, as well as the president. You should include a detailed description of your business activities, whether you sell goods at your location and whether you have wholesale, retail, or a combination of both and the percentage of each. The name and all contact information of your primary business contact should be included. Information regarding your business location such as the square footage, the physical address and street number, and all phone numbers should be given.

What Kind Of Background Does A Permit Expediting Service Have

Business Licenses City of Chicago

A permit expeditor should have a background in planning, construction, real estate and architecture. They will be able to anticipate issues that can affect your permitting process as well as help you keep your construction on schedule. The best way to think of a permit expeditor is that of a project manager who is going to keep your construction process on track.

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Common Business License Types

Limited Business License

This license is required for businesses that engage in general sales, provide a service, engage in office operations or businesses that do not fall under another license category and are not exempt from the citys license requirement. Examples include, clothing stores, flower shops, art dealers, and garden centers.

Daycare

A license is required to operate any establishment where three or more children are cared for by someone other than their parent or guardian. This includes home day cares as well. For those who are scouting locations for this business activity, please keep in mind that there are parking and pick-up/drop-off requirements imposed by the Department of Zoning.

Animal Care Facility Licenses

This license allows a business to board, train and provide day care services for animals. It also allows the grooming, buying and selling of cats, and dogs.

Home Occupation

A license is required for anyone who is self-employed or operates a business from their home. This license, however, is not required for people who work from home or for an employer who maintains a separate place of business. There are particular occupations that the city prohibits from being operated in residences. for regulations regarding home occupations.

Dog Friendly Area

This is a supplemental license for any business with a retail food license that would like to allow dogs into their sidewalk cafes or outdoor patios. for more information.

Retail Food

Liquor Licenses

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