Do you own a business operating in the state of Illinois? If so, you may need to acquire licenses and permits to ensure that your company operates in a compliant fashion.
But how do you determine which permits and licenses you need (if any), and where do you acquire them? In this guide to Illinois business licenses and permits, we’ll answer all the tough questions about this process.
Are There Federal Licenses That My Business Needs?
First off, let’s discuss the matter of federal licenses and permits. There are many business activities that are regulated by various federal agencies, from agriculture to transportation and logistics. We recommend taking a look at the U.S. Small Business Administration’s guide to federal licenses and permits to make sure you’ve got your bases covered.
In addition, most businesses should acquire a federal tax ID number, also known as an EIN (employer identification number). This is essentially a social security number for your business, and it enables you to hire employees, pay business taxes, open business bank accounts, and more. You can acquire an EIN from the IRS for free.
What State-Level Licenses and Permits Apply in Illinois?
You do not need a general business license to conduct business in the state of Illinois. However, depending on your industry and the exact nature of your business, you may still be required to obtain one or more permits in the state.
To learn more about your specific business licensing needs, consult the Illinois Registration, Licenses, & Permits webpage. On this website, you can learn about some of the most common state business licenses and find out where and how to apply.
Occupational Licenses and Permits
There are dozens of occupational licenses required by the state of Illinois. These range from animal health and welfare licenses to a mussel dealer license. There are several departments that manage occupational licenses, including the Division of Professional Regulation and the Department of Public Health. You may need to contact one or more of these departments to register for the relevant permits.
Environmental Licenses and Permits
Finally, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency regulates any entity whose commercial activities significantly impact air quality and/or agriculture. You can learn more about environmental licensing requirements on the Department of Public Health and Environmental Protection Agency websites.
Which Tax Registrations are Required for Illinois Businesses?
In addition to occupational licenses and permits, there are a number of state-level tax registrations, which are based on the industry you operate in and which business structure your company uses.
Every business in the state will need to register with the MyTax Illinois portal. Most Illinois businesses will need to pay withholding and sales and use taxes, and every LLC must also file an annual report and pay a filing fee of $75.
There are many tax requirements related to specific industries and commercial activities, like alcohol sales and gambling. You can learn more about the licensing requirements for your business on the MyTax Illinois portal.
Are There Local Licenses, Permits, or Registrations in Illinois?
The answer to this question obviously depends on where in Illinois you’re operating your business, but there are indeed quite a few licenses, permits, and tax registrations required by Illinois localities.
Depending on your location, you may be required to obtain local licenses in counties like Cook, DuPage, Lake, Will, Kane, and McHenry. The county clerk’s office for the county in which your business is located can provide more information on licensing requirements.
Additionally, many cities have their own license requirements for certain businesses and industries. For example, Chicago, Aurora, Joliet, and Naperville all have websites dedicated to providing resources and licensing information for local businesses.
If we were to break down the exact rules and regulations regarding permitting in every locality in the state of Illinois, this article would become excessively lengthy. With that in mind, we’ll simply say that every business owner should check with their local government to determine whether there are licenses, permits, or tax registrations required to operate in compliant fashion.
Can I Hire Someone to Research Licenses and Permits for My Business?
If this process sounds like a bit of a hassle, that’s because it certainly can be. If you would rather hire a reputable business services provider to handle this for you, that is always an option.
Companies like Incfile can research the necessary licenses and permits for your company on the federal, state, county, and municipal levels. They will then send you the applications you need to acquire these permits and licenses, meaning all you need to do is fill them out and mail them in.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer for the question of which licenses and permits your business might require to operate in the state of Illinois. Instead, it’s important that you know how to access the resources to determine which permits your company needs to operate in a compliant fashion.
We hope this article helped you to do just that, and we wish you good fortune in your business future!