Inspections, Permitting, and Licensing
For homeowners, builders/developers/contractors, business owners, and more!
City of Chicago Guide to Inspections
The 4 Main Types of Inspections:
Common Reasons for Failing an Inspection
Inspections are required for several reasons and at various times during the life a business. View common reasons that businesses fail inspections, including both NEW businesses and EXISTING businesses.
Important Steps Before You Start a Business:
Before taking out a business loan, signing a lease, or applying for a business license, ensure that the site where you intend to operate is in an appropriately zoned area and that it complies with the current Chicago Municipal Code. The Code is frequently updated so a new owner needs to check current zoning and code regulations and not assume the previous owner's designation applies.
The Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection also holds FREE business workshops the first Wednesday of every month. To download the schedule of dates and additional details please reference this page.
Construction / RenovationMake streets, sidewalks, schools, and parks safe for all residents. Helping Chicago protect quality of life by adding new resources for preventing and controlling crime and supporting community capacity.
Contractor / 3rd Party CertificationAddresses the most pressing capital needs of CDOT, CTA, and other agencies, including reconstruction, resurfacing, repair, and rail improvements.
SignsThis link provides information regarding requirements and permits for signs that hang over the public way or require Department of Buildings or Zoning approval.
Visit the Small Business Center website, for information on licenses, permits, and additional resources
- Dept of Buildings Self-Certification Training
- Food Service Sanitation Certification Providers List (PDF)
Links to related Departments:
- Department of Buildings (DoB)
- Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection (BACP)
- Fire Department (CFD)
- Department Planning and Development
- Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD)
- Department of Public Health (CDPH)
- Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT)
- Department of Water Management (DWM)