Starting a Business

Step-By-Step Process

BusinessUSA identifies 10 steps to starting a business in Illinois. Each step has additional resources identified. This is an excellent overview to the entire process of opening a business and a great place at which to start. Please note that some of the information on the website has been incorporated into the following information.

Choose a Location

Not all locations are created equal. The underlying zoning for the property partially determines if your business can legally operate at a particular location. Once you have found a potential location, check to see what the zoning is and if your type of business is able to operate within this zoning district. You may contact the Community Development Department at 847-506-6030 to verify that the zoning is compatible.

Check Zoning Compatibility

Verify that the building is compatible for what you want to do. Even though the zoning of the property may allow your business at a particular location, the building itself may not have been constructed to properly accommodate your business.

For example, a 1-story office/warehouse building is located in an M-1 Manufacturing District. Automobile repair is a permitted use within the M-1 Zoning District. However, because the building was built as an office/warehouse building, the building may have to be retrofitted with the proper exhaust systems, triple basins, and possible sprinkling which could be a major financial expense.

Occupancy Inspections

Pre-certificate occupancy inspections may be scheduled through the Community Development Department for a fee to determine what modifications would be necessary to meet the existing city regulations. Contact the Community Development Department at 847-506-6030.

Business Licenses

To operate legally, most businesses require a business license or permit issued by the state and your local government. The City of Rolling Meadows requires a business license to operate in City limits. Complete and submit a Rolling Meadows Business License Application (PDF). Check with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to learn about state requirements.

Business Name

When a business name is different from the owner(s) full legal name, sole proprietorships and general partnerships must register with the local County Clerk’s office. If you incorporate or establish a limited partnership, you must register with the Illinois Secretary of State.

Employer Identification Number (EIN)

An EIN is also known as a federal tax identification number, and is used to identify a business entity. A Sole Proprietorship may be able to use its Social Security Number. Contact the Internal Revenue Service at 800-829-4933.

State Sales Tax Number

If you engage in a type of retail sales business, you must have a sales tax number (either an Illinois Business Tax number or a Retailer’s Occupational Tax number). Contact the Illinois Department of Revenue at 312-814-3190.