Starting a Business in Skokie

The Village of Skokie welcomes your interest in locating your business here. The following information will provide you with an introduction to opening a business in the community.  The Skokie Public Library Business Portal is a top-quality resource designed to assist you in starting and operating a business and provides recommended tools to help you succeed. Please visit the Business Portal here.

For more personalized assistance, please contact Economic Development Coordinator, Thomas Thompson or Economic Development Specialist, Leslie Murphy at 847/933-8446.

How can I learn more about the Downtown Skokie market?
Market data is available by clicking here and from the Economic Development Division of the Community Development Department. New market research was completed in 2009. For a complete copy, contact the Economic Development Division at 847/933-8446. 

Where can I find store space?
Available store space in Downtown Skokie can be found here. Please contact the Economic Development Division at 847/933-8446 for additional upcoming space .

What do I need to know about zoning?
Skokie has special zoning requirements designed to preserve the character of downtown and we can provide you with a zoning map.  The Village recommends that you receive zoning approval for your proposed use prior to signing a lease.

How do I get Village approval for my business?
The Village of Skokie does not require a business license, but new businesses must obtain a Certificate of Occupancy for the space before opening up. Village approval verifying zoning conformance is required. All Village approvals begin at the main desk on the first floor of Village Hall - Building Division of the Community Development Department. You should prepare a brief letter outlining the specific nature and proposed location of your business and deliver it to the main desk. The Director of Community Development will review your letter and, within two weeks, you will receive a written response indicating whether you can open as you proposed or if you need to obtain a special use permit.

Are other Village approvals needed?
Yes, there are two. First, if remodeling is involved, either you or your landlord will need to obtain a building permit. This information is available by clicking here. Secondly, Skokie strictly enforces signage standards that require design approval. A packet of signage restrictions can be picked up at Village Hall - Building Division of the Community Development Department.

We look forward to working with you. Please contact us for further assistance at 847/933-8446.