• Home
  • Blog
  • How to Start a New Business in Illinois

How to Start a New Business in Illinois

Reviewed by Ty Crandall

November 14, 2023


Start a New Business in Illinois Credit Suite

Starting a Business in Illinois

A new business in Illinois can be yours. Have you been wondering: precisely how do I start a business in Illinois? And more importantly, can I do so no matter what the economic conditions are? Can I start a new business in Illinois during a recession?

A New Business in Illinois: Pros and Cons

Business Insider says Illinois is the seventh best state to start a new business in, per a 2016 article. And this is for the entire country. There is, however, a low rate of new entrepreneurs. The state’s per capita GDP is above the national average. At the same time, the cost of living is on the lower end. Also, business owners have a wide pool of potential employees they can pull from to hire.

Illinois is ranked high for key economic indicators. These include the high tech share of all businesses, growth in share of national exports, and business tax climate.

Recent Slippage

In 2018, Forbes puts Illinois at number 39. Also in 2018, Fit Small Business clocks in Illinois at number 26. Keep in mind, all three websites have different criteria.

Forbes praises Illinois for its top 15 quality of life. But all of the other measures are worse than average. They are: business costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, economic climate, and growth prospects (number 40).

Fit Small Business praises Illinois for its top ten startup activity. Its labor market is also very good. Labor market is a measure of the desirability of an area and the number of people with bachelor’s degrees. All of the other measurements hover right around the middle. They are: taxes, cost of living, quality of life, costs of starting a business, and access to capital.

Illinois remains a decent place to start a new business, but there has definitely been some slippage. If you are looking to start a new business in Illinois, you may have trouble hiring – but the pool of applicants seems to be more likely to have a bachelor’s degree. If this matters to your business, then Illinois could be the place for you.

Information on how you can Discover 7 Easy Vendors to Start Building Business Credit Immediately - without a Personal Credit Check or Guarantee via Credit Suite

Start a New Business in Illinois – Illinois Top Industries

Strong sectors and industries in Illinois include high tech, apparel and textiles, and business and financial services. However, the state is currently working to promote and support the creation of new jobs and businesses in diverse sectors. This is via enacting programs such as EDGE and Illinois Jobs Now!

The state is also actively promoting public and private sector cooperation to better encourage economic development. In addition, there is a concerted effort to provide support specifically to small businesses. There are large amount of funds being set aside specifically to help these companies, especially those within the high tech sector.

Smart business owners can take advantage of the more seasoned industries in the area by offering goods or services such as trucking for any industry. They can also create fashion and fashion accessories. Another possibility is computer work for financial services companies.

Here is precisely how to start a new business in Illinois.

Start a New Business in Illinois – Illinois New Business Secretary of State Requirements

Register a Business Name

The Illinois Government’s official website has links and information on selecting a business entity and registering a business name.

A corporation in the state of Illinois must have a unique name. They can search online records and databases as well as other catalogs to find out if the name that they have chosen is in use or not.

To search a database of Illinois businesses, go to the Illinois Corporation on the Cyber Drive Illinois website.

If a business owner finds out that the corporate name that they want to use is not in use in Illinois, they might want to reserve that name until the time when they are able to incorporate.

The application to reserve a corporate name can be found online at Reserve a Illinois Corporate Name on the Cyber Drive Illinois website. The cost is $25.00 to reserve a corporate name. The business owner should submit the completed name reservation application form to the office of the Secretary of State.

Business Permits and Licenses

The Illinois Government official website has a catalog of links. They will lead you to the various licenses available.


Local Permits and Licenses

Check with your local municipality, city or county office or website. See if there may be any local licensing or permit requirements.

For example, in Chicago, you must go to the “Business Licensing: What Do I Need?” page on the Chicago city website.Start a New Business in Illinois Credit Suite

Start a New Business in Illinois – Business Registration

Find the necessary forms on the Secretary of the State website.

Tax Registration

You can sign up with the Illinois Department of Revenue.

Start a New Business in Illinois – Virtual Offices

Alliance Virtual Offices offers Illinois virtual office space in the following cities: Chicago, Glenview, Gurnee, and Lisle.

Or try Regus.

Go to DaVinci for the following cities:

Northern Illinois (mostly Chicago area)

DaVinci has spaces in Arlington Heights, Aurora, Deerfield, Geneva, and Glenview. They also have space in Highland Park, Hoffman Estates, Lake Forest, and Oak Brook. DaVinci also offers space in Oakbrook Terrace, Schaumberg, Warrenville, and Wheaton. Alliance has space in Lisle and Schaumberg.

Central Illinois

There is DaVinci virtual office space is in Springfield. Alliance also has space in Springfield.

Southern Illinois

DaVinci and the other bigger providers have no virtual offices in Southern Illinois. One option can be to try neighboring Indiana (Terre Haute in particular) and Missouri.

For other areas of the state, business owners might want to ask local business owners. Or they could try computer user groups to find help in this area.

Information on how you can Discover 7 Easy Vendors to Start Building Business Credit Immediately - without a Personal Credit Check or Guarantee via Credit Suite

Start a New Business in Illinois – Build Business Credit

Small business credit is credit in a small business’s name. It doesn’t tie to a business owner’s personal credit, not even when the owner is a sole proprietor and the only employee of the small business.

Hence, a business owner’s business and personal credit scores can be very different.

The Benefits

Considering that company credit is independent from consumer, it helps to secure a business owner’s personal assets, in case of court action or business insolvency.

Another benefit is that even startups can do this. Going to a bank for a business loan can be a recipe for frustration. But building business credit, when done right, is a plan for success.

Consumer credit scores rely on payments but also other factors like credit use percentages.

But for small business credit, the scores actually just hinge on whether a business pays its invoices promptly.

Start a New Business in Illinois – Company Fundability™

Establishing small business credit is a process, and it does not occur automatically. A small business must be Fundable to credit issuers and vendors.

Due to this fact, a small business will need a professional-looking web site and e-mail address. And it needs to have website hosting from a hosting company.

And also, business phone numbers need to have a listing via ListYourself.net.

Likewise, the company telephone number should be toll-free (800 exchange or the like).

A small business will also need a bank account dedicated only to it, and it has to have every one of the licenses necessary for running.

Information on how you can Discover 7 Easy Vendors to Start Building Business Credit Immediately - without a Personal Credit Check or Guarantee via Credit Suite

Start a New Business in Illinois –Monitor Your Business Credit

Know what is happening with your credit. Make sure it is being reported and deal with any errors ASAP. Get in the practice of checking credit reports and digging into the details, and not just the scores.

We can help you monitor business credit at Equifax, Experian and D&B for 90% less.

Start a New Business in Illinois –A Word about Business Credit Building

Always use credit sensibly! Don’t borrow more than what you can pay off. Monitor balances and deadlines for repayments. Paying off punctually and completely will do more to boost business credit scores than pretty much anything else.

Establishing company credit pays off. Good business credit scores help a business get loans. Your lender knows the business can pay its financial obligations. They recognize the business is for real.

The small business’s EIN connects to high scores and lending institutions won’t feel the need to call for a personal guarantee.

Business credit is an asset which can help your company in years to come.

Learn more here and get started toward opening a new business in Illinois.

Want to start a new business someplace else in America? Then check out our handy guide to starting a business in any state in the country.

Illinois’s Response to COVID-19

What is Illinois doing about the COVID-19 situation? On March 9, Governor JB Pritzker issued a disaster proclamation giving the state access to federal and state resources to combat the spread of the virus. The state of Illinois is also releasing recommendations for an infectious disease outbreak response plan.

Danville Mass Transit is getting millions from the CARES Act. Their development block grant program will also be getting funding.

On April 14, 2020, it was announced that Illinois will receive millions in funding for its colleges and universities.

About the author 

Janet Gershen-Siegel

Janet Gershen-Siegel is the seasoned Finance Writer and a former content manager at Credit Suite. She has been admitted to practice law for over 30 years, with a focus on litigation and product liability, and is a published author, with writing credits at Entrepreneur, FedSmith.com and BusinessingMag.com.

She has a BA in Philosophy from Boston University, a JD from the Delaware Law School of Widener University, and a MS in Interactive Media (Social Media) from Quinnipiac University.

She regularly writes for Credit Suite, which helps businesses improve Fundability™, build credit, and get approved for loans and credit lines.

Her specialties: business credit, business credit cards, business funding, crowdfunding, and law

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Stay In The Loop

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter that delivers the most actionable, tactical, and timely business financing tips you actually want and need for Free
*Plus get instant access to the 3-part Fundability™ training - a systems that helps your business become more Fundable and makes you look great to credit issuers and lenders