Local Resources

Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce | Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce aggressively promotes issues and activities that meet member needs and enhance the business climate and economic well being of the Quincy area.

Quincy Business & Technology Center | The Quincy Business & Technology Center (QBTC) is a business incubator that serves as a pivotal launching pad for business operations having the potential for creating wealth and adding to the Quincy Area economic base.

Right On Q Community Brand | The free branding package is a foundation of creative tools supporting Quincy & Adams County’s strategic brand platform. Included is the “Right On Q” strapline, a narrative, a logo family, color palette and creative execution look. All items are FREE to use for all community members, groups, organizations and businesses.

Small Business Development Center | At Western Illinois University provides professional guidance for business growth. The Illinois Small Business Development Center (ISBDC) provides FREE, confidential advising and training to help entrepreneurs start, grow and sustain their businesses. ISBDC consultants search for new ways to enhance the communities we serve, offering a wide array of skills and experience designed specifically to assist entrepreneurs.

SCORE | SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and helping small businesses start, grow, and succeed nationwide. SCORE is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and has been mentoring small business owners for more than forty years.

  • Small Business Administration | The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses.

Starting A Business

The Great River Economic Development Foundation, the Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce, and The District have partnered to create a business startup guide.

The guide is designed to be a resource for those wanting to start a business in Adams County. The resource is filled with step-by-step guides and checklists to walk you through the process of opening a business, important community contacts, and free resources available to you.

Our hope in creating this guide is to make it as easy as possible for you to start your business and make your dream become a reality right here in Adams County. If you are looking to start a business please reach out. We would love to connect and provide you with this free guide, and support you as you navigate the start-up process.

Get your Business Start-Up Guide

Startup FAQ

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.

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.

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?).

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.

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 for more information.
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.

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.

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 $20 fee. Find more information from the Adams County Clerk’s Office.

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.

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.

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.