STARTING A BUSINESS IN O’FALLON

OVERVIEW OF CITY REQUIREMENTS


Zoning Requirements

All property in the City is zoned as residential, office, business, industrial, or agricultural. With a few exceptions, businesses may not operate in a residential zone. Those exceptions include home occupations (see below) and day care centers, places of worship, and schools. Specific business uses are regulated differently in each office, business, and industrial zone. There may be different parking, building placement, and landscaping requirements in a district. Therefore, whether you are constructing a new building or moving into an existing building, you are encouraged to contact the Planning & Zoning Division early in your decision making process. If you need to change the zoning designation for a property in order to open your business, anticipate a minimum 75 days for approval of that rezoning before seeking a business license. Please review the Zoning Map and Zoning Code for more detailed information.

Construction Permits

The City of O’Fallon issues building, plumbing, and electrical permits for any new construction and most interior renovations. New construction will require review by our planning and building staff for adherence to the City’s adopted Building Codes prior to issuance of a building permit. Also, moving into existing commercial space may involve some interior renovations built to the building codes. The Building and Inspections Division should be contacted to determine what permits your project might require, whether consultation with the Building Inspector is advisable, and how long the review process may take once construction plans are filed.

Occupancy Inspections

When moving into an existing commercial space, the building owner/manager is to schedule an Occupancy Permit Inspection to verify that your tenant space meets basic property maintenance requirements. Any repairs called for must be addressed before a business license is issued and the space is occupied.

Signage

The City’s Sign Code regulates the size, type, and placement of all business signage. All permanent signs and most temporary signs require a permit, and must be approved by the Community Development Department.

Business Registration

A City-issued Business Registration from the City Clerk’s office is generally required before any business may commence operation.  The City review process includes a zoning determination, occupancy inspection, and police emergency contact form. Licenses are typically issued within 5 to 10 business days, assuming all requirements are satisfied. Business Registrations must be renewed annually. Click to view the City Clerk’s website.

Home Occupations & Home Daycare

You may operate a business out of your home, including Home Child Care, provided you have no employees or customers coming to your house, maintain no inventory, use no equipment not traditionally found in a home, have no signage, and there is otherwise no indication from the outside that a business is being conducted therein. A Home Occupation Permit and a business registration are required. If you have additional questions, you may contact the Community Development Department at (618)624-4500 Ext 4.

City Liquor License

Any business selling alcoholic beverages by the package or glass must have a City Liquor License obtained through the City Clerk.

Business Incentive Areas

The Central Park, Route 50/Scott-Troy Road, Central City (Downtown), and Rasp Farm TIF districts and the MidAmerica Enterprise Zone exist to promote business investment in certain areas of the city. For more information, visit the Business Incentive portion of our website.

State of Illinois Sales Tax Number

A City business license is only issued after a state sales tax number, if applicable, is obtained from the Illinois Department of Revenue.

State Registration

Most companies operating in Illinois must register with the Illinois Secretary of State Business Services Office. Unincorporated businesses must also file if they do business under any title other than the actual name of the owner.

St. Clair County Health Department

All eating and/or drinking establishments are required to have a St. Clair County Health Department permit.

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