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).

 Shared Housing & Accommodation Licensing Button

Shared Housing business license applications are processed at the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection’s “Small Business Center” located at City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle Street, Room 800.  Please select the button above for information about the different Shared Housing license types.


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).

Alerts (Business Licenses)

Severe Alert Jan 30, 2017 Shared Housing Ordinance Prohibited Buildings List Affidavit
Severe Alert Jan 10, 2017 Delegate Agency Documents
Severe Alert Sep 12, 2016 Information About the Shared Housing Ordinance

Most Recent News (Business Licenses)

Jul 25, 2016 Emerging Business Permit Paves Way For Parking App Company To Operate In Chicago
Mar 6, 2015 Weekly & Monthly Food Truck Fests Coming to Daley Plaza,Willis Tower
Oct 24, 2014 Mayor Emanuel Announces Addition of Permit Intake Center to Chicago's Small Business Center
Oct 2, 2014 City of Chicago Kicking Off 1st “Chicago Small Business Week” With Financial Symposium
May 27, 2014 Three Women Leading Business for the City Set for Roundtable Discussion with Women Business Owners

View all News Releases (Business Licenses)


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Supporting Information

View all Supporting Information

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

  • 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

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