Licensing Department

Responsibilities & Functions

The Business Licensing department oversees the applications of new businesses. All businesses are required to obtain a business license prior to opening in the Waukegan area.

The Licensing Department works with the Planning and Zoning Department as well as the Building Department and Fire Department to ensure that businesses are approved for occupancy before a license is issued.

Renewal License invoices are mailed out in December and due each year by December 31st. There is no need to come in person, renewals can be paid online. If renewal invoice is not received by December 15th of each year please contact us. License certificates are mailed out January 31st of the new license year.

The department also collects local taxes due to the City of Waukegan. On this page you can find a Quick Link guide to Department Forms

Have questions? Need to submit an application? Feel free to email us

Business License Applications

We encourage you to review our "GETTING STARTED" checklist


  • Business License Application
    1. Need approval from P&Z Dept., Fire Dept. and Bldg. Dept.
  • Home Based Business License Application
    1. Need approval from P&Z Dept.
  • Not-for-Profit Business Licenses - Use best fit application listed above
    1. $25 application fee still applies
    2. License fees are waived for non-profit organizations, but such groups must still apply for a business license, occupancy permit, etc.
    3. Must submit 501c3 State of IL certificate
      • NOT to be confused with IRS tax exempt letter
    4. Renewals of non-profits: Must be individually requested via e-mail. Because there are no fees/invoices, there is no automatic renewal
  • Home Day Care Application (PDF)
    1. Needs approval from neighbors within 250 ft. of property and DCFS license
    2. Need approval from P&Z Dept., Fire Dept. and Bldg. Dept.
  • Mobile Food Vendor License Application
    • Waukegan Municipal Beach is limited to a vendor permit with the Lake Front Coordinator
    • Need approval from Fire Dept. and Bldg. Dept.
    • Need Lake County Health Dept. approval
  • Outdoor Dining Permit Application – The following attachments are required with your application
    • A detailed, drawing to scale or site plan that includes measurements showing the proposed location. Drawing must contain the relationship to adjacent properties to include; street, alley, location of furniture, tables, tents, umbrellas, barricades, trash receptacles and pedestrian passageway.
    • Description of furniture, tables to include; photos/drawings
    • Copy of Liquor and/or Business License(s)
    • Copy of Liability insurance certificate

Residential Rental Licenses


  • Solicitor's Permit 
    • $150 fee
    • Must bring in two (2) passport size pictures
    • Subject to Fingerprinting
    • NO ONLINE SERVICES AVAILABLE - In person application only


Did your business have changes?          Did you move to a new location?

Did you sell or close your business?       Is your property no longer a rental?

                                  ANNUAL RENEWAL FORM


Check out to top right corner of the website, use the tab labeled  PAY

This will take you to a State of IL approved payment website. You will need your invoice number to make the proper payment. Please allow the City of Waukegan a few days to process the payments in the office and your license will then be sent to your attention.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION! Our office is very small in number of staff and there are over 5,000+ licenses. We thank you for your patience in receiving communication from our dedicated office team. Thank you for your business!




Event Applications

Local taxes

The following application is overseen by the Finance Dept. Please email for any questions.
Some taxes have to be remitted directly to the City of Waukegan Attn: Finance AR

Office is located in City Hall - 1st floor - window #5                                       
                               Avoid the line and Pay online!