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Taking the Next Step — Opening Your Business in a Commercial Building

Whether you have grown out of your Woodridge home-based business or are looking to move your business into one of the Village’s commercial corridors, there are several factors to consider. Finding a location for your business is a big decision, and as a business owner you will have a number of things to consider when assessing the viability of a particular location. 

Site Selection Tips

Prior to signing a lease or purchasing property, you should contact the Community Development Department at 630-719-4750 to confirm that your business use is permitted at that location and to discuss any site limitations. If you are contemplating leasing or purchasing an existing space or building, Village staff are also available to meet with you to determine whether improvements are necessary (for which you would need a building permit) to bring the building into compliance with the Village Code.

Zoning — The Village has several different zoning districts, each of which permit certain businesses. The easiest way to determine whether your business is a permitted use at a particular location is to contact the Village. Our staff will assist you in making this determination and, if the site’s zoning is incompatible with your desired use, we can direct you to other locations in the Village where your business may be permitted.

Utility and Infrastructure Considerations — To determine whether the site you are considering is able to meet your infrastructure and utility needs, contact the associated service provider (Helpful Links Section) or the Community Development Department at 630-719-4750 for assistance. . 

Road Access — Certain businesses generate more traffic than others, and you want to select a site with roadway infrastructure that can handle the traffic generated by your employees and customers. Please contact the Community Development Department at 630-719-4750 for more information regarding locations with appropriate road access for your business.

Natural Resources — Natural resources include the overall site terrain, soil, trees, vegetation, animal life, and wetlands. Many of these natural resources are protected, which can affect development of the site. For example, you may be required to submit applications to various governmental entities verifying that no endangered species exist on the site. If you have questions or concerns regarding natural resource issues, you should contact the Illinois Department of Natural Resources or the Community Development Department at the Village of Woodridge for assistance.

Employee Transportation Options — Businesses should also consider how their employees will get to the site. For businesses whose employees may require the use of public transportation, it’s important to consider the location and frequency of public transit service. The Village’s primary source of public transportation is the Pace Suburban Bus System, which has over 240 routes that serve more than 220 communities in the six-county area.

Development, Construction and Renovation Process

Depending on the location and the improvements needed to open your business, you might need to apply for a building permit or submit a development application to construct a new building or major addition (the latter can be a time-intensive, multi-month review process. 

Construction and Renovation Process - Prior to beginning any interior or exterior improvements, construction or renovation work, contact the Village to determine whether a building permit is required.

Because buildings are constructed under different building codes, depending on the structure’s age, certain spaces may not comply with the most recent code that the Village’s administers. This often occurs when retail spaces are converted to restaurants or larger occupancy uses. At your request, the Community Development Department will schedule a meeting to discuss what improvements may be necessary to bring the space into compliance with the Village Code. For more information on building permits, you should refer to pages 29-33 in the Village’s Business Resource Guide.

Development Review Process – To request special zoning approvals for your proposed business, you will need Plan Commission review and Village Board approval first, which can be a multi-month review process depending on which approvals are required. Some development approvals may be granted at the staff level, while others require consideration by the Plan Commission and approval by the Village Board. 

Other factors, such as consultant response time to staff review comments or required approval from outside agencies, may increase development review time. 

On average, the development review process takes four to eight months for larger projects. During your preliminary meeting with the Community Development Department, our staff will provide you with an estimate of the process length based on your project specifications.

Health Department Resources

Whether you have a restaurant component to your business or want to encourage mobile restaurants (i.e.,“food trucks”) to serve your customers or employees, the respective County that your business will be located in, needs the involvement (i.e. permitting, building code review) of their respective health departments, as the Village does not conduct health inspections. The local county health departments are responsible for monitoring food distribution and preparation. We encourage you to contact the county health department for more information on its policies and regulations. The Village also requires peddlers and food trucks in the community to obtain a peddler’s license.

Business License Process

A business license is authorization from the Village stating that you may operate your business. Most businesses, are required to obtain a business license from the Village before operating the business. In some limited circumstances, certain businesses need to only be licensed by the State of Illinois. To find out if your business needs a business license please contact the Administration Department at 630-719-4712.

Registering with the State of Illinois

If you conduct business in Illinois or with Illinois customers, you must register with the Illinois Department of Revenue. This includes sole proprietors, exempt organizations, and government agencies withholding for Illinois employees. All businesses that sell goods and collect sales tax must obtain an Illinois Business Tax Identification Number. That number must be tied to a physical location within the Village of Woodridge. Businesses with multiple locations may share the same IBT number, but each must have a unique location assigned. Businesses operating temporarily within the Village (e.g.,fairs, trade shows, and farmers markets) must also have an IBT number indicating that the sale took place within the borders of the Village. 

Insurance Requirements

As a business operator, there are a multitude of insurance requirements that you should be aware of, whether it is for property you own, space you are renting, or employee insurance requirements. We recommend that you speak with an insurance expert to determine what coverage will best fit your needs. For employment insurance, you can contact the Illinois Department of Employment at 1-800-247-4984. 

Business Signage

The Village understands the importance of building signage in advertising your business. The size, number and type of signage permitted varies by zoning district and individual developments. Most permanent and temporary signs require a permit or approval from the Village. For more detailed information on signage and applying for sign permits, contact the Community Development Department ta 630-719-4750.

Specialty Business Incubators 

If you’re not quite ready to lease or purchase your own space to launch your company, a business incubator may be an interim solution for you. A business incubator is typically an organization designed to accelerate the growth and success of entrepreneurial companies through an array of business support resources and services that may include physical space, capital, coaching, common services, and networking connections.

Business incubation programs are often sponsored by private companies or public institutions such as colleges and universities. Potential Woodridge businesses may want to consider two incubators available in the area. Once you are ready for your own space, the Village of Woodridge will gladly work with you to find a location that meets your needs. 

REV3 - Rev3 is an innovation center located in DuPage County that is focused on helping people and companies design, build, and launch the software and technology that will drive the third industrial revolution. From astonishing waves of innovation and new product concepts to technology that changes business models, Rev3 is a place of emerging opportunities.

Like many coworking spaces and incubators, a key feature of Rev3 is the opportunity to collaborate with and share ideas with other startups. Even if you are a solopreneur, Rev3 will give you the opportunity to develop your business in a communal environment. 

Chain Reaction Innovations Newly launched and housed in Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Chain Reaction Innovations’ mission is to support innovators with ideas for energy- and science-based technologies that could have a significant impact on the lives of billions of people. It provides these innovators with the laboratory tools, seed capital, and collaborators necessary to grow their early-stage technologies and attract the long-term capital and commercial partners needed to go to market. 

Ready to grow?