Business Occupancy

A building shall not be constructed or occupied, an existing building shall not be expanded or otherwise altered or occupied, a new land use shall not be established and an existing land use shall not be changed until a certificate of occupancy is issued by the Department of Building and Zoning. Every certificate of occupancy shall state that the land use and occupancy of buildings or structures comply with all provisions of the Cook County Zoning Ordinance and that buildings or structures are habitable and in conformance with all applicable building regulations.


Application Requirements:

Please address the following requirements with respect to your permit application.  Mail the completed application along with the fee to the Zoning Administrator.

1.         Download the application from the link on the side bar and fill it out completely.

2.         Plat of survey less than five (5) years old; sealed and certified by an Illinois Registered Land Surveyor.

3.         One digital copy of Proof of Ownership must accompany each application

  • Copy of recorded Title Policy or
  • Copy of recorded Deed or
  • Copy of the lease from the owner of the property

4.         Submit a detailed explanation of the type of business you are proposing to establish.  This explanation should include, but not limited to, the following information:  The hours of operation, number of employees and the number of vehicles to be used in conjunction with the business; provide a sketch that contains a count of the number of existing parking spaces at the property site.

5.         One digital set of architectural plans, sealed and signed by an Illinois registered architect or structural engineer.  If the business is a food establishment, plans must also bear stamped approval from the Cook County Public Health Department, Food Program Manager. 

            If occupying an existing structure and no interior / structural changes have been made to the business establishment, submit a notarized letter, attesting to the said fact.  In addition, and if applicable, you must submit proof of Cook County Public Health Department approval. Also, if the property is served by well and septic and has been closed for a period of twelve months or more, you must submit proof of adequacy for the existing septic and well.  Please contact Cook County Public Health Department for additional information. (847-818-2841)

6.         If any electrical or plumbing work has been done to the premises, a Letter of Intent from the registered Electrical Contractor and / or Plumbing Contractor must also be submitted detailing work to be done.

7.         Identification / Advertising signs must also secure permits.  Requirements for sign permits (or face change of the sign) can be requested from the Department of Building and Zoning.

8.         Apply online for a General Business License (GBL) with the Cook County Department of Revenue  Enter the GBL# on this application in the space provided.

9.         Fee of $250 to be paid upon submittal of this request.  Check to be made payable to Cook County Collector.