Program Information

Application Procedures

The requirements and procedures for an enterprise zone application are more fully set forth in Sections 5 and 5.1 of the Act and in the Department’s implementing rules found at ill. admin. code §§ 520.220 and 520.230. Although the general procedures are summarized below, applicants are encouraged to review the relevant statutory and rules provision in completing their applications.

  1. Hold Public Hearing

    The designating unit(s) of government must, after proper public notice, conduct at least one (1) public hearing within the proposed enterprise zone on the question of whether to create the zone, what the boundaries of the zone should be and what local plans, tax incentives and other programs should be established in connection with the potential enterprise zone. A certified transcript of the hearing (not minutes, and not a tape recording) must be prepared and submitted.

  2. Pass Designating Ordinance(s)

    The designating unit(s) of government must pass an ordinance(s) designating an area as an enterprise zone, subject to Department review and certification following Enterprise Zone Board approval. In accordance with section 5 of the enterprise zone act, the ordinance must include

    • a precise description of the area comprising the enterprise zone, either in the form of a legal description or by reference to roadways, lakes and waterways, and township or county boundaries;

    • a finding that the zone meets the qualifications in Section 4 of the Act;

    • provisions for tax incentives and other benefits offered to business enterprises exclusively in the enterprise zone and not elsewhere in the county or municipality;

    • the duration or term of the zone*; and

    • a designation of the area as an enterprise zone, subject to the approval of the Department in accordance with the Enterprise Zone Act.

  3. Approve Intergovernmental Agreement (in the case of Joint Applicants under Section 5.1(ix) of the Act and 14 Ill. Admin. Code § 530.240 )

    An intergovernmental agreement signed and approved by all joint applicants must be executed and submitted as part of the application package. The intergovernmental agreement must include:

    • the duration or term of the enterprise zone*;

    • a description of the enterprise zone;

    • provisions for the tax incentives, programs and other benefits to be offered;

    • provisions for the position of zone administrator, a description of the responsibilities of the position, and the selection process;

    • a management structure for operation of the enterprise zone; and

    • method of selecting designated zone organizations and coordinating their activities with each designating unit of government, if they are to be authorized.

    *Note: The term should be fifteen (15) years (or for a lesser number of years specified in the certified designating ordinance) commencing on January 1, 2021. After the 13th year, the Enterprise Zone designation is subject to review by the Enterprise Zone Board for a potential, additional 10-year designation beginning on the expiration date of the zone. During the review process, the Enterprise Zone Board shall consider the costs incurred by the State and units of local government as a result of tax benefits received by the enterprise zone

  4. Approve Tax Resolutions(if applicable)

    If local incentives include property tax abatements, tax resolutions are required for each taxing authority.

  5. Submit Application

    • Applications may be submitted electronically through the Department’s website, although certain hardcopy information must also be provided.

    • It is recommended that the NIU data report be completed prior to beginning the application process.

    • Paper copies of all ordinances, resolutions, intergovernmental agreements, and the Applicant Certification page MUST BE mailed to the address below and postmarked by December 31, 2020.

      Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
      Enterprise Zone Program
      500 East Monroe, Fourth Floor
      Springfield, Illinois 62701

      For questions:


  6. Make application public

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