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Illinois business owners and employers have access to a string of benefits provided by the state of with the aim to boost their existing business operations and improve market competitiveness. This government support, coupled with the state’s highly skilled workforce, world-class infrastructure, key industries and abundant resources, make the state a very attractive place for starting a new business. If you plan on doing so, you should first get acquainted with the state’s legislative for:

  • Starting a new business
  • Registering a new business
  • Obtaining a business license
  • Protecting your invention

Starting a New Business

If you would like to start your own business in the state of Illinois, you will have to complete a few key steps that are sure to take you to your final goal. First and foremost, you need to know the basic requirements for starting a new business, which include:

  • Completing a Feasibility Checklist (You have to make sure your business idea is feasible before you rush into the procedure of starting your own business).
  • Preparing a Business Plan (A business plan is a mandatory document if you plan on seeking business financing, so make sure you have that in order).

Once you have completed these crucial requirements, you can move on to the next, which is choosing the ownership structure of your business. There are several ways to organize businesses in Illinois:

  • Sole Proprietorships
  • General and Limited Partnerships
  • Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP)
  • Limited Liability Companies (LLC)
  • “S” Corporations and
  • “C” Corporations

Registering a New Business in Illinois

The next step in the procedure is registering your business. This will require you to:

  • Register a business name.
  • Complete Business Tax Registration.

In order to register your business, you need to visit your county clerk’s office and register the business’ unique name. The next step towards achieving your goal is completing the Business Tax Registration with the Illinios Department of Revenue (IDOR) in one of the following manners:

  • Online
  • In person.
  • By mail.

Online registration of a new business in Illinois is done through MyTax Illinois and takes approximately one to two days to complete.

If you decide to complete the procedure by mail, you will have to complete and mail the Illinois Business Registration Application (Form REG-1) to the following address:

Central Registration Division 3-222
PO Box 19030
Springfield IL 62794-9030

You can obtain the form on the IDOR website as a fill-in and saveable form, by calling IDOR at 1 800 356-6302 FREE, or by visiting one of the IDOR offices. The IDOR will take approximately six to eight weeks to process your request.

In person registration of a new business is done by visiting one of the IDOR offices. For more detailed information regarding Business Tax Registration, you can call the following toll free numbers:



Note: To learn more about the taxes that apply to your business, contact your city or county clerk.

Obtaining a Business License

To obtain a business license, you will need to contact the Illinois Division of Professional Regulation (IDPR), which is the main licensing agency for the state. The type of license you will need to obtain will depend on the type of business you plan to open.

Protecting your invention

Protecting your goods and services and distinguishing them from others available on the market is also a must. To do this (and depending on the type of business), you will have to:

  • File for a patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  • Obtain trademark, service mark, trade name or copyright.

The process for obtaining a patent of federal trademark will require you to fulfil the requirements of the U.S. Patent and Trademark.

Note: The Secretary of State is in charge of state trademarks, service marks and trade names, whereas copyrighting procedures are handled by the Copyright Office.