The City of Rockford does not require every business to have a general business license. However, there are specific businesses which do require a license. Click on the Licenses & Fees link below to see a list of businesses that the City licenses. Those operating a business from their homes within the City limits may require a home occupation's license from the Zoning Division. Those setting up temporary stands require an itinerant merchant's license through the Property Standards Division. Door-to-door sales require a solicitors license and should be advised that they can not go to places posted "no soliciting" and must solicit between the hours of 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. Soliciting business on public ways is not permitted. Liquor licenses and special events are handled through the Legal Department.
Licenses/Permits and Fees
The Revenue Division is responsible for issuing the business licenses listed below. Clicking on the license type will take you to a new page with a description of the license, a printable application, and a link to current, applicable fees.
Alarm User Permit
Going Out of Business
Horse Drawn Carriage
Outdoor Vehicle Sale
Second Hand Merchandise
Solicitors and Peddlers
General and Mechanical
Other aspects of new businesses are handled by governmental agencies outside of the City. To register a business name, contact the Winnebago County Clerk's office. Tax identification numbers are issued by the Illinois Department of Revenue.
A comprehensive fee schedule is approved by City Council annually as part of the budget process. Fees are adjusted annually as needed.
Transfer of License/Location
Requests for the transfer of a license or a location change should be made it writing to the City Legal Department for approval and forwarding to the appropriate departments. Not all licenses are transferable.
Fees are payable upon application. Delinquent renewal penalties of 20% after 30 days and 50% after 60 days are provided for fees covered under Chapter 5 of the City Code.
Certificate of Insurance
The City of Rockford must be the certificate holder on certificates of insurance. An original certificate (or fax thereof) needs to be on file in our office. Amounts should be checked against ordinance requirements.
Licenses expire January 31 unless otherwise noted. Renewal notices are sent the first working day of the month of expiration. Overdue notices are sent 30 and 60 days after expiration of those licenses whose fees are covered under Chapter 5.
An application form can be obtained online by clicking on the appropriate links under each license type. The applicable ordinances can be found in the City's Code of Ordinances.