Business License in Illinois

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Northwest ($39 + state fee)
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Note: Illinois LLC fees have been reduced. If you see higher state fees on another website, that information is outdated. For details on the new fees, please see: Illinois LLC filing fees reduced

After you form your Illinois LLC, you’ll need to comply with state and local government (county and/or city) license and permit requirements.

Your requirements are determined by the industry you are in and where your business is located.

Not complying with license and permit requirements is risky and can result in penalties and fines, or worse, not being able to conduct business in Illinois.

Types of licenses & permits you may need in Illinois

Below are some license and permits examples:

  • Business licenses/tax permits
  • Building permit
  • Health permit
  • Occupational permit
  • Signage permit
  • Alarm permit
  • Zoning permit
  • Alcohol & tobacco permit
  • Liquor license
  • Sales and use tax permit
  • Seller/reseller permit

Do it yourself in Illinois

Illinois does not issue business licenses at the state-level, but you may have local requirements for licenses and permits, which may be enforced at the county, city, and local level.

Contact your county, city, and/or town:
You’ll need to contact the county, city, and/or town where your LLC will be doing business. They should be able to help guide you if your LLC requires any licenses and/or permits to operate.

List of all townships in IL:
Township Officials of Illinois: Illinois Townships List

State page on Licenses and Permits Registrations, Licenses and Permits

Register with the Illinois Department of Revenue
Illinois Revenue: How do I register with the Illinois Department of Revenue?

Our Recommendation

There are nearly 20,000 licensing and permit jurisdictions in the United States and each has its own rules and regulations.

Tip: Save time by hiring an expert. We recommend using IncFile ($99) to handle the business license research for you.

Next Step

After you’ve researched and obtained the proper licenses and permits for your Illinois LLC, you can then proceed to the next lesson: Illinois LLC Taxes.

Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator, LLC University®
Matt Horwitz has been the leading expert on LLC education for the past decade. He founded LLC University in 2010 after realizing people needed simple and actionable instructions to start an LLC that other companies weren't offering. He's cited by Entrepreneur Magazine, Yahoo Finance, and the US Chamber of Commerce, and was featured by CNBC and InventRight.
Matt holds a Bachelor's Degree in business from Drexel University with a concentration in business law. He performs extensive research and analysis to convert state laws into simple instructions anyone can follow to form their LLC - all for free! Read more about Matt Horwitz and LLC University.

5 comments on “Business License in Illinois”

Disclaimer: Nothing on this page shall be interpreted as legal or tax advice. Rules and regulations vary by location. They also change over time and are specific to your situation. Furthermore, this comment section is provided so people can share their thoughts and experience. Please consult a licensed professional if you have legal or tax questions.

  1. Do I need a business license in Chicago, IL for a Design Consulting – home base business?

    • Hi Dee, yes, your LLC does need a business license to do business in Chicago. After your LLC is approved by the Illinois Secretary of State, you can apply for a Chicago business license for your LLC. You can find more information here: City of Chicago: Business Licensing: What Do I Need? You can also contact the Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Department (a part of the City of Chicago) for any assistance or questions at 312-744-6060. Hope that helps.


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