Illinois Business Opportunities

Chicago on Lake Michigan is the third largest city in the United States.
Chicago on Lake Michigan is the third largest city in the United States.[1]

A Quick Glance at Illinois

Illinois, whose nickname is Prairie State, first obtained its statehood in 1818. With a population of 12,882,135 people, Illinois is the fifth most populated state in the United States.

If you are considering starting your new business in Illinois, you might want to look into one of Illinois' top three most populous cities - Chicago, Aurora or Rockford and also in the state's capital of Springfield.

Top Industry

The largest industry in the state of Illinois is insurance carriers and related activities.

  • The gross domestic product (GDP), of this industry, is roughly $27.7 billion and accounts for 3.6% of Illinois' GDP.
  • Insurance carriers and related activities also employs 1.7% of Illinois' private workforce.

Small Businesses

In the United States, the more than 600,000 plus franchised small busineeses account for 40% of all retail sales and provide jobs for some 8 million people. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), their standard definition of what constitutes as a small business includes a maximum of 500 employees or operations with and/or up to $7 million in revenue, depending on the industry.

  • There are 2.4 million small businesses, in the state, of Illinois.
  • Small businesses in Illinois, make up 37% of the state's private workforce.

State and Local Taxes

Listed below are the state and local taxes, for the state of Illinois, and how they rank against other states in the U.S.

State Tax Rate Avg. Local Tax Rate Combined Rate Combined Rank* Max Local Tax Rate
6.25% 2.39% 8.64% 7 4.75%
*Combined Rank is rank from highest to lowest tax percentage

California has the highest state tax rate in the United States at 7.25%, but Lousinana has the highest combined tax rate, overall, at 9.98%. Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon share the spot for lowest combined tax rates at 0%.

Additional Information

If you need additional information about how to start a business in Illinois, their official state page might be a good place to start. If you are looking to own your own established franchise in Illinois, we have collected a comprehensive list of companies that are actively looking to expand in Illinois, for you to explore.


  1. By Adrian104 - Own work, Public Domain
  3. Comparison between U.S. states and countries by GDP (nominal) from Wikipedia
  4. Largest Industry in Each State from 24/7 Wall St.
  5. 2017 Small Business Profiles for the States and Territories from the U.S. Small Business Administration
  6. Small Business Trends from the U.S. Small Business Administration
  7. Civilian Labor Force and Unemployment by State from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  8. State and Local Sales Tax Rates in 2017 from the Tax Foundation

City and County Level

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