Skip to content

Best 30 Profitable Business Ideas in Chicago

Chicago is the third most populated city in the United States of America within the state of Illinois. With some of the biggest companies in the United States, the state has Chicago is one of the greatest metropolitan cities on earth. With several business opportunities, it has a huge scope for small businesses.

Famous for its commerce, industry, and technology, both the state and city is well equipped with proper transportation and shipping facilities. With new advancements and diversity, here are some of the best business opportunities you can explore around Chicago and Illinois.

30 Small Business Ideas in Chicago

1. Food Truck

If you are a foodie and looking forward to doing something in the food-related industry, starting a food truck business in the current market of Chicago makes a lot of sense. The investment involved is low and is easy to start compared to a restaurant.

2. Smartphone Repairing Business

The market has a ton of smartphones but with very little repair support. Learning a few skills will help you to start your own smartphone repairing business in Chicago with very less investment and marketing.

3. Blogging

A perfect home-based business with a very nominal investment. If you want to work from home, start a blog. Choose a subject, find some affiliates related to the subject, and start sharing. The ROI is good if you are maintaining it on a regular basis.

4. Florist

Selling flowers in Chicago is a popular business. Start with a few options, choose a good location, and grow according to how your sales turn out. The business can be very profitable and satisfying in the long term.

5. Cakeshop

Chicago has a wide number of cake shops available. There’s a good demand for cakes. If you are someone who can experiment with the flavors and tastes, a cake shop in the state can be a profitable venture.

6. Digital Marketing Agency

With so many companies and businesses around, Chicago is a perfect place to start a digital marketing agency if you know the skills. You will help companies establish their markets on the internet by helping them sell products and services online.

7. Furniture Shop

This woodworking business may involve some good investment, but if you work well with the styles and pricing, a furniture shop can work well in the state. You can export wood at a lower price, design it in Illinois, and sell it directly.

8. Coffee Shop

A very popular business option among the starting entrepreneurs, coffee shops have been an instant hit in many states. But there are a number of factors you need to keep in mind like location, ambiance, pricing, menu, and marketing.

9. Beer Bar

Another popular business idea, beer bars have been very successful in Chicago. Either you can start with your own microbrewery or outsource the beer. The investment involved is high, but the business can be very profitable in the long term if worked out properly.

10. Daycare Services

The state has several working couples who are in need of good daycare services. An easy-to-start business, you just need a license and a bit of promotion to start your own daycare services.

11. Virtual Assistant

If you want to work from home in Chicago, a virtual assistant business can be a great idea. Several companies around the world are looking for such assistants who will help them monitor and maintain daily tasks and jobs.

12. Cleaning Service

A very popular business with huge demand in the state, the cleaning business can be a good business idea. The services will include offering cleaning help as per the requirement. Starting low can be a good option with minimal investment.

13. Tour Guide

Chicago is a famous tourist destination. If you are someone who knows the state and cities well, starting a tour guide business can be a good idea. All you need is a license and you can soon start working as a tour guide.

14. Online Business Consultancy

Businesses are trying to establish their markets online. As most of the owners don’t know how to do it, they often look for professionals. You as an online business consultant will help these businesses to work online.

15. Start a YouTube Channel

A great way to start your own business without any dependency is a YouTube channel. If you have some skills or want to share your daily life, vlogging can be a great option to start your own business.

16. Placement Agency

With so many companies and firms around, Chicago is slowly turning into a hotspot for professionals. You can start a placement agency by bridging the gap between companies looking for professionals and individuals seeking a job.

17. Homestay Services

If you have a couple of extra rooms, offering a bed and breakfast service can be a great idea. Chicago is a popular tourist destination. You can register your business on the online portals for faster bookings.

18. Online Survey

If you are looking to make money without any investment, online surveys can be a good option for making a nice extra income. There are several websites that offer free bucks for quick surveys and questionnaires.

19. Catering Business

All you need is a few assistant cooks, servers, and utensils to start a catering business. You can either work part or full time, and the investment involved in the business is low compared to other food businesses like cafes or food trucks.

20. Barber Shop

Starting a barbershop in Chicago is another popular business option with little money. If you have some skills in hairstyling, a barbershop in Chicago can be a great option. The initial investment may be a little higher, but the running costs involved are low.

21. Real Estate

There is a good demand for efficient property agents in the city of Chicago. If you have the know-how of how the industry works and have good communication skills, the real estate agency business can fetch you good returns.

22. Handyman Business

Like any other city in the United States, there is a high demand for handman services in Chicago. If you have the required skills, think of starting a handyman business here.

23. Auto Repair Service

If you are an auto enthusiast and looking to start an auto-related business with little money, consider launching an auto repair service business. There is a good demand for automobile repairing services in the city.

24. Senior Home Care

The number of old age people is growing here in the city. As a result, starting a senior home care service agency can be a highly profitable venture here. However, you must have some experience beforehand to start this healthcare business.

25. Dog Care Business

If you have a passion for dogs, a dog care business can be ideal for you. Furthermore, one can start a dog care business with little money and on the side.

26. Appliance Repair

There is a high demand for skilled appliance repair professionals in Chicago. People who have the requisite knowledge and experience can consider starting this business. One thing is for sure there will be nos shortage of customers here in the city of Chicago.

27. Open a Fitness Center

Though the fitness center is crowded, still there is a wide scope for new entrants to make good money here in the city. One can consider launching a yoga studio along with a fitness studio as more and more people here are showing interest in yoga exercises.

28. Lawn Care

The average service charge for mowing a lawn in Chicago is in the range of $40- $50. So, by mowing 10 lawns a week, one can easily earn $400 -$500 weekly. It is indeed a good side income opportunity in Chicago.

29. Boat Rental

Rivers like Michigan and Chicago provide good opportunities of making money by renting boats. Nowadays, one can rent yachts like Airbnb and make good money here in the city.

30. Logistics Business

If you have the required knowledge of the industry, consider starting a logistics business on a small scale. Start with one transport van and then scale up when profits start coming in.

Best Places To Start A Business In Chicago Illinois

Choosing the right location is going to determine the profitability of your business. Here are some of the best places in Chicago to start your business:

  • Lake View
  • Near South Side
  • West Town
  • North Center
  • Edison Park
  • Lincoln Square
  • Near West Side
  • Beverly

How To Register Your Business In Chicago, Illinois?

Follow the given steps to legally register your business in Chicago:

Step 1. Apply to the IRS for a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN).

Step 2. Register Your Business – Best LLC formation Service Companies in the United States

Step 3. Acquire a professional license. Learn more about business licenses from the official site of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection of the Government of Chicago.

Step 4. Apply for business insurance.

Friendly business laws and a healthy industrial environment have helped small businesses and industries prosper in Chicago, Illinois.