Starting a Business in Morton Checklist

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

There are incredible free resources available for starting a business in the area.  If you have a great idea and would like help getting started, we recommend attending a “Starting a Business in Illinois” workshop, led by the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Bradley University -

This workshop will talk through all the considerations for the suggestions below and allow you to ask questions and build a relationship with the instructor.  The course instructors are also available to meet with you one on one and coach you through the steps of getting your business off the ground.

Another free and helpful resource is the checklist available on the Small Business Administration website.  It takes you through the entire process and provides most of the information you will need.  You can find that resource here -

And remember to consult with the local EDC too, as they can help guide you every step of the way. 

Steps and resources for starting your business:

  1. Research a business location.  Be sure to check the zoning requirements for the properties in which you are interested.  Morton requirements found here
    1. When you find sites of interest and have reviewed the zoning policies, contact Roger Spangler at the Village of Morton to talk through the specifics.  He’s a great resource for understanding the ins and outs of the requirements.  His number is:  (309) 266-5361 (ext. 240)
  2. Select a business structure – the Bradley SBDC is a great, free resource for coaching you on the best fit for your business.  Different structures call for different approaches.  A popular online resource for researching structures is:
    1. Proprietorship
    2. Partnership
    3. Corporation
    4. Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  3. Brainstorm short and descriptive names.
  4. Make sure no one is using the names you’ve identified.  Resources to assist with this include:
    1. – Corporation/LLC Search
    2. Local County Clerk Offices
    3. – trade name search
    4. Domain name for website search – godaddy and others.
  5. Research whether or not you need a special license or permit (p.s. you probably do) -
  6. Obtain a Federal Employer Tax Identification Number (FEIN), required for everything except a proprietorship.
    1. This is the Social Security # for a business.
    2. Submit an IRS Form SS-4, using this site–
  7. Register for taxes, if you will be selling products,  –
  8. Obtain Liability Insurance – protects business owners from injuries to someone else, property, business, etc.  Availability through your local representatives and brokers.
  9. Research other Insurance coverage.
  10. Set up a bank account
    1. Consider location of the bank and inquire about fees for business accounts.
    2. You will need a copy of the FEIN, documents associated with your business structure, and 2 forms of ID.
  11. Research local and non local financing options
    1. Grants
    2. Commercial vs. startup business loans
    3. Equity required
    4. Business Plan
    5. SBA bank loans
  12. Speak with an accountant or the Bradley SBDC about tax and record keeping needs.[1]

The Morton Chamber and EDC keeps lists of local companies for all of the above and can help align your goals with the community’s resources.  309-263-2491.


[1] This list borrows from the presentation provided at the “Starting a Business in Illinois” workshop led by Kevin Evans at the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Bradley University.  We highly recommend you attend a workshop.  Learn more here -



The Morton Economic Development Council exists to positively shape the future of Morton. 

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