Chicago Business Licensing


The Chicago Small Business Center (SBC) is the business licensing and permitting division of the City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) and the City’s “one-stop-shop” for business licensing, public way use permitting and other resources to start and grow your business.

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Apply for a Recently Legalized Sidewalk Sign

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Expedited Restaurant Licensing (ERL) Pilot Program

Single-Use Foodware Ordinance

Single-Use Foodware Ordinance

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Business License and Permit Information

Business License Guide and Information - image of a checklist

Business Licensing

Information on the business licenses issued by BACP and the requirements for those licenses.

Zoning Guide

Zoning Guide

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.

Public Way Use Permits - an outdoor table with two chairs

Public Way Use Permits

Information on permits issued by BACP for any items (e.g. signs, canopies, awnings, benches, sidewalk cafes, etc.) that extend out (i.e. over, under, or on) to the public way from their business locations.

Liquor Licensing - image of a bottle and glass

Liquor Licensing

Information on liquor licenses issued by BACP.

Shared Housing - a family in a house

Shared Housing

Short-term residential rental activity is regulated by BACP. Use this link for information on how to register your residence as a shared housing unit.

Public Vehicle Licensing - image of a car

Public Vehicle Licensing

Information on licenses issued by BACP for taxicabs, Transportation Network Providers, charter buses, chauffeurs, and other public vehicles.

 BACP logo Small Business Center
City Hall
121 North LaSalle Street, 8th Floor, Room 800
Chicago, IL 60602
Monday through Friday; 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
312.74.GOBIZ (744.6249) or 312.744.1944 for TTY