Important legislation

In the City of Chicago and State of Illinois there are hundreds of laws governing how businesses can operate, from zoning and public use permits to marketing and promotion. In an effort to help small businesses in Chicago understand those laws, we’ve compiled a list of key legislation and friendly reminders about some of the most unknown laws. Have a question about a City or State law? Contact us at any time.

Liquor Licenses & Happy Hour Laws

Illinois is home to many laws governing the sale of liquor, promotions and more. Below is a short list to get you started:

  • Licensees may not serve 2 or more drinks of alcohol at one time to one person for consumption by that one person.
  • Licensees may not serve or offer to sell unlimited drinks during any set period of time for a fixed price, except at a private function not open to the general public.
  • Licensee may not encourage any game or contest involving drinking of alcohol or awarding drinks as prizes for the game or contest.
  • Licensee may not advertise or promote any illegal offer.
  • As of July 1, 2015, a new Illinois “Happy Hour” is in effect. Please read the FAQ for complete details on this new law.

Learn more about liquor licences and related laws in Chicago and Illinois.

A-Frame / Sandwich Board Sidewalk Signs

A $500 fine from the City of Chicago can be levied on any business using an A-Frame / sandwich-board style sign to promote their business.

Sidewalk Snow Removal

Businesses may be fined up to $1,000 per day by the City of Chicago for failing to remove snow on sidewalks in front of their business. Read the complete details of Chicago’s sidewalk snow removal requirements.


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