Business Forms And Permits

Building Permits

Building permits help to ensure construction work complies with the minimum standards of safety established by the Chicago Building Code in order to protect public health, safety, and welfare. A building permit is required before beginning most construction, demolition, and repair work. In order to provide more responsive service, the Department of Buildings offers permitting processes tailored for a wide variety of projects, from home repairs to new skyscrapers.

Please check the Department of Buildings website for more information about Permits.


Small Business Center

The Small Business Center (SBC) is the business licensing division of the City of Chicago’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) and the City’s “one-stop-shop” for business licensing, public way use permitting, and connecting entrepreneurs to business resources.

The Small Business Center is located at:

Location: City Hall
Address: 121 North LaSalle Street, Room 800
Telephone: 312-74-GOBIZ (744.6249)
TTY: 312-744-1944
Hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm; Monday through Friday.

NOTE: Appointments to meet with a Business Consultant are recommended. Contact the Business Call Center at 312-74-GOBIZ (312.744.6249).

Request A Speaker
To request a speaker from the Small Business Center, to attend a workshop, or to schedule an appointment with the Solution Station please contact the Outreach & Education division at 312.744.2086 or BACPoutreach@cityofchicago.org.


Sidewalk Café Permit

The Small Business Center (SBC) – Public Way Use Unit (PWU) issues permits to business owners who have any items (e.g. signs, canopies, awnings, benches, sidewalk cafes, etc.) that extend out (i.e. over, under, or on) to the public way from their business locations. There are many different types of public way uses, and, the process to obtain the permit requires City Council approval.

In addition to a public way use permit, all business identifiers such as signs, awnings, canopies, marquees and banners are required to have a Department of Buildings sign construction permit. Only a licensed sign contractor may apply to obtain a sign construction permit.

NOTE: For temporary use of the public way due to construction, applicants must obtain a Construction Canopy Permit from the Chicago Department of Transportation Located at City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St., Room 905.


Public Way Permits

Building permits help to ensure construction work complies with the minimum standards of safety established by the Chicago Building Code in order to protect public health, safety, and welfare. A building permit is required before beginning most construction, demolition, and repair work. In order to provide more responsive service, the Department of Buildings offers permitting processes tailored for a wide variety of projects, from home repairs to new skyscrapers.

Please check out the Department of Buildings website, then select the Permit picture for more information.


Chicago Park District Permits

From the Chicago Park District’s Special Event Permit Application Process web page.

The Chicago Park District offers numerous indoor & outdoor spaces to host your next event. Whether it’s a grand gala under the stars, a race with a purpose for 30,000 people, a simple garden soiree, or the perfect birthday party for your four year-old, you can find the ideal space within the Chicago Park District’s 7,300 acres of parkland. Additionally, permits are required for many activities that take place on Chicago Park District property so please check out the website for more information.


Driveway Permits

No person has the right to use the public sidewalk or parkway as a driveway without first obtaining a use of public way permit authorized by the Commissioner of Transportation.

  • The purpose of the permit process is to ensure that the section of the Public Way being used as a driveway is insured and that the City of Chicago, its officers, employee or agents are listed on the policy as an additional insured.
  • For residential properties, the amount of insurance must be $250,000. For commercial properties, the required amount is $1,000,000. Having the City listed does not incur any cost to the applicant or affect the cost of the policy.
  • Many applicants are made aware of the need for a Driveway Permit when applying for a building permit at the Department of Buildings. Proof of a Permit is necessary for the issuance of a Building Permit.

Please check the Department of Transportation’s Driveway Permit website for more information.

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