The City of Chicago is currently in Phase Four: "Gradually Resume." Many City services have adjusted hours or locations and may require health screens prior to entering their physical spaces. Please call ahead or visit any department's website to get additional details, or visit chicago.gov/covid-19.
Alternative Pricing System (APS): APS is a system other than individual price marking that is designed to inform consumers of the price of particular products and exempts the retailer from the requirement of individual price marking.
Business Licensing: The Small Business Center (SBC) in BACP’s City Hall office 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. Chicago currently has 49 business license types.
Cable: Cable Division monitors cable operators’ compliance with the City’s franchise agreements as well as provides oversight and support for municipal cable channels 23, 25 and 49.
Deleterious Impact: The Deleterious Impact-Public Nuisance ordinance provides tools for licensees to work with communities in the event a business causes negative quality of life issues for residents, referred to as “deleterious impact.” The ordinance creates an opportunity for existing businesses and residents to work together to address community concerns.
Expos: The City of Chicago's Office of New Americans (ONA) and the Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection (BACP) host four locally tailored business fairs through a series of neighborhood business expos called the Small Business Center on the Road.
Food Trucks: BACP issues food truck licenses; the Mobile Food Dispenser (MFD) and the Mobile Food Preparer (MFP).
Guide: The Consumer Self Help Resource Guide provides consumers with information about their rights and helps protect them from fraud and deceptive practices. A list of organizations for consumers can be found within the Guide.
Hearings and Discipline Action: BACP conducts hearings that may result in disciplinary action if businesses are found to be in violation of the Chicago Municipal Code. BACP protects the public from unfair and deceptive practices and enforces consumer protection ordinances.
Input - 311. Report complaints online or to 311. BACP can take action, cite the individual or company, and protect the consumer, but it all begins with filing a complaint.
Join us Online, Facebook and Twitter: Join the conversation! Stay up to date on business education and business & public vehicle licensing by following @ChiSmallBiz on Twitter and Facebook.com/ChiSmallBiz. For consumer recalls and tips to protect yourself from consumer fraud, follow @ChicagoBACP and Facebook.com/ChicagoBACP!
Know Before You . . . Campaigns: BACP educates Chicago consumers about their rights and ways to protect themselves in the marketplace via public relation campaigns, including monthly electronic newsletters.
Liquor: Obtaining a liquor license is a comprehensive process that involves both community input and facilities inspections. Whether you are looking to start a grocery store, restaurant, bar, nightclub, or are ready to buy or expand a business, our liquor licensing staff will provide you with the basics you need to get started and help you make the right decisions.
Microlending: In 2012, the City of Chicago formed the Chicago Microlending Institute (CMI), a first-in-the-nation institute that trains new lenders to make targeted loans to the City’s smallest businesses. The CMI administers the Small Business Loan Fund which is aimed at supporting the smallest businesses in Chicago with targeted microlending.
Neighborhood Business Development Centers (NBDC): NBDC’s, Chambers of commerce and business organizations, have a strong neighborhood network and coordinate efforts with local aldermen, the City, and other community partners. They help implement the City’s Neighborhood Small Business Growth Strategy and offer help to businesses through a variety of services.
Outreach: BACP’s Outreach and Education Division supports the growth of Chicago's small businesses by hosting events and providing resources to help entrepreneurs respond to the needs of a changing world. Our programs include free business workshops, small business expos, and connecting businesses with important business resources.
Pedicabs: A pedicab is a human pedal-powered public passenger vehicle used to transport passengers for hire. A pedicab chauffeur is the person that drives or peddles and controls the direction and steering of the pedicab. Chicago has regulated the Pedicab industry since the Pedicab ordinance went into effect June 7, 2014.
Query Data on the Data Portal: The Data Portal is a one stop clearinghouse for data generated by City of Chicago departments. Real time data uploaded to the Portal includes business licenses and owners, public vehicle chauffeurs, etc.
Restaurant Startup Program: The Restaurant Start-Up Program is designed to make it easier for entrepreneurs to start a restaurant in the City of Chicago. The City is a partner helping you grow and create jobs by making the start-up process easier, reducing inspection visits and wait times through a team-based approach, helping restaurants pass their inspections, and increasing inspection transparency.
Small Business Center (SBC): The SBC is your one stop shop for business licensing in Chicago. Resources available include all City licensing requirements, business location finder, financial assistance, and tax registration. Also available are resources to renew current licenses, building permits, contract opportunities, and employee trainings, not to mention much more!
Taxis: BACP oversees taxicabs in Chicago including rates of fare, public chauffeur licensing, taxicab inspections, and purchasing medallions.
Unstamped Cigarettes and Tobacco Sales to Minor Program: BACP licenses businesses that sell tobacco products in Chicago. The City of Chicago and Cook County cigarette tax remittance is visible by tax stamps on the bottom of packaging. City and County investigators inspect retail stores to insure all cigarettes sold have current stamps and that tobacco products are not sold to minors.
Valet Operations: A Valet Parking Operator license is required for any “valet parking service.” “Valet parking operator” is a person who employs one or more attendants for the purpose of providing a valet parking service or who contracts his own services, but not in the capacity of employee, to any business establishment, for the purpose of providing a valet parking service to such establishment.
Wheelchair Accessibility: Over 160 taxicabs in the city of Chicago are wheelchair accessible. If you need to order a wheelchair accessible taxicab, one free phone call to 1-855-WAV-1010 can put you in touch with every taxicab company that operates wheelchair accessible cabs.
X-press Lane (SBC): The Express Lane at BACP’s Small Business Center services 25% of the SBC customers in 15 minutes or less. This express service enables customers to update account information, renew a license, and apply for a peddler’s license quickly and efficiently.
Your Feedback: BACP relies on feedback from our customers to improve services. We take customer satisfaction seriously and measure our performance based on your input.
Zoning: Every business license, location expansion and change of location application needs to be reviewed and approved by Zoning before a business license application can be processed. This review takes place in the Small Business Center.
ABC's of BACP Flyer