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 complete a Business License Application and remit the $100 fee.
  2. All building and construction projects (including alterations, repairs and demolitions) that cost more than $500 must obtain a building permit prior to work beginning.

    Permits are not required for:
    • Painting
    • Carpeting
    • Tile Work
    • Refinishing hardwood floors
    • Resealing driveways/parking lots
  3. A Certificate of Occupancy must be obtained prior to opening to the public and inspections may be required. Please contact the Building Inspector at 708-447-1241 ext. 236 to schedule an inspection once the Business License Application has been submitted.
  4. A Sign Permit (PDF) application must be approved prior to the installation of any signs.
  5. If you plan to have regular live entertainment, please complete the Live Entertainment Application Form and remit the $200 annual fee.

Economic Incentives


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. Please contact the Community Development Director for additional details.

Riverside is offering a Façade Improvement Grant Program for the Central Business District. Our local grocer Riverside Foods is the Village's first business to apply for the grant. Their revamped façade features new gooseneck lighting, masonry repairs, and a fresh coat of paint to complete the look. Check out this short video of their ribbon cutting after the improvements were finished and hear about their experience with the program.
Facade Improvement Grant Program Application (PDF)