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Chicago moves to streamline licenses

May 11, 2012
Chicago dealers and other businesses will have to maintain fewer and less costly city licenses beginning in January 2013, under an ordinance passed May 9 by the Chicago City Council.
 
Some auto repair shops obtain as many as four licenses: one to work on cars, one to store chemicals, one to hold tires, and one to sell supplies such as windshield wipers. Under the change, they would need just one license.
 
The 60 percent reduction in license types, from 117 to 47, leaves Chicago with fewer city licenses than Philadelphia, San Francisco, New York City and Washington, D.C. More than 10,000 businesses will pay less for their licenses, including 97 percent of motor vehicle and tire shops.
 
The smarter licensing reforms also allow city inspectors to spend less time citing businesses for having the wrong licenses and more time focusing on problem businesses.
 
“The goal isn’t just fewer licenses, but a simpler process that’s smarter and streamlined,” Emanuel said.
 
The new three-tiered licensing structure consists of limited business licenses, regulated business licenses, and specialized licenses. Businesses that hold either of the latter two licenses would not also have to maintain a limited business license.
 
The city’s Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection, which issues the licenses, said it will notify businesses of changes pertinent to them.
 
 

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