Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship and Small Business

February 6, 2019

With these free resources learn how to start and grow your small business.

Starting Your Business in Illinois Handbook

Starting a business involves planning, making key financial decisions, and completing a series of legal activities. Scroll down to learn about each step.

View Starting Your Business in Illinois Handbook.

Illinois Angel Investment Credit Program

What is the Illinois Angel Investment Credit Program and how do I apply?

The program attracts and encourages investment dollars into early-stage, innovative companies throughout Illinois. Investments support job growth, expand capital investment in Illinois, and provide companies with much needed access to working capital to further their growth and success. Tax credits are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

View Illinois Angel Investment Credit Program

First Stop Business Information Center

A single statewide resource for entrepreneurs and businesses to obtain comprehensive regulatory and permitting information.  Center staff provide professional guidance to entrepreneurs by linking them to state and local resources.

  • Toll free helpline 1.800.252.2923
  • Business startup kit & business specialists
  • Starting Your Business In Illinois Handbook

View First Stop Business Information Center

Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)

Illinois SBDC Centers partner with business development organizations and educational institutions to assist you in maximizing your potential to grow and attract investors.

Illinois International Trade Centers provide assistance with international trade and exporting. The centers offer information, counseling and training to existing and new-to-export companies interested in pursuing international trade opportunities.

Let SBDCs and ITCs connect you to the experts, tools and opportunities at no cost to you.

View Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)

Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC)

Government Contracting Assistance: Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Centers provide free one-on-one advising, technical information, marketing assistance and training to existing businesses that are interested in selling their products and/or services to local, state, or federal government agencies.

View Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC)

Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP)

Located at the Illinois Department of Commerce, a non-regulatory agency, SBEAP provides free confidential information and services to help small businesses understand their environmental obligations.  Click here for our SBEAP palm card.

View Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP)

Illinois Environmental Services Directory

Environmental service providers list themselves with the SBEAP indicating their areas of expertise or services provided.  The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity makes no attempt to qualify providers in the directory and inclusion in the directory does not in any way serve as an endorsement or guarantee of any company or service.  The Environmental Services Directory is not a comprehensive listing and only contains those companies who have voluntarily listed themselves with the program.

View Illinois Environmental Services Directory

Regulatory Flexibility Program

The Program is housed in the Business Information Center and serves as an ombudsman for small businesses.  Staff reviews every rule that state agencies propose and distributes information about these rules to the small business community.  Feedback from the community is then sent for consideration to the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR), a bi-partisan legislative oversight committee that is authorized to conduct systematic reviews of administrative rules promulgated by state agencies.

View Regulatory Flexibility Program

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