Helpful Resources for Business Owners

Cook County Illinois MBE/WBE/VBE Certification

The City of Chicago and Cook County have launched a reciprocal Minority and Women Business Enterprise initiative. This initiative will allow your business to be certified by either the County or City and have either certification apply to both agencies. You may apply by using their online certification or by downloading and mailing a hard copy of the application to the specified address.

City of Chicago Small Business Center

The City of Chicago Small Business Center allows entrepreneurs and small business owners to apply and/or renew business licenses, schedule an appointment with a business consultant, as well as stay up-to-date on new city regulations that may affect your business.

City of Chicago M/WBE Program Certification

The Department of Procurement Services utilizes certified businesses to promote opportunities in the contracting process by contract award to or use as a subcontractor. The certification types are: Airport Concessionaire Disadvantage Business Enterprise (ACDBE), Business Enterprises owned by People with Disabilities (BEPD), Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and Women Business Enterprise (WBE).

City of Chicago Department of Procurement Services Alerts

If you’re interested in doing business with the City of Chicago, it will be key that you sign up to receive notices of upcoming bid and RFP/Q opportunities and other information of interest to current and prospective vendors doing business with the City of Chicago.

Women's Business Enterprise (WBE) Certification, Women's Business Development Center (WBDC)

The Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) offers the most widely recognized and respected national WBE Certification.

Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) for Veteran-Owned Businesses

Through the Veterans Business Program (VBP), state agencies and universities are encouraged to spend at least 3% of their procurement budgets with certified Veteran-owned businesses. This site will help you navigate through the requirements and necessary forms and documents needed to apply for certification.

Illinois State Registrations, Licenses and Permits

Browse links to information and resources on registering, incorporating and obtaining required licenses and permits in the state of Illinois

Illinois State Business Laws and Regulations

This site will assist you in finding the most accurate and up-to-date information you need to make sure your business is in full compliance of existing and/or new business laws and regulations in the state of Illinois.

Illinois State Finance, Grants, Loans, & Incentives

Find information and resources on topics such as finance, costs, grants, loans, taxes, assistance and investment and incentive opportunities provided by the state of Illinois.

Paying Illinois Sales Tax

In order to pay your business sales tax online, you must first register your business to obtain an Illinois Sales Tax ID. The site below will allow you to obtain ID, register online and make your tax payments directly from their site.

Illinois Guide for Organizing a Not-for-Profit Organization

The booklet, provided by the Illinois Secretary of State, provides assistance in the process of forming your own Not-for-Profit Corporation and contains detailed guidelines for filing the Articles of Incorporation, as well as information on filing fees, government agencies you must contact and legal obligations you will assume after incorporation.

Applying for an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

An Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, is used to identify tax reports to the IRS. This website will navigate you through the application. After all validations are done, you will get your EIN immediately upon completion.

SCORE

SCORE offers the nation's largest network of free, expert business mentors. Their volunteer advisors offer expertise in a variety of fields and industries.

U.S. Small Business Administration Business Laws & Regulations

As a small business owner, you may be subject to some of the laws and regulations that apply to large corporations. These resources can help you understand which requirements apply to your business.

U.S. Small Business Administration Guide for Small Businesses

The following link will direct you to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s spring 2015 Guide for Small Businesses. This guide provides information on counseling, capital, contracting and other useful resources.

Business Owner’s Toolkit

BizFilings has over 3,000 pages to help you run your business. Topics include: start-ups, marketing, finance, HR and Tax.

Business Formation Guide

Formswift.com’s Business Incorporation Guide is designed to help you compare the different forms of business, as well as weigh the advantages, costs, and limitations of forming and incorporating your business.

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