Starting a Business in Illinois

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Have you dreamed about starting a business but don't know where to start?

The Illinois Small Business Development Center at SIU has provided consulting and training designed to teach and assist new entrepreneurs the basics of starting and successfully operating a business. The path for each business is different, but some of the common steps to starting a business include:

Step 1 - Attend the Starting Your Business in Illinois Workshop

The first step in getting started is attending one of our live Starting Your Business in Illinois workshops. This no-cost, two-hour informational seminar covers the basic requirements of starting your own business including: legal structure, start-up requirements, finding financing and business planning basics.  Be sure to reserve your seat by signing up today!

Step 2 - Start Writing your Business Plan

The business plan is your roadmap to success! Writing a business plan is important, not only if you are looking for a loan or investment, but to get all your thoughts on paper and work out the details.

The SBDC can help get your plan ready!

Step 3 - Select a Business Structure

An important choice when starting a business is selecting a legal structure. The most common business entities include the sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), and corporation.

The SBDC can help explain the differences between the different legal structures and the pros and cons for your business!

Step 4 - Register a Business Name

A good name is important in branding your business. Registering a business name in Illinois varies depending on the legal structure.

The SBDC can show you how to register and even protect your business name!

Step 5 - Apply for Licenses and Permits

When entrepreneurs think of registering their business, many only think of registering their business name. A variety of business licenses and permits may be needed such as the federal employer identification number (FEIN) with the IRS, sales tax number with the Illinois Department of Revenue, state professional licensing, local business licenses and others.

The SBDC can help identify what licenses and permits your business needs and how to apply for them!

Step 6 - Find Financing

There are different sources of financing to start a business. Some of the most common include business loans, revolving loan funds, investors, credit cards, and also personal funds.

The SBDC can help sort out the best sources of funding for your business using your business plan!

Step 7 - Hire Employees

Hiring employees is an important, but complicated process and is important to do right. There are multiple federal and state registrations to be aware of in addition to laws and payroll taxes to pay.

The SBDC can help show you the steps needed to hire an employee!

Step 8 - Preparing for Taxes & Record-Keeping

As a business owner, there are several business taxes that may apply such as self-employment tax, state and federal payroll tax, Illinois sales tax, and tax on business profits. prove income, deductions, and profits/losses for each year. It is important to use a good filing system to for deductions come tax time.

The SBDC can help you understand the tax requirements for your business!


Get Started!

Take the first step in starting a business in Illinois by attending one of our Starting Your Business in Illinois workshops. This two-hour informational seminar covers the basic new business requirements including: business planning, legal structure, start-up requirements, finding financing and more.  

Register by finding the next class you can attend in the Upcoming Workshops section on our site or by calling 618-536-2424.

After attending the class, the team at the Illinois Small Business Development Center at SIU is available to work with you, one-on-one, to navigate through the process of starting a business in Illinois and help you succeed!


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