• Links and FAQs for entrepreneurs starting businesses in Adams County, IL

    Resources, Links and FAQs for Entrepreneurs

    How to Start a Business in Quincy & Adams County, IL

    Are you interested in starting a business? Looking for information about financial assistance for small businesses? Searching for a little entrepreneurial advice? You’ve come to the right place.

    Starting a business in Quincy and Adams County is straightforward and affordable. A number of funding sources are available and we can help you find the right ones for your project. You’ll also get the support you need from the greater business community and local, regional and state government.

    A few of our favorite resources and links for entrepreneurs and small business owners are below. Call us old fashioned, but we still think a good old conversation is the best way to brainstorm your business ideas. Call us today.

    Business Services Guide for Quincy and Adams County, Illinois


    Where to go for What - A Guide to Navigationg Business Services in Adams County, IL

    Where to go for What – A Guide to Navigating Business Services in Adams County (PDF, 1.01 MB)

    Resources & Links

    Illinois Small Business Development Center at Western Illinois University

    Illinois Business Portal (State of Illinois Business Information)

    United States Small Business Administration

    Ewing Marion Kaufman Foundation for Entrepreneurs

    United States Patent and Trademark Office

    United States Copyright Office

    The Wall Street Journal Small Business




    Inc Magazine

    Employers Association

    Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center

    Illinois Secretary of State Services for Businesses

    National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)

    Quincy University

    John Wood Community College

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. Do I have what it takes to succeed in business?

    You will be your own most important employee, so an objective appraisal of your strengths and weaknesses is essential. Some questions to ask yourself are:

    • Am I a self-starter?
    • How well do I get along with a variety of personalities?
    • How good am I at making decisions?
    • Do I have the physical and emotional stamina to run a business?
    • How well do I plan and organize?
    • Are my attitudes and drive strong enough to maintain motivation?
    • How will the business affect my family? Can I support myself and my family during the early stages of the venture when cash may be short?

    Few people start a business with all of the bases covered. Honestly assess your own experience and skills, then look for partners or key employees to compensate for your deficiencies. Also identify key business resources such as your local Small Business Development Center that can provide assistance, ideally early in the planning process.

    2. What is a business plan, and why do I need one?

    One of the most important things to do before starting your business is to plan and research your idea to ensure that your business has a favorable chance for success, will meet your expectations, and will provide an adequate reward for the risk involved. Sound business planning will indicate whether you should proceed with investing your financial and other resources, as well as those of lenders and/or other investors.

    The business plan helps you evaluate your business on paper to determine if the idea is worth the investment of more time and resources. It precisely defines your business, identifies your goals, and serves as your firm’s resume. It describes the products and services you will sell; the customers to whom you will sell them; the production, management, and marketing activities needed to produce your offerings; and the projected profit or loss that will result from your efforts. It is critical to validate your beliefs before committing to a lease, leasehold improvements, purchase of real estate, equipment and inventory, etc.

    Another important benefit of the planning process is that you will project the amount of financing needed for start-up and the early stages of your business. This gives banks and investors the information needed before a credit decision is made, making the business plan a useful tool in securing capital before start-up.

    The business plan is not a static document used only for short-term planning and financing; it is a constantly evolving strategic tool that should be applied to management decisions throughout the life of the business.

    3. What legal aspects do I need to consider when starting my own business?

    Licenses required, zoning laws and other regulations vary from business to business and from state to state. Your local Small Business Development Center office will provide you with general information, but you will need to consult your attorney for advice specific to your enterprise and area. You also must decide about your form of organization (corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship) or tax status (e.g., should you opt for a Subchapter S status?).

    4. Do I need a business license to operate in Quincy?

    There are many types of licenses. You need one to operate legally almost everywhere. If the business is located within an incorporated city limits, a license must be obtained from the city; if outside the city limits, then from the county. For more information about licensing in Quincy and Adams County, Illinois contact the office of the County Clerk and if the business will be in the city of Quincy contact the City Clerk. In other Illinois counties check with the appropriate city and/or county clerk.

    5. How do I get a federal or state I.D. number?

    Illinois businesses are required to be registered with the Internal Revenue Service, Illinois Department of Revenue and if there are employees with the Illinois Department of Employment Security. Other registration may be required for specific types of business.

    FEDERAL EIN – To obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN or FEIN) go to the IRS website, then under the Starting a Business links click on the Employer Identification Number. Or call the Business Help Line 800-829-4933.

    STATE EIN – To obtain an Illinois Department of Revenue registration number go to the IDR website. In the Business section follow the instructions under the Business Registration section. Or call the Illinois Department of Revenue at 800-732-8866

    For other state business requirements go to the Illinois Business Portal website.

    6. How do I register a business name in Illinois?

    When the business name is different from the owner’s full legal name, the “Assumed Name Act” requires you to register the business name with your county clerk’s office, regardless of the structure of the business. If the business is incorporated or a form of limited liability company it must also be registered with the Illinois Secretary of State.

    7. Are other registrations required?

    If the company will have employees it must register with the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

    The Illinois Department of Professional Regulation (IDPR), is the main licensing agency for the State of Illinois for most professions. Individuals must be licensed prior to conducting business as one of the listed professions.

    In Adams County, unless the business is a corporation, you must go to the County Clerk’s Office and register the business name for a $5 fee. Find more information from the Adams County Clerk’s Office.

    8. Can I operate a home-based business out of my home?

    Yes, if the residence is appropriately zoned. Exceptions are made for Home Occupations, as defined in Section 29.701 of the Municipal Code. The home occupation must meet all of the standards set forth in that section of the code. In Quincy, contact the City Planning & Development Office at 217.228.4515. In other communities contact the City Clerk or County Zoning Officer.

    9. Where can I find information about how to hire employees?

    Choose your employees carefully. Decide beforehand what you want them to do. Be specific. You may need flexible employees who can shift from task to task as required. Interview and screen applicants with care. Remember, good questions lead to good answers-the more you learn about each applicant’s experience and skills, the better prepared you are to make your decision. For more information on hiring employees visit this SBA.gov Small Business Resource.

    10. Where can I get information about small business taxes?

    Business owners are required by law to withhold the following from the wages paid to employees: federal income taxes, state income taxes and FICA (Social Security) Insurance. Income taxes will also be levied by the federal and state governments on earnings of any business. Therefore, each business must file an income tax return with both agencies. Businesses may be required to file estimated tax returns and pay estimated taxes on a quarterly basis. You may also be required to collect and pay sales and or use tax to the Illinois Department of Revenue. The payment period is determined by the amount of taxes collected.

    For federal tax information:

    • U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – You can go to IRS’s website area for business taxes or call your local IRS office to receive a number of publications that are available upon request to small businesses. One of the most helpful is Your Business Tax Kit, which includes data and forms for a Federal Employer Identification Number and a tax guide for small businesses that can be ordered by calling Forms and Publications at 800.829.3676 or through a visit to your local IRS office.

    For State tax information:

    • The Illinois Department of Revenue:

    Visit the Illinois Department of Revenue website or call your state government and visit your official Illinois Business Portal website.

    IMPORTANT – While business counselors and your own research are important and valuable you should always discuss the tax and financial aspects with your accountant or tax preparer and the legal aspects with your attorney before making final decisions on business formation and operation.

    Do you have more questions about starting a business? Contact Us today.