Start a Business

Starting a successful business requires preparation, research and work. 

Successful business owners have a business plan.  Prepare your business plan by setting up an appointment with the Small Business Development Center at Governors State University at (708) 534-4929. This is a free service.  The Center can also provide you with information on how to finance your business.  

 Before purchasing a building or property; or signing a lease, check with the Building Department to make sure the area is zoned for your business. Prior to opening a business arrange for Village building inspections, present any tenant build-out or building improvement/construction plans for review and approval, apply for any needed building permits, apply for a business registration and obtain a Certificate of Occupancy. 

Start-Up ‘To Do’ List

  • There are no grant available for your start-up business.
  • Know what type of business you would like to start and learn all you can about it.
  • Appraise your business strengths and weaknesses. Be strict and objective.
  • Prepare a comprehensive business plan, and include your action timetable. Free confidential assistance in developing your business plan is provided by the Small Business Development Center at GSU at (708) 534-4929.
  • Consult with experts. Establish your business partnership team including an attorney, banker, accountant and insurance agent.
  • Conduct thorough research of potential customers, your trade or industry, your competition, your licensing and tax requirements, location and name.
  • Determine the legal structure for your business. Decide which form of ownership is best for you: sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), corporation, S corporation, nonprofit or cooperative. Your attorney and accountant will assist.
  • Secure necessary capital (bank loan, savings, borrow on insurance, angel investors, venture capital, etc.) Your banker will assist with options.
  • Evaluate possible site locations.  Check zoning, physical condition, suitability, traffic flow, parking, utility requirements and cost. Determine if you should lease or own.
  • Decide on your preferred business location. Do not buy or lease yet.  Contact the Building Department to check on zoning for the property.  Schedule inspections will be made that will assist you in budgeting for any needed improvements to the property. 
  • Obtain needed facilities, equipment, furnishings, signage, supplies and stock.
  • Recruit personnel. Establish job descriptions and training program.
  • Decide on your business hours to meet demands of your customers and market.
  • Print business cards, stationery, invoice or statement forms.
  • Register the name of your business (your assumed name) and/or file articles of incorporation with the Secretary of State. Publish a notice in the newspaper. Your attorney will assist.
  • Secure any necessary permits, licenses or zoning variations. Check with both local and state licensing agencies.  
  • Register your business with the state and obtain a Sales and Use Tax Permit (if applicable). Your accountant will assist.
  • Register for a federal tax number (Form SS-4) and obtain employee tax and withholding information from the IRS. Your accountant will assist.
  • Register your business with the Village.
  • Establish a bank account (separate from personal account).
  • If you intend to hire employees in your business, phone your Department of Economic Security or Workforce Commission.
  • Phone the IRS for a free “Small Business Tax Kit” at (800) 829-3676. For information about free tax education workshops, call (800) 829-1040 or check out the IRS website for this information.
  • Publicize your new venture. Effective marketing is important. Do not simply rely on “word of mouth.” Become active in business associations. Successful businesses require good, effective and consistent marketing.