Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection
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What We Do

Business Licenses

The Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) issues business licenses in the City of Chicago and regulates industries as diverse as retail, food establishments, day care centers, manufacturing facilities and motor vehicle repair shops. BACP also regulates the sale of retail liquor in Chicago. 

Most types of business licenses can be applied for online, or in-person. When applying in-person, a BACP Business Consultant will help determine what licenses or permits you need, process your application and also connect you with business resources. You can request an appointment with a business consultant online or call 312.74.GOBIZ (744.6249).

Public Way Use Permits

In addition to issuing business licenses, BACP is the department which handles General Grants of Privilege for the use of the public way. If your business has a sign, canopy, awning, bench, or anything that extends over, under or is on the public way, it may require a public way use permit. There are several different types of public way uses including sidewalk cafés

You can apply for a public way use permit unit in City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St.,  Room 800.  You can request an appointment with a business consultant online, or by calling 312.74.GOBIZ (744.6249).

Give Us Your Feedback

BACP relies on feedback from our customers to improve services. We take customer satisfaction seriously and measure our performance based on your input. Click the button above or the link below to provide feedback on your interaction with BACP. The survey will take no more than two minutes to complete.

Alerts (Business Licenses)

Severe Alert Mar 21, 2014 RFPs Available for Mayor Emanuel's Neighborhood Small Business Challenge
High Alert Apr 25, 2013 Temporary Small Business Center Hours
Low Alert Jul 26, 2013 City's Committment to Small Businesses
Low Alert Jun 6, 2013 BACP Releases Plastic Bag, Film Plastic Recycling Report

Most Recent News (Business Licenses)

Jul 9, 2012 BACP Releases Flagged Business List
Oct 5, 2011 City Council Passes Mayor Emanuel's New Reforms for Businesses and Reduces the Time it Takes to Obtain Business Licenses
Sep 8, 2011 Mayor Emanuel Annouces New Reforms For Businesses that Improve the Time it Takes to Obtain Business Licenses
May 4, 2011 City Passes Ordinance That Supports Shared Kitchens And Food Entrepreneurs
Apr 13, 2011 City Introduces Ordinance That Supports Shared Kitchens And Food Entrepreneurs

View all News Releases (Business Licenses)

Services

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Supporting Information

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Additional BACP Resources

Free Small Business Education Resources

Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for Initial Microlender Trainee Candidates

Department Main Office

Business Affairs and Consumer Protection


Small Business Center

Phone:

312.74.GOBIZ (744.6249)

Address:

121 N. LaSalle St., 8th Fl., Chicago, IL 60602

Hours:

  • Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri.; 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Wed.; 10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.