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Progressing in the spirit of Lewis & Clark
Welcome to the City of Wood River
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Start a Business

Starting a new business can be both exciting and stressful. There are many practical issues to consider when starting a business, such as location, size and state, local and federal regulations.

It is of the utmost importance that you are aware of all the rules, regulations and requirements before you begin your endeavor. Ensure that you have all necessary licenses, permits or registrations applied for and approved before you open your door for business. The first place to begin your search is with the local governing body. Check to find out if a business license is needed, what the zoning regulations are, sign regulations, etc. You may find a building or site you think will be a great location only to find out later that the type of business you wish to establish is prohibited by the zoning designation of the property.

You may also wish to ask the local governing body what kind of incentives they have for your type of business. Most cities encourage development by establishing Tax Increment Finance Districts or Enterprise Zones (for more information on these incentives refer to the Business Section of the City of Wood River’s website). In Wood River, the Department of Building & Zoning can assist you in assessing your particular needs, help you locate a site for your business, discuss local ordinances and regulations and much more. For more information, call (618) 251-3100.

For state and federal regulations, you’ll find many of the answers to your questions in the Guide to Starting a Business in Illinois, put together by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs. Although this guide offers a great deal of information, it should not be used as the sole reference when starting a business. Legal rules and regulations are constantly changing; updates can be obtained though the many state agencies that are listed within this handbook.

In addition, the United States Small Business Administration website is filled with information.  Click here to visit their website.