Municipality Location and General Contact Information

2100 Ridge Ave
Evanston IL 60201
Building Department information for City of Evanston, IL

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City of Evanston, IL - Building Department Information

The following Building Department information is available for City of Evanston, IL

Building and Related Codes and Amendments

The City of Evanston has adopted the 2012 International Building Code with the additions, deletions, exceptions, and other amendments set forth in Title 4 of the City Code.

Adopted Building Codes (see the City Code)

  • 2012 International Building Code (IBC)
  • 2012 International Residential Code for One and Two Family Dwellings (IRC)
  • 2012 International Plumbing Code
  • 2012 International Mechanical Code
  • 2012 International Fuel Gas Code
  • 2011 National Electric Code (NFPA 70)
  • 2012 NFPA Life Safety Code 101
  • 2012 International Fire Code
  • 2012 International Energy Conservation Code

Online versions of the International Building, Residential, Plumbing, Mechanical, and Fuel Gas codes are available for purchase from the International Code Council. The 2012 Fire Code and NFPA Life Safety Code as well as the 2011 National Electric Code are all available free online from the National Fire Protection Association. Hard copies of all codes are available for review at the permit desk, the City Clerk’s office, and the Evanston Public Library.

The City of Evanston also enforces additional State of Illinois listed below. These are available online from the Illinois Capital Development Board:

  • State of Illinois Plumbing Code
  • State of Illinois Accessibility Code
  • Illinois Energy Conservation Code

Fee Ordinance, Permits and Licenses - Effective Monday, March 16, 2015

Green Ordinance - Measure - New Buildings + Large Additions

Green Ordinance - Measure - Remodeling + Small Additions

Check with the Illinois EPA for all construction related environmental issues and permits.

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Licensing Information

To learn more about the process of opening a new business within the City of Evanston please view our New Business Guide.

NOTE: Any business that includes food sales, service or storage requires a Food Establishment License. This license takes the place of the general business license described on this page.

Prior to applying for a business license applicant must have completed:

  1. Economic Development initial business consultation.
  2. Verified the Zoning of the proposed business location.

Business License Application Process:

  1. Read the General Business License FAQ
  2. License applications can be obtained in person from the Economic Development Division Office, room 3500 or downloaded at the following link: General Business License Application
  3. Submit completed applications in person to the Economic Development Division Office, room 3500.


For additional information please contact:

Economic Development Division
(847) 448-8100
[email protected]

General Business License FAQ's

Why do we have a business license?

The Evanston Business licenses serve many purposes, including:

Providing valuable economic data about the City, which is used to foster the continued success and growth of Evanston businesses.

Allows the City to identify types of businesses that are needed and would be successful in Evanston.

Enables the City to ensure a safe working and shopping environment for employees and patrons alike through tracking of businesses and periodic Fire, Mechanical, Structural, Electrical and Plumbing inspections.

Funds collected help to defray the cost of economic development programs such as parking structures and ensuring the roads are in good condition so that businesses are easily accessible.

Which businesses are licensed?

All businesses that are not currently licensed under a State or Federal Law, are not home-based, and are operating for-profit within the City limits must have a license.

Each place of business must have its own license. The following business types must have a license to do business within the City regardless of where the physical headquarters of the business is located: Landscaping, pesticide and/or weed spraying, lawn fertilizing, pickup and delivery of laundry or dry cleaning at dwelling units, garbage or refuse pickup.

What are the regulations?

Liquor, cigarette and tobacco and alarm licenses do not constitute business licenses.

Licenses may be revoked for failure to comply with any City Ordinances, Federal or State Laws and failure to allow a required inspection.

A business operating without a license is subject to a $500 fine for each day the business operates without a license.

An Evanston Business License permits an individual or entity to engage in business activities for a profit within the City of Evanston, and is required to conduct such a business within city limits. The license must be renewed annually based on calendar year and must be displayed at the place of business. A "business" is defined under ordinance 135-O-99 as "Any individual or entity 'doing,' 'conducting,' 'engaging in,' 'maintaining,' 'operating,' 'carrying on' or 'managing' a business, occupation or activity.

Where do I file for an assumed name (DBA)?

The Cook County Clerks Office accepts applications and issues DBA certificates. For more information contact: Assumed Business Names Unit at 312-603-5652

Where do I apply for a Sales Tax Identification Number?

The Illinois Department of Revenue accepts applications for tax ID numbers.

Where can I register my business as a corporation?

TheIllinois Secretary of State processes applications for corporations and partnerships.

Additional Information

Planning and Zoning

Improving and protecting the quality of life of Evanston residents is a daily focus of the Planning and Zoning Division. Our mission is to serve as a resource and catalyst for improving the city, its neighborhoods, historic districts, downtown, and the industrial and commercial components of the local economy.

As one of the most economically diverse older and smaller cities in the Midwest, Evanston is a distinct place with many amenities and opportunities, as well as challenges. Collaborative planning with citizens, businesses and institutions is integral to the city’s culture, as are public and private partnerships that promote a high quality of living and working in Evanston.

Additionally, the Planning and Zoning Division is tasked to administer the Zoning Ordinance (Title 6 of the Evanston City Code). This includes reviewing all proposals and applications for compliance, process applications for zoning relief (i.e. variances) and provide zoning information in order to maintain compliance of all properties within the City of Evanston. The Zoning Office reviews all building applications for construction permits and business licenses for compliance.

Please Click Here to View Zoning Code

Zoning Fees - Effective Monday, March 16, 2015

Comprehensive Fee Ordinance - Effective Monday, March 16, 2015


  • Planning & Zoning Administrator: Lorrie Pearson, 847-448-8674
  • Zoning Officer: Martin Travis, 847-448-8155
  • Zoning Planner: Melissa Klotz, 847-448-8153
  • Neighborhood and Land Use Planner: Damir Latinovic, 847-448-8675
  • Senior Planner/Preservation Coordinator: Carlos Ruiz, 847-448-8687