20 Fascinating Illinois Small Business Statistics


The state of Illinois is one of the most diverse economies in the world. The Prairie State is home to a multitude of giant corporations. From food establishments like McDonald’s and Mondelez to Fortune 500 companies like Boeing and Motorola.

But apart from all these high-flying multinational corporations, the state is also home to a multitude of small businesses (SMBs) that play a major role in contributing to the gross state product, which currently stands at $857 billion.

Despite the fiscal turmoil the state has witnessed in recent years, a result of decades of budget gimmicks and taxes used to white wash the state's structural spending problems, SMBs are proving to be a vital part of the economy by providing jobs and helping raise the average median incomes for most residents, which currently stands at $63,000, the nation’s largest, outstripping even New York’s, surprisingly.

Here is a collection of small business statistics from the state of Illinois:

  • There are 1.2 million small businesses, making up 99.6% of all businesses in Illinois.
  • SMBs employ around 2.5 million people—45.1% of all state employees
  • Micro-enterprises created 20,410 net jobs in 2019. Businesses with less than 20 employees had the largest gains with 24,301 new jobs.
  • Illinois is the 14th most expensive state for corporate income tax, which currently stands at 9.5%.
  • Illinois sales tax stands at 6.25%. 
  • Pass-through entities (businesses in which income is passed through to its owners and taxed at their personal tax rate), like LLCs, have their taxes calculated as personal income rather than corporate tax. The personal income tax rate is 4.95%.
  • The median income for self-employed individuals who run their own incorporated businesses is around $53,000.
  • SMBs generate 23.4% of Illinois’ $60.5 billion in total exports.
  • The health care and social assistance sectors have the largest share of small business employment, with around 350,657 employees.
  • Micro-enterprises in the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting industries have the smallest share of SMB employment, with just 1,173 employees.
  • Illinois State law requires that every new Illinois LLC designates an Illinois registered agent that will be available during regular business hours at a physical address within the state.
  • The professional, scientific, and technical services industries have the largest share of small firms, with a total of 175,335.
  • The utilities industry has the smallest share of SMBs with only 497 businesses. 
  • There is no requirement for a basic business license. However, most businesses must register with the Department of Revenue. 
  • A typical business license will cost between $20 and $100.
  • Applications for business name reservation are usually processed within one to three business weeks. Once accepted, the name is reserved for 90 days, after which it must be renewed at a cost.
  • Sales tax returns are due on the 20th of the month after each reporting period.
  • If your business is registered in a state other than Illinois, you need to file for an Application of Authority with the Secretary of State if you want to start doing business in Illinois.
  • The state’s unemployment rate currently stands at 4.3%.
  • The current minimum wage in Illinois is $8.25 per hour.


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