New Business Checklist

Prior to signing a lease, please schedule a meeting with the Village Planner to discuss doing business within the Village.

Local government is integral to any new business venture and should be brought in as early as possible—even while you are in the “thinking stages”. Below is a basic overview of events.  

1. Speak to the Village Planner: Introduce yourself and your business concept to the Village Planner. It is critical that you connect with the Village early on; committing funds or investing in property prior to understanding the Village’s zoning and building codes can result in financial losses and frustration. The Village’s Economic Development Team will be your partners throughout the entire process. They are here to shepherd you through the establishment of your business, assure it complies with all policies and regulations, and connect you with Village resources. Contact

2. Get Informed: A variety of local resources offer information and access to loans, grants and educational tools. See our list of Business Resources. 

3. Village Incentives: Businesses may qualify for incentives such as sales tax rebates or TIF funds depending on the scope, location and nature of your project. The Village Planner will discuss such options with you early in the process. Any incentives ultimately require approval by the Village Board.

4. Obtain Zoning Approvals: Determining where your business geographically fits in the Village comes before actually choosing a site. You cannot open a business unless and until the building and site conforms to all zoning policies. In some cases, you may apply for an exception to the zoning policies. Study the Village’s land use goals and where possible, prevent obstacles by selecting a site that is already consistent with the Village’s zoning code. Visit the Zoning & Land Use to learn more about the Village’s zoning policies.

5. Site Selection (if not already determined): In addition to conducting your own research, you may wish to view the Village’s list of Available Commercial Properties.

6. Constructing/Renovating the Site (Building Permits & Building Codes): Building permits are required for constructing or renovating your place of business. Signed architectural drawings will serve as the basis for your permit application. The Village Planner and Director of Inspections will work with you to conduct the plan review, clarify additional specs needed, apply for any variances (if applicable), and schedule a general timeline for inspections. As with zoning, a variance (i.e., an exception) may be required if you opt to select design elements that do not meet the Village Code. Village staff are your best resource for understanding building regulations, planning and zoning. Begin by educating yourself at the following links.

Permit & Inspection Fees Ordinance

Building Regulations in the Village Code (See Title 8)

Planning & Zoning in the Village Code (See Title 9)

7. Certificate of Occupancy: A CO is required upon completion of any new building or substantial addition or renovation to an existing building. This is the final step in the permitting phase, and essentially states that your building meets all zoning and building codes.

8. Business License: Prior to opening, you must apply and pay for your first annual license for General Businesses. This license is then renewed annually. Visit the Business License page for more information.

9. Liquor License: If applicable, you must apply for the appropriate class of liquor license. Visit the Liquor License page for more information.

10. Establish Water & Other Public Services: See the Water Billing page for information about water rates, billing and establishing service. Visit our website or speak with one of our counter staff to learn more about other services such as Waste Management, recycling, snow removal, etc.

11. Register with State of Illinois: Your business must be registered with the Illinois Department of Revenue if you conduct business in Illinois or with Illinois customers. You can electronically register through the Illinois Business Gateway or mail a completed Illinois Business Registration Application (REG-1). This form also covers Sales Tax Registration which is remitted to the State of Illinois. Any questions should be directed to the IDR at 1-800-732-8866 (or 217-782-3366) or visit the Illinois Department of Revenue website.