Starting a Business

The Village of Riverside offers a remarkable opportunity for both established businesses and budding entrepreneurs. While smaller than neighboring villages like Oak Park, the Village of Riverside offers many of the same amenities including a charming village ambiance, an upper-middle class customer base with one of the highest per capita incomes in the area, an ideal market for restaurant and catering businesses, stylish boutiques, upscale chains and existing service and retail chains looking for a second location. This charming, eclectic village provides an ideal locale for businesses looking to become part of a historic community. One that offers them a loyal, local customer base and a chance for their business to become part of a newly revitalized business district.

Requirements For Opening A Business

  1. All businesses operating in the Village of Riverside must submit a Business License Application and remit the $100 fee. This will  be issued once all requirements are completed.
  2. Before opening to the public, business owners must call the Community Development Department at 708-447-1241 to schedule required construction and occupancy inspections.
    • Building & Zoning Inspection: A building permit is required for all work other than redecorating. A Sign Permit application must be approved prior to the installation of any signs on the building or in window areas.
    • Fire Inspection: Village Fire Inspector Dave Pierdinock shall inspect all businesses prior to occupancy. Please call 708-447-2123 Ext. 250 or email to schedule.
    • Health Inspection: Village Health Inspector Lynn Hoette must approve certain businesses prior to occupancy. Architectural plans of fixtures, preparation areas, dining spaces and a planned menu are minimum requirements for review of new eating and drinking establishments. Call 224-257-0774 or email to schedule.
  3. A Certificate of Occupancy must be obtained prior to opening to the public after the necessary inspections are completed.
  4. Any dining or food establishment must complete a Places for Eating Tax Form and remit to Finance Director Karin Johns at
  5. If a business intends to serve or sell liquor, have regular live entertainment, or have outdoor dining, please complete all necessary forms located on under the Starting a Business tab.

Home Occupations

If you operate a business out of your home, also known as a home-based business, or home occupation, you must register with the Village on an annual basis. Please submit a Business License Application and remit the $100 fee. Registering your home-based business with the Village will provide the opportunity to be added to the Village's Business Directory and/or Shop Local Webpage.

Economic Incentives and Grants

Riverside offers economic incentives for new businesses on a case by case basis, including waiving building permit fees, sales tax or places for eating tax rebates.