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Illinois to create business licensing website


From Illinois Business Journal news services

SPRINGFIELD – A new state law should make it easier to open a business in Illinois. It requires the state to put all permit and license applications on one centralized website.

“We should be making it easier to open small businesses in Illinois,” said Senator Julie Morrison, D-Deerfield, the measure’s sponsor. “The practice of requiring entrepreneurs to navigate dozens of websites has to stop.”

Right now, business owners who need more than one license or permit normally have to visit several different state and local government websites and fill out forms. To see if they qualify for any economic development programs, they have to contact even more state agencies.

Many other states do better, putting all of these forms and information in one place.

Illinois’ new business licensing website will be operated by the state’s Department of Commerce and Opportunity. The agency will update the site at least once every year. Under the current system, potential business owners are often forced to struggle with broken links and hard-to-navigate, out-of-date state websites.

Morrison’s plan was inspired in part by New York’s business license website: Under New York’s system, entrepreneurs start by selecting the type of business they would like to open. They then answer a series of questions. When they finish, they are provided with links to all of the forms they need to fill out and any additional information they requested.

The law was Senate Bill 659.

The new website should be online by July 2017.

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