Business License Exemptions

A Chicago business license is required to conduct, engage in, maintain, operate, or manage any business in the City of Chicago.  However, there are business activities regulated by the State of Illinois that may be exempt from City licensing.  The occupations / professions listed below are a sampling of business activities, which are licensed by the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (IDFPR), that do not require a Chicago business license.

Please note that if additional business activities are offered in the establishment/facility, which are not covered by the State of Illinois license, then a Chicago business license may be required. 

Please consult our Business License Guide for additional information.

The lists provided are NOT comprehensive.  For a more comprehensive listing, please visit the IDFPR website.

The IDFPR Division of Professional Regulation licenses the following: 

  • Acupuncturists, Chiropractors, Naprapaths, and Osteopaths
  • Architects
  • Athletics (i.e. Professional Boxers, Boxing Managers, Referees, Timekeepers, Judges, Boxing Promoters and Seconds)
  • Cemetery (Authorities, Managers, and Customer Service Employees)
  • Certified Public Accountants
  • Clinical Psychologists
  • Clinical Social Workers and Social Workers
  • Counselors (Professional and Clinical Professional)
  • Cosmetology Schools and similar establishments
  • Detection of Deception Examiners
  • Dentists, Dental Assistants, Dental Hygienists
  • Dietitians and Nutrition Counselors
  • Engineers (Professional and Structural)
  • Environmental Health Practitioners
  • Funeral (Directors and Embalmers)
  • Geologists (Professional)
  • Landscape Architects
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Nurses
  • Nursing Home Administrators
  • Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapist Assistants
  • Optometrists
  • Pharmacists
  • Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants
  • Physicians and Physician Assistants
  • Podiatrists
  • Private Detectives, Private Alarm Companies, and Security Guards
  • Real Estate Brokers
  • Respiratory Care Practitioners
  • Shorthand Reporters
  • Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists
  • Surgical (Assistants and Technologists)
  • Veterinarians and Veterinary Technicians
  • Wholesale Drug Distributors
The IDFPR Division of Banking oversees the regulation and licensure of the following:

  • ATMs not owned by financial institutions
  • Check Printers
  • Mortgage Bankers and Brokers
  • Savings and Loan Associations
  • Savings Banks
  • State Chartered Banks
  • Trust Companies
The IDFPR Division of Banking oversees the regulation and licensure of the following:

  • Credit Unions
  • Currency Exchanges
  • Money Transmitters
  • Title Insurance Companies