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How to open a business in Oswego


You’ve decided Oswego is the perfect place to put down business roots.

What’s the next step? “The best thing to do is contact us here at the village and discuss the plan far in advance of moving forward,” said Jay Hoover, Oswego’s building and zoning manager. “That way we can help connect the business with the right resources.”

Those resources include Building and Zoning for a site visit and evaluation of a location before it is selected and a lease is signed, general code requirements, and plan review and approval process overview; the Community Development Department for zoning approval and steps for moving forward with a special use permit; the Village Clerk for liquor, tobacco, gaming, massage, and other licenses; and Community Development for grants, business plans, and business resources.

“The most successful businesses come and discuss their plans and options for all of the above long before even shopping for a location,” Hoover said. Permits are the next step in the process.

“If the zoning is approved and the business is a match for the location and doesn’t need any other permits or review a simple change of occupancy permit is needed,” Hoover said.

However, he noted, there can often be a need to add items such as fire sprinklers, a fire alarm, grease trap, an accessible bathroom, among others, that would require more involved plans, documents and reviews.

“We encourage new businesses to engage with us early to evaluate and begin working with the architect/engineers to ensure a smoother process,” Hoover said

If there are issues or construction is needed then other permits are required.

Prospective business owners can find more information at the following numbers:

• Building and Zoning Department (630) 554-2310

• Community Development Department (630) 554-3622

• Economic Development Department (630) 551-2335

• Village Clerk‘s Office (630) 554-3259

Permits and applications are available on Oswego’s website at, under the Building and Zoning tab.

Oswego Area Chamber of Commerce : 73 W Van Buren Street : Oswego, IL 60543 : 630.554.3505