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Open a Business

Opening a Business in Lake Forest

The City of Lake Forest welcomes your interest in locating your business in Lake Forest. The following information will provide you with an introduction to opening a business in our community.  

Where can I find Store Space?
Available space can be found using this link.

What do I need to know about zoning?
Lake Forest has zoning requirements designed to preserve the character of downtown. The zoning includes a rule that limits the number of service businesses to no more than 10% of each block face with in the downtown area. It is best to submit an application for Zoning Compliance prior to signing a lease, to be sure your business is permitted in the Zoning District of the property.

How do I get City approval for my Business?
The City of Lake Forest does not require a business license, however, an application for Zoning Compliance should be submitted to verify zoning conformance. This Zoning Compliance Application can be submitted to the Community Development Department for review and approval.  

Are other City Approvals needed? 
If any remodeling or other work will be done in the space, building permits will be required.  In addition, the City of Lake Forest has Signage Guidelines which should be followed in the design of the signage and permits are required for new or changes in existing signage.  

We look forward to working with you.

220 E. Deerpath, Lake Forest, IL 60045
(847) 234-2600
Non-Emergency Police:  (847) 234-2601

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