Illinois Business License

You can obtain an Illinois business license online, by mail, in person.

We provide the information and resources you'll need to get federal, state, and local licenses and permits for your small business, including the seller’s permit.

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How to Get a Business License in IL

You can get a business license online, by mail, or in person by applying with the correct licensing or regulatory agency for your business.

Business licensing requirements generally depend on your business’s activity and location (zoning requirements).

There are three main licensing jurisdictions:

  • State
  • Local
  • Federal

State of Illinois Business Licensing

The mail state-level permit or license in Illinois is the Certificate of Registration or License, sometimes called a seller’s permit. This essentially registers your business for Illinois sales tax as well as various other taxes you may be subject to. The type of taxes you must pay will determine whether you receive a Certificate of Registration or a License.

Illinois also refers to its Certificate of Registration or License as Illinois Business Authorization.

You must obtain a Certificate of Registration or License if you:

  • Are engaged in business in Illinois
  • Intend to sell or lease taxable goods or services

Visit the MyTax Illinois website to obtain a Certificate of Registration or License.

Additionally, your business may need an additional license or permit depending on its industry or profession. Check the state’s Registration, Licenses, and Permits website and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation website for more information.

Local Illinois Business Licensing

In Illinois, you may need other licenses or permits from your local government depending on your business activity or location.

For example, the City of Chicago requires many different types of businesses to obtain a business license.

Check with the local Illinois city and county government offices where you plan to do business for more information.

Steps for Obtaining a Business License in Illinois

Illinois Certificate of Registration or License

You can register for an Illinois Certificate of Registration or License online, by mail, or in person by completing Form REG-1.

Apply for an Illinois Certificate of Registration or License

OPTION 1: Apply Online With MyTax Illinois

Apply Online

- OR -

OPTION 2: Apply by Mail or in Person

Download Form


Fee: None

Mailing Address:
Central Registration Division
Illinois Department of Revenue
P.O. Box 19030
Springfield, IL 62794-9030

Office Address: Department of Revenue Regional Offices

Other Illinois Business Licenses

The processes for obtaining other state or local business licenses you may need vary.

Check with the state’s Registration, Licenses, and Permits website, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation website, and the local Illinois city and county government offices where you plan to do business for more information.

Renewal

The Certificate of Registration or License for Illinois’ sales and use tax, which is what most businesses are subject to, renews automatically. For information about renewing other registrations or licenses you may have, check with the relevant state or local government office.

Federal Business Licenses and Permits

You can get a business license by applying with the correct licensing and regulatory agency for your business. Business licensing requirements depend on your business’s activity and location (zoning requirements).

If your business conducts activities that are regulated by the federal government, you will need to apply for the appropriate business license or permit.

Choose a business activity below to learn how to apply:

Agriculture
Alcoholic beverages
Aviation
Firearms, ammunition, and explosives
Fish and wildlife
Commercial fisheries
Maritime transportation
Mining and drilling
Nuclear energy
Radio and television broadcasting
Transportation and logistics

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IL Business License FAQ

What is a business license?

A business license is a permit issued to businesses by a government office that allows the business to operate in a particular area. They can be issued by federal, state, or local governments. There are typically different licensing requirements for different businesses and different locations.

What are the types of business licenses?

There are many types of business licenses. These include licenses at the local, state, and federal levels, licenses related to sales tax and other taxes, and specific licenses for various professions. There are also environmental licenses, zoning permits, and more.

Is there a national business license?

Most businesses don’t need a federal business license, but some industries, including broadcasting, investment advising, and drug manufacturing, do have federal regulations and licenses.

Is an EIN the same as a business license?

No. An employer identification number (EIN) is issued by the IRS to identify and keep track of businesses, but it does not license them to operate.

Is an LLC considered a business license?

No. An LLC is a type of business structure. While you are required to register as an LLC, it is not a business license.

Who needs an Illinois business license?

Any business that sells taxable goods or services needs an Illinois is the Certificate of Registration or License. Some businesses in certain professions or locations will need additional licenses.

What licenses do I need to open a business in Illinois?

Most businesses at least need an Illinois Certificate of Registration or License. Some businesses in certain professions or locations will need additional licenses.

What is a seller’s permit?

A seller’s permit is the common name for a license or permit that allows you to sell products or services. In Illinois, this is typically called a Certificate of Registration or License.

How much does an Illinois business license cost?

There is no fee to register for an Illinois Certificate of Registration or License. The cost of other Illinois business licenses varies.

How do I get an Illinois business license?

You can register for an Illinois Certificate of Registration or License online with the MyTax Illinois website, by mail, or in person. The process for obtaining other licenses varies.

Do I have to renew my business license?

The Certificate of Registration or License for Illinois sales and use tax, which is what most businesses are subject to, renews automatically. For information about renewing other registrations or licenses you may have, check with the relevant state or local government office.

Illinois Business Resources

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