Business Licenses

  • business
  • licenses

Business Licenses

Business licenses issued by the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection in the City of Chicago from 2002 to the present. This dataset contains a large number of records/rows of data and may not be viewed in full in Microsoft Excel. Therefore, when downloading the file, select CSV from the Export menu. Open the file in an ASCII text editor, such as Notepad or Wordpad, to view and search.

Data fields requiring description are detailed below.

APPLICATION TYPE: ‘ISSUE’ is the record associated with the initial license application. ‘RENEW’ is a subsequent renewal record. All renewal records are created with a term start date and term expiration date. ‘C_LOC’ is a change of location record. It means the business moved. ‘C_CAPA’ is a change of capacity record. Only a few license types may file this type of application. ‘C_EXPA’ only applies to businesses that have liquor licenses. It means the business location expanded. 'C_SBA' is a change of business activity record. It means that a new business activity was added or an existing business activity was marked as expired.

LICENSE STATUS: ‘AAI’ means the license was issued. ‘AAC’ means the license was cancelled during its term. ‘REV’ means the license was revoked. 'REA' means the license revocation has been appealed.

LICENSE STATUS CHANGE DATE: This date corresponds to the date a license was cancelled (AAC), revoked (REV) or appealed (REA).

Business License Owner information may be accessed at: To identify the owner of a business, you will need the account number or legal name, which may be obtained from this Business Licenses dataset.

Data Owner: Business Affairs and Consumer Protection. Time Period: January 1, 2002 to present. Frequency: Data is updated daily.


NameSocrata field nameColumn name in sgr mountData typeDescription
IDididTextA calculated ID for each record.
LICENSE IDlicense_idlicense_idNumberAn internal database ID for each record. Each license can have multiple records as it goes through renewals and other transactions. See the LICENSE NUMBER field for the number generally known to the public and used in most other data sources that refer to the license.
SITE NUMBERsite_numbersite_numberNumberAn internal database ID indicating the location of this licensed business to account for business owners with more than one location.
LEGAL NAMElegal_namelegal_nameText
ZIP CODEzip_codezip_codeText
PRECINCTprecinctprecinctNumberThe precinct within the ward where the business is located. Note the the same precinct numbers exist in multiple wards.
WARD PRECINCTward_precinctward_precinctTextThe ward and precinct where the business is located. This column can be used to filter by precinct more easily across multiple wards.
POLICE DISTRICTpolice_districtpolice_districtNumber
LICENSE DESCRIPTIONlicense_descriptionlicense_descriptionText
LICENSE CODElicense_codelicense_codeNumberA code for the type of license. Each code value corresponds to a specific LICENSE DESCRIPTION value.
LOCATION (zip)location_ziplocation_zipText
LOCATION (state)location_statelocation_stateText
SSAssassaTextSpecial Service Areas are local tax districts that fund expanded services and programs, to foster commercial and economic development, through a localized property tax. In other cities these areas are sometimes called Business Improvement Districts (BIDs). This portal contains a map of all Chicago SSAs
LICENSE TERM EXPIRATION DATEexpiration_dateexpiration_dateCalendar date
LOCATION (city)location_citylocation_cityText
LOCATION (address)location_addresslocation_addressText
LICENSE STATUSlicense_statuslicense_statusText
CONDITIONAL APPROVALconditional_approvalconditional_approvalTextThis pertains to applications that contain liquor licenses. Customers may request a conditional approval prior to building out the space.
APPLICATION TYPEapplication_typeapplication_typeText
Community Areas:@computed_region_vrxf_vc4k:@computed_region_vrxf_vc4kNumber
Historical Wards 2003-2015:@computed_region_awaf_s7ux:@computed_region_awaf_s7uxNumber
Zip Codes:@computed_region_6mkv_f3dw:@computed_region_6mkv_f3dwNumber
Census Tracts:@computed_region_bdys_3d7i:@computed_region_bdys_3d7iNumber
PAYMENT DATEpayment_datepayment_dateCalendar date
WARDwardwardNumberThe ward where the business is located.
DOING BUSINESS AS NAMEdoing_business_as_namedoing_business_as_nameText
BUSINESS ACTIVITYbusiness_activitybusiness_activityText
LICENSE NUMBERlicense_numberlicense_numberNumberThe license number known to the public and generally used in other data sources that refer to the license. This is the field most users will want for most purposes. Each license has a single license number that stays consistent throughout the lifetime of the license. By contrast, the LICENSE ID field is an internal database ID and not generally useful to external users.
BUSINESS ACTIVITY IDbusiness_activity_idbusiness_activity_idTextA code for the business activity. Each ID value corresponds to a specific BUSINESS ACTIVITY value.
LICENSE TERM START DATElicense_start_datelicense_start_dateCalendar date
ACCOUNT NUMBERaccount_numberaccount_numberNumberThe account number of the business owner, which will stay consistent across that owner's licenses and can be used to find the owner in the Business Owners dataset.
APPLICATION CREATED DATEapplication_created_dateapplication_created_dateCalendar dateThe date the business license application was created. RENEW type records do not have an application.
APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS COMPLETEapplication_requirements_completeapplication_requirements_completeCalendar dateFor all application types except RENEW, this is the date all required application documents were received. For RENEW type records, this is the date the record was created.
LICENSE APPROVED FOR ISSUANCElicense_approved_for_issuancelicense_approved_for_issuanceCalendar dateThis is the date the license was ready for issuance. Licenses may not be issued if the customer owes debt to the City.
DATE ISSUEDdate_issueddate_issuedCalendar date
LICENSE STATUS CHANGE DATElicense_status_change_datelicense_status_change_dateCalendar date

Upstream Metadata