Illinois Business License
There are three ways to obtain an Illinois business license for your limited liability company: online, by mail, or in person.
This guide explains how to get federal, state, and local licenses and permits for your small business, including the seller’s permit, also called a sales tax permit or general business license.
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How to Get a Business License in IL
You can get a statewide business license in Illinois online, by mail, or in person by applying with the correct licensing or regulatory agency for your business.
Business licensing requirements generally depend on business activities and location (zoning requirements). It also depends on financial and professional regulation, local government agencies, and sometimes a federal agency. There are different rules at the federal level versus local levels.
There are even different rules that govern home-based business licenses and permits, manufacturing facilities, and certain building permits that may be required for certain businesses.
There are three main licensing jurisdictions:
State of Illinois Business Licensing
The business 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.
You'll use this license to collect sales tax on goods and services that your business sells.
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.
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 IllinoisApply Online
- OR -
OPTION 2: Apply by Mail or in PersonDownload Form
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.
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 Illinois business registrations or licenses, check with the relevant state or local government office.
In Illinois, you may need local licenses or permits from your local government or local jurisdiction, or county clerk, depending on your business activity or location. This is in addition to the general license or state licenses your business needs.
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 and to learn more about tax treatment.
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:
Firearms, ammunition, and explosives
Fish and wildlife
Radio and television broadcasting
Transportation and logistics
Visit our review of the best licensing service providers to learn more about the different professional services that can help you research and apply for business licenses and permits.
IL Business License FAQ
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. Every jurisdiction has different rules, and licenses or permits.
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.