The home of Abraham Lincoln runs light on state-level governmental controls. Instead, most business licensing is left to the local level, especially in Chicago which boasts more than 70 different business licenses. Outside the big city, counties also play an important role in business governance.
In Illinois, any business that serves food can endanger public health. That’s why restaurants are some of the most regulated businesses out there. Multiple state, county and city environmental health permits are common for restaurants. Those that serve alcohol need even more licensing. Prospective restaurateurs should expect to apply for at least five licenses and permits and in many cases much more.