Business Licenses & Permits Results

You chose these options:

Enter City/State OR Zip Code:


The following is a list of business licenses, permits and registrations for

  1. Step 1: Tax Registration

    Employer Identification Number (EIN)

    Employers with employees, business partnerships, and corporations, must obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. The EIN is also known as an Employer Tax ID and Form SS-4.

    U.S. Internal Revenue ServicePhone: 1-800-829-4933

    Illinois Tax Registration

    Businesses that operate within Illinois are required to register for one or more tax-specific identification numbers, licenses or permits, including income tax withholding, sales and use tax (seller's permit), and unemployment insurance tax. Contact the following agency for more information about business registration and your tax obligations:

  2. Step 2: Business Licenses

    General Business Licenses

    Information about how to obtain business and occupational licenses and permits.

  3. Step 3: Local Permits

    You may be required to apply for permits and licenses from your local government (e.g., city or county). Every place has different requirements. The following are common types of local permits and licenses.

    • Business Licenses / Tax Permits - from your city or county clerk or revenue department. Many jurisdictions require a trader's license or tax certificate in order to operate.
    • Building Permit - from your city or county building and planning department. This permit is generally required if you are constructing or modifying your place of business.
    • Health Permit - from your city or county health department.
    • Occupational Permit - from your city or county building and planning development department. This permit is required for home-based business in some jurisdictions.
    • Signage Permit - from your city or county building and planning department. Some jurisdictions require a permit before you can erect a sign for your business.
    • Alarm Permit - from you city or county police or fire department. If you have installed a burglar or fire alarm, you will likely need an alarm permit.
    • Zoning Permit - from your city or county building and planning department. This permit is generally required if you are developing land for specific commercial use.

    Depending on the nature of your business, you may need other types of licenses specific to your business. Check with the following local government(s) for more information:

    No local government links were found; your search did not include a city, county or zip code.

  4. Step 4: Incorporation Filing

    If your business is a corporation, a non-profit, a limited liability company or a partnership (limited, or limited liability) you must register with the following state agency. If your business is a sole proprietorship, you do not need to register your business with the state. However, many states require a sole proprietor to use their own name for the business name unless they formally file another name as a trade name, or fictitious name.

  5. Step 5: Doing Business As (DBA)

    A fictitious name filing, also known as Doing Business As or DBA, allows you to create name for your business that is different than your personal name, the names of your partners or the officially registered name of your LLC or corporation. When a business name is different from the owner(s) full legal name(s), the Illinois Assumed Name Act requires sole proprietorships and general partnerships to register with their local county clerk's office. Corporations, LLCs, LLPs, and limited partnerships register an assumed name as part of their required business filings with the Illinois Secretary of State.

  6. Step 6: Employer Requirements

    This section describes basic registration requirements for businesses with employees. If you are a new employer, check out Ten Steps to Hiring Your First Employee

    Withholding Income Taxes

    The IRS states that you must keep records of employment taxes for at least four years.  Also, keep good records for your business to help you monitor the progress of your business, prepare your financial statements, identify source of receipts, keep track of deductible expenses, prepare your tax returns, and support items reported on tax returns. 

    Federal Income Tax Withholding (Form W-4)

    Every employee must provide an employer with a signed withholding exemption certificate (Form W-4) on or before the date of employment. The employer must then submit Form W-4 to the IRS to ensure. For specific information on employer responsibilities regarding withholding of federal taxes, read the IRS' Employer's Tax Guide.

    Federal Wage and Tax Statement (Form W-2)

    On an annual basis, employers must report to the federal government wages paid and taxes withheld for each employee. This report is filed using Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. Employers must complete a Form W-2 for each employee to whom they pay a salary, wage, or other compensation.

    Employers must send Copy A of Forms W-2 (Wage and Tax Statement) to the Social Security Administration (SSA) by the last day of February (or last day of March if you file electronically) to report the wages and taxes of your employees for the previous calendar year. In addition, employers should send copies of Form W-2 to their employees by January 31 of the year following the reporting period.

    Visit the Social Security Administration's Employer W-2 Filing Instructions and Information for further guidance and assistance.

    State Taxes

    Depending on the state where your employees are located, you may be required to withhold state income taxes. Visit your state tax agency for further information.

    Employee Eligibility Verification (I-9 Form)

    Employees hired after November 6, 1986 must provide proof of eligibility to work in the United States. Federal law requires employers to verify an employee's eligibility to work in the United States. Within three days of hire employers must complete an Employment Eligibility Verification Form, commonly referred to as an I-9 form.

    New Hire Reporting

    All employers are required to report newly and re-hired employees to their state's Directory of New Hires within 20 days of their hire or re-hire data.

    Insurance Requirements

    Unemployment Insurance Tax

    Businesses with employees are required to pay unemployment insurance taxes under certain conditions. If your business is required to pay these taxes, you must register your business with your state's workforce agency:

    Workers' Compensation Insurance

    Businesses with employees are required to carry Workers' Compensation Insurance coverage through a commercial carrier, on a self-insured basis, or through the state Workers' Compensation Insurance program.

    For guidance on obtaining general business and liability insurance, visit the Business Insurance Guide

    Workplace Poster Requirements

    Employers are required by state and federal laws to prominently display certain posters in the workplace that inform employees of their rights and employer responsibilities under labor laws.

    Federal Posters

    The U.S. Department of Labor provides the following resources and tools to help employers obtain required posters:

    State Posters

    Obtain workplace posters required under state labor laws:

SBA Direct

The answers you need start here.