City of Evanston

City of EvanstonCity of Evanston.

Any business that includes food sales, service or storage requires a Food Establishment License. This license takes the place of the business registration described on this page.

Prior to completing the business registration application for a new business, applicant must have completed:

Economic Development initial business consultation. Verified the Zoning of the proposed business location.

Business Registration Application Process:

Read the General Business Registration FAQ and also check out the Evanston Business Guide Registration applications can be completed online at Business Registration Application. Upon approval from Economic Development staff, Business Registration payments can be made online.


For additional information please contact:

Economic Development Division 847-448-4311 or

Business Registration FAQ’s.

Why do we have a business registration?

The Evanston Business Registry serves many purposes, including:

Providing valuable economic data about the City, which is used to foster the continued success and growth of Evanston businesses.

Allows the City to identify types of businesses that are needed and would be successful in Evanston.

Enables the City to ensure a safe working and shopping environment for employees and patrons alike through tracking of businesses and periodic Fire, Mechanical, Structural, Electrical and Plumbing inspections.

Funds collected help to defray the cost of economic development programs such as parking structures and ensuring the roads are in good condition so that businesses are easily accessible.

Which businesses must register?

All businesses operating for-profit, including those licensed under a State or Federal Law and home-based occupations, within the City limits must register their business with the City of Evanston.

Each place of business must have its own registration. The following business types must register to do business within the City regardless of where the physical headquarters of the business is located: pickup and delivery of laundry or dry cleaning at dwelling units, and garbage or refuse pickup.

What are the regulations?

Liquor, cigarette and tobacco and alarm licenses do not constitute business registration.

Registration may be revoked for failure to comply with any City Ordinances, Federal or State Laws and failure to allow a required inspection.

A business operating without a license is subject to a $500 fine for each day the business operates without a license.

The Evanston Business Registration permits an individual or entity to engage in business activities for a profit within the City of Evanston, and is required to conduct such a business within city limits. Registration must be renewed annually by April 1. A “business” is defined under ordinance 135-O-99 as “Any individual or entity ‘doing,’ ‘conducting,’ ‘engaging in,’ ‘maintaining,’ ‘operating,’ ‘carrying on’ or ‘managing’ a business, occupation or activity.

Where do I file for an assumed name (DBA)?

The Cook County Clerks Office accepts applications and issues DBA certificates. For more information contact: Assumed Business Names Unit at 312-603-5652.

Where do I apply for a Sales Tax Identification Number?

The Illinois Department of Revenue accepts applications for tax ID numbers.

Where can I register my business as a corporation?

The Illinois Secretary of State processes applications for corporations and partnerships.