Forms and PErmits for Businesses

Click on the title for expanded information, including links to applications, samples, and relevant uses. Note that some permits and applications may require aldermanic input. If you have any questions, please reach out to Josh at


+ Use of Public Way

This permit is used for signs, awnings, banners, light fixtures, planters, etc. These permits may require aldermanic input.

+ Sidewalk cafe

Businesses with a valid Retail Food Establishment License may apply for a Sidewalk Cafe Permit to serve food outside their restaurant on city sidewalks. Sidewalk Café Permits now have a 12 month term, and must be applied for, and issued, every year. This permit may require aldermanic input.

+ Streetlight pole banner

In order to receive a streetlight pole banner, you must submit a written request, a completed application, and a copy of the banner's graphics.

+ Shared cost sidewalk program

The Shared Cost Sidewalk Program is an extremely popular voluntary program in which property owners share the cost of sidewalk repair with the City. The Shared Cost Sidewalk Program cost per square foot charged to property owners is well below what a private contractor would charge. Senior citizens and persons with disabilities may qualify for a further discounted rate.

Applications will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis. The number of participants is based on availability of funds. The program typically reaches capacity quickly, so you are encouraged to apply early. Please make sure to check application deadlines.

+ Dumpster permit

Chicago offers two duration permits, one of which should fit most home improvement project schedules – three days. If you are certain your project is going to last longer, particularly if you are undertaking an extensive project, you can obtain a 30-day permit. The permits are valid from the first day they’re issued through the third calendar day or the 30th calendar day.


+ Special events | DCASE

This permit may require aldermanic input. Please email completed forms to Josh at

+ Parade, Public assembly, and athletic event

+ Chicago Park District Special Event

A special event permit application is required for events hosted in all Chicago parks. Applications are only available online through the following two-step process. Note: The $35 event permit application fee is the non-refundable.

+ Raffle and Bingo License

You can apply for a raffle license through the City’s Business Affairs Department. If you are an eligible non-profit, you can apply for a bingo license from the Illinois Department of Revenue.

+ sidewalk sales

This permit requires aldermanic approval. You can also contact the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) permit office at 312-744-4652.


+ Loading and 15-minute standing zones

This may require aldermanic input.

+ Driveway permits

No person has the right to use the public sidewalk or parkway as a driveway without first obtaining a use of public way permit authorized by the Commissioner of Transportation.

The purpose of the permit process is to ensure that the section of the Public Way being used as a driveway is insured and that the City of Chicago, its officers, employee or agents are listed on the policy as an additional insured. This may require aldermanic input.

+ Driveway no parking signs

+ Industrial Parking

+ Contractor Truck Parking at Customer Address


+ Building Permit 10-Day Wait Waiver

You can read about the landmark buildings fee waiver here. This waiver requires aldermanic approval. To apply, please email Josh at the following:

  • Set of drawings, including site plan and elevations.
  • Six-page permit application - with page five complete.

+ Water Exemption for Non-Profits