Chicago Business Affairs & Consumer Protection

BACP ensures a fair and vibrant market place for both businesses and consumers. BACP licenses businesses and public vehicles, provides business education and access to resources, enforces the Municipal Code, and protects consumers from fraud.


BACP has an overriding mission: to nurture and support businesses, to stop bad actors, and to protect consumers and employees from becoming victims.

Licensing: Our first priority is to be the city’s one stop shop for businesses. Our Small Business Center at City Hall makes getting a business license easy and customer friendly: we issue more than 60,000 licenses every year and the majority — 60%+–are issued in one day.

The Small Business Center offers free one-on-one business counseling for entrepreneurs, including advice about business plans, legal issues, loans and even tax matters. Getting great advice from real experts can make all the difference for starting or growing a small business.

In addition, BACP has wide ranging responsibilities, including:

  • Issuing more than 18,000 public way use permits;

  • Inspecting thousands of businesses to ensure compliance with city laws;

  • Licensing more than 10,000 public passenger vehicles, including taxis, liveries, rideshares, pedicabs and horse drawn carriages;

  • Licensing more than 15,000 public chauffeurs;

  • Licensing more than 100 food trucks;

  • Hosting five Small Business Center On the Road Expos, which attracted over 1,000 attendees citywide; and

  • Holding nearly 100 business workshops, many of which were held in both English and Spanish, and have been attended by more than 2,000 people.

    We also help businesses in every neighborhood through our robust Neighborhood Business Development Center Program, (NBDC), which supports our Chambers of Commerce and other business-inspired organizations so that they can help small businesses start and grow.

Services Provided

Accelerators and Incubators

  • Accelerator
  • Incubator

Business Planning

  • Business Plan Consulting
  • Business Succession Planning
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Forming a Business
  • Identification and Research of Foreign Markets
  • Market Plan Development
  • Market Research
  • Diversification

Buying or Selling a Business

  • Buying or Selling a Franchise
  • Purchasing or Selling an Existing Business
  • Tax Services

Economic and Site Development

  • Tax Credits

Events and Community Building

  • Neighborhood Fairs and Festivals
  • Pitch Events

Financial Resources and Assistance

  • Accounting and Bookkeeping
  • Budget, Financial Statement and Cash Flow Training
  • Debt Funding
  • Equity Funding
  • Government Funding
  • Grant Funding
  • Loans
  • Matching Funds
  • Microloans
  • Real Estate Finance
  • Tax Credits
  • Technology Grants

Internship Programs and Student Services

  • Internship Program
  • Youth Entrepreneurship Education

Legal Services

  • Forming a Business

Management Issues

  • Leadership/Professional Development

Marketing and Sales

  • E-Commerce/Internet Marketing
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Market Plan Development and Training
  • Market Research
  • Website Development


  • One-on-One Counseling

Networking and Associations

  • Small Business/General

Product Development

  • Patent Information

Public Policy and Government Relations

  • African-American Business
  • City Business Issues
  • Hispanic Business
  • LGBT Business Issues
  • Native-American Business
  • Small Business Policy
  • State Business Issues
  • Women’s Business Issues

Regulatory Compliance

  • Government Requirements
  • Insurance Requirements
  • Registration, Licenses and Permits

Selling to the Government and Large Corporations

  • Obtaining Government Contracts

Starting a Business

  • Business Research Resources
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Forming a Business
  • Home-Based Business Training
  • Registration, Licenses and Permits
  • Site Location
  • Startup Business Counseling
  • Startup Classes

Tax Services

  • State and Federal Tax Training
  • State Tax Credit Information
  • Tax Credits
  • Tax Preparation Assistance
  • Tax Registration

Technical Assistance

  • Bookkeeping/Accounting Software Training
  • Website Development


  • Bookkeeping/Accounting Software Training
  • Budget, Cash Flow and Financial Statements Training
  • Marketing Plan Training
  • Startup Classes
Primary Contact
BACP Outreach
121 N. LaSalle St.
Chicago City Hall – Room 805
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 744-2086