Kenosha County is a great place to do business. Along the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan, it is strategically positioned between Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Chicago, Illinois. If you are interested in starting a business and need more information please see below.
If you have never owned a business before or would like a solid understanding of what owning and running a business entails, you should consider taking a class presented by Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative (WWBIC) like Will My Business Idea Work, Are You An Entrepreneur, and Researching Your Business Idea. In addition to those classes and many others is the popular and important $mall Biz: Business Planning Series. The $mall Biz: Business Planning Series provides in-depth learning for starting a business. Participants complete a draft of their business plans through weekly worksheets and exercises. Extensive information is provided on business financing and ownership, market research, marketing strategies, record keeping, cash flow, business operations, and management. Weekly guest speakers will include business professionals and successful entrepreneurs. All of WWBIC’s classes can be found on their website.
To obtain financial assistance including loans or investors, you will need a comprehensive Business Plan. If your schedule does not allow time for the classes there are helpful resources online. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has helpful online classes and links to detailed instructions to write a Business Plan or establish a business can be found below.
Registering Your Business
If you have any type of partnership structure to your business you should file Articles of Organization with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. Instructions and templates of Articles of Organization forms for the different types of organizational structures can be found on their website. As with any legal document, please have a trusted attorney or legal advisor review your paperwork before you file. For a list of attorneys see the ‘Attorneys’ category in our online Business Directory.
If you determine your business is a Sole Proprietorship and would like an official registration of your business, also required by some financial institutions for loans, you can register with Kenosha County. Access the online Registration of Firm Names here.
Employer Identification Number & Tax Forms
All businesses need a Tax Number or Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service. Click here to apply for your EIN. The IRS.gov Small Business Center has a lot of helpful information for small business owners and business managers about what and when to file.
License and Permits
Each municipality in Kenosha County has different forms, licenses, and permit requirements for businesses, whether they are home-based businesses, own vast commercial property, building new offices, or are leasing their space. See below for the most popular forms online and directly contact the municipality your business will physically be located in for further requirements.
City of Kenosha
Community Development and Inspections
A City of Kenosha Business Occupancy Permit is required for all businesses within the City and must be applied for and granted prior to the occupancy of a new building, upon the change of tenancy in an existing commercial space, or when a building is subject to a business license. Home-based businesses are required to have a Home Occupancy Permit. You can access the forms you need on the City’s website.
Town of Brighton
Town of Paris
Town of Randall
Town & Village of Salem Lakes
Village of Somers
Town of Wheatland
Village of Bristol
Village of Genoa City
Village of Paddock Lake
Village of Pleasant Prairie
Licenses are required for all business enterprises and links to the most common forms are below:
- Village of Pleasant Prairie Home Occupancy License
- Village of Pleasant Prairie Requirements for leasing, renting, and occupying a commercial space need to fill out a Commercial Building Permit Packet
Village of Twin Lakes