Specialty food shops such as spice, cheese and gourmet shops need retail food licenses. Depending on the state, county and city, these can amount to up to eight different licenses and permits. Retailers must also submit retail food plans and adhere to environmental health regulations in order to stay in business.
As one of the country’s great metropolises, it’s no surprise that Chicago has a very involved and detailed licensing scheme. The city regulates more than 70 business-types, each needing to meet specific requirements. Navigating this maze of forms and fees can be daunting and costs can run high. But if you can make it in Chicago, you can make it almost anywhere. Chicago has the third largest gross metropolitan product in the United States—approximately US$532 billion with an incredibly diversified economy. Long gone are the days when cattle sales, slaughterhouses and railroads comprised Chicago's economy. Today, Chicago has a thriving science and technology sector in addition to banking, manufacturing, transportation and e-commerce. Numerous securities and commodities exchanges operate in Chicago. It also plays home to many of the nation's largest companies.