The following are commonly asked questions by new members of the business community:
Opening a Business
Is there any City funding available to help my new (or existing) business?
Yes, the City currently has several incentive programs to assist businesses located within the Downtown TIF District. To learn more about our programs please visit our Incentive Programs page.
How do I start electrical and gas utility service?
Please contact ComEd at 800-334-766, or similar provider, for electrical service and for gas service, contact NICOR at 888-642-6748 to turn on/off utilities.
How do I start waste pickup service?
The City is not contracted with a particular vendor for commercial waste pickup. Please contact a local or regional waste and recycling company for provision of service.
How do I start water service?
You can set up service by visiting City Hall’s Finance Department (475 Main Street) or call 630-293-2200 during normal business hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. We will need the following information: Your full legal name, the service address, the billing address, date you take possession of the property, day and evening phone numbers, whether you own or lease and the commercial use.
Current Water Rates: Minimum bi-monthly charge: $20.00 / 333 cubic feet or 2,491 gallons Usage over 333 cubic feet: $2.90 / 100 cubic feet or $3.88 per 1,000 gallons
Current Sewer Rates: Industrial/Commercial: $4.36 / 100 cubic feet or $5.83 per 1,000 gallons
How do I initiate automatic water utility payments?
For automatic debit from your checking account, simply print out and complete an Automatic Payment of Utility Bills Application and then submit this form along with a cancelled check to the Finance Department during normal business hours. Or, if you prefer, you can also pay your utility bills online via E-Pay. The State receives a service charge in proportion to the amount of your bill.
Why is annual business registration required?
Annual Business Registration is required by West Chicago's Municipal Code Article III - Section 9-46.
Are not-for-profit and charitable organizations required to submit an annual registration form?
While government agencies, not-for-profit and charitable organizations are not required to pay the fee, we do ask that you submit a completed application. (Article III – Section 9-49)
What happens if I submit my business registration renewal late?
The registration renewal fee is $110.00, plus applicable fines, if postmarked after the end of the calendar year.
Can I pay my registration fee in cash?
Yes, please visit the Community Development desk at City Hall, 475 Main Street, to submit your application and remit your payment in cash. Please do not send cash via mail.
Is a permit required for permanent signage for my business?
Yes, all signs or other street graphics (except those listed in Article XII - Section 12.3) that are planned to be erected, expanded, altered, relocated or reconstructed require a sign permit. Please reference the Application for Sign Permit for details and informational requirements.
(Article XII – Section 12.2)
Additionally, if you are a business located within the Turner Junction Historic District you will require a Certificate of Appropriateness that is reviewed and issued by the historic preservation commission.
How large can my window signage be?
All window signs shall meet the following requirements:
- Should not cover more than forty (50) percent of the total window space of a building facade.
- Permanent window signs shall be debited against the displaying establishment's sign area allowance for flush-mounted signs, but temporary window signs shall not.
- Shall not contain changeable copy.
- Temporary window signs shall not be displayed for more than thirty (30) days.
Please note that non-contiguous window sign graphics (on different window panes, separated by architectural muntins, or separated spatially) are considered distinct individual signs. The applicable municipal fee of will be charged for each sign.
(Article XII – Section 12.7-5)
Can I place a sidewalk, A-frame or sandwich board, sign in front of my business?
Yes, if you are located in the B-1 Central Business Zoning District and in the Turner Junction Historic District. To view your business zoning designation click here. All sidewalk signs require a Sign Permit. When located in the Turner Junction Historic District the city's historic preservation commission shall also approve the sign.
(Article XII – Section 12.7-6)
What are the design allowances for signs?
Please refer to Article XII – 12.7 for specific regulations based on sign type. They are as follows:
Changeable copy signs
Automobile service station signs
Development identification signs
Drive-through restaurant signs
Shopping center identification signs
What are the sign permit fees?
The fee schedule for signage is as follows per Appendix G – Fee Schedule:
Sign — permanent, freestanding illuminated: $130.00
Sign — permanent, freestanding non-illuminated: $105.00
Sign — permanent, wall illuminated: $95.00
Sign — permanent, wall non-illuminated: $75.00
Sign — temporary, 14-day period: $100.00
Sign — change of copy only: $25.00