Chambers of Commerce
Belonging to one of our local Chambers of Commerce will provide opportunity for you to network with other business owners, take advantage of ongoing education programs, promote your business in the community, and keep up with new opportunities. Alderman Waguespack works closely with 32nd Ward Chambers to address the needs of our business community.
If you’re starting a business in the City of Chicago, you will be required to get a business license. There are some businesses that receive state licensing like personal trainers, dentists, and interior designers. Click here for a list of business licenses. If you do need a business license, you should start by calling the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) at 312-744-6249 or set-up an appointment online. A business consultant can tell you which licenses you would need, what to expect through the process, and what zoning is required for the location you choose.
Always check the zoning information for your location before you sign a lease; you can use this interactive map. If the building is the perfect location but the wrong zoning, please refer to our Zoning & Development page to learn about zoning change requests.
Chicago Aldermen do not approve business licenses. BACP handles all the applications, confirms all requirements are met, and then makes the final decision on whether to issue the license. However, there are a few licensing cases (liquor licensing, outdoor patios (on private property), and public place of amusement) where the Alderman will be asked to weigh in with input from the neighborhood and local police commander.