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, Small Business Center (SBC), Business Consultant will help determine what license(s) or permit(s) you need, process your application, and also connect you with business resources. To request an appointment to meet with a Business Consultant, please call our Business Contact Center at 312.74.GOBIZ (744.6249).

Shared Housing & Accommodation Licensing Button

Pharmaceutical Representatives Licensing Button

Please select the appropriate button above to review important information about the NEW business license type(s) before applying for a business license. Shared Housing and Pharmaceutical Representative business license applications are processed by the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, Small Business Center, either online via Chicago Business Direct, or in-person at City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle Street, Room 800.

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, at the BACP-SBC Public Way Use Unit, in City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St., Room 800. Please call our Business Contact Center at 312.74.GOBIZ (744.6249) to request an appointment to meet with a Public Way Use Representative.

 Additional Information

BACP Quick Links

Apply for a Business License Online

Renew a Business License Online

Business Education & Workshops

License Zoning Reference Guide

Chicago Municipal Code

BACP Office Locations

Freedom of Information Request

File a Complaint

 Department Main Office

Business Affairs and Consumer Protection

  • Phone: 312.744.6060
    Toll Free:
    TTY: 312.744.1944
    Fax: 312.744.0246
  • 121 N. LaSalle Street
    8th Floor
    Chicago, IL 60602   
    Get Directions

 Additional Information

Small Business Center


312.74.GOBIZ (744.6249)


121 N. LaSalle St., Rm. 800, Chicago, IL 60602

Hours: Mon. - Fri.; 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

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